2023 Subaru Ascent Preview

Chris Teague | Jun 15, 2022

In 2019, Subaru filled a 3-row SUV-sized hole in its lineup with the Ascent. The family-friendly crossover SUV featured traditional Subaru styling and quirks with all-weather-ready all-wheel drive (AWD). Subaru updates the SUV for the 2023 model year with a light facelift, new safety tech, and improved convenience features.

2023 Subaru Ascent Front Quarter View Action

Subaru offers the 2023 Ascent in five trim levels: Base, Premium, Onyx Edition, Limited, and Touring. The SUV’s powertrain carries over from 2022, but it’s still one of the few SUVs that come standard with AWD. The U.S.-built 2023 Ascent will go on sale in fall 2022.

What’s New for the 2023 Subaru Ascent? - Find the best Subaru deals!

  • Updated exterior styling
  • Improved EyeSight safety technologies
  • Newly available Cabin Connect system that provides in-cabin communication
  • Additional standard features for Onyx Edition trim level
  • Pricing should start around $33,000

2023 Subaru Ascent Exterior - Find the best Subaru deals!

2023 Subaru Ascent Rear Quarter View Action

The 2023 Subaru Ascent features a redesigned front fascia with aggressive styling and a more prominent grille. The SUV’s LED headlights are new and feature an updated LED running light design. Subaru added air ducts to the lower bumper to improve airflow, and in higher trims, the feature comes with chrome accents. Around the back, the taillights come with an updated C-shape.

Though there are some new bits here, the Ascent remains essentially the same from an exterior styling perspective. The Onyx Edition brings black accents, including badges and wheels, but again, the Ascent will be familiar to anyone with even a passing knowledge of the sport utility vehicle.

2023 Subaru Ascent Interior - Find the best Subaru deals!

2023 Subaru Ascent Interior Dashboard

The Ascent, like all Subarus, has to offer a degree of utility and adventure-ready features. Cloth upholstery comes standard, but the automaker offers a synthetic upholstery material that it says provides excellent water resistance and durability. The setup is ideal for people with dogs and folks with active outdoor lifestyles.

The cabin in the updated Ascent is clean and intuitively laid out, and visibility is decent in most directions. Subaru offers a panoramic sunroof and captain’s chairs in the second row, but a rear bench seat comes standard. The plush Limited trim gets leather upholstery with heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and a heated steering wheel.

2023 Subaru Ascent Specs - Find the best Subaru deals!

Subaru offers a single engine choice for the 2023 Ascent, which carries over from the previous model year. The engine is a turbocharged 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that produces 260 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission sends power to all four wheels and features an 8-speed manual mode that simulates shifting using steering-wheel-mounted paddles.

The Ascent’s AWD system comes with Subaru’s X-Mode driving system, bringing hill-descent control and driving modes for snow, mud, dirt, and more. Like other drive-mode systems, X-Mode alters throttle response, steering feel, and other vehicle behaviors to improve traction in various conditions.

2023 Subaru Ascent Safety - Find the best Subaru deals!

The new Ascent gets an improved version of Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assistance tech. It includes traditional features like automatic emergency braking, but Subaru updated the hardware with a new wide-angle mono camera. The component joins EyeSight’s two existing cameras, which Subaru says provides better pedestrian and bicycle recognition. This is especially helpful when approaching intersections. Additionally, the system can apply brakes as necessary.

Higher trims come with blind-spot warning, lane-change assistance, and rear cross-traffic warning. These vehicles also get new evasive steering assistance for help with emergency maneuvers at speeds lower than 50 mph.

2023 Subaru Ascent Technology - Find the best Subaru deals!

The new Ascent comes standard with an 8-inch infotainment display, but Subaru offers a larger 11.6-inch touchscreen for most trims. The screen features a portrait orientation and houses controls for climate, multimedia, drive modes, and vehicle settings. Wireless Apple CarPlay comes standard with the smaller screen, along with a Harman Kardon sound system. The upgraded stereo brings the ability to add the new Cabin Connect feature, which uses a microphone and the vehicle’s stereo speakers to project front passengers’ voices to the back seats.

2023 Subaru Ascent Competitors - Find the best Subaru deals!

The 2023 Subaru Ascent competes against the Honda PilotHyundai PalisadeKia TellurideToyota Highlander, and many more. The Subaru isn’t as plush or luxurious as many of its rivals, but the brand’s outdoorsy swagger and targeted features in the Ascent are enough to attract buyers outside of the brand’s faithful fans. Kia and Hyundai shook up the segment a few years ago with the releases of the Telluride and Palisade, and they remain two of the strongest options in the space.

Subaru is the source of information in this article. It was accurate as of June 15, 2022, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker’s website or your local dealership.

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