June 15, 2021 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Andréas N. Delos Reyes

2021 Subaru Evoltis

The Better-Named Ascent

The all-new mid-size 7-seater Subaru Ascent crossover is finally in the Philippines but with a more compelling model name: the Evoltis. We get the version with the more popular captain’s chairs instead of the bench which would have increased capacity by one passenger but be less enticing. The Evoltis is absolutely everything that both versions of the old Subaru Tribeca hoped to be except for one aspect, exterior design. The 1st generation Tribeca B9 looked like nothing else on the road but it was too small and underpowered. When Subaru redesigned the Tribeca for its swift facelift, it lost its aesthetic edge but gained a bit more interior space and a stronger flat-6 engine.

The Evoltis looks like it would sit between the designs of the last Tribeca and a 6th generation Legacy. Thankfully, the overachieving high-capacity crossover makes up for its pedestrian design with an excellent cabin and proper dynamic performance. So, for this Subaru flagship, it is about function well before form. Its most direct competition is the outgoing Ford Explorer and the current multi-award-winning Mazda CX-9 since Honda stopped selling the Pilot, the Volkswagen Atlas (Teramont) is not available yet, Hyundai Philippines paused their selling of the excellent turbodiesel Palisade, Kia Philippines hasn’t imported the Telluride and Toyota does not offer the Highlander in our market.  

If Hyundai Philippines reactivated their sales of the Palisade, Subaru would have an even more challenging time in our market. So, the current reality is that the Subaru Evoltis would appeal most to hardcore Subaristi and for customers looking for better off-road and towing abilities. The Evoltis can tow up to 5,000 pounds; the Mazda CX-9, if you tried, can tow up to 1,500 pounds. The Mazda is a soft-roader and travels mostly front-wheel driven while the Subaru uses a fully committed mechanical AWD. To maximize the system further, Subaru offers the X-MODE® which optimizes engine output and CVT transmission ratios, increases all-wheel drive system engagement and uses enhanced control of the VDC system to reduce individual wheelspin, providing optimal traction on low friction surfaces. X-MODE also incorporates Hill Descent Control for stability when descending more difficult grades. The Evoltis has more interior capacity, is quicker and better braked than the Mazda CX-9, too.

As a Subaru, the Evoltis has the most luxurious interior in the entire family model range with nice padded ivory trim, ambient lighting that extends to the rear doors, and generous 19 cup and bottle holders. The panoramic roof is enormous at 54 inches with 95% UV light reduction compared to the tiny moonroof for the front passengers on the CX-9. It has an additional 180-degree Front-View Monitor and Smart Rear-View Mirror to maintain maximum visibility when required. The LED Steering Responsive Headlights and High Beam Assist work very well and are the best-looking bits in the front. The comprehensive EyeSight system monitors traffic movement, optimizes the adaptive cruise control, and warns you when you’re swaying outside your lane while the Automatic Pre-Collision Braking feature can apply full braking force and bring you to a complete stop in emergency situations. Another strong feature is the audio system, the very best in a Subaru ever, an awesome 792-watt 14-speaker Harman Kardon Quantum Surround Sound audio system that bests the Bose in the CX-9.

There is a lot going for the halo Subaru flagship but its selling price may hinder its commercial success though that could conversely make the Evoltis more special and more exclusive on the road.

Interested customers who want to learn more about the Evoltis may register at https://www.subaru.asia/evoltis/. The first 50 customers who sign-up and complete their purchase of a brand-new Evoltis will receive an exclusive Evoltis watch to match their car!

Specification – 2021 Subaru Evoltis

Engine: Flat-4

Location: Front, Longitudinal

Displacement: 2387 cc 

Cylinder block: Cast Aluminum 

Cylinder head: Cast Aluminum, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, Dual Active Valve Control System (DAVCS)

Fuel Injection: Direct Injection, Intercooled Turbo

Max power: 260 bhp @ 5600 rpm 

Max torque: 277 lb-ft @ 2000-4800 rpm 

Transmission: Lineartronic® CVT, Intelligent Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

Front suspension: Independent MacPherson strut with anti-roll bar.

Rear suspension: Independent Double wishbones with anti-roll bar.

Fuel Capacity: 73 liters (19.3 gallons)

Load Capacity: 2,449 liters (both rows folded) / 1345 liters (3rd row folded) / 498 liters (all seats up)

Ground Clearance: 220 mm 

Wading Depth: 500 mm

Approach Angle: 17.6 degrees

Departure Angle: 21.8 degrees

Ramp-over angle: 18.2 degrees

L x W x H: 4999 mm x 1930 mm x 1819 mm 

Wheelbase: 2891 mm 

Brakes: Front 13.1-inch (333 mm) ventilated discs with 2-piston calipers / Rear 13-inch (330 mm) vented discs with single piston calipers Integrated Electric Parking Brake, ABS, X-MODE®, VDC, HDC, TCS, TSA, Active Torque Vectoring.

Wheels: 20”x 7.5J Multi-spoke Aluminum Alloys.

Tires: P245/50R20 102H Falken Ziex ZE001 A/S

Weight: (kerb) 2090 kg. (4600 lbs.) 

0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 7.1 seconds

Top Speed (mph): 210 km/h (130 mph) Governed

Fuel Mileage: 20 mpg City / 26 mpg Highway

Price as tested: PhP 3,480,000.00 

C! RATING 9.5/10

+A mature Subaristi’s Dream. Very capable and comfortable. Clever EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology. The best intelligent AWD system in its class. Great sound system. Very well appointed.

-Price. Uninspired exterior design. 

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