It's hard to believe, but the 2021 Subaru Ascent 3-Row family hauler is entering year three. How is Ascent doing? Subaru of America )SOA) reports 2020 sales, and the Subaru Ascent finished the year with a drop in sales like all SOA's nameplates due to COVID. The Ascent had 67,623 sales in 2020 compared with 81,958 in 2019, down 17.5 percent.
In December, Subaru delivered 6,692 Ascent family haulers to customers compared with 8,280 in December 2019, down 19.1 percent. The Ascent is the number four selling nameplate in Subaru's stable behind Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek. Is the new Subaru Ascent reliable?
Does the Subaru Ascent have reliability problems?
The Subaru Ascent was an all-new model for the 2019 model year, and as with many new cars, there are "bugs" to work out. It's a problem affecting many automakers when they launch an all-new model.
Subaru issued recalls on the 2019 Ascent for a defective PCV valve that could cause engine failure. Ascent also had a recall for driveshaft bolts that could loosen. The 3-Row SUV was also recalled because of possible missing spot welds on, or around, the B-pillar, compromising vehicle strength.
But the big recall for the 2019 Ascent was for transmission problems. The Ascent took a hit when Consumer Reports put the family hauler on its 10 Least Reliable Cars list, and the 3-Row SUV lost their recommendation due to reliability issues.
Should SUV shoppers stay away from the 2021 Subaru Ascent?
Subaru does cover the Ascent model's issues and recalls under its new car warranty (basic coverage is three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first). The powertrain coverage for its cars is five years or 60,000 miles.
Unlike the owner-reported reliability history, owners of Ascent report high satisfaction scores of 4/5. And the 3-Row SUV does well in Consumer Reports Road Tests with a 93/100 score. CR gives the new 2021 models a predicted owner satisfaction score of 4/5.
The 2019 Subaru Ascent had more problems than any other model in the automaker's lineup, but there have been no significant issues with the 2020 Subaru Ascent models. In year three, quality improves in the 2021 Ascent all-wheel-drive 3-Row SUV.
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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. Check out 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, Subaru of San Bernadino