Succinct as it is accurate, “It’s a Subaru” pretty well describes the 2021 Subaru Ascent three-row crossover SUV.

All-wheel drive? Check. Horizontally opposed engine? Yup. Room for people and gear? Uh-huh. Hard-wearing interior? Sure.

The 2021 Subaru Ascent soldiers into the new year with minimal changes on what’s been a reliable formula so far. The new Ascent gets adaptive headlights as standard equipment and an upgraded safety suite to complement good standard features. It earns a 6.7 TCC Rating. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

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Although the Ascent hits the trails with verve, its body stays right down mainstream for most three-row crossovers and Subaru’s look. It’s a familiar affair from head to toe: it looks like an Outback big-and-tall in all the right ways, or a calorific Forester—you pick.

Inside, there are seats for up to eight,…

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