We have the hottest Ascent. And we have the numbers to prove it.
Our new 2019 Subaru Ascent Limited took a trip to Michigan’s Milan Dragway where technical director Frank Markus got us some test numbers to see how the vehicle stacks up.
The surprising part is it bested three other Ascents tested in California. We know geography matters. But Detroit’s last long-termer, the 2018 Dodge Durango with a naturally aspirated V-8, achieved virtually identical numbers—after weather correction—in testing on the warm West Coast and in wintry Michigan.
Our Ascent, with a 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer engine, has an intercooler that likely preferred Michigan’s 28-degree weather—42 to 61 degrees cooler than California conditions. Our weather correction might not be as bang-on with today’s best intercooled turbos.
Either way, time at the track revealed that our Limited, the heaviest of four Ascents MotorTrend has tested to date by 32 pounds, was also quickest in the quarter mile at 15.2 seconds compared with 15.5 for the Premium (weighing 140 pounds less); 16.0 for a Touring; and 15.8 seconds for a heavier Touring. The top two performers tied to 60 mph.
By comparison, the flat-four in the Subaru beats the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas with a V-6 (16.0 seconds) and 2019 Toyota Highlander with a 3.5-liter V-6 (15.5 seconds). Looking to other turbo-fours, the 2016 Ford Explorer with the 2.3-liter required 16.3 seconds, and the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS with the 2.0-liter needed only 15.5 seconds.
Markus found the quickest acceleration in our Subie comes from just sitting there, in drive, and slamming your foot down on the pedal. “Brake-torquing seems to discombobulate it a bit, resulting in a slower immediate launch upon release of the brake pedal,” he found. Interestingly, it sounds and feels quicker in manual-shift mode but is actually a couple of tenths slower.
The Ascent stopped straight and true with no weaving, performing better than the previously tested models, requiring 4, 5, and 11 fewer feet, respectively, albeit on different test surfaces.
We criticized Subaru for underpowered models, including the Crosstrek and Forester, but the Ascent shows early signs this turbo boxer can power Subaru’s largest vehicle.
Read more about our long-term 2019 Subaru Ascent:
2019 Subaru Ascent Limited
PRICE AS TESTED
Front-engine, AWD, 7-pass, 4-door SUV
2.4L/260-hp/277-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve flat-4
Cont variable auto
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)
4,626 lb (53/47%)
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT
196.8 x 76.0 x 71.6 in
15.2 sec @ 90.5 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH
0.78 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY
169/130 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB
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Read more: motortrend.com