Upcoming 2018 Subaru Ascent Dipping Into 3-Row SUV Territory: Biggest Vehicle Built By Subaru

May 01, 2017 08:50 AM EDT | Andrew Davis

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Subaru is re-imaging its new Ascent just in time as buyers are looking for larger AWD SUVs from the Japanese automaker. The all-new 3-row SUV will probably be the biggest vehicle built by Subaru and it is based on the Ascent concept unveiled at the 2017 New York auto show.

Let's discuss the powertrain first because Subaru has kept doors and windows closed regarding what's under the hood of the upcoming 2018 Subaru Ascent. But according to one of the talking points during the 2017 New York auto show, the SUV could be powered by the Japanese automaker's 2.4-liter direct-injected, turbocharged H4 engine that is good for around 300 horses. This is expected to be paired to a more responsive CVT, but there is no exact number for its torque.

Now the platform of the upcoming 2018 Subaru Ascent will be basically based on a revised version of the automaker's new global platform. If you remember, this was first seen on the 2017 Subaru Impreza and was also used for the Crosstrek.

Thus, among the benefits of the new platform are fuel economy, more safety features, and a spacious 7-seat packaging. In fact, this new platform will be featured on every Subaru for the next decade, although except for the BRZ coupe.

Now, the upcoming 2018 Subaru Ascent will stay true to the Ascent concept presented at the NY auto show, sporting a front end that is dominated by a bold, trapezoidal chrome grille and a chiselled hood. Also found up front are C-shaped headlights and sleek lines.

The standard model for the upcoming SUV will offer a 7-seat layout with 2 captain seats in the second row. The optional model will be the first ever 8-seater model for Subaru's Ascent, featuring a second-row bench-style seat.

Presented at the NY auto show, the concept had soft cream-colored leather with dark brown dashboard and the smell of leather on the door trim. The interior also had a large center touchscreen, but the touch-sensitive door switches might not be included in the production version.

Production of the largest SUV the Japanese automaker has had is slated to commence in 2018 at the Lafayette, Indiana, plant. But note that the upcoming 2018 Subaru Ascent will only be sold in North America. Cause for celebration?

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