Is the Most Popular 2022 Subaru Ascent Actually the Best?

The 2022 Subaru Ascent has quietly become one of the best SUVs available today. It’s an excellent choice for a family vehicle with seating up for up to eight passengers, standard all-wheel drive, and tons of interior space. As we enter May 2022, which version of the Ascent is the most popular among buyers? As a result, are buyers making the right choice? Is the most popular 2022 Subaru Ascent actually the best? We think captain’s chairs have a lot to do with the most popular Ascent’s popularity.

The 2022 Subaru Ascent Limited is the most popular version, but experts recommend the Premium model.
2022 Subaru Ascent | Subaru

According to KBB, the Limited trim level is the most popular version of the 2022 Subaru Ascent. Moreover, that means most buyers are choosing the seven-seat layout over the eight-seater. The Ascent Limited model starts at $39,595, which notches it just one below the range-topping Touring model. What does everyone like about the Ascent Limited that made it so popular?

Firstly, it comes with a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 260 horsepower. Additionally, it gets 20 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway. Next, standard safety features include EyeSight Driver Assist, blind-spot detection, high-beam assist, reverse automatic braking, brake assist, etc. However, some of those features are also available on more affordable trims. Here’s what’s exclusive to the Limited model and higher, the real reason it’s the most popular option:

  • Leather-trimmed upholstery
  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and HomeLink
  • Power-adjustable driver and front passenger seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Heated second-row seats
  • Rear door sunshades
  • Power rear liftgate with automatic close and height memory

Finally, a few optional equipment packages are unlocked by choosing the Ascent Limited. For example, a power tilt/sliding panoramic moonroof is only available on the two most costly models.

Buyers choose the Ascent with seven seats

2022 Subaru Ascent interior with captain's chairs. Is the most popular Limited version really the best?
2022 Subaru Ascent captain’s chairs | Subaru

The seating arrangement is the most crucial factor when choosing which version of the 2022 Subaru Ascent you want. Do you want second-row captain’s chairs or a second-row bench seat? This choice decides whether you can fit seven or eight people inside the Ascent. If you don’t have to accommodate eight people inside the car often and prefer a more accessible third row, the captain’s chairs are the way to go. However, if you’ll be carrying seven people and the driver often, you’ll want the bench seat.

The most popular version of the Ascent, the Limited trim level, comes with the captain’s chairs. Buyers who’d like the bench seat should choose a cheaper model. Is the seating arrangement why everyone loves this version of Subaru’s SUV?

RELATED: Which 2022 Subaru Ascent Trim Should You Buy?

Two well-respected publications, Car and Driver and Edmunds, agree on which version of the 2022 Subaru Ascent is best. Both reviewers recommend buying the Premium trim level, which is only one above the base model. To purchase an Ascent Premium, you’ll need to pay $36,470, around $5,000 less than the most popular trim.

For CAD, the Premium model “packs the best balance of desirable features and overall value.” Since every model comes with standard AWD, CAD values that the Premium and base models have slightly better fuel economy. Additionally, the Premium trim has blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and Wi-Fi hotspot capability. Each of these features is unavailable in the more affordable variant.

Next, Edmunds recommends the same Ascent because it “balances affordability with feature availability.” With a standard 8-inch touchscreen and a few features CAD mentioned, Edmunds likes how much more premium it feels than the base model. In addition, buyers gain access to navigation, a panoramic sunroof, and the Onyx Edition as upgrades.

Everyone is buying the wrong 2022 Subaru Ascent

If you’re in the market for a three-row SUV, the 2022 Subaru Ascent is an excellent option. Subaru is crushing the SUV game, as it has some of the most well-reviewed models available today. For the Ascent, most buyers want the Limited version, likely because of the seven-seater configuration with captain’s chairs. However, experts like Car and Driver and Edmunds recommend the more affordable Premium model. In conclusion, reviewers think the most popular model isn’t the best, but buyers don’t seem to care.

RELATED: Is the 2022 Subaru Ascent Worth Buying?