The Japanese carmaker is not going to rush with updates for its freshest SUV. The 2021 Subaru Ascent will be mostly unchanged. This summer the company will unveil what do they plan with the mid-size model. Still, do not expect too much. After the debut in 2019, the 2020 YM got only two notable changes. The third year in the market could bring a surprise and enthusiasts hope it could be a turbo model. If we have to make a wish, it would be a hybrid unit.
The SUV made an immediate impact right after the premiere. The first complete season in the market and the Ascent made 80,000 sales. It is not anywhere close to class-leaders, but this SUV showed a lot of potential. Still, Subaru needs to keep upgrading Ascent to reach its full potential.
STI Turbo Model
The most likely addition for the next season is the STI – turbocharged version with higher outputs than existing. The 2021 Subaru Ascent will use a new 2.4-liter turbo-four Boxer engine as the base setup. However, the STI, ex XT model, will need more power to compete with higher-end versions of its rivals. Current setup is going to deliver 260 hp, which is not bad for a flat-four unit. Most competitors are opting for V6 powerplants capable to deliver between 260-295 hp.
We still don’t have precise info about the upcoming tuning of the existing engine. However, the manufacturer is working on it and the 2021 Subaru Ascent won’t be without additional options for too long. The same engine will be part of the lineup for Subaru’s other vehicles, such as BRZ and 86.
Standard Configuration and Specifications
So, under the bonnet of the 2021 Subaru Ascent is a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine. The popular Boxer unit is a flat-four drivetrain with a lower center of gravitation. The position of the engine provides a better balance and handling. As you can guess, the four-wheel drive is standard. It is a trademark for all the Subaru vehicles. The 8-speed continuously variable automatic transmission could be controlled through paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.
The Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is making a difference compared to rivals, and the X-Mode makes a huger gap. This setup is one of the best enhancing systems for an off-road drive. The new Ascent is going to keep the same gas mileage. Standard and Premium trims are lighter and they provide 21/27 mpg, while Limited and Touring are coming with more equipment, making them heavier. Besides the price, these trim levels will also cost you 1 mpg.
2021 Subaru Ascent Hybrid
The STI turbo version is definitely something fans would like to see and talk about it. But, it costs more in many ways, so not too many would decide to buy it. The same happened to Forester XT. Instead, the Japanese carmaker could turn to the greener sources of power. Experts believe that Subaru engineers need to develop hybrid units to stay competitive. Well, the mid-size SUV class is offering more such setups and Toyota is already planning to turn the Highlander Hybrid into the PHEV model. The good thing is that two Japanese carmakers have a strong relationship and Subaru could get some help if its chiefs opt for hybridization.
Which 2021 Subaru Ascent is the Best?
While we are expecting updates about the new versions, we stick to the existing trim levels. The entry-level model is an 8-seater and it also offers 18-inch wheels. The Premium trim upgrades the cloth upholstery with stain-resistant material. Also, there are machined-finish wheels and body-color folding side mirrors to make this version recognizable from the outside. Inside, the driver’s bucket gets power-adjustable setup and the front row is heated.
Limited edition uses leather for the interior. Also, the wheels are larger and the lights are getting LED lamps, including fog lights. Turn signals are integrated into side mirrors. The safety is also upgraded, while many options become available through optional purchase (captain’s chairs, power moonroof, Haman Kardon audio).
The 2021 Subaru Ascent is going to offer plenty of accessories that are not even optional for other trims. A seven-seat layout is standard. This package adds chromed details for side mirrors and door handles. The first two rows are coming with heating, while driver and co-pilot are also getting ventilated buckets. Leather upholstery with unique trim is making this version exclusive.
2021 Subaru Ascent Prices
The MSRP of the new 2021 Subaru Ascent will start just under $32,000. Premium and Limited models are the mid-range offers. If you are willing to spend extra, then the other one represents the best buy with a $40,000 price tag. The Touring model comes with the most options, but some of them are not going to be used too frequently. The price for this one will be over $45,000. We are still expecting updates about the STI and hybrid versions, so their price is not predictable yet.