It's hard to believe but our 12 months of living with Subaru's big boy SUV, the Ascent, have already come to a close.
Over the past year we've covered thousands of miles, hauled dozens of people and seemingly just as many dogs through all weather conditions We've got just enough time left for one more lap to reminisce about all the things we like and a few things we don't.
We'll start with the look which if I'm honest, is one of the things that I wasn't particularly fun of.
This big brown you is so generic looking that even after I've been driving it for the better part of the year I still found myself having to flash those lights with a remote just to find the thing in parking lots.
Granted the hour choice of color here doesn't help and this is definitely not a bad looking SUV.
It's just awfully anonymous with no real defining characteristics that says Subaru.
But then the same can be said about the Legacy and a lot of other Subaru these days I would prefer something with a bit more personality something like the key to telluride or the Hyundai palisade.
But then the last time Subaru tried to make a three row with personality.
We got the Tribeca and well maybe boring.
Is this a foreplay after all?
[SOUND] So the super ascent maybe one of the more sedate looking cars and its segment but it's actually one of the more engaging to drive.
Don't get me wrong I won't be confusing this for my STI anytime soon but compared to competition like the Honda Pilot thing is just that little bit more fun to drive the steering is nicely weighted and gives good feedback.
Well, the throttle response is quite sharp, in fact, might be a little bit too sharp.
Just about everybody who climbs in this thing the first time they try to accelerate away, [UNKNOWN] forward to such a degree that if you've got anybody with a sensitive stomach in your family, you might want to pack an extra vomit bag for your first school run.
The handling is good as well, but You do have a bit of a sacrifice of ride quality.
Meaning this thing isn't quite as comfortable on the highway as again something like the Honda Pilot.
Over the nearly 16,000 miles that we've put on the Subaru Ascent over the past year, we average just a tick below 23 miles per gallon.
Which is pretty fair considering the thing is rated for 21 in the city And 27 on the highway.
I can't help but wonder though if it could have been even higher had the ascent offered start stuff functionality.
Something seemingly every other car in the world has at this point.
The engine is not lacking for info.
The 2.4 liter turbocharged boxer for puts out 260 horsepower and 277 pound feet of torque.
Enough to tow 5000 pounds and make the ascent feel reasonably sprightly when needed.
Importantly, it does not require premium fuel that motors connected to a CVT that is perfectly competent and generally unobtrusive.
Yeah, the engine drones a fair bit sometimes, but if that bothers you, there's a set of paddle shifters behind the wheel that you can use to change the tune.
We're also mostly impressed by the technology and the scent.
The infotainment system is basic that covers all the important points with navigation Sirius XM and things like that.
But most importantly, it has both Android Auto and Apple Car Play because while the navigation system in the car here is functional.
It's not exactly intuitive or easy to use.
For me android outlet is far superior so I always just plugged my phone in, and that worked great.
But more importantly in a car like this is the active safety systems and I've been really impressed by Subaru's eye sight system.
It uses a pair of cameras built up in the wind screen there to give a 3D look at the world ahead.
Giving you things like active lane keeping assist Inactive cruise control so the car will keep itself in the center of the lane on the highway and it'll match the speed of the cars ahead, even coming down to a complete stop.
Unfortunately though, if you get stuck in traffic, it won't then auto resume.
You still gotta do that yourself.
But most impressively because this is a Subaru it's got to be good in all weather and eyesight I found actually works in all weather as well.
A lot of these radar based cruise control systems that rely on a little radar system built into the bumper.
As soon as you get any snow, they get built up with ice and they shut down completely meaning you have no cruise control at all.
Because EyeSight's built into the windscreen, so long as you've got the windshield clear it can still work.
Meaning if you go through a snow storm and come out of it to dry weather again You cruise control will still work Mind you, you shouldn't be using the systems in the snow but once you get out the snow still works and that's good because a sewer of course, is built for all weather.
But it probably my favorite tech feature in this car is the remote start functionality using the Subaru app.
You can start this car from Basically anywhere in the world which came in hugely helpful last winter, when I was getting in late at night on a flight, I could actually start the car while we were still taxiing to the gate, which meant by the time I got to the parking garage, this thing was nice and toasty.
My only complaint you can't toggle the steering wheel heater from the app on your phone.
Which I guess is a little bit of a first world problem.
There is absolutely tons of headroom in the front and middle rows at least with a glass roof not only gives extra space But also adds a lot of light adding a premium feel to the whole experience.
That third row, meanwhile is plenty cramped but passable even for adults on short journeys.
More importantly, those third row seats fall down very quickly and easily thanks to quick releases behind them and straps that make pulling them back up again a cinch.
Those straps are a lot less fancy than the power seats we see on some premium three row SUVs.
But I take this basic mechanism over the motorized system in our old Land Rover Discovery long termer in a heartbeat.
And of course I can't let you go without telling you how reliable this thing's been.
Well, we've cracked the windshield twice, but I think that has more to do with the roads around here.
Then with the glass Beyond that, this thing hasn't seen the inside of a service Bay once, it's been a perfect companion where they're hauling dogs to the groomers or the snowboards to the slopes.
So if you're ready for a new Subaru and it's time to step up to something with three rows buy with confidence.
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