2022 Subaru Ascent pricing, features, reliability
Denis Flierl's picture

Why The Subaru Ascent 3-Row SUV Is Now The Black Sheep Of The Family

The 2022 Subaru Ascent just made Consumer Reports' ten least reliable cars list again. Here are the problems with the 3-Row family hauler.

Is the 2022 Subaru Ascent a reliable SUV? According to a new study from Consumer Reports, the 2022 Ascent 3-Row family hauler is one of the ten models with the greatest risk of problems.

According to CR's analysis, the ten cars with the most significant risk of problems include the 2022 Subaru Ascent. The SUV gets a reliability score of 60 out of 100 and is the 10th least reliable new car. CR says trouble spots are the transmission, power equipment, brakes, in-car electronics, and climate system. CR gives the Ascent a 1/5 for predicted reliability.

2022 Subaru Ascent pricing, features, reliability

Consumer Reports' ten least reliable cars

The ten least reliable cars counting down to the least reliable model are the Subaru Ascent, Chrysler Pacifica, Tesla Model Y, Volkswagen Tiguan, Volvo XC90, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford Mustang, Ford Explorer, and Mercedes-Benz GLE (least reliable).

CR says the Ascent 3-Row SUV initially had average reliability, but transmission problems, sometimes requiring a replacement, have lowered its reliability score. 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.

2022 Subaru Ascent pricing, features, reliability

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.

Overall reliability verdict for the Ascent

CR says the 2019 and 2020 Ascent model years had the worst reliability rating, improving for 2021 models. CR's prediction is based on data from 2019, 2020, and 2021 models, and since there are no changes to the 2022 models, it carries through. Consumer Reports ranks the 2022 Ascent number eleven out of fourteen 3-Row midsize SUVs.

Does Subaru have reliability problems?

Subaru ranks in the top 25 percent of automakers in Consumer Reports' latest testing. According to a recent 2021 study from Consumer Reports, out of twenty-eight automakers in the U.S. market, Subaru scores number seven overall in predicted reliability, putting them at the top 25 percent of the most reliable car brands category. You can read the complete report here.

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's 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 newer Ascent models report overall satisfaction scores of 3/5. And the 3-Row SUV does well in Consumer Reports Road Tests with a 93/100 score.

The 2019 Subaru Ascent had more problems than any other model in the automaker's lineup, but there have been no significant issues reported for the 2022 Subaru Ascent models. It appears like the automaker has corrected the transmission and most other issues in 2021 and 2022 Ascent 3-Row SUVs.

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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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We own a 2019 Ascent. I can only vouch for brake issues, nothing more. Perhaps we are the fortunate ones. Subaru was definitely slow on the uptake (three years) to ultimately provide solid replacement brake pads - but at least they paid the bill for the 7-8 brake jobs we had since purchase. Interestingly, the dealership’s response was always “it’s the heaviest vehicle they’ve ever built, hence the issue.” My response always was “heavier vehicles have been on the road from other manufacturers since before I was born :-) - this is not a novel problem.” Otherwise we love our Ascent.
I would never consider purchasing ANY Subaru model. Way too many (serious) recalls for my taste. Subaru's are WAY overrated.
I've owned two Subaru so far - a 2001 Legacy GT Limited and, now, a 2013 Legacy GT. Both have been rock solid, with the biggest issue being the head gasket problem on the 01. For a 20 year old car in the Pennsylvania winters and copiously salted roads, it has held up well. Both have served us well in weather that would (and has) left lesser vehicles stranded - granted, we also run a good set of tires (and I have a set of Blizzaks for the 13 which makes it a pure snow monster when the conditions require). The AWD system on both does a great job moving power, and took some getting used to after driving a 1990 Pathfinder for so long. Of course the Ascent is going to have its teething issues, and subaru has had a few black eyes due to production line mishaps. I believe they can sort it out though.
If you’re not interested in Subarus then why are you here and taking the time to comment?
And then everyone clapped for Eric.
That's a crock on Subaru's part I had a 2006 Tribeca which was much heavier than anything that came after it up until the ascent was made. I Don't know the weight of the ascent but the Tribeca that I had that was nearly 5000 lbs it was the only year Subaru made them that big as it was the first year of production. I put 130,000 miles on it and I didn't have any of the issues you described I think I only did one brake change all around!
The 2019 model year Ascent is reason the reliability ratings are low for the model. Issues were addressed by Subaru and reliability for each subsequent model year improved. The transmission issue noted as a problem in the 2019 models was actually a faulty wire harnes that caused transmission problems, the transmission itself was not the problem. My 2021 Ascent has 12,000 trouble-free miles on it and I expect much of the same over it's lifetime.
Our 21 ascent has 31,000 trouble free miles.
I have a 2020 and have no issues at all in 26k miles. I agree, I think the 2019 models are dragging down the ratings.
My 2020 Ascent is on its 3rd transmission in less than 70k miles.
I wonder if my 2019 Crosstrek is missing weld spots too but in the A-pillar area. It creaks, taps and rattles like a school bus over bumps and the dealer can’t figure it out. What a frustrating experience.
Very misleading article that appears to damage the reputation of a great automobile. No doubt the 2019 model year was bad for the brand but all has been taken care of by Subaru. I’m a proud owner and stand by my decision to buy an Ascent.
We have a 2020 with 38k and have had to do nothing on it yet other than oil changes.
So they are dinging for problems they already fixed. Never have liked CR.
I had an early 2019 and consequently, one of the early transmission failures. Subaru was great in replacing the trans and honestly, in 96,000 miles it was easily the best car I have owned. I believe n the car and the company behind the car!
We have a 2019 ascent and have no problems. We purchased this vehicle due to Consumer reports great rating ratings. This is a little disturbing.
2019 Ascent: Numerous brake issues, replaced pads and rotors a few times. Took in for all the recalls. Have a problem on start-up when a huge plume of smoke comes from the exhaust when cold started. Goes away but pretty worrying. Took in and they WERE able to replicate it, but couldn't find anything wrong... Not sure how this is possible...
I own a Subaru. I Did not have any issue with it. And I love my car. This website always gives negative feedback about Ascent. I am sure you are paid to promote those l these stories.
The report is falsely generated, based on nothing. Don’t know how much the competitors pay to make a report like this! Probably huge! Right now we have a WRX 2020 and a Crosstrek 2019, and buying an Ascent asap with a plan for a BRZ for the newest driver of the family! Never had any issue with our Subarus. Drive them on a 2 feet snow and you won’t buy any other cars! I wish Subaru sue the reporter.
I had transmission completely replaced on my 2021 Ascent at 750 miles! Brand new car! Now having problem with odd brake sounds & front passenger side door won't unlock. Going back in thevshop this week!!!
The CVT is the problem. They are bad to begin with in any vehicle. CVT is definitely a bad idea for such a large heavy vehicle. CVTs do bad with high weight and high torque. Maybe subaru has found a fix for that with their new "SPT" CVT transmission. I still wouldnt touch one with a 10ft pole.