Who knew the quiet little town of McMinnville, Oregon over one weekend would have so much going on. A giant convergence of the weird and wonderful touched down and we were introduced to the Subaru Ascent. The 2019 Subaru Ascent is the brand’s new 3 row SUV and we got a chance to check it out in a variety of conditions. Mix in a little wine, good food, an airplane museum…and a UFO festival; this made for one grand weekend trip!
The introduction starts out at the airport. The Subaru team had us picked up from the airport in a Subaru Ascent Limited trim, the color was Crimson Red Pearl. The town of McMinnville, Oregon was about an hour plus drive from the airport so there was plenty of time to enjoy the ride. I had another pick up who was from my flight so I let him ride shotgun. Whenever I review cars I’m always in the driver’s seat, very rarely do I spend time in the back. This was a decent time to sit back and enjoy the ride. The Ascent we rode in it had Captains chairs and they were quite comfortable during the hour+ ride, especially coming off a 5 hour flight where I was in the middle seat! The Ascent comes with 19 cup holders (yes 19!) and while back there I spent some time looking for some of them. I didn’t find all 19 (honestly I didn’t try that hard to find them at that point), but in terms of little storage spaces and nooks, the Ascent has that in spades!
We arrived at a nice little hotel called the Atticus Hotel. After a brief unpack and relax for a second, we headed to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, where we got to see the Spruce Goose! Yes the legendary plane built by Howard Hughes aka The Hercules. The Hercules is the largest flying boat ever built, and it has the largest wingspan of any aircraft that has ever flown. We got to not only check it out, but step inside and to cap off the night having dinner under it. To say its size was daunting would be an understatement. This ended our first night with some great views and on to some much-needed rest.
By the next morning we were ready to dive with the team into our Ascent experience. After a light breakfast, there as an official presentation where we learned some facts about the Subaru Ascent. First off, why the Ascent? Subaru does a great job of retaining customers who have brought their other models and kept them over the years, but as families started needed more space when kids reached a certain age, they notice their customers going to other brands. Subaru needed an SUV for active growing Subaru families, and out of this came the Ascent. The Ascent is spacious, functional, and has an elegant interior. It is an SUV whose 3rd row is just as comfortable as the other rows, the 3rd row isn’t a penalty box for anyone lucky enough to sit back there!
Some stats that are worth mentioning. The Ascent comes with Eye-Sight standard. It doesn’t need premium gas, it will do well also with regular gas and totes 27 mpg highway or 26 mpg (for the Limited and Touring trims), and with a fuel range of 500+ miles which is impressive! When it comes to the Infotainment, it has Starlink. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto onboard which is always good to hear. Now depending on your configuration, you can see features like Panoramic Moonroof, Rain sensing wipers, 180 degree front view camera, and a new smart rear view mirror. Let’s not forget stables like cool and heated seats, and a feature I thought was cool Auto Vehicle hold. This feature is useful if you happen to be breaking up a sibling dispute and your foot slips off the brake. Any parent would welcome this feature.
After our morning presentation we partnered up and hit the road on a curated road that allowed us to experience the many times of roads and path a Subaru family might experience during their journey. We had a great mix of open country roads, winding curves through a mountainous area and we eventually took the Ascent out on the beach where we stopped for lunch. I must say the part I enjoy most on this leg of the journey was the acceleration and the handling. For an SUV I was quite surprised to see how it handled some of the curves we were in, and at times you could actually forget you where in an SUV, but mistakenly think you were in a car. This was a nice impression left on me as I enjoyed lunch with the cool breeze of the beach in front of me.
After lunch we headed back to the hotel area and returned briefly to the Evergreen Aviation & Space where we got a chance to tow an air stream campers. The Ascent has the ability to tow up to 5000 lbs and this was my first time driving anything while towing another items behind me. I will say it wasn’t what I expected at all. I was able to do tow the camper with ease and I could hardly tell that I was towing something if not just for being able to see it behind me. All in all a great experience.
As the evening approached we did a little wine tasting at Elizabeth Chambers Cellar and ended the night with locally sourced food at a restaurant called Thistle. The trip was a great experience and gave me a great time to see what Subaru is aiming for when it comes to the Ascent. Plus who knew there would be a UFO festival happening during the same weekend. That definitely made for some interesting sights as the night drew on. Definitely thank you to Subaru for letting us spend a weekend with them and checking out the Ascent. I only have one question, and you would have had to been at my dinner table that first night to understand. Do we know what ever happened to Howard after we left? Haha
The 2019 Subaru Ascent starts off with an MSRP of $31,995 and if you’re already part of the Subaru family, this may be what you need for your growing family. But definitely worth a look if you’re not, come on who is going to beat 10+ cup holders!