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Would You Like Sliding Doors on the Ascent?

  • 💚 Holy crap! That would be amazing!

    Votes: 10 23.8%
  • 🤔 Maybe. I could take it or leave it.

    Votes: 6 14.3%
  • 😡 You want them to do WHAT to my beautiful SUV!?!?!

    Votes: 26 61.9%
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
OK, this is going to sound really weird, but if there is any company that would take the leap it is Subaru. Here in a the US most modern families (🙋‍♂️) will shun the obvious functional superiority of a minivan for the gratifying/aesthetic benefits of an SUV. However, that doesn't mean that SUVs can't take a page or two from the minivan book. Specifically sliding doors would give numerous advantages for families. I can't tell you how many times I have wished I had them in our cramped garage while putting our kids into the car. For those who get the ascent without family hauling in mind, they would quickly see that the positives carry over to virtually any use case.

In summary, just think about how good this would sound and how much of a splash it would make in the industry:

"The all new 2024 Subaru Ascent. The first SUV with sliding doors."

5494

Note: This is just a random picture I found online.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Before someone else comments and says as such, I'll bring up one of the prime negatives to having sliding doors. Doing so would likely require much thicker pillars between the second and third row windows. This would have a negative impact on the visibility (something subaru is known for). However, this can't happen until the redesign year in 2024. Subaru is fast advancing their safety technology and I have no doubt that there will be side view options that are as good or better than looking directly. Especially if they were motivated to do so.
 

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We went the SUV route because there wasn't a minivan with enough ground clearance and traction, even with winter tires, to make it up to our place in the hills. There is still nothing that equals a minivan for passenger space and cargo, which is what 95% of the people need them for anyway (There are a small percentage of people who tow & off-road, so a minivan would likely not be a good choice).
Sliding doors are one of the greatest inventions I've ever seen, especially with kids in crowded/ narrow parking lots/ spaces on windy days. It's one of those things if you tried it, you would have a hard time going back, especially when you're trying to put a kid in a booster seat in a narrow parking spot.
The problem is 70% of the population will never consider anything with sliding doors because of the so-called minivan stigma attached to it. I still miss my Honda Odyssey quite a bit, it was great on gas and fun to drive.
And with Subaru's theme of all-wheel drive and ruggedness, I think would be a tough task to pull off something that was sort of minivan-esque successfully. You would end up with something like the Mazda MPV from way back that was all-wheel drive (which actually kind of had the quirky Subaru styling from that era).
I also think with the relative increase in fuel economy from SUVs over the past decade, that there are more feasible arguments for buying an SUV than a minivan. And with the perceived need for all-wheel drive, an SUV seems to fit the bill quite well for most people these days.
 

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just cuz a few people are interested in a minivan-like SUV does not translate into a market-wide acceptance..... the market moved off the minivan because of perceived stigma of driving the family mobile and went to the CUV and SUV Platforms..... just like the perception of driving a station wagon versus a CUV which is a frequent discussion in the outback forum.... is the outback a station wagon or CUV..... the ascent is an SUV... any attempt to morph it into a van would be a major failure. It ya want van features, buy a van like a Toyota Sierra or Pacifica.
 

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I will say, the only Subaru branded minivan I would own would be the Sambar.... 😏
 

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They did that to the Chrysler Pacifica. Now it’s a minivan. 🤮
 

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They did that to the Chrysler Pacifica. Now it’s a minivan. 🤮
Yes, the name lives on. But it's one of the best minivans still on the market for folks who want/need one of those thangs...

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Relative to the question posted by the OP. Nope. Zero interest in sliding doors. It would also likely require some substantial engineering changes to maintain the current high level of safety that the Ascent's design incorporates relative to side-impact and crumple factors because the doors would interface with the body structure differently.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
just cuz a few people are interested in a minivan-like SUV does not translate into a market-wide acceptance..... the market moved off the minivan because of perceived stigma of driving the family mobile and went to the CUV and SUV Platforms..... just like the perception of driving a station wagon versus a CUV which is a frequent discussion in the outback forum.... is the outback a station wagon or CUV..... the ascent is an SUV... any attempt to morph it into a van would be a major failure. It ya want van features, buy a van like a Toyota Sierra or Pacifica.
Maybe I'm not being clear. I'm not trying to make the Ascent a minivan. I'm trying to make it an SUV with sliding doors. Sliding Doors does not equal minivan.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
They did that to the Chrysler Pacifica. Now it’s a minivan. 🤮
That's not true. They made a minivan and named it the Pacifica 10 years after the last Pacifica SUV was produced. I'm suggesting they simply add sliding doors to an SUV. Sliding doors don't make something a van. Being a van makes it a van.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
...anyway. I think this thread tells me all I need to know about the likelihood of this happening. People would just assume they are making it a van regardless of the reality.

I think what might be more likely is we someday get a Subarized "minivan". More an SUV than a minivan, but take a lot of the minivan features. Keep the 8.7", sacrifice some of the space a normal minivan has (maybe 120 instead of 150 cf), of course have sliding doors, and style it like an SUV (longer nose, more pitched windshield, ect.). In other words, if someone looks at it they think it is an SUV.
 

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...anyway. I think this thread tells me all I need to know about the likelihood of this happening. People would just assume they are making it a van regardless of the reality.

I think what might be more likely is we someday get a Subarized "minivan". More an SUV than a minivan, but take a lot of the minivan features. Keep the 8.7", sacrifice some of the space a normal minivan has (maybe 120 instead of 150 cf), of course have sliding doors, and style it like an SUV (longer nose, more pitched windshield, ect.). In other words, if someone looks at it they think it is an SUV.
Why stop there? Raise the roof too and just build a high ground clearance minivan.

Personally, I never got the minivan stigma. I had a Ford Aerostar company car. As far as minivans go, it might have been one of the most mediocre but I still loved it (and I had to remove and reinstall 2 rows of very heavy, cumbersome seats when I needed the load floor.

I'd probably buy my own minivan except I needed over 3500# towing for my boat. I didn't really need full time AWD here in Florida but some boat ramps are pretty slippery so no downside to having it.
 
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