Subaru Ascent Forum banner
1 - 20 of 98 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really want to like this car, but with all of the posts re: transmission woes, battery drainage, and now the smell of raw gas inside a car where I'll be transporting my kids, I'm beginning to wonder if there is anyone out there who has had a relatively trouble-free first year with this car. I realize that no car is perfect-and that there are many first-year growing pains for all cars-but the ever-increasing list of significant complaints (and the thought of losing time from work to be at a dealership) is not particularly comforting, especially after spending $45K. Again, I-like many prospective buyers I've spoken with-want to be part of team Subaru but we're just having a hard time getting off the fence. I'd love to hear your experiences. Thanks!
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
Joined
·
4,161 Posts
The vast majority of folks have likely had good experiences. :) It's the normal course of things for people to post about issues a lot more frequently than posting about great experiences by a major percentage. Every make and model of vehicle has some that come off the line with issues, whether it's first year or last year of a generation. Yes, first year tends to have a few more things to deal with because, well...it's the first year of course...but the majority of those things are typically earlier in the production run and get adjusted for accordingly.

I had zero concern about ordering a first year Ascent recently.
 

·
Registered
2019 Ascent Limited
Joined
·
810 Posts
I bought my July built Limited last September and after the break in, we took a 2.5 month, 8,000+ mile cross country vacation. We had zero trouble on the trip and the overall gas mileage was very good.

I did drain the battery once a while back when I bumped the rear hatch button and it was open all night. I've since fixed that problem on my fob.

I really have no complaints about anything except the Accent should be better at protecting its battery from discharging.

It's not perfect, no car is but Subaru had to drive a stake in the ground a couple of years ago and decide what to include / exclude and it may not tick everyone's boxes but overall it's pretty good. It's roomy, quiet, comfortable and above all safe.

I really like the Ascent a lot and I would buy it again for sure.
 

·
Registered
2019 Ascent Premium
Joined
·
366 Posts
Seven months and seven thousand trouble free miles here in Washington. Forums such as this focus on the issues, but in the greater scheme of things when you consider the numbers sold they are very small in number and don't paint an accurate picture of the vehicle. Most Ascent owners aren't even on this forum.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
11,089 Posts
Here's why I'd get off the fence...

SAFETY:
There are around 60,000 Ascents sold and on the road since June 2018. The complaints are few and far between. Since one of the things you stated was "I'll be transporting my kids" (and thus safety is a primary concern), then, you should be aware that IIHS has ranked the 2019 Subaru Ascent as the safest of ALL SUVs (and minivans) of ANY size or class. It beat all 70 competitors of every class, price and size (including minivans). Oh, and Subaru claims they've already built it to pass the upcoming 3rd row safety standards. Considering their IIHS scores, I believe them on that claim.



CONSUMER SATISFACTION AND UNBIASED CONSUMER REPORTS REVIEWS:
Also, Consumer Reports rates it as the best SUV of any size or class. With a score of 96, it didn't just beat the competition, it literally TROUNCED the competition - 2nd place in its segment scored a very respectable 85.

As a matter of fact, if you factor in EVERY SUV of EVERY SIZE, then, Subaru is only really competing with themselves. Subaru has three SUVs: Ascent, Forester and Crosstrek (the Outback is considered a wagon and not an SUV by CR). It's Subaru beating Subaru beating Subaru (first, second and third).


#1 96 - Subaru Ascent (mid)
#2 89 - Subaru Forester (compact)
#3 87 - Subaru Crosstrek (subcompact)

#4 85 - Toyota Highlander (mid)
#5 82 - Mazda CX-5 (compact)

I hope that puts your mind at ease. If not, keep digging through the forums. Again, keep in mind, with 60,000 of these on the road in very short order, this has been an amazingly smooth and relatively problem free car - especially for a new model launch.

ANECDOTALLY:
Keep in mind, this is anecdotal experience - my personal experience - so, give it what weight you wish. I am at 19,917 miles - by tomorrow night, I will have broken the 20,000 mile mark. None of that is a typo. I have the highest mileage production Ascent I can find anywhere in any Ascent group. On top of that, there's probably only a dozen or two people (out of 60,000 Ascent owners) who "abuse" and use their car in the ways I do. I tow over 4,000 pounds. I off road my Ascent. I have driven many miles on the soft sand ocean beaches of Long Island. I pull people out of mud and snow (after showing off by parking in the stuff that got them stuck) - I literally drive with my tow hook attached to my hitch during bad weather for just that purpose. I've done a thousand mile road trip through a blizzard and across a frozen lake in temps between 8-24°F.

To date, my problems have been: radio presets (I figured a workaround - but in December it was fixed with a software update, and the very very rare MPH switching randomly to KPH issue (also fixed with December's software update).

So, while my experience is only anecdotal, the one thing that would make me (if I were someone else) give it more weight is the ridiculous amount of miles on my Ascent, and how many of them were gained via abusing it in ways you will likely never do.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,570 Posts
I'm beginning to wonder if there is anyone out there who has had a relatively trouble-free first year with this car.
I just passed 8 months of ownership and I'm happy to say I've had zero problems with my Ascent. (I don't think anyone has had it a full year yet)
I have 4 kids ranging from childs seat, booster seat to just seatbelted. They all love to climb in daddy's Ascent! Even adults get into and out of the back seat easily and I've never seen mommy's minivan hop a curb or go off roading to avoid some traffic ;)
I don't blame you for being hesitant to spend $45k. There's a lot of SUV competition right now so choosing seemed overwhelming until I compared the few I actually liked driving. Ascent won hands down for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,835 Posts
This is the first new vehicle I have owned since 1987. It is also my first "modern" vehicle with this level of technology. I have only 1200 miles on my Limited and absolutely love it for so many reasons. Granted it is early in the mileage but I have not had any problems at all. It has been an absolute pleasure to drive in the Denver metro and in the mountains. I have yet to do any serious back country (I look forward to summer time in the slot canyons of SW Utah). I have driven in heat, cold, winter storms and fog. I had been reading this forum for months before I ordered the vehicle and test drove this and four other competitors. No regrets at all. In fact my wife who is in the market for a new vehicle for the end of this summer is seriously looking at a Forester (the Ascent was our first Subaru). My teenager son has been helping me with some of the communication and radio technology in the vehicle and I have been slowly teaching my wife about all the safety features and controls (I have been the driver 95% of the time). It is somewhat comforting to read Robert's post on his experience. As long as you have reasonable expectations and it meets your safety, comfort, budget, feature and performance matrix, I say go for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I haven't had any significant issues in 4 months and 3600 miles. No transmission issues and just an occasional Apple CarPlay glitch. I do catch a whiff of gas smell from time to time but don't know if it is due to gas in the oil or something else. I'm waiting to see what others find out because I don't consider the problem to be significant. I just changed the oil so I can monitor the level but at this point I'm just keeping an eye on it. My calculated fuel mileage is just under 20 lifetime to date and the trip meter shows 20.5 lifetime. Considering the amount of hilly city driving I do I can't really complain.



The car has been comfortable transporting family on road trips, great in snow, easy to live with around town. I borrowed a friend's 2016 Volvo XC90 for a road trip last year just prior to buying the Ascent and I can't say the Subaru gives up much in any way despite being 20k less expensive. In fact I had to drive the Subaru to help my friend dig out his stuck XC90 during a recent Seattle snow.



The big difference between the Ascent and my previous cars is that the 3-row SUV market is very competitive with a new offering coming every 6 months or so it seems. My previous vehicles were unique (Passat Wagon, Miata, Jetta TDI) so I never had a chance to 2nd guess my decision. If you need a euro wagon below 40k or a 2 seat rear wheel drive convertible below 2500 lbs, you only have one choice essentially. I'm coming to grips with the fact that 3 row SUVs are always going to have something new and exciting on the horizon. Good luck shopping!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for your reassuring posts. I agree that the problem cases tend to become a bit magnified on fora such as these. So, it's great to hear all of all of these positive experiences to place the problems in their larger and proper context. We're looking forward to ordering our Ascent in the weeks ahead. Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,323 Posts
Thank you all for your reassuring posts. I agree that the problem cases tend to become a bit magnified on fora such as these. So, it's great to hear all of all of these positive experiences to place the problems in their larger and proper context. We're looking forward to ordering our Ascent in the weeks ahead. Thanks again!
Buy with confidence, the Ascent is probably one of the most reliable vehicles you can purchase despite what you may read here. If you read the forums for any vehicle and judge them entirely on that, you'll never want to buy any of them. :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
What else are you comparing it to? For us it was quite a bit cheaper to get the highest trim Ascent compared to the Pilot or others.
I don't buy new cars often (first one in 14 years), so I get pretty excited and pour over all the details. Overall I'm quite happy, but I like coming here to ask about little things. No car is going to be perfect, but for the price I am glad we got the Ascent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
926 Posts
ANECDOTALLY:
Keep in mind, this is anecdotal experience - my personal experience - so, give it what weight you wish. I am at 19,917 miles - by tomorrow night, I will have broken the 20,000 mile mark. None of that is a typo. I have the highest mileage production Ascent I can find anywhere in any Ascent group. On top of that, there's probably only a dozen or two people (out of 60,000 Ascent owners) who "abuse" and use their car in the ways I do. I tow over 4,000 pounds. I off road my Ascent. ...

I struggle to keep up with Robert, but I also USE my Ascent. I regularly tow 4,500 lbs. I do some offroading as well. Drove a 2,400 mile road trip at 90mph plus.


I just ticked over 16,000 miles. This is my 5th Subaru and there's a reason for that.


The people that are having issues are few, but they are being taken care of too.


The fact that many people are "downgrading" from Luxury brands because the Ascent is "good enough" and yet $20-$30k cheaper also shows how well Subaru has done.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Robert.Mauro

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
Overall I'd say it's still a decent buy, but if i could have waited for them to sort things out I would have as i've had several small issues that have added up over time. Current one is still unresolved and sitting in the shop:(
I have about 9,000miles, but i also abuse mine more than most with towing a boat that is over 4,500lbs and dropping into water on steep ramps sometimes several times a day. I enjoy it more for towing in flat land than my Yukon as the visibility and driving dynamics are great , but for really long trips or anything over 6% grade i'd rather use the bigger SUV as braking and engine strain is less severe. The ascent doesn't seem to like hot weather and towing up grade in my setup, but oddly enough it yanks the boat out of the water better than the Yukon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I have had mine 2 months and a day, 3k Miles so far, and not one issue to report, other than I hate the dinging of the seat belt chime when I am slow to put it on... no car should be that **** annoying!

I have not experienced any issues with Transmission, brake squeal, gas smell, battery drain. etc...


I think that just because you read people with independent issues, doesn't mean the general population is experiencing the same problem. Overall I have utmost confidence in the AScent, Subaru in general,especially compared to my previous experiences with Chevy quality and dependability!



If it gives you piece of mind, get an extended warranty and be happy and don't over complicate the purchasing decision!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
I really want to like this car, but with all of the posts re: transmission woes, battery drainage, and now the smell of raw gas inside a car where I'll be transporting my kids, I'm beginning to wonder if there is anyone out there who has had a relatively trouble-free first year with this car. I realize that no car is perfect-and that there are many first-year growing pains for all cars-but the ever-increasing list of significant complaints (and the thought of losing time from work to be at a dealership) is not particularly comforting, especially after spending $45K. Again, I-like many prospective buyers I've spoken with-want to be part of team Subaru but we're just having a hard time getting off the fence. I'd love to hear your experiences. Thanks!
I might be in the minority because I don't drive much. I just hit 6,000 miles on mine and I've had mine since July 5th which was the first batch on my dealers lot.

I had my battery fail early on. It had a bad cell. I realized something was off and it was cranking longer so I took it to the dealer and then gave me a retail battery with little to no hassle and everything has been fine since.

My center console has a tendency to creak, which is an annoyance that I can resolve myself, but I haven't gotten around to it.

Once in a while Android auto kidnaps my speakers and refuses to play the radio.

My reverse approach angle lines have vanished a few times at random.

At low rpm's and soft acceleration the CVT "shift" points freak out and sometimes do a struggle/surge action.

Overall being an early run first year model none of the issues are ground breaking. I'm coming from a 4th Gen 3 production year Chrysler product so I have low expectations in life. Batteries will go bad, and come with production failures. Squeaky plastic parts happens and can be fixed with insulating tape. Everything else is a software issue that can be updated.

Buying any car comes with an inherent risk, buying a first year run does as well. I think in scale Subaru is only producing 60,000 units and so far the failure rate is minimal. Take into consideration that forums are always going to represent higher failure rates because many times that is where people reach out when they have issues. Take a look at the Honda 1.5 Turbo engine issues recently, no brand is safe from inherent failures.

Car's come with warranties for a reason, so drive with confidence. Many times your experience is going to be dictated by how the dealership supports you, so make sure you find a dealership that you can trust who will take your side if an issue arises.

I bought the Ascent because it had all the features I wanted, in the price point I wanted, and was the best styled, with the best engine response from the mid-size SUV's I drove in my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Like others on this forum, I am, admittedly, a Subaru fan. I've owned and continue to own many of Subaru's models. My Ascent is just shy of 16K on the odometer. I've had the front rack replaced due to severe knocking over semi-rough roads and I have had my July build Touring model in multiple times for transmissions behaviors and issues; tea-pot whistle, chirping when in goes into drive, and the dead spot when accelerating (which the ECM and other updates did improve this issue) and finally the dreaded high-revs and not going anywhere - happened twice.

Subaru has been responsive on all issues regarding the Ascent, but I am frustrated Subaru tells me the transmission is all "normal behavior". I really despise that statement. If its normal, why is it I can drive another new Subaru Ascent on the dealers lot and experience NONE of my reported issues? Subaru Corp. nor the Subaru service techs won't or can't answer that. In addition, if my Ascent had made or shown any of the issues I am now experiencing on my test drive, I would have never purchased the vehicle. Its not a slam against Subaru but fact.

That being said, I've offered Subaru my car and my time to help diagnose this issue. I've provided detail when issues occur and can duplicate. However the slipping has not happened again for a 1k miles. I want to help resolve it. The CVT tranny in the Ascent's are not perfect, yet. Yes, I'm frustrated, but I believe Subaru is listening and working with me to resolve the issues. That's a HUGE positive.

Which is why I still highly recommend or wouldn't hesitate buying a Subaru product. My only caution as dealers play catch up to Subaru's success, be very precise documenting if and when you have any issues to both your dealer and to Subaru Corporate.
 

·
Registered
2019 Ascent Premier
Joined
·
46 Posts
5900 Km of ownership during a cold, harsh and airy winter without any issues at all.

As a matter of fact, I can easily that the Ascent handled the winter better that my previous 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. Just slapped winter tires and the thing drove like a tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
6 months in and crossed the 15k mile barrier this morning. Only problem is the radio presets disappearing and that is maybe once a month.

No other problems and i have zero regrets with my purchase! This is my first subaru, coming over from honda.
 
1 - 20 of 98 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top