Torque News reported that in 2020, the Ascent 3-ROW SUV made the Consumer Reports 10 Least Reliable Cars list (by subscription) and lost their recommendation due to reliability issues. The most recent Consumer Reports review now says the 2022 Ascent 3-Row SUV is at the bottom of the least reliable new cars list at number ten.
Consumer Reports gives the 2022 Ascent a reliability ranking of just 18 points and says there are five trouble spots. CR says the transmission, power equipment, brakes, in-car electronics, and climate system are unreliable and give it a 1/5 in predicted reliability.
Consumer Reports ranking is questionable because they show 2019-2020 were the years with reliability issues and show an improvement for 2021 models.
Ascent issues for 2019-2020
The Ascent had average reliability, and transmission problems, sometimes requiring a replacement, lowered its reliability score in the 2019-2020 models.
Here is everything we know about the Ascent family hauler. Subaru has had recalls on the 2019 Ascent for transmission issues and a defective PCV valve that could cause engine failure. Subaru also issued a recall for Ascent's 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. The recalled models could not be fixed and were destroyed. A Subaru spokesperson said they only sold nine Ascents to customers with this problem. The rest were still sitting on dealers' lots or in transit when the Japanese automaker discovered the issue.
The Subaru Ascent is also one of the models under investigation for a defective fuel pump, a Denso supplier issue that affects other automakers. Subaru recalled 2019 Ascent models to replace the faulty fuel pumps.
According to the Car Complaints website, the 2019 Ascent's three main problems are that the open tailgate drains the battery (average mileage 2,650 miles), and the windshield cracks easily (average mileage 1,500 miles), and the SUV fails to start (average mileage 15,650 miles). Consumer Reports says the 3-Row SUV also had two separate service campaigns for the suspension and climate system issues. All problems reported are for the 2019 model year, as are the recalls.
Does Subaru Ascent have reliability problems?
The 2019-2020 Subaru Ascent model years are dragging down the 2022 model year family hauler's score. CR's predicted reliability score is based on data from the 2019, 2020, and 2021 models, and since there are no changes to the 2022 models, it carries through.
Should SUV shoppers stay away from the 2022 Subaru Ascent?
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 is a problem affecting many automakers when they launch an all-new model. Subaru does cover the Ascent model's issues 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 2022 Ascent report satisfaction scores of 3/5. Moreover, the 3-Row SUV does well in Consumer Reports Road Tests with a 93/100 score. Sixty-four percent of Ascent owners say they would buy the same vehicle again.
The 2019 Subaru Ascent had more problems than any other model in the automaker's lineup. In 2022, the automaker has corrected the transmission and most other issues in 2022 Ascent 3-Row SUVs. There have been no significant issues with the 2022 Subaru Ascent models, and zero recalls.
What’s next for the 2023 Ascent?
The 2023 Subaru Ascent 3-Row SUV is scheduled to refresh and arrives in the second half of 2022 as a 2023 model. The family hauler will get a new front fascia outside (headlights, bumper, hexagon grille), unique interior upgrades with fabric changes inside, and a new exterior color. Reports not confirmed by Subaru say the Ascent could get a Wilderness trim level but would arrive after the 2023 model year.
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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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