Subaru returns back in “three-row crossover” business after the short break. The Japanese car maker doesn’t have this kind of vehicle from 2014 when they killed the production of the Tribeca. However, they already made the new seven-seating SUV that will replace the slow-selling Tribeca. Still, except of the large footprint, these two vehicles won’t have anything else in common. No, the new crossover SUV will have a completely different name. According to some reports it will be called the 2018 Subaru Ascent. Well, the name promises it will be good for climbing and off-roading, but let’s see is this the truth?
2.0-LITER FLAT-FOUR AND HYBRID UNDER THE HOOD
Powertrain wise, the 2018 Ascent will likely offer two totally different engines. One option will be a 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four unit, just the same as it drives the current Forester XT. The mill currently delivers around 250 horsepower, but the cat manufacturer might boost it a bit for the big SUV. There will be an interesting alternative. Reportedly, the vehicle will get an optional 3.6-liter flat-six engine, but not alone this time. This one will come with a small help of the electric motor. Yes, there will be the 2018 Subaru Ascent Hybrid too. Altogether, the powertrain should go over 300 HP, which isn’t too hard because the flat-six engine independently produces 256 horsepower. Of course, both options will be paired with CVT and all-wheel drive.
Now, as you see we already caught the testing model, but we still can’t say for sure in which direction will go the exterior design. The SUV sports pretty large footprint, so we can say it will be big as Ford’s Explorer. On the other hand, the bodywork appears to be somewhere between the Forester and Outback. It’s also pretty obvious that it will have very low center of gravity, which will make it very dynamic. Plus, the rear hatch seems to be unusually long. This promises plenty of cargo room and perhaps enough space for third-row passengers.
ARRIVAL AND PRICE
Anyway, the Tribeca’s replacement will be produced at plant in Lafayette, Indiana, and the official debut should happen at the 2017 New York Auto Show. The base model will likely start with a low price of around $30,000, but the range-topping version could go over $50,000.