I think it is the whole model year vs actual year. I really don't understand why the model year is ahead of the actual year. Or why models for 2019 model year can be released in 2019. For example, the 2019 honda passport was announced in feb 2019. Which means it actually can be consider the model year 2019 even though the ascent was considered 2019 model and announced in 2017.
So I think consumer reports are stating that of the Model Year 2019 was good. And the Actual year of 2018, subaru did well. They just had to wait until all the models for the model year 2019 was launched.