2018 Subaru Ascent: Making Honda Pilot, VW Atlas Look Weak

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In the three-row SUV game, the one automaker that hasn’t yet made an entrance with a new model is Subaru. Thankfully, that would change when the Subaru Ascent – replacement to the old Subaru Tribeca – finally arrives as a 2018 model.

Among its rivals would be the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX-9, Ford Explorer, and of course the all-new Volkswagen Atlas. So what makes the Ascent special in comparison to its equivalents in the market?

For one, we could reasonably expect the Ascent to be a champion off-road, much like the Subaru Crosstrek, Outback, and Forester. These SUVs (and wagon) are the best in their respective segments when it comes to heading off the tarmac.

So why should the Ascent be any different? Unless its rivals offer something exceptional in that aspect, Subaru should lay claim to having the most rugged seven-seater among mass market brands. The only SUV that would be able to mount a good challenge against it is the Dodge Durango.

Based on the Viziv-7 concept and riding on Subaru’s new global platform, the Ascent is set to be the automaker’s largest vehicle. It should debut soon, most likely at the 2017 New York Auto Show next month, before arriving at dealerships in early 2018.