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Hi fellow Subie groupies!

After a LOT of thinking, I’m about to pull the trigger on putting a deposit down on a new Ascent. The (quiet yet frumpy and expensive!!) Honda Pilot gave it a run for its money, but I so fondly remember my 2013 Outback Limited (selling that thing last year was a big mistake!) that I think it’s time to return to a trusty Subaru rather than venture to an untested Honda. I also live in Alaska and have a hard time believing what feels like at least 50% of people here are wrong about the most appropriate Alaska vehicle - Outbacks still dominate our roads, but Ascents are also everywhere.

Anyway, I need to pick an Ascent trim. Both a Touring and Limited (with pano roof, nav, better speakers, etc) are available at roughly the same ETA. I don’t need all of the Touring bells and whistles and prefer the Limited’s blue color option but I will pay for the quieter, cushier trim if there is indeed a difference between the two. Finding any Ascents to repeatedly test drive is impossible, so I can’t directly compare how each trim feels. Can someone help? Are they different? I saw someone on this forum’s anecdote that the Touring absolutely rode better than the Limited, which has really complicated my decision (had nearly settled on the Limited when I read that!). As an engineer, I have a very hard time seeing Subie make major design tweaks between the two upper trims. What can y’all tell me about this?

Also welcome your two cents about the silver colored Touring. I’ve never been crazy about silver cars, but maybe this one looks okay with all the chrome accents elsewhere on the car? My dream would be the blue Touring with the brown leather but that’s not viable given dealer stock (or lack thereof) and my timing. First world problem, right?
Welcome to the Forum. I am going to try my best to bite my tongue regarding some of the replies you are receiving. I sincerely hope you will consider the more reliable vehicles Subaru sells like the Forester or Outback. The purchase of any car today is a major investment. Don't regret your purchase by buying an Ascent . I have one & will never have another. I bought my Ascent based on my loyalty to Subaru and having an Outback that I truly loved. If you don't want to take my advice then please check reliability ratings, especially with respect to problem areas as listed with Consumer Reports. The total road test score is only a part of the overall testing they do. To the best of my knowledge, JD Power and other companies do not purchase the cars they test. Only CR does. Good luck!
 

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My dealership tried offering over selling price of what I purchased it for and I have 2019 Premium- I requested it didn’t have a sunroof. Looking back I should’ve went the Touring and sunroof. There is a lot of issues with it but in the End my vehicle has saved us with others being reckless, close calls and through damage. It’s road quiet. Overall I’m still pretty good with my Ascent. If my dealership offers over $50k that serious money- Serious Upgrade to the Fully Electric Outback that’s coming out.
Sorry, it's not an "electric Outback". It's Solterra.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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Welcome to the Forum. I am going to try my best to bite my tongue regarding some of the replies you are receiving. I sincerely hope you will consider the more reliable vehicles Subaru sells like the Forester or Outback. The purchase of any car today is a major investment. Don't regret your purchase by buying an Ascent . I have one & will never have another. I bought my Ascent based on my loyalty to Subaru and having an Outback that I truly loved. If you don't want to take my advice then please check reliability ratings, especially with respect to problem areas as listed with Consumer Reports. The total road test score is only a part of the overall testing they do. To the best of my knowledge, JD Power and other companies do not purchase the cars they test. Only CR does. Good luck!
I'm sad that you had a bad experience with your Ascent. But honestly, your experience isn't universal. There's also been extensive discussion about the CR ratings of the vehicle and there are some fundamental flaws in the logic that were identified that didn't reflect the work that Subaru did to mitigate issues primarily attributed to MY19 (first model year) that didn't materially affect MY20 and MY21. Many of us have no confidence in CR anymore.
 

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I'm sad that you had a bad experience with your Ascent. But honestly, your experience isn't universal. There's also been extensive discussion about the CR ratings of the vehicle and there are some fundamental flaws in the logic that were identified that didn't reflect the work that Subaru did to mitigate issues primarily attributed to MY19 (first model year) that didn't materially affect MY20 and MY21. Many of us have no confidence in CR anymore.
Sorry, Jim. I think you may be a bit too cozy with Subaru to be objective. As in politics, let's smear the messenger (CR).
 

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Sorry, Jim. I think you may be a bit too cozy with Subaru to be objective. As in politics, let's smear the messenger (CR).
Not cozy with anybody here. On our first Subaru, after 2 Hyundais and a Nissan.

For the 2020 Ascent, CR lists an overall reliability score of 2/5. Broken down into individual trouble areas, though, it scored 5/5 in 13 of 17, and no lower than 3/5 in any. How is the aggregate worse than any individual area? I must be missing something.
For the 2021 Ascent, CR lists a predicted reliability score of 1/5, for whatever reason. Do they think Subaru got worse at making Ascents?
The owner satisfaction rating for 2020 (and predicted for 2021) is 4/5. An awful lot of people pretty satisfied with their apparently unreliable Ascents?

Something doesn't add up.
 

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Sorry, Jim. I think you may be a bit too cozy with Subaru to be objective. As in politics, let's smear the messenger (CR).
There was no smear intended. Read the threads on the subject...it's been extensively discussed here. The math doesn't work. Mr Clay's comment immediately preceding mine is a nice summary. I'm not "cozy" with Subaru other than being a satisfied owner of three current and six total, all pretty much trouble free including my MY19 Ascent Touring.
 

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Not cozy with anybody here. On our first Subaru, after 2 Hyundais and a Nissan.

For the 2020 Ascent, CR lists an overall reliability score of 2/5. Broken down into individual trouble areas, though, it scored 5/5 in 13 of 17, and no lower than 3/5 in any. How is the aggregate worse than any individual area? I must be missing something.
For the 2021 Ascent, CR lists a predicted reliability score of 1/5, for whatever reason. Do they think Subaru got worse at making Ascents?
The owner satisfaction rating for 2020 (and predicted for 2021) is 4/5. An awful lot of people pretty satisfied with their apparently unreliable Ascents?

Something doesn't add up.
Yea I was concerned about CR too. Maybe the least unreliable vehicle I've ever purchased? I know length of time it takes to get a repair fixed factors in. I know that individual survey comments factor as well. I've filled out many CR surveys, been contacted by them directly before and have had the opportunity to ask some questions about how the ratings are figured.

General research indicates most of the complaints appear to be with the electronics not the mechanics; even the CVT concern maybe was caused by a wiring harness.


Once we buy the wrap it becomes a rather expensive choice, so you better love the way it drives!
 

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Sorry, Jim. I think you may be a bit too cozy with Subaru to be objective. As in politics, let's smear the messenger (CR).
That's slightly insulting, and vastly wrong. CR themselves admits to their horrible and outdated methodology. My co admin over at the Subaru Ascent Facebook group even got it in writing from them. It's also why the score table doesn't add up to the reliability table, as well as why the reliability for the new Ascent is still listed as "predicted".

Per NHTSA, the 2020 and 2021 Ascent have had zero recalls, and zero investigations, and a continuing decreasing number of complaints. All three model years are complete, and we're now on 2022 sales. Even accounting for additional years and multiplying out the 2021 complaints by three, it would be 51 total, which is staggeringly less than previous years.

Here's the NHTSA data.

13165





Here's CR...
CR is still on "predicted" reliability for 2021 based on 2019 model year. That's horribly old school, when the data should be, and can be, processed in real time.



13166

Note the big Predicted Reliability on the top. Note the 2020 trounces the 2019 in actual reliability rating, yet their prediction is going DOWN - all because they're using 2019 for that score instead of real data already in their hands.

Note how their 2020 "Overall reliability verdict" (predicted) doesn't add up to the actual scores below it. Seriously, nothing at all scored as low as their "overall" score. Most scored significantly better, and yet, their overall score is lower than the lowest single item score.

Let's do it mathematically, shall we?
Worse is 1. Better is 5. Everything in between is 2-4. THEY scored it 2 overall.

Here's the item scoring from above:
1: 0 (worst)
2: 0
3: 2
4: 2
5: 13 (best)

TOTAL ITEMS: 17
TOTAL AVERAGE SCORE: 4.647


That literally rounds out to a 5.

Yet they scored it a TWO for Overall Reliability and a ONE for Predicted Reliability. That's insane and absurd. All because their system doesn't do the math in real time.


CR is great for a washing machine that hasn't changed in 10 years, but horrible for cars. It's time they did real time reliability, like everyone else on the planet.

That's not bias on the part of anyone here.

Oh, and though I wholeheartedly disapprove of their ancient pre-computers methodology, I am a supporter, and pay for the equivalent of TWO CR accounts.
 

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Welcome to the Forum. I am going to try my best to bite my tongue regarding some of the replies you are receiving. I sincerely hope you will consider the more reliable vehicles Subaru sells like the Forester or Outback. The purchase of any car today is a major investment. Don't regret your purchase by buying an Ascent . I have one & will never have another. I bought my Ascent based on my loyalty to Subaru and having an Outback that I truly loved. If you don't want to take my advice then please check reliability ratings, especially with respect to problem areas as listed with Consumer Reports. The total road test score is only a part of the overall testing they do. To the best of my knowledge, JD Power and other companies do not purchase the cars they test. Only CR does. Good luck!
Let me guess. You have a 2019. The problems with that are well documents and have pretty much been resolved.
 

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BACK to the OPS question.
The big difference for me was the seats.. the touring seats were much harder then the limited version.
I noticed that too... the demo cars I tested were Limiteds, and mine was a lot firmer. I ended up surprisingly preferring it - I didn't think I would. But, I think that's also personal preference.
 

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So do people think the reason for the firmer seats was the Ventilation?
Yes, that was the only difference between the two seats. Works for those that like hard seats but for me, they just didn't work which made my hubby very happy as it made sure we stuck to the "plan'
 

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I also prefer the former seats...it was the same with my previous ride. They upper trim I had featured seats that were noted to be more firm. And that made for more support and comfort over long distance travel for me. The lumbar support on my Ascent Touring isn't as adjustable as I had before, but it happens to "hit the right spot" for my body, so it's not an issue.
 

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So do people think the reason for the firmer seats was the Ventilation?
Yes, that was the only difference between the two seats. Works for those that like hard seats but for me, they just didn't work which made my hubby very happy as it made sure we stuck to the "plan'
Different "higher quality" leather as well, I believe.
 

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Seats with cooling or ventilation are pretty much always more firm than seats without. The last 7 cars we've owned had ventilated or cooled seats. And they were all firmer than the same models without that feature ( there has to be some firmness to the structure in order for the air passages not to be compromised). I have found cooled seats to be preferable to ventilated seats, but having either feature is better than not having it at all.
I'd agree that the leather on the touring is a little bit nicer, or perhaps more accurately, more durable feeling than other models..
 
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