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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anybody been able to get any info as to why Subaru made the decision not to offer the touring with the second row bench? It seems completely non-sensical to me. I get have a top trim level with some extra features, but to effectively say "anybody needing 8 seats can't have smart rear view mirror, front camera etc..." is utterly perplexing!!!

Has anybody looked at the Touring to see if it could be retrofitted with the bench?
 

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Has anybody been able to get any info as to why Subaru made the decision not to offer the touring with the second row bench? It seems completely non-sensical to me. I get have a top trim level with some extra features, but to effectively say "anybody needing 8 seats can't have smart rear view mirror, front camera etc..." is utterly perplexing!!!

Has anybody looked at the Touring to see if it could be retrofitted with the bench?

You're not the first one that wanted the bench option for the Touring. The alternative would be to offer those features you listed as "options" for the Premium and/or Limited trims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You're not the first one that wanted the bench option for the Touring. The alternative would be to offer those features you listed as "options" for the Premium and/or Limited trims.
Then they wouldn't be 'Touring' exclusive features, which I have no problem with, it's just that the decision about whether you want those features shouldn't be linked to how many seats you need/want.
 

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Then they wouldn't be 'Touring' exclusive features, which I have no problem with, it's just that the decision about whether you want those features shouldn't be linked to how many seats you need/want.
Much like only offering java brown leather in the Touring. I liked everything about the Touring except the brown leather.
 

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Then they wouldn't be 'Touring' exclusive features, which I have no problem with, it's just that the decision about whether you want those features shouldn't be linked to how many seats you need/want.

I don't disagree with you. I for one like it that they offer the captain seats outside the Touring trim as I don't really care for the 2nd row bench seat...and don't like the Java brown leather interior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Much like only offering java brown leather in the Touring. I liked everything about the Touring except the brown leather.
That I have no issue with, end of the day they do that through all the trim levels by only offering cream or black based on the exterior paint colour. Ideally you'd be able to select either colour interior, regardless of your paint colour. I wouldn't put it in the same category though as 7 vs 8 seats. Some people have no option but to buy the 8 seat version, it's not a nice to have...
 

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Has anybody been able to get any info as to why Subaru made the decision not to offer the touring with the second row bench? It seems completely non-sensical to me. I get have a top trim level with some extra features, but to effectively say "anybody needing 8 seats can't have smart rear view mirror, front camera etc..." is utterly perplexing!!!

Has anybody looked at the Touring to see if it could be retrofitted with the bench?
It is Subaru being Subaru. This is one of those quarks that this company does.

Subaru could make a change to the option packages for the next model year if enough people ask for it. They tend to listen to their customers. So maybe the 2020 Ascent Touring will offer an 8 seat option or they may make some of the touring exclusive options available to the other trims. That may not help you now if you are interested in the car.

As for the retrofitting a Touring with a bench, maybe some kind people on this forum could take pictures of their second
row seats so we can compare the placement of the rails.

However, my immediate thought is the aesthetics of the interior. Since the touring is only available in brown, the center row bench will either be cream or black colored while the rest of the chairs will be brown.
 

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I understand the frustration of a 7 seat configuration only on the Touring. But Subaru isn't the first manufacturer to do this. The Pilot Elite, the top of the line trim, only comes in 7 passenger configuration as well. It's not unique to Subaru, but they just seem to be following a trend.
 
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My guess is that a bench seat is heavier and with the rest of the tech and features in the Touring, i bet it can't hit the same fuel mileage numbers if it was an 8 seater.
'
 

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Captain's chairs in the back have always been considered a premium feature. Even dating back to the 1980's some minivans came with a two person middle row (remember those?) or captain's chairs in higher trims. It's natural to make the Touring model exclusively available with captain's chairs. On the other hand, it's great that you can "upgrade" the premium trim to cloth captain's chairs. That was a nice move by Subaru.

The brown leather has been deliberately made exclusive to the Touring trim. It's viewed as "nicer" because it isn't black, beige, or gray. Regardless, they have to make that trim include a set of exclusive features or else it wouldn't be the top trim. It needs to have the "best" features available, hence the 7-seat only configuration.

Another tech package that would allow the front camera, etc. on the Limited trim seems like it would be a good seller! But Subaru would be leaving money on the table that way. They want you to step up to the Touring in that situation.
 

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This is a big issue for me also. Its not due to loss of 8 seats. Its the loss of seating 5 with gear packed behind the 2nd row.

In the end its about having as much flexibility as possible seat 8 when needed, seat 5 and loaded with camping gear etc. The CC configuration is what I call the local minivan configuration for local short pick up drop off kid shuttle trips.

Many 4 member families moving up from Outbacks who are super active families that often haul an extra kid or grandparent while packed with gear will have issue with the CC only setup.
 

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This is a big issue for me also. Its not due to loss of 8 seats. Its the loss of seating 5 with gear packed behind the 2nd row.

In the end its about having as much flexibility as possible seat 8 when needed, seat 5 and loaded with camping gear etc. The CC configuration is what I call the local minivan configuration for local short pick up drop off kid shuttle trips.

Many 4 member families moving up from Outbacks who are super active families that often haul an extra kid or grandparent while packed with gear will have issue with the CC only setup.
A cpl thoughts ...

Brown only leather enables SOA to buy bulk and pass on lower cost. Don't like it? Pay 25% more for a German and pick from the rainbow

Lack of 8 seats in the Touring a pain? Yeah. Dealbreaker? If yes, you are not the target buyer and will buy a lower trim or go elsewhere (and the target audience already drinks Subaru koolaid).

I quoted the above because it is the only legit 'issue' - I need to transport an extra soul. In that case, you just make a choice; for example, I bought rails so I can load skybox on the roof. Pain? Yeah. But less pain than telling my wife that her sister can't join us ?
 

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A cpl thoughts ...

Brown only leather enables SOA to buy bulk and pass on lower cost. Don't like it? Pay 25% more for a German and pick from the rainbow

Lack of 8 seats in the Touring a pain? Yeah. Dealbreaker? If yes, you are not the target buyer and will buy a lower trim or go elsewhere (and the target audience already drinks Subaru koolaid).

I quoted the above because it is the only legit 'issue' - I need to transport an extra soul. In that case, you just make a choice; for example, I bought rails so I can load skybox on the roof. Pain? Yeah. But less pain than telling my wife that her sister can't join us ?
The stuff I put behind the 2nd row in my Sequoia which is very similar seating space to the Ascent won’t go on the roof or in my roof box. My OB also sees a rolling tool box, various power tools, folding saw horses often a ladder and other gear that cannot go on the roof. So in effect the 7pass Ascent has one less seat than my Outback. So the argument of over loading a giant plastic bin on the roof isn’t a solution.

My roof box is 15lbs over half the weight of the popular giant Boxes that are so popular. I can promise you nearly all of those giant boxes are loaded over the rated load limits.

Even my smaller 15lb box can easily be loaded over the rated load limit.
 

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A cpl thoughts ...

Brown only leather enables SOA to buy bulk and pass on lower cost. Don't like it? Pay 25% more for a German and pick from the rainbow

Lack of 8 seats in the Touring a pain? Yeah. Dealbreaker? If yes, you are not the target buyer and will buy a lower trim or go elsewhere (and the target audience already drinks Subaru koolaid).

I quoted the above because it is the only legit 'issue' - I need to transport an extra soul. In that case, you just make a choice; for example, I bought rails so I can load skybox on the roof. Pain? Yeah. But less pain than telling my wife that her sister can't join us ?
I would rather have the bench for dog and gear hauling. We are only a family of 3. My current vehicle (Ford Flex) had the 2nd Row Captains, as did my Sequoia and the flex I had before. For work, I end up traveling alone and bring stuff with for meetings/trade shows...The bench seat folds flatter and does not have as big of a gap between rows, making it more functional for that use. It also would not have a gap in between.

Our family of 3 also has 3 hounds. The hounds lay out better on bench seats, 2 of them are a bit big for curling up on the Captains Chairs.

If I could get it, I would get a Premium with all of the features of the Touring. The heated wheel is a must have for me. I don't like all of the chrome trim on the Touring and I would prefer black leather. If I could pay the same price (maybe more if I had to) for a loaded up Premium as the Touring and get black leather (brown is acceptable), 8 passenger and the additional features, I would have no issue have a lower trim "badge" and get it my way.

I think a lot of people would feel the same, so the argument of leaving money on the table is crap. I also believe that I am their target buyer. We have 3 daily driver vehicles in our house and mine is the ONLY one that is not a Subaru. This is because they haven't offered a 3 row with the space I need. They now have it, but if I cannot get it configured as I need, I will just keep driving what I have and they won't get my money. Yes, what I have not is not a bench and not ideal, which is why I am hoping Subaru will change their approach mid-cycle or next model year.

I think right now, they also want to limit the build options so that they can build these more efficiently since it is a new vehicle, new assembly line and they were anticipate high demand. That I believe is good business. I hope when they get things sorted out, they will either have the bench 2nd row in brown available (they have a brown 2nd row in the OB Touring) or will offer the upgrade features to the Premium for a fee.
 

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I would rather have the bench for dog and gear hauling. We are only a family of 3. My current vehicle (Ford Flex) had the 2nd Row Captains, as did my Sequoia and the flex I had before. For work, I end up traveling alone and bring stuff with for meetings/trade shows...The bench seat folds flatter and does not have as big of a gap between rows, making it more functional for that use. It also would not have a gap in between.

Our family of 3 also has 3 hounds. The hounds lay out better on bench seats, 2 of them are a bit big for curling up on the Captains Chairs.

If I could get it, I would get a Premium with all of the features of the Touring. The heated wheel is a must have for me. I don't like all of the chrome trim on the Touring and I would prefer black leather. If I could pay the same price (maybe more if I had to) for a loaded up Premium as the Touring and get black leather (brown is acceptable), 8 passenger and the additional features, I would have no issue have a lower trim "badge" and get it my way.

I think a lot of people would feel the same, so the argument of leaving money on the table is crap. I also believe that I am their target buyer. We have 3 daily driver vehicles in our house and mine is the ONLY one that is not a Subaru. This is because they haven't offered a 3 row with the space I need. They now have it, but if I cannot get it configured as I need, I will just keep driving what I have and they won't get my money. Yes, what I have not is not a bench and not ideal, which is why I am hoping Subaru will change their approach mid-cycle or next model year.

I think right now, they also want to limit the build options so that they can build these more efficiently since it is a new vehicle, new assembly line and they were anticipate high demand. That I believe is good business. I hope when they get things sorted out, they will either have the bench 2nd row in brown available (they have a brown 2nd row in the OB Touring) or will offer the upgrade features to the Premium for a fee.
My Sequoia is 2nd row bench and no doubt if we had gone CC we would have lots of complaints about it. We did look at the cc Sequoias.

I understand the walk thru 3rd row need. I’m the primary kid hauler and often haul friends kids. This week I had 4 Girl Scouts every morning being taken to camp along with my 6yr old son tagging along. The pass thru would have been very slightly easier to load kids. But the down side is literally not having a seat for a 5th person during road trips. Yes we seat 3 in 2nd row and it works. Happy kids playing games reading etc.
 

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The comment about target user of a top trim Touring is really funny. I’m in CA the largest auto market in the US.

This last week it was over 100 degrees and Cooled seats after two hikes done last week would have been great. The week prior canoe trip the front camera in the touring would have been nice spotting the rough trail drive down to the gravel bar on the river. The rearview camera I would probably use out of necessity ie loaded obstructed back window several times a month.

That was just my last two weeks. From March to October we do summer stuff like that every week. Winter we sail and snow ski.

So the features packaged on the Touring are things that I actually have been asking for - for yrs!! Except the CC seating only is a serious negative. To the point I would shop other options or look for a wrecked Ascent with a bench and buy it then buy a Ascent Touring and swap out the CC seats with a Recovered 2row bench to match the poo leather lol.
 

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Hello. This thread prompted us to join the forum. We have an Outback 3.6r Touring and a Highlander Limited (yes, top of the line with a second row bench seat). Toyota did the same thing the first year of the current gen Highlander (only offered captain chairs in highest trim level). People started complaining because you had to special order and option-up a lower trim level to get a bench seat and more options. Toyota wised-up and made bench seat available in all trim levels. Come on Subaru—wake up on this! Just on this forum, you can see that people want Tourings but are special ordering Limiteds and adding options just to get around no bench seat in a Touring - and waiting two months to do so. BTW Subaru— if you also add a trailer hitch to every Ascent, there would be very few people who would even need to special order. That would probably make dealers happy too. Anyway, we will hold out for a Touring with a bench seat or just stick with a Highlander. That concludes our rant. Thanks.
 

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The thing that gets me is the lack of rear visibility camera being exclusive to the 7 passengers. Wouldn't that be more beneficial when you have a extra head in the center of the 8 passenger model?
 

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Agreed. Subaru finally came up with a real three row SUV, but penalizes buyers who actually want all three “rows” by eliminating certain premium safety options and Java interior.This makes no sense at all and, in my opinion, borders on Tribeca thinking.
 

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The lack of a second row bench seat is my only major issue with the Touring. I would rather have the ability to have a broad flat cargo area with all the seats folded. I recently fabricated a carpeted plywood panel that I can place over the back of the folded captain chairs when I need to bridge that gap. It does the job, but it is certainly not as convenient or aesthetically pleasing as a folded down bench seat.
 
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