The Honda Pilot is a segment veteran that’s built a fine, well-earned reputation for itself over the years. Spacious, reliable, practical and not too greedy at the pump, it dominates the midsize SUV category.
Subaru is back in the game in this segment after an earlier failure a few years ago. The new Ascent looks like a station wagon, a family vehicle for a family of Sumo wrestlers. It looks at first glance like a Forester that’s been injected with growth hormones. Will this second attempt in the segment be the right one?
Subaru, as mentioned, miffed on its first attempt at a midsize people-mover. The Tribeca presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 2003 left many automotive experts puzzled. The integration of the Subaru grille that looked on the Tribeca like a toilet seat? That just didn’t work at all. That grille was in fact subjected to a number of tests and was shown to have a bunch of faults, and Subaru finally withdrew the model for good in 2014.
Five years later, Subaru returns with the Ascent, which at first glance looks like a big five-meter-long Forester. Built on the company's most recent global platform at the Subaru plant in Lafayette, Indiana plant, the Ascent is infused with the brand's core values, for instance symmetrical full-time AWD, hill descent control and the flat H engine, so dear to the company.