The 2019 Subaru Ascent Can Tow 5,000 Pounds and Seat up to Eight

The Subaru Ascent tows like no Subaru ever could before it, thanks to a new engine and stout CVT.

Subaru North America

On Thursday, Subaru announced the specifications of its upcoming SUV, the Ascent. Pricing, options, and capabilities are detailed, the most extreme of which is the Ascent's towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, greater than that of any other Subaru ever made.

The Ascent in its thriftiest form has an MSRP of $31,995, and its range-topping Ascent Touring package comes in at $44,695. All Ascents share the same powertrain; a new direct injection 2.4-liter flat-four with 10.6:1 compression and variable valve timing, boosted by an intercooled twin-scroll turbo. Its 260-horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque are forwarded through a CVT to all wheels via torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive.

The stout CVT keeps the engine at peak torque throughout acceleration, which is useful for the Ascent's towing capabilities. Brake vectoring and yaw sensors are also included to keep the vehicle and its trailer under control. Independent suspension at all four corners and 8.7-inches of ground clearance keep the Ascent competitive on tumultuous terrain, too.

Most modern safety amenities and conveniences are included. Lane-keeping assists, blind spot monitors, active cruise control, and automatic braking in reverse to prevent parking lot mishaps are present, including others. A full suite of airbags can protect your seven to eight occupants, depending on interior seating specifications.

Splurging on the Touring trim package adds technology like ventilated front seats, wipers on water watch, a 120-volt outlet, eight USB outlets, a premium infotainment and sound system, and moonroof. Safety upgrades are afoot too, with a "smart rear-view mirror" and a 180-degree camera for frontal visibility, presumably for peeking around corners for tight rights on red.

The wheelbase of almost 113-inches puts it close to that of the Chevrolet Tahoe's 116-inches with an equal seat count. The Ascent Touring undercuts the Tahoe LS' MSRP by $2,805, as it should, considering the (marginally) inferior towing rating. Fuel economy on the Ascent beats that of the Tahoe LS, which is estimated at 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, while Subaru states the Ascent can achieve 21 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway respectively.

Those interested solely in a 5.3-liter V-8 soundtrack will have their minds made up already, as will Subaru-hungry markets like Colorado and Vermont. Different strokes, as they say.