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The Most Reliable And Fuel-Efficient Midsize SUVs - Subaru Outback And Ascent Score High

Are the 2020 Subaru Outback and Ascent reliable vehicles? How fuel-efficient are they? See what a new report by Consumers Reports says.

With all the two-and three-row SUVs available for shoppers, which ones are the most reliable? We will look at two Subaru models that Consumer Reports says are reliable, fuel-efficient, and safe. The 2020 Subaru Outback is newly-redesigned and 2020 Subaru Ascent was all-new two years ago. Both models are made in America at the Subaru plant in Lafayette, Indiana.

Consumer Reports (by subscription) compiled the list of two- and three-row midsized SUVs that scored well in their road tests, have average-or-better predicted reliability ratings and get 20 mpg overall or better. CR says the Outback wagon is one of the best in the two-row category, and the Ascent family hauler scores high in the 3-row segment.

2020 Subaru Outback, 2020 Subaru AscentAre the Outback and Ascent reliable? 

According to Consumer Reports, the Subaru brand should be on your shopping list. They scored the 2020 Subaru Outback wagon/SUV third best, the 2020 Crosstrek subcompact SUV is next at number six, 2020 Forester compact SUV is number eight, and the 2020 Ascent 3-Row SUV is number nine out of ten. They scored highest in four areas; performance, reliability, safety, and owner satisfaction.

Are they fuel efficient?

In Consumer Reports testing, the 260 horsepower, 2.4-liter turbocharged engine in the Outback “gives the wagon effortless acceleration yet still got 24 mpg overall in our tests.”

The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine achieved 28 mpg in their test. The EPA estimated fuel mileage is 26/33 city/highway and 29 combined mpg for the 2.5-liter Outback. The 2.4-liter turbocharged engine gets 23/30/26 mpg.

2020 Subaru Outback, 2020 Subaru Ascent

CR says the 2020 Subaru Ascent 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine “feels plenty quick in a segment where V6s dominate. And its 22 mpg overall is comparable to its rivals.” EPA fuel mileage estimates come in at 21/27 city/highway and 23 combined mpg.

Are the Outback and Ascent safe vehicles?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the 2020 Subaru Outback the highest Top Safety Pick Plus score in crash tests, and the 2020 Subaru Ascent earns a Top Safety Pick because of its headlights. New 2021 Ascent models are getting new steering responsive LED headlights with high beam assist for improved nighttime visibility.

Both 2020 Subaru Outback and 2020 Ascent come standard with advanced safety systems including forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. In the two-and three-row SUV category, you’ll want to put them on your list of models to check out.

You Might Also Like: Subaru Sales Are Down - Customer Incentives Are Up. Is it a good time to buy a 2020 Subaru Forester, Outback, or Ascent?

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press and the founder of Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru, Atlantic Subaru


ProDigit (not verified)    June 28, 2020 - 2:02AM

The outback? Fuel efficient?
Ours get an average of 24mpg.
I would have loved to see 30mpg, as smaller hatchbacks can get 50mpg.

Seth (not verified)    June 28, 2020 - 7:55AM

Reliability? No way every month there are at least 2 major quality escapes for Subaru. Just go on the national highway site and search the number of recalls Subaru has verse ford etc.

Is torquenews is paid for positive reviews?

Claire Nettles (not verified)    July 7, 2020 - 10:01PM

I will probably jinx myself but so far I love this car . It’s a 2018 outback legacy . The safety features are phenomenal . The recalls were small and handled well by local dealer. Best car I have ever had

MeeLee (not verified)    July 8, 2020 - 9:01PM

While our Subaru outback has been relatively trouble free, we now have issues with the window buttons no longer working at 3 years, 20k miles.

The cat is supposed to last less than 100m miles, and the engine is supposed to develop a gasket problem under 100k miles, due to it being a boxer engine. When they're sitting still too long, the cylinders flood with oil.