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21 Ascent Premium, 18 Outback Ltd 2.5
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Just for clarity, the Premium trim doesn't come with RAB until you add the Convenience package.

$32295 Base trim
$34795 for Premium trim (includes blind spot detection + rear cross traffic alert)
+$ 1460 Convenience package for reverse auto-braking (also includes keyless start, power liftgate)

So it's a $3960 upgrade to get to RAB. To me, all of the additional features are worth it but I'm not the OP!

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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The blind spot/cross traffic alert is the one that I would miss more than the RAB...although I think RAB is an essential safety feature, especially to avoid running over kids. It adds to the almost universal inclusion of backup cameras on vehicles today, which were supposed to be "standard" by 2011, but things didn't work out that way.
 

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Hm...
if you don't need 3rd row and turbo , maybe just get Forester as 1st 2 rows almost exact same size as Ascent
The cabin is narrower, but foot space is indeed generous on the Forester both front and back. Subaru is pretty good about that, actually. Outback also has generous leg room.
 

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The cabin is narrower, but foot space is indeed generous on the Forester both front and back. Subaru is pretty good about that, actually. Outback also has generous leg room.
sure ... door armresr to armrest almost axactly 1 inch 55 Ascent vs 54 Forester
so it about 1/2 inch per side
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Hm...
if you don't need 3rd row and turbo , maybe just get Forester as 1st 2 rows almost exact same size as Ascent
I'm primarily getting a mid-size SUV for the safety (almost the only thing I care about).

Bigger/heavier car is safer than a smaller car, and the Ascent weighs 4430 lbs vs the Forester's 3454. The Ascent is 14.1" longer, and 4.5" wider.

Not a bad suggestion for almost anyone else in my situation though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Just for clarity, the Premium trim doesn't come with RAB until you add the Convenience package.

$32295 Base trim
$34795 for Premium trim (includes blind spot detection + rear cross traffic alert)
+$ 1460 Convenience package for reverse auto-braking (also includes keyless start, power liftgate)

So it's a $3960 upgrade to get to RAB. To me, all of the additional features are worth it but I'm not the OP!

View attachment 14230

Thanks for this breakdown.

Is it just me or does the spec page say that "Power rear gate" is standard across all models? (look in the Amenities section). Is that a mistake?

 

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I'm primarily getting a mid-size SUV for the safety (almost the only thing I care about).

Bigger/heavier car is safer than a smaller car, and the Ascent weighs 4430 lbs vs the Forester's 3454. The Ascent is 14.1" longer, and 4.5" wider.
EDIT: See post below that shows data against my statement. Didn't want to alter the original, but wanted it noted. I'd still take a smaller car with a better crash rating personally.

That is an often quoted fallacy. A bigger car isn't any safer. It's about the crash structure and the way each car handles the crumple zones and that sort of thing. The Forester is just as safe as the Ascent. And a forester is much safer than a Suburban or and Expedition. Subaru has a great structure on ALL of their cars making them very very safe regardless of the model.

My painter had his crosstrek t-boned. It barely dented the door because of the crash bars subaru uses. The other car was a crumpled mess in the front!

Getting an Ascent for safety vs the Forester or Outback is just a waste of space and gas.
 

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I actually think a base level Ascent is about the best choice for a mid size 3 row entry level suv you can get in the segment- knowing that you do sacrifice some safety options. I think as you move to the highest trim levels, the Ascent falls a little bit behind with the extra bells and whistles and lux interior feel compared to some competitors.

And while size ultimately can have some impact on safety ratings ( F250 vs civic), nowadays crash structure plays a massive role in occupant safety.

There's a great video on YouTube somewhere (I can't believe I said that), that features an old and newer Malibu in a frontal car to car crash test. Even though the newer car is much smaller, it does better protecting the occupants.
 

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  • 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
Chiming in for these two items. The size of the vehicle almost necessitates these two safety features. It is very VERY difficult to back-up in this car, even coming from my Outback.

I rely on over the shoulder + rear view camera heavily. That said, Reverse Automatic Braking and Rear Cross Traffic Alert have been nothing short of VERY helpful driving and safety aides that I appreciate. While I can say I have only used these items in a manner that may have prevented an accident twice, I can say that there was a good chance I wouldn't have noticed/seen something without these items.

They both are worth the price of admission to the next level up, no matter how good you believe your driving is today in a vehicle that isn't an Ascent. For my money, it was a no brainer. For your money, of course, that's totally up to you. But don't underestimate the size/girth of the vehicle, and don't overestimate your driving ability.
 

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I looked at the base model, since it fit most of my needs.

The nice-to-have heated seats, 7-passenger option, stain-resistant seats, and larger radio display won me over.

As far as safety goes, I don't think the base model comes with the STARLINK safety and security feature.
 

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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?
If that's what you like then that's what you should get. In the end it's make yourself first , well your wife first then you happy.
 

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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.
I'd add ease/value, of resale as a major consideration. Based on our informal/unscientific poll , the base trim is the least popular amongst the 4. When you go to sell or trade-in this car, you'll most likely have a tough time disposing of it.

I ran a comparison using KBB.com and the resale value difference between a base vs premium is currently valued at $2,567. Depending on what your out-the-door price difference between the two trims, you may not be losing much by going with the premium, at a minimum.

Inputs: 2019 Base/Premium Ascent with standard options, 45k miles, zip code 90210, very good condition

Base: https://www.kbb.com/subaru/ascent/2...8728|true&pricetype=trade-in&vehicleid=434195

Premium: https://www.kbb.com/subaru/ascent/2...8723|true&pricetype=trade-in&vehicleid=434199
 
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Honestly we considered the Base. The two considerations that pushed us to the Premium were the transmission cooler that provided the higher towing capacity....and tinted windows. My wife just reeeeally wanted the "privacy glass" for the 2nd and 3rd rows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I'd add ease/value, of resale as a major consideration. Based on our informal/unscientific poll , the base trim is the least popular amongst the 4. When you go to sell or trade-in this car, you'll most likely have a tough time disposing of it.

I ran a comparison using KBB.com and the resale value difference between a base vs premium is currently valued at $2,567. Depending on what your out-the-door price difference between the two trims, you may not be losing much by going with the premium, at a minimum.

Inputs: 2019 Base/Premium Ascent with standard options, 45k miles, zip code 90210, very good condition

Base: https://www.kbb.com/subaru/ascent/2019/sport-utility-4d/?condition=verygood&intent=trade-in-sell&mileage=45000&modalview=false&options=8258728|true&pricetype=trade-in&vehicleid=434195

Premium: https://www.kbb.com/subaru/ascent/2019/premium-sport-utility-4d/?condition=verygood&intent=trade-in-sell&mileage=45000&modalview=false&options=8258723|true&pricetype=trade-in&vehicleid=434199
Thank you for this breakdown!
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Chiming in for these two items. The size of the vehicle almost necessitates these two safety features. It is very VERY difficult to back-up in this car, even coming from my Outback.

I rely on over the shoulder + rear view camera heavily. That said, Reverse Automatic Braking and Rear Cross Traffic Alert have been nothing short of VERY helpful driving and safety aides that I appreciate. While I can say I have only used these items in a manner that may have prevented an accident twice, I can say that there was a good chance I wouldn't have noticed/seen something without these items.

They both are worth the price of admission to the next level up, no matter how good you believe your driving is today in a vehicle that isn't an Ascent. For my money, it was a no brainer. For your money, of course, that's totally up to you. But don't underestimate the size/girth of the vehicle, and don't overestimate your driving ability.
Thank you for this anecdote. I've never driven an SUV so it's definitely probable that backing up is a different difficulty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
That is an often quoted fallacy. A bigger car isn't any safer. It's about the crash structure and the way each car handles the crumple zones and that sort of thing. The Forester is just as safe as the Ascent. And a forester is much safer than a Suburban or and Expedition. Subaru has a great structure on ALL of their cars making them very very safe regardless of the model.

My painter had his crosstrek t-boned. It barely dented the door because of the crash bars subaru uses. The other car was a crumpled mess in the front!

Getting an Ascent for safety vs the Forester or Outback is just a waste of space and gas.
That's not true. Size and weight definitely plays a factor in safety. See this link by the IIHS (the organization that does the crash tests):


A bigger, heavier vehicle provides better crash protection than a smaller, lighter one, assuming no other differences. The longer distance from the front of vehicle to the occupant compartment in larger vehicles offers better protection in frontal crashes. Heavier vehicles also tend to continue moving forward in crashes with lighter vehicles and other obstacles, so the people inside them are subject to less force.
Both size and weight affect the forces people inside a vehicle experience during a crash. The magnitude of those forces is directly related to the risk of injury.

In larger-sized vehicles, the longer distance from the front of the vehicle to the occupant compartment provides more protection in frontal crashes, which account for more than half of passenger vehicle occupant deaths. The longer that distance, the more the frame of the vehicle can be crushed before it crushes the people inside.

Weight is important when two vehicles collide. The bigger vehicle will push the lighter one backward during the impact. That puts less force on the people inside the heavier vehicle and more on the people in the lighter vehicle.

IIHS demonstrated the role of size and weight in a series of crash tests in 2019, pairing a midsize SUV and small car made by Kia and a large car and minicar made by Toyota in collisions with each other. Both of the smaller vehicles, the 2018 Kia Forte and 2018 Toyota Yaris iA, had good ratings in the five IIHS tests relevant to driver protection, but they performed poorly in collisions with the larger vehicles.

Improvements in crash protection have made vehicles of all sizes safer, but bigger vehicles are still safer than smaller ones even with those improvements. As the chart below illustrates, crash deaths decline as vehicle size increases. A similar chart using weight instead of size would look almost the same.

What is the Difference Between IIHS and NHTSA Crash Test Programs?

Consumers can compare NHTSA and IIHS frontal-impact test results only against other vehicles of the same size, give or take a few hundred pounds. Therefore, in a collision, a top-rated subcompact car will not fare as well as a large car or midsize SUV with less impressive ratings.
 

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I also just placed deposit for a base model, now just have to call them to confirm the color. But I agree has everything I need, would live leather but that’s expensive upgrade and we’re staying in a budget. All I need is all wheel drive and a reliable car. Price is right! What color are you choosing? That my tough decision!
 
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