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SUVs with third-row seating can be a necessity for some families, but they can also be quite expensive. This is largely because SUVs that can seat eight people also tend to be big SUVs, and that size drives up the price. However, the 2021 Subaru Ascent isn’t that big of an SUV, and as such, it can seat eight people comfortably without breaking the bank.

The 2021 Subaru Ascent seats 8 people affordably

Like U.S. News wrote, with the Subaru Ascent’s starting price tag of just over $32,000, the Ascent is easily one of the most affordable options when it comes to SUVs that can seat eight people. This largely has to do with the fact that, unlike some SUVs, third-row seating isn’t an option, it’s standard for the Ascent. On top of that, while full-size SUVs typically come with third-row seating as standard, the Ascent isn’t a full-size SUV.

Rather, the Ascent is a midsize SUV, and that size difference accounts for a lot of the price difference.

For example, the Chevy Suburban, which is a full-size SUV that can also seat eight people as standard, starts at about $52,000. That’s a nearly $20,000 price difference despite the fact that both SUVs can seat eight people as standard.

The Ascent’s seats are comfortable too

Silver 2019 Subaru Ascent is on display at the 111th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place
The Subaru Ascent | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

With that being said, the size difference between the Subaru Ascent and other full-size SUVs will lead to some differences in the interior. However, like U.S. News wrote, even though the Ascent is a midsize SUV, its seats are still roomy and comfortable.

Full-size SUVs may provide even more room, but for many customers, as long as the seats aren’t cramped, then they’re good enough. That’s exactly the case with the Ascent.

Not only are the Ascent’s seats spacious enough for most folks, but its interior is pretty good too. For example, when it comes to cargo capacity, the Ascent’s pretty spacious. With its seats folded down, it gets 86.5 cu. ft. of cargo space, which is one of the best cargo capacities in its class. The Ascent also has a 6.5-inch touchscreen display as standard, and it commands Subaru’s Starlink infotainment system.

On top of that, creature comforts like a tri-zone automatic climate control system and keyless entry are standard as well, among other features. Furthermore, the Ascent, like other Subarus, also has a lot of standard smart safety features.

According to U.S. News, smart safety features such as forward automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure and sway warning are standard, just to name a few. 

An overview of the Subaru Ascent’s trims and pricing

While the standard Subaru Ascent and its $32,000 price tag may be a steal for some folks, others may want to spend a little bit more to get extra features on their new Subaru. For those folks, Subaru has three trims available on the Ascent. There’s the $35,000 Premium trim, the $40,000 Limited trim, and the $45,000 Touring trim.

For each of those trims, shoppers can opt to replace the second row of their Ascent with two captain chairs instead of a bench. This will reduce the max seating capacity of the Ascent to seven, but it’ll definitely increase the comfort for those sitting in the second row. That said, the Touring trim is only available with this seven-seat configuration.

In any case, these trims will all upgrade the interior of the Ascent, while the engine will remain the same. Depending on the trim, the Ascent’s seats can be leather instead of cloth, some seats can be heated, and some seats can be ventilated as well. Other premium upgrades include an 8-inch touchscreen as well as a navigation system.

The 2021 Subaru Ascent certainly isn’t a bad choice for a midsize SUV with the eight-passenger seating you might need.


The Subaru Ascent Actually Has a Suitable 3rd Row