2021 Subaru Ascent Trim Levels: Is an Upgrade Worth It?

The list of 2021 Subaru Ascent trim levels includes a dizzying array of options. Like most brands, Subaru has increased the overall price of advancing trims. The brand’s upgrades are a little on the pricey side compared to other makers. Which Ascent package is the most worth it for the price?

A white 2021 Subaru Ascent SUV driving down a tree-lined road
2021 Subaru Ascent | Subaru

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2021 Subaru Ascent Trim Levels are pricey

Like many new models on the market, the trim level upgrades for the new Ascent mean steep price hikes. The base model retails around $32,395, according to Edmunds. The premium trim package tacks on a modest $2,500. Upgrading to the limited package is a cool $7,300 extra. The most expensive tier, touring, costs $5,850 more than the limited. Overall, the touring costs buyers $13,150 more than the base model Ascent.

These increases are a little bit higher than the market average. Typically, the difference for a trim level upgrade is around $10,000. Subaru’s trim packages set buyers back a little more, but do they offer more value?

Why trim packages might be worth it

Black leather interior of a 2021 Subaru Ascent interior
2021 Subaru Ascent Touring interior | Subaru

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There’s one argument in favor of springing for higher trims, and it applies to all vehicles equally. Higher trim packages retain more value. Buyers interested in future resale values may opt for a higher trim package looking for a future return. If resale value isn’t a concern, upgrades get harder to justify.

Subaru loaded the base model with features

The 2021 base Ascent is already loaded with a lot of bells and whistles. Three climate control zones keep all eight passengers comfortable. Steering responsive LED headlights are standard on the base trim package. Extra safety features like lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control are included as well.

One 2021 Subaru Ascent trim level gives the most value

Edmunds recommends the Premium trim level for its balance of value and price. It’s hard to disagree. A $2500 price hike represents a lot of bang for the buck. The premium trim package includes upgraded interior materials, heated seats up front, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.

The infotainment system gets a 2-inch upgrade to the screen. A power rear liftgate and keyless entry give the premium package a luxe feel. Rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring are nice to have. Buyers can opt for a seven-passenger layout as well.

Higher trim levels that aren’t worth it

A blue 2021 Subaru Ascent SUV driving down a country road
2021 Subaru Ascent | Subaru

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The limited trim package may appeal to a select few, but it’s not worth it in general. For $4,510, this trim level only offers a handful of features more than the premium package.

Music lovers will appreciate the 14-speaker Harmon-Kardon sound system. Perforated leather seats are a nice touch, if not overpriced. Features like a heated second row and heated steering wheel, while perfect for some drivers, not worth it to most. The same applies to the LED foglight upgrade.

The touring offers even fewer additional options for a price hike of $5,850 from the limited. Touring drivers get a forward parking camera as part of the package. Heated and upgraded front seats are included. The touring also features ambient lighting and a 120v power outlet. These aren’t features most drivers should spring for.