MSRP
$31,995
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Subaru Ascent Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 7.9

The 2020 Subaru Ascent boasts a large, convenient cabin. Its three rows of seats hold seven or eight people – depending on the configuration – and there is a generous amount of cargo space in the rear. The Ascent’s space is open and airy, though a few midsize SUV rivals have more room overall. This Subaru comes with lots of standard safety features, and its infotainment system is easy to use.

  • The 2020 Subaru Ascent has an interior that is warm and welcoming, yet highly practical with seating for seven or eight passengers. Controls are a mix of easy-to-reach buttons and knobs. … The third row is easy to access, thanks to doors that open wide and a pleasantly low step-in height. There's enough knee room for kids, but it's tight for taller adults -- unless you politely ask a 2nd-row passenger to slide his seat forward." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • Interior design won't be winning any awards for innovation, but the materials are certainly better than we've seen from Subaru lately. Nothing rattled or vibrated during my short time with the vehicle and I found the driver's seat to be a comfy place to spend the day." -- CNET (2019)
  • "The Ascent isn't exactly plush, but it's far from spartan. Materials are high-quality and appealing, making them perfectly suited to an active lifestyle with mud, dirt, and kids. You can enjoy the Ascent without worrying about ruining an overly done interior." -- Boston Globe (2019)

Seating

The three-row Ascent seats eight people in its standard configuration. Optional second-row captain's chairs reduce seating to seven. The cabin is comfortable, airy, and quiet. Its second-row seats have a decent amount of room, even for larger travelers. The third-row seats have more legroom than most in this class, but as in many other three-row SUVs, adults will only want to occupy this zone for a brief trip.

Cloth upholstery, a six-way manually adjustable driver's seat, a four-way manually adjustable front passenger seat, and 60/40 split-folding bench seats in the second and third rows are standard.

Seating options include a set of second-row captain's chairs, an eight- or 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a four-way power-adjustable passenger seat, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and a heated steering wheel. Additional upgrades include stain-resistant cloth upholstery, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, second-row climate controls, and second-row sunshades.

For securing child safety seats, the Ascent has three complete sets of LATCH connectors. The second row has two sets for the outboard seats, as well as a tether anchor and one dedicated lower anchor for the middle seat. The third set of connectors are for the driver's-side third-row seat.

All hardware is clearly marked, and it doesn't take much effort to connect a car seat to the lower anchors.

  • "The Ascent is also exceptionally spacious, even for this segment. A tall adult can fit in all three rows, meaning your kids will be that much more comfortable (and have room to grow). The Ascent's boxy shape and large windows also make it less claustrophobic back there." -- Autotrader
  • "Straight-line driving is relaxed and comfortable, the interior is quiet, and the seats have the right support for use on day-long drives. Visibility is quite good in all directions, plus the A-pillar is narrow enough to make room for a larger glass area, which allows the driver to see more of the road at the front corners." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The door openings are wide, and the seats slide forward enough to make getting in and out of the third row less cumbersome for adults. Two can sit comfortably in the third row with plenty of room for heads and knees, but three is a stretch. Anything but a short trip won't be pleasant for three adults in the third row. Seating in the first and second rows is spacious and comfortable, though." -- Boston Globe (2019)

Interior Features

The Ascent offers a straightforward set of tech features that are refreshingly easy to use. Standard features include the Starlink infotainment system, a 6.5-inch touch screen, four USB ports, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, six speakers, satellite radio, and tri-zone automatic climate control.

Additionally, every Ascent comes with Subaru's EyeSight driver assistance package that contains forward automatic emergency braking, pre-collision throttle management, adaptive cruise control, lane departure and sway warning, and a head-up display. A rearview camera and a rear-seat reminder are also standard.

Available infotainment upgrades include an 8-inch touch screen, a Wi-Fi hot spot, navigation, and a 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. Two additional USB ports, a household-style power outlet, remote engine start, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, a panoramic moonroof, and ambient lighting are also available.

Optional safety features include reverse automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a rear-vision mirror camera, a front-view camera, and cornering headlights with automatic high beams.

See 2020 Ascent specs »

  • "The touchscreen itself is also one of the easiest to use, comes with abundant features and even looks quite good." -- Autotrader
  • "We found the audio and climate systems to be quite straightforward and easy to use." -- Consumer Guide (2019)
  • "From the driver's seat, the Ascent's packaging continues to display Subaru's pragmatic philosophy to car design. All the gauges are easy to see and read at a glance, knobs and buttons are easy to locate — both those of the software-based touchscreen infotainment system and the physical ones on the steering wheel and center stack." -- Autoblog (2019)

Cargo

The Ascent has a 17.8-cubic-foot cargo area behind the third row. Fold down the third row to create a 47.5-cubic-foot hold, or fold down both rows of seats for up to 86.5 cubic feet of space. These dimensions are among the largest in our midsize SUV rankings. A power liftgate with a height-adjustable opening is optional.

  • "The rear seats basically fold flat -- flatter if you opt for the regular bench instead of the more-bolstered captain's chairs -- and when folded, create room for more than 86 cubic feet of cargo. That's more volume than in the Highlander, Explorer and Pilot, but a bit shy of the new Kia Telluride. The cargo area has a nice, wide opening that makes loading gear a snap, as well as an available power liftgate. There's even a storage cubby under the load floor where you can stow the cargo area cover when it's not in use." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Cargo space is better than most competitors, including the Honda Pilot, the Toyota Highlander and the Mazda CX-9, especially behind the raised third row." -- Autotrader
  • "The underfloor storage compartment in the cargo area behind the third row is clever in that its lid can be Velcroed to the back of the third-row seat to hold it open, and the compartment can accommodate the removable cargo shade when it's not in use so it doesn't take up room in your garage." -- Car and Driver (2019)
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2020 Subaru Ascent

MSRP: $31,995 - $45,045

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