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What Engine is in the Subaru Ascent?

What Engine is in the Subaru Ascent?

The Subaru Ascent has rapidly become a popular choice for Canadian families seeking a spacious, capable, and versatile mid-size SUV. With three rows of seating, ample cargo space, and Subaru’s legendary symmetrical all-wheel drive system, the Ascent checks all the boxes for an adventure-ready family hauler. However, at the heart of this well-rounded SUV beats an advanced turbocharged engine that deserves a closer examination.

Under the Ascent’s sculpted hood lies a 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer engine – a powerplant that combines potent performance with Subaru’s signature refinement and efficiency. This innovative engine isn’t just another family hauler motor; it’s a meticulously engineered force that propels the Ascent with authority while delivering a driving experience that’s sure to delight. As we dive deeper into the details, you’ll soon understand why this engine is a pivotal part of the Ascent’s appeal for Canadian drivers.

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Overview of the 2.4L Turbocharged Boxer Engine

The heart of the Subaru Ascent is its 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer engine, a powerplant that delivers a compelling blend of performance and efficiency. This advanced four-cylinder engine features a unique horizontally opposed cylinder layout, with the pistons moving in opposite directions – a design that Subaru has become renowned for.

With a displacement of 2,387 cubic centimeters, the Ascent’s turbo boxer engine produces an impressive 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. This robust power output is made possible by the addition of a twin-scroll turbocharger, which helps optimize low-end torque and responsiveness. The turbo spools up quickly, providing a surge of acceleration that makes the Ascent feel lively and eager, whether you’re merging onto the highway or overtaking slower traffic.

Channeling the engine’s power to all four wheels is a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). While CVTs have traditionally been criticized for their drone and elastic response, Subaru’s implementation is among the best in the industry, delivering smooth and responsive performance. The CVT also contributes to the Ascent’s impressive fuel efficiency, which we’ll explore in more detail later.


The Subaru Boxer Design Philosophy

At the core of the Subaru Ascent’s powertrain is the brand’s signature boxer engine design, a unique configuration that sets it apart from most other automakers. Unlike traditional inline or V-shaped engine layouts, the boxer design features horizontally opposed pistons that move in a flat, side-to-side motion.

This boxer configuration offers several inherent advantages. First and foremost, it contributes to an exceptionally smooth and refined driving experience. Since the opposing pistons effectively cancel out each other’s vibrations, the engine operates with minimal harshness or shaking, even at higher RPMs. This translates to a composed, comfortable ride quality that Subaru owners have come to expect.

Additionally, the boxer’s low, wide stance results in a lower center of gravity for the entire vehicle. With more of the engine’s mass positioned closer to the ground, the Ascent exhibits remarkably stable and planted handling characteristics. This lower center of gravity enhances cornering capabilities and inspires confidence on winding roads or during emergency maneuvers.

Beyond the performance benefits, the boxer design is also incredibly space-efficient. Since the engine’s cylinders are laid flat, the entire powertrain can be positioned lower in the chassis, maximizing interior room and allowing for a more versatile cabin layout. In the case of the Subaru Ascent, this translates to generous passenger and cargo space that families need.

While the boxer configuration may be unconventional, it is a core part of Subaru’s DNA and a key factor that distinguishes the brand’s vehicles from the competition. In the Ascent, this unique engine architecture delivers an optimal blend of smoothness, capability, and interior practicality that perfectly complements the SUV’s family-friendly nature.


Advanced Engine Technologies

The 2.4L turbocharged boxer engine under the hood of the Subaru Ascent is packed with cutting-edge technologies that enhance performance, efficiency, and drivability. At the heart of this powerplant is Subaru’s direct injection system, which precisely meters fuel directly into the combustion chambers for optimized combustion and increased thermal efficiency.

Working in tandem with direct injection is a high compression ratio of 10.6:1. This elevated compression allows the engine to extract more energy from every drop of fuel, boosting output while reducing emissions. The high compression works seamlessly with the turbocharger to maximize the density of the air/fuel mixture for explosive power delivery.

Subaru’s innovative Dual Active Valve Control System (DAVCS) is also employed on the Ascent’s boxer engine. This variable valve timing and lift system continuously optimizes both the intake and exhaust cam profiles to enhance low-end torque or high-rpm breathing, depending on driving conditions. The result is a broad, linear torque curve that maintains a muscular feel across the entire rev range.

The twin-scroll turbocharger plays a pivotal role as well. By separating the exhaust pulses from alternating cylinders into divided scrolls, this advanced turbo minimizes exhaust turbulence for quicker spool-up and enhanced low-rpm responsiveness. At higher engine speeds, the scrolls combine for maximum boost and performance. The turbo’s seamless power delivery works in concert with the DAVCS system to provide effortless acceleration at any rpm.


Performance and Driving Experience

Under the hood, the 2.4L turbocharged boxer engine delivers exhilarating real-world performance that brings a smile to any driving enthusiast’s face. With 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque on tap, the Ascent rockets from 0 to 60 mph in a brisk 6.9 seconds – impressive for a three-row family hauler. This potent acceleration ensures you’ll never feel underpowered when merging onto the highway or overtaking slower traffic.

What really sets this engine apart is its flat, linear torque curve that maintains strong pulling power across the entire rev range. You’ll experience eager throttle response and robust mid-range punch for confident passing maneuvers on two-lane roads. And with a stout 5,000-pound tow rating, the Ascent can easily handle hauling a small camper trailer or a couple of snowmobiles up to the cottage.

Despite this level of performance, the Ascent never feels unruly or unrefined. Credit the inherent smoothness of Subaru’s boxer engine design, which cancels out inertia forces for minimal vibration. Combined with the low center of gravity, this results in composed, surefooted handling that inspires confidence on winding roads. You’ll relish attacking your favorite backroad with precise steering response and a planted, grippy feel.


Optimized for Efficiency

While the 2.4L turbocharged boxer engine in the Subaru Ascent delivers robust performance, it has also been meticulously engineered for excellent fuel efficiency. This allows Canadian families to enjoy the capability and power of the Ascent without excessive fuel costs or environmental impact.

According to official Natural Resources Canada ratings, the 2023 Ascent achieves an estimated 11.6 L/100km in city driving and 9.0 L/100km on the highway. Combined, it returns an impressive 10.4 L/100km. These figures put the Ascent near the top of its class for efficiency among three-row mid-size SUVs with turbocharged engines.

Contributing to this stellar real-world fuel economy is Subaru’s efficient Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission). By eliminating traditional gear changes, the CVT helps maximize the 2.4L boxer engine’s efficiency across a wide range of driving conditions. An automatic stop/start system also cuts fuel consumption during idling, such as at stoplights or in heavy traffic.

In addition to saving Canadian families money at the gas pump, the Ascent’s turbo boxer powerplant produces lower emissions than many competitors. It meets the latest stringent environmental regulations while still delivering robust torque and acceleration. With increasing environmental awareness, the cleaner emissions of the Ascent’s boxer engine provide extra peace of mind.


Built for Canadian Driving Conditions

When it comes to engineering vehicles for the harsh Canadian climate, Subaru understands the challenges. The 2.4L turbocharged boxer engine in the Ascent is purpose-built to handle everything from freezing winter mornings to snowy backroads with ease.

One of the key advantages of the boxer engine design is its low, flat profile. This lowers the Ascent’s center of gravity for improved stability and traction on slippery surfaces. Combined with the standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, the Ascent inspires confidence when driving through winter weather conditions.

Cold-weather starts are no problem thanks to the engine’s advanced cold-start system. This uses an engine block heater and special oil nozzles to ensure smooth, reliable startups even on the most frigid mornings. Once running, the dual active valve control system optimizes the engine’s power delivery to combat buildup of snow or ice on the roads.

For those venturing off the beaten path, the Ascent’s boxer engine provides a capable towing companion. With up to 5,000 lbs of towing capacity, you can bring along snowmobiles, ice shacks, or a small camper on your winter adventures. The flat torque curve and robust low-end grunt make towing a breeze, even over steep or slippery inclines.

From the engine architecture to the performance tuning, Subaru’s engineering team meticulously optimized the Ascent to thrive in Canadian driving environments. This rugged, winter-ready powertrain gives you the capability to embrace the great outdoors all year round.


Quality and Reliability

When it comes to the quality and reliability of the 2.4L turbocharged boxer engine in the Subaru Ascent, Canadian drivers can take comfort in the brand’s well-earned reputation for engineering excellence. Subaru has built its name on producing vehicles with exceptional longevity and durability, especially under harsh driving conditions.

The Ascent’s engine is a prime example of Subaru’s commitment to quality. It’s manufactured at the company’s state-of-the-art plant in Lafayette, Indiana, which is renowned for its rigorous quality control processes and highly trained workforce. Every engine that rolls off the line is meticulously inspected and tested to ensure it meets Subaru’s exacting standards.

Moreover, the boxer engine design itself is a proven technology that has been a hallmark of Subaru vehicles for decades. The horizontally opposed cylinder configuration inherently reduces vibration and engine stress, contributing to improved durability and longevity. Many Subaru owners report their boxer engines running smoothly well beyond the 200,000-kilometre mark with proper maintenance.

Speaking of maintenance, the 2.4L turbocharged engine in the Ascent requires little more than routine service to keep it running in top condition. While the turbocharger and direct fuel injection system introduce a few additional components, these technologies have become widely adopted and do not pose significant reliability concerns when properly maintained according to the schedule.

Ultimately, the quality and reliability of the Ascent’s engine reflect Subaru’s deep expertise in engineering robust, hard-working powerplants tailored for real-world driving. Canadian families can feel confident this engine will provide years of dependable service, backed by Subaru’s outstanding reputation for longevity and durability.


The Heart of a Capable Family Hauler

For Canadian families seeking a versatile and dependable mid-size SUV, the Subaru Ascent’s 2.4L turbocharged boxer engine is the beating heart that powers this vehicle’s impressive capabilities. With its robust performance, efficient operation, and Subaru’s signature durability, this engine makes the Ascent an ideal choice for active lifestyles and daily driving alike.

At the core of the Ascent’s appeal is its ability to effortlessly handle a wide range of driving scenarios. Whether navigating city traffic, cruising on the highway, or embarking on family adventures, the turbocharged boxer engine delivers smooth and responsive power. Its 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque provide ample muscle for merging onto busy freeways or passing slower vehicles, while the low-end torque ensures confident acceleration from a standstill.

For those with recreational pursuits or frequent road trips, the Ascent’s 5,000-pound towing capacity is a game-changer. Powered by the robust 2.4L engine, this mid-size SUV can easily haul a small camper, boat, or utility trailer, expanding the possibilities for family outings and outdoor excursions. And with Subaru’s renowned Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, the Ascent maintains surefooted traction on various terrain and in inclement weather conditions common across Canada.

Despite its impressive performance credentials, the Ascent’s engine remains remarkably fuel-efficient, thanks to advanced technologies like direct injection and a continuously variable transmission (CVT). With an EPA-estimated 23 mpg combined, Canadian families can enjoy the Ascent’s versatility without breaking the bank at the gas pump.

Ultimately, the Subaru Ascent’s turbocharged 2.4L boxer engine strikes the perfect balance between power, efficiency, and capability – a winning combination that makes it an ideal companion for active Canadian families seeking a reliable and fun-to-drive mid-size SUV.



The 2.4L turbocharged boxer engine under the hood of the Subaru Ascent is a true powerhouse, delivering the robust performance and capability that Canadian families need from their SUV. This advanced powerplant showcases Subaru’s engineering prowess and commitment to innovation.

With its horizontally opposed cylinder design, direct injection, and advanced valve control technologies, the Ascent’s engine provides smooth and linear power delivery across the rev range. Its 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque allow for confident acceleration and ample towing capacity up to 5,000 lbs.

Yet the 2.4L turbo boxer doesn’t sacrifice efficiency for power. Optimized with fuel-saving technologies like idle start/stop and a responsive CVT transmission, the Ascent achieves an impressive 23 mpg combined rating. This balance of performance and economy is well-suited to Canadian driving needs.

Backed by Subaru’s reputation for quality and durability, the Ascent’s engine is built to provide years of reliable service. With its proven boxer architecture and precise manufacture in the USA, this rugged powerplant can handle the rigors of harsh Canadian winters and tough terrain.

For Canadian families seeking a spacious, capable, and efficient mid-size SUV, the 2024 Subaru Ascent stands out from the crowd – thanks in no small part to its exceptional 2.4L turbocharged boxer engine. With this strong heart beating under the hood, the Ascent delivers the total package of performance, practicality and Subaru’s signature driving confidence.

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Questions About The Subaru Ascent

The 2023 Subaru Ascent sold in Canada is powered by a 2.4-liter turbocharged horizontally-opposed (“boxer”) four-cylinder engine that produces 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and comes standard with Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system.

The 2023 Subaru Ascent sold in Canada has 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque from its 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer four-cylinder engine. This provides strong acceleration and towing capability.

The 2023 Subaru Ascent sold in Canada uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that maximizes fuel efficiency while providing smooth and responsive acceleration. Subaru’s CVT has improved over the years and offers a natural, linear feel.

Yes, the 2023 Subaru Ascent sold in Canada comes standard with Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. This provides traction and control in all weather conditions, especially useful during Canadian winters.

The 2023 Subaru Ascent sold in Canada is rated at 10.4 L/100 km in the city and 8.1 L/100 km on the highway when equipped with the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive. This makes it among the most fuel efficient three-row SUVs.

Subaru’s boxer engine places the pistons in a horizontal opposition rather than vertical orientation. This allows for a lower center of gravity, improved handling, less vibrations, and efficiency. The horizontally opposed configuration perfectly suits Subaru’s all-wheel drive systems.

Subaru has exclusively used the boxer engine in its vehicles for over 50 years. The horizontally opposed piston configuration provides inherent smoothness, balance and stability allowing power delivery to all four wheels. This supports Subaru’s all-wheel drive technology and handling.

Key advantages of Subaru’s signature boxer engine include:


– Lower center of gravity and better weight balance for improved handling

– Less vibrations due to pistons moving in opposite directions

– Efficiency from flat design allowing compact packaging

– Proven reliability and durability

The 2.4 liter turbocharged boxer four-cylinder engine used in the 2023 Subaru Ascent sold in Canada has proven to be very reliable so far. Subaru engines are known for their durability, and this turbo motor has been tuned to deliver strong power with longevity in mind.

Yes, the Subaru Ascent is one of the roomiest three-row SUVs on the market. It comfortably seats up to 8 passengers with ample legroom even in the third row. With all seats folded, maximum cargo capacity is 2,449 litres making the Ascent quite practical.

The 2023 Subaru Ascent comes loaded with safety features and scores top ratings in IIHS and NHTSA crash tests. This includes standard EyeSight driver assist technology, blindspot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and more. Subaru prioritizes safety and the Ascent protects occupants very well.

Some great family-friendly highlights of the 2023 Ascent include wide-opening doors, integrated rear sunshades, 19 cupholders, stain-resistant upholstery and panels, available built-in Wi-Fi with USB ports, multiple USB charge ports, and a rear camera mirror for keeping an eye on kids.

The 2023 Subaru Ascent performs exceptionally well in Canadian winters thanks to standard all-wheel drive, 8.7 inches of ground clearance and dedicated driving modes for snow/dirt and deep snow/mud conditions. Heated front and rear seats also help make winter driving comfortable.

Subaru vehicles sold in Canada come with a comprehensive 3-year/60,000 km bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 5-year/100,000 km powertrain warranty as standard coverage. This protects against defects and failures for complete peace of mind.

Yes, Subaru vehicles including the Ascent maintain excellent resale value in the Canadian market. Subaru is known for reliability, durability, safety and all-weather capability – retaining value strongly on the used market. The Ascent holds its value better than most rivals.

With a 5,000 lb tow rating and 72.6 cu-ft of cargo space behind the second row, the 2023 Ascent can readily handle towing small campers, boats, ATVs and snowmobiles along with everyday hauling duties. The turbo engine provides low-end torque.

The Ascent stands out against rivals with standard all-wheel drive, a fuel efficient turbo engine, ample room, great safety scores, high ground clearance and dedicated off-road modes. It balances utility, quality and value making it a compelling choice.

The 2023 Subaru Ascent offers a choice of seven exterior colors – Crystal Black Silica, Crystal White Pearl, Ice Silver Metallic, Autumn Green Metallic, Brilliant Bronze Metallic, Crimson Red Pearl and Magnetite Grey Metallic. Interior upholstery comes in either black or ivory cloth or leather.

The 2023 Subaru Ascent makes child car seat installation very simple thanks to large rear door openings, easily accessible lower LATCH anchors, tether anchors on the back of all rear seats, and available rear seat reminder. Built-in rear sunshades also help.

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