Crossover & Midsize

Is the 2021 Subaru Ascent Worth the Upgrade Over 2020?

End-of-the-model-year vehicles are popular choices for car shoppers looking to buy a new car for less. Even if some new-model-year vehicles offer a little more, bargain shoppers can’t pass up a discount. But what if you found a new-year-model car for nearly the same price as its end-of-the-year counterpart? Well, the 2021 Subaru Ascent not only costs practically the same but it offers a lot more than the 2020 model, according to Cars.com.

The Subaru Ascent reaches triple-digit sales percentages

In December 2019, Subaru of America announced its 2019 sales records. The Japanese-based automaker boasted a 3 percent increase in sales compared to 2018. Toward the end of December 2019, Subaru succeeded in selling 700,117 vehicles in the United States alone. That number beats Subaru’s 2018 annual sales record of 680,135 vehicles sold. So, it seems though the Subaru brand is getting the attention of North American consumers.

Subaru of America also reported that 81,958 out of those 700,000 vehicles sold were the 2019 Ascent. The 2019 Ascent hit several ginormous sales milestones, with upwards of a 73 percent increase compared to 2018. And while the Outback still outsells the Ascent, its sales growth only increased 0.9 percent year-over-year. On the other hand, the Ascent (which is a much younger model) saw its sales increase by nearly 160 percent.

The 2021 Subaru Ascent offers buyers more standard safety features

RELATED: The 2020 Subaru Ascent’s Cupholders Are Its Most Interesting Feature

It’s not surprising that Subaru raised the Ascent’s price across all trim models for 2021; its popularity has exploded in the United States. However, that likely has little effect on its price. The 2021 Subaru Ascent offers more standard safety features than the 2020 model, for one. 

Secondly, most of the popular automotive review websites have written a thing or two about the price hikes. The increases are barely a drop in the bucket compared to the newly added standard safety features offered.

Advanced adaptive cruise control comes standard with Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assistance suite. Working in tandem with lane-keep assist technology, the 2021 Subaru Ascent is able to hold its lane while keeping pace with traffic. A seat belt reminder for second and third-row seating comes standard across all trims. The base and Premium trim feature steering-responsive LED headlights to help you navigate dark, winding rural roads.

A list of trims and their prices

The base model of the 2021 Subaru Ascent is now priced at $33,300, roughly $340 more than the 2019 model year. Despite the price increase, it maintains its competitive edge against competitors like the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, and Volkswagen Atlas. Then there is the 2021 Honda Pilot, another major competitor, that runs buyers around $33,400.

The Premium trim offers numerous enhancements including blind-spot detection, lane-change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, rear-window privacy glass, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an 8.0-inch screen. With a $440 price hike, the Subaru Ascent Premium starts at $35,850. Starting at approximately $40,650, an increase of $290, the Subaru Ascent Limited received the smallest price increase on this list. Limited models feature a swath of goodies including a heated second row, leather-trimmed upholstery, and two additional USB charge ports.

The 2021 Subaru Ascent Touring trim is the crème de la crème and starts at around $46,500, an increase of $440 or so. The Touring trim features top-grade luxuries such as a panoramic moon roof, woodgrain interior accents, perforated Java Brown leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, and navigation. While it still may not be as luxurious to drive as an Audi Q7 or Infiniti QX60, it’s good enough for its price range.