A spacious interior, flexible storage, and a wide variety of seating configurations makes the 2020 Subaru Ascent a great choice for families. We rate it at 9 out of 10, awarding it points above average for its good front and back seats, its ability to accommodate adults anywhere there’s a seatbelt, and its spacious cargo area.
Up front, the 2020 Ascent has firm seats with a good range of adjustment. All but the base model includes an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat, while versions with leather trim additional adjustment and memory. The lack of a height-adjustable passenger seat is a surprising oversight, however, and broad drivers may find the front seats a little narrow.
The rear seat has nearly 39 inches of leg room and a base that moves forward and backward at the tug of a lever. A three-seat bench is standard on most, while the captain’s chairs that come with the Touring can be had on Premium and Limited versions for no extra cost. That’s unusual compared to rivals that limit seven-passenger seating to the highest trims, and it may be a big selling point for some families.
Access to the third row is easy with either the second-row bench or captain’s chairs. There are three seatbelts back there, but don’t expect three linebackers to squeeze in there. Still, for short stints, the Ascent’s third row has good space, cupholders, USB ports, and an airy feel thanks to a lower beltline than in rivals.
The Ascent boasts plenty of cargo space. It’ll hold more than 17 cubic feet of stuff with the third row upright, about 47 cubes with it folded, and a maximum of around 86 cubic feet. Opting for the panoramic moonroof reduces cargo capacity, but only by a hair, and it has little impact on head room unless your family regularly treks to stovepipe hat conventions.
Base Ascents have tough-wearing cloth upholstery and soft-touch materials throughout. Their interior decor surprises for the price. Moving up to the leather-upholstered Ascent Limited makes things easier to clean, though it doesn’t really dress up the place inside. We do like the saddle leather upholstery on the Ascent Touring, however.
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