By Kirsten Korosec
February 16, 2018

Subaru announced that its giant new SUV—the three-row 2019 Subaru Ascent—will have a starting price of $31,995, a competitive base considering its all-wheel drive system and advanced driver assistance systems come standard. The base price of the vehicle is $32,970 with the destination fee included.

The Ascent is among the first round of next-generation Subaru vehicles—from its sedans and crossovers to its gas-powered and future all-electric cars—to be built on a global platform. The 2017 Subaru Impreza was the first of such vehicles.

And it’s an important vehicle for a company aiming for an annual sales target of 800,000 vehicles by 2020. The Subaru Ascent will likely compete with the Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, Toyota Highlander, and Ford Explorer.

Subaru, which is owned by Japanese parent company Subaru Corp. (formerly named Fuji Heavy Industries) unveiled the new SUV in November at a press event ahead of the LA Auto Show. The debut didn’t provide details like pricing. However, it did highlight “The Barkleys,” the dogs featured in the company’s advertising campaigns.

It’s all about priorities.

Now, the company is sharing more about the 2019 Subaru Ascent SUVs as it prepares to deliver them to dealerships this summer.

The Subaru Ascent, which is powered by a new 2.4-liter Boxer engine, is the biggest vehicle ever built by the company. It also has the most cup holders. (The vehicle comes with 19 standard cup and bottle holders.)

Courtesy of Subaru

The vehicle is also equipped with all-wheel drive and its base model gets 21 miles per gallon in the city or 27 mpg on the highway. The SUV has up to nine seating configurations and two rows of flat-folding seats that can provide up to 86.5 cubic feet of cargo space. A Subaru Outback has 73.3 cubic feet of cargo space with seats folded down.

The SUV comes standard with its advanced driver assistant system called EyeSight Driver Assist Technology as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, two rival software services that let the driver or passengers bring the functions of their smartphone into the vehicle’s central screen.. The EyeSight system includes automatic pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure and sway warning, pre-collision throttle management, and a new assist monitor that provides a heads-up display of EyeSight system warnings and system status data on the windshield. More driver assistance features can be added onto the standard system.

The Ascent, which will be built at the company’s factory in Lafayette, Ind., is available in base, premium, limited, and touring trim lines.

It’s hard to know which trim line will be the company’s biggest seller. For families unwilling to go above that $40,000 mark, many might opt for the limited version of the Subaru Ascent, which has extras like a choice of second row captain chairs, keyless access, power tailgate with height memory, Wi-Fi, and leather seats, chrome accents, 20-inch wheels in dark gray, and two additional USB ports.

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