Skip to main content

The Subaru Ascent Onyx trim package is about to be revealed. Teaser images hint at what buyers can expect from the latest in a wide range of Ascent trim levels. Its sibling, the Outback, got a darker, tougher look with its Onyx redesign. It’s not clear exactly what the Ascent Onyx will look like but the Outback Onyx gives a few hints.

Onyx badge on a Subaru Ascent SUV
Subaru Ascent Onyx badge

The Outback set the tone with its Onyx treatment

The Outback crossover is the only Subaru that currently has an Onyx trim level. It’s a more rugged Outback ready for outdoor adventure. This tough wagon is powered by a 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four producing 277 lb-ft of torque and 260 hp.

The Onyx Outback has striking black-rimmed wheels and other black accents. The interior features two-tone StarTex upholstery that resists moisture. They’re perfect for riding home from a long day of outdoor adventure.

An 11.6-inch touchscreen gives the interior a modern feel. USB ports in the front and rear make it easy to charge gear on the go. An optional package adds a built-in navigation system, reverse automatic emergency braking and a moonroof.

Teaser images hint at what’s to come

June 8, Subaru dropped a teaser image of the Onyx badge for the Ascent. The rugged stylized badge promises a tougher Ascent with a more “dark and dramatic: look. The third-row SUV will likely feature black wheel rims like the Outback Onyx. More details on the exterior appearance of the Assent Onyx

The rugged StarTex upholstery is perfect for a third-row SUV that’s become popular with families. Because it’s water-resistant, dropped food, spilled drinks, muddy shoes, and more are no longer a source of stress. It’s not clear what other interior features the Ascent gains with the Onyx package.

Subaru’s X-mode makes the Ascent Onyx off-road ready

A white Subaru oval logo with 6 stars on a dark background
Subarus logo | Jacques Demarthon/AFP via Getty Images

Subaru is known for its legendary all-wheel-drive technology. X-mode engages 5 systems to enhance driver control further. When a driver presses the accelerator in X-mode, the system limits how fast the throttle can open. Pressing the accelerator further delivers torque faster, pulling drivers over rocks and rough terrain.

X-mode keeps the transmission in the lower gears to maximize power output. Subaru’s all-wheel-drive system gets a boost in front and rear coupling force while X-mode is engaged. This helps equalize power between the four wheels of the car and improves tire traction.

The VCD, or Vehicle Dynamics Control system, includes specifically tuned Enhanced Limited Slip Differential. This means the system will detect if two wheels are behaving differently from each other. The brakes are then applied only to tires that are slipping. In X-mode, this system is engaged much faster. At speeds of 12 mph or lower, Hill Descent Control will manage breaking and acceleration, allowing drivers to focus more on steering.

The full reveal of the Ascent Onyx is sure to be exciting. Soon all of the speculations will be put to rest, and the biggest vehicle Subaru offers will officially have a new trim package level. The Ascent will likely follow suit with the Outback Onyx. It will be interesting to compare both vehicles.


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