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Subaru going to new heights with the Ascent SUV concept

Subaru confirms it will build a three-row SUV with a new 2.4-liter turbocharged engine.

Emme Hall Former editor for CNET Cars
I love two-seater, RWD convertibles and own a 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata for pavement fun and a lifted 2001 Miata for pre-running. I race air-cooled Volkswagens in desert races like the Mint 400 and the Baja 1000. I have won the Rebelle Rally, seven-day navigational challenge, twice and I am the only driver to compete in an EV, the Rivian R1T.
Emme Hall
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Watch this: Subaru looks to climb to three-row greatness with the Ascent concept

Subaru has been without a three-row SUV since it pulled the plug on the Tribeca in 2014. In the ensuing years the segment has been selling like hot cakes, with gas prices low and American families wanting more and more space. Heck, even Volkswagen is getting into the seven-passenger game with the new Atlas and Buick is showing off its new Enclave Avenir here at the New York auto show.


A bright and airy cabin in the Subaru Ascent concept, thanks to a panoramic moonroof.


Now, Subaru has ponied up with the Ascent SUV concept. With a few styling cues taken from the Viziv-7 SUV concept we saw last year at the Los Angeles auto show, the Ascent features boomerang headlamps, sculpted side sills and a staunch stance.

Inside looks to be roomy and comfortable with second-row captain's chairs and a large infotainment screen. Let's just hope the Ascent features more tech than currently offered with Subaru's Starlink operating system.

Subaru has confirmed that it will build a seven-passenger SUV for 2018 and that it will be called the Ascent, so we can only hope that the modern and pleasant design of the concept carries over. With a length of 16.5 feet it should sit nicely between the nearly 17-foot long Chevrolet Traverse and the 16-foot long Hyundai Santa Fe.


When the production Ascent comes to market, we hope the Starlink multimedia system gets an upgrade.


Whatever it looks like, the production Ascent will be built on a modified version of the Subaru Global Platform and feature a new 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Boxer engine as well as Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel drive system.