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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at the Basic trim and it seems perfect for my needs. There's nothing on the Premium trim that I need.

But it seems that the Basic is very rare and barely anybody gets it, so I'm wondering if there's something I'm missing.

Is there anything wrong with just getting the Basic trim?
 

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2019 Ascent Limited, 2015 WRX, 2022 OB Onyx
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$ versus features. The basic trim has the same basic functionality as the other trims. If you are not in a severe climate or plan on towing heavier loads, or prefer some conveniences (compare on Subaru website), the safety and drive-ability will be the same (some safety alerts are omitted).
 

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To add to packout's wonderful answers, it's not just that the car doesn't come with certain things. You also won't be able to get those things.

For instance, if you decide that you want to tow, you won't have the transmission cooler, the temperature sensor in the rear differential, the body harness to connect to a trailer, the computer logic and controller, etc. You'd spend twice as much as the price difference between the Base and Touring, and could only accomplish half of the work.
 

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Nothing wrong with the Base trim at all if it meets your current and future needs. It fills a niche for folks who want a great, safe and functional vehicle but don't want or need lots of creature comforts and tech. That group is smaller these days, which is why you don't see many Base trim vehicles at dealers or on the road. Robert detailed the one physical difference that has to be considered up front when making the choice...if towing is in the future, Premium is the lowest you want to go.
 

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If you can find them I suggest sitting in both a base and a premium.
There are some difference in appearance that go along with the features that would turn me off: wheels, head unit…
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nothing wrong with the Base trim at all if it meets your current and future needs. It fills a niche for folks who want a great, safe and functional vehicle but don't want or need lots of creature comforts and tech. That group is smaller these days, which is why you don't see many Base trim vehicles at dealers or on the road. Robert detailed the one physical difference that has to be considered up front when making the choice...if towing is in the future, Premium is the lowest you want to go.
This is exactly me. I won't ever need to tow, nor do I even have kids. I only want this car for safety reasons.

The base Ascent is the cheapest and safest option in the mid-size SUV category, as far as I can tell.
 

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This is exactly me. I won't ever need to tow, nor do I even have kids. I only want this car for safety reasons.

The base Ascent is the cheapest and safest option in the mid-size SUV category, as far as I can tell.
If the Base trim will meet your personal needs, I see no reason why you shouldn't consider it then. But if you cannot find one and don't want to factory order, stepping up to the Premium is still an option.
 

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This is exactly me. I won't ever need to tow, nor do I even have kids. I only want this car for safety reasons.

The base Ascent is the cheapest and safest option in the mid-size SUV category, as far as I can tell.
If it weren't for the 2,000lb towing limit vs 5,000lb towing limit I would've bought the Base as well instead of a Premium. An amazing value if you don't need the bells and whistles, but still has full time AWD, tons of safety features, etc vs the competition where AWD is always a premium!
 

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The base Ascent is the cheapest and safest option in the mid-size SUV category, as far as I can tell.
It's a very hard to beat package. You get the full EyeSight suite on every Ascent, regardless of trim. That includes adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist with lane centering, lane departure warning, pre collision braking, etc. I think reverse automatic braking and blind spot monitoring come on Premium and above. But other than those two, you get everything that uses the forward-looking cameras to operate.
 

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IMO, since there aren't any drivetrain difference between the trims, I'd get the lowest configuration you can tolerate living with. That's my general rule of thumb when I shop for cars.

Base is fine if you can live with the towing capacity and without some of the other "upgrades" the other trims offer.
 

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This is exactly me. I won't ever need to tow, nor do I even have kids. I only want this car for safety reasons.

The base Ascent is the cheapest and safest option in the mid-size SUV category, as far as I can tell.
Remember the the Base trim does not have all of the safety features, and they cannot be added later.
 

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I'm looking at the Basic trim and it seems perfect for my needs. There's nothing on the Premium trim that I need.

But it seems that the Basic is very rare and barely anybody gets it, so I'm wondering if there's something I'm missing.

Is there anything wrong with just getting the Basic trim?
Since safety is a key factor, I'd consider the Premium simply because of that. One time where RAB saves you from hitting something will be worth the difference in initial cost IMHO.

Good luck whichever way you go!

P.S. If you don't necessarily think you need the extra space, and Outback would be an option as well. It has plenty of space, but obviously not the 3rd row.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Remember the the Base trim does not have all of the safety features, and they cannot be added later.
Since safety is a key factor, I'd consider the Premium simply because of that. One time where RAB saves you from hitting something will be worth the difference in initial cost IMHO.

Good luck whichever way you go!

P.S. If you don't necessarily think you need the extra space, and Outback would be an option as well. It has plenty of space, but obviously not the 3rd row.
From what I gather the only missing safety features are these, which I'm not sure are worth the extra $2,500:

  • Blind-Spot Detection - a small light on your side mirrors that lights up when a car is in your blind spot
  • ...with Lane Change Assist - a small light that flashes if you're trying to lane change when a car is in your blind spot
I feel like I would be always checking my blind spot manually anyways even with the warning lights, and these lights are kind of novel but not necessary. Have people found these to be really helpful?

  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert - alert as you're backing up if there's a car approaching
Not sure how common this would come in handy. Especially in parking lots where cars are generally going pretty slow, so it wouldn't be preventing any high risk accidents.

  • Reverse Automatic Braking - automatically brakes if you're about to back up into an object
The rear-view camera is standard, and I'm always looking back when I'm backing out anyway.


Any opinions or anecdotes on how these individual features have been helpful (or not helpful) to you would be great! Thank you!
 

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From what I gather the only missing safety features are these, which I'm not sure are worth the extra $2,500:

  • Blind-Spot Detection - a small light on your side mirrors that lights up when a car is in your blind spot
  • ...with Lane Change Assist - a small light that flashes if you're trying to lane change when a car is in your blind spot
I feel like I would be always checking my blind spot manually anyways even with the warning lights, and these lights are kind of novel but not necessary. Have people found these to be really helpful?

  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert - alert as you're backing up if there's a car approaching
Not sure how common this would come in handy. Especially in parking lots where cars are generally going pretty slow, so it wouldn't be preventing any high risk accidents.

  • Reverse Automatic Braking - automatically brakes if you're about to back up into an object
The rear-view camera is standard, and I'm always looking back when I'm backing out anyway.


Any opinions or anecdotes on how these individual features have been helpful (or not helpful) to you would be great! Thank you!
You can probably do without those features, but, I just wanted to make sure you were considering their lack. I off road, and, the rear cameras and RAB and such are indispensable to me, thanks to the massive D-Pillars that block seeing out the corners, where trees hide when backing up off-road. So, my needs may not be yours.

I do also really like the blind spot detection. It's very smart. It doesn't light up when a car is in your blind spot. It lights up (assuming the blinker is on) when a car in your blind spot will be in the "crash zone" were you to change lanes. So, if someone is camping in your blind spot, far enough back that you would have a gap if you changed lanes, and is going the same speed or slower, it won't bug you. On the other hand, if someone is a few hundred feet back doing 100, and you're doing 55, it will light up.
 

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Rear cross traffic has "saved my bacon" many times as has Blind Spot detection. To be clear, for the latter, I'm alive today because of it most likely. :)
 
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I have seen a multitude of reviewers talk about the fact that when compared to its direct competitors the Ascent has the best value you can get in a base model vehicle in its segment/class. So if the base model has all of the capabilities you need/want then I say jump on an opportunity to get it.
 

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From what I gather the only missing safety features are these, which I'm not sure are worth the extra $2,500:

  • Blind-Spot Detection - a small light on your side mirrors that lights up when a car is in your blind spot
  • ...with Lane Change Assist - a small light that flashes if you're trying to lane change when a car is in your blind spot
I feel like I would be always checking my blind spot manually anyways even with the warning lights, and these lights are kind of novel but not necessary. Have people found these to be really helpful?

  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert - alert as you're backing up if there's a car approaching
Not sure how common this would come in handy. Especially in parking lots where cars are generally going pretty slow, so it wouldn't be preventing any high risk accidents.

  • Reverse Automatic Braking - automatically brakes if you're about to back up into an object
The rear-view camera is standard, and I'm always looking back when I'm backing out anyway.


Any opinions or anecdotes on how these individual features have been helpful (or not helpful) to you would be great! Thank you!
I wouldn't consider a car without all-wheel-drive or without:
1) Blind-Spot Detection --no matter how diligent you check your mirrors, it's an immense help to have those flashing lights on your mirror in the rare instance where you miss seeing an approaching vehicle.
2). Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)-- can't recall how many times I have been parked in a parking lot between two humongous pick-ups and couldn't see anything as I began backing up, but the beeping from the RCTA alerted me to approaching vehicles.
 

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From what I gather the only missing safety features are these, which I'm not sure are worth the extra $2,500:
Any opinions or anecdotes on how these individual features have been helpful (or not helpful) to you would be great! Thank you!
As with all new technology you won't miss them if you've never had them. But having had them I'd never be without them ever again. As Jim said they've saved me from repairs numerous times from backing out of parking spots in crowded parking lots to changing lanes with somebody sitting in my blind spot for 5 miles. No doubt they have paid for themselves many times over, not even talking about resale value.
 

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2). Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)-- can't recall how many times I have been parked in a parking lot between two humongous pick-ups and couldn't see anything as I began backing up, but the beeping from the RCTA alerted me to approaching vehicles.
The longer the car, van or truck, the more I appreciate this feature, because it gets progressively harder to see what's coming from down the road.
 

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If you’re certain you don’t need the step up features that come with the Premium pkg. then don’t look back. But what I find is people have a change in events then need it. Then they are at a loss. But nothing says you will either. Just a maybe because no one knows what tomorrow holds for us.

I say buy what you want and need and if life changes and you need let’s say 5000 lb towing, then you can sell and buy the next level if you want to keep an Ascent. I wanted my wife to buy the Premium but she really liked the Limited. Hey, she is the six figure earner…..go ahead! Me, I have a Super Duty with a Godzilla engine that can drink more gas than OPEC can give…..money pit, but it can tow and haul like nobody’s business.
 
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