Because We Need Another 3-Row SUV: Here Comes the Subaru Ascent

2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca

The list of the world’s ugliest cars gained a new member with the 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca. Designed to inspire thoughts of the company’s aircraft heritage, the front end of the B9 ended up looking, at best, awkward and quirky.

At worst it’s the feature that kept buyers from driving the B9 Tribeca off the lot. Well, that and the fact that it offered a cramped interior and got less-than-stellar fuel economy.

In 2008 Subaru dropped the “B9” from the name and revised the grille, but it was still the same car, albeit with what looked like a transplanted front end from a Chrysler Aspen.

In short, the Tribeca had few redeeming qualities, and it was discontinued in 2014.

Now Subaru wants to try its hand at a 3-row crossover again, and this time it should get the formula just right.

Subaru may be overcompensating for the cramped Tribeca by creating the largest crossover SUV in its class. If the company’s Vizviv-7 concept is any indicator, the Ascent, as it will probably be called, could out-size the Tahoe and easily become Subaru’s biggest vehicle ever.

Subaru hasn’t announced any engine choices for the Ascent, but TruckTrend says,

Likely powertrains should include the company’s 2.0L turbocharged I-4 on the base end. Producing 250 hp and 258 lb-ft, the compact engine gives the smaller Forester respectable verve, and it should be a good base engine for the Ascent. A retuned version of the Subaru 3.6L flat-six producing up to 300 hp and 300 lb-ft would make for a smooth, relaxed family hauler, as well.

Subaru should have a success on its hands with the Ascent, as all-weather large SUVs are all the rage right now. Where it could run into trouble is with price. The Outback, which is considerably smaller than the Ascent, can approach $38,000. Asking much more than that for a Subaru-branded vehicle may be a shock to the system of any loyal Subie aficionado.

Then again, Tahoe prices can jump into the mid-60s, so a loaded Ascent priced anywhere south of $50,000 might be enough to entice folks into Subaru’s outdoor-minded adventure-loving fanbase.

The Subaru Ascent should be in U.S. showrooms by the beginning of 2018.

Would you be willing to give a big 3-row Subaru a shot, or will you stick with your Tahoe?


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Used Subaru B9 Tribeca
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