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My wife and I are had a '14 Outback and loved it ... unfortunately it recently "died" because of CVT engine issues. Apparently this was a known issue and we didn't qualify for the extended warranty because we were 28k miles past coverage. We've read Consumer Reports' reviews on the Ascent, and sounds like 2019-2021 were prone to similar issues, and we can see that on Reddit too. Any feedback/improvements for the 2022 model year? I know much hasn't changed visibility, but wondering under the hood. Thanks!
 

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I’d encourage searching and reading all the threads on the CVT here. They can be lengthy though!
Some, mostly 2019, did have issues with the CVT wiring harness, not the CVT itself. Once that problem was identified and resolved the chatter about CVT problems has died off dramatically! Our CVT is also much heftier than the one in a ‘14 outback.
There aren’t a lot of ‘22 models out there yet, relatively, but I haven’t read many complaints of CVT problems for some time now.
I hope that helps alleviate some of your concerns. Happy reading if you decide to fully research it! Welcome to the forum!
 

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My wife and I are had a '14 Outback and loved it ... unfortunately it recently "died" because of CVT engine issues. Apparently this was a known issue and we didn't qualify for the extended warranty because we were 28k miles past coverage. We've read Consumer Reports' reviews on the Ascent, and sounds like 2019-2021 were prone to similar issues, and we can see that on Reddit too. Any feedback/improvements for the 2022 model year? I know much hasn't changed visibility, but wondering under the hood. Thanks!
I've got about 13K miles on my '21 Touring and have had no problems so far.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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The CR report has been discussed at length and does not represent reality, especially for MY20 and MY21. The TR690 transmission in the Ascent is a proven unit that's been in use for twelve years, too. Other than a range of VINs for MY19 that had a bad harness as mentioned above (dealt with via a recall) I do not believe there is anything other than an expected normal incidence rate of transmission failure for the Ascent.

My MY19 has been virtually flawless.
 

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2020 Subaru Ascent Touring
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The CR report has been discussed at length and does not represent reality, especially for MY20 and MY21. The TR690 transmission in the Ascent is a proven unit that's been in use for twelve years, too. Other than a range of VINs for MY19 that had a bad harness as mentioned above (dealt with via a recall) I do not believe there is anything other than an expected normal incidence rate of transmission failure for the Ascent.

My MY19 has been virtually flawless.
Unfortunately, that hasn't been my experience. I have a 2020 Ascent Touring, the first 2020 model arriving off the truck at my local Subaru dealership and simultaneously purchased July 31, 2019. It's currently at the dealership where I purchased it and have it serviced with a mere 55,760 miles on the odometer, awaiting a new/out-of-stock CVT. This is also my first Subaru, but I have been a Japanese-brand enthusiast and vehicle owner since my first Honda purchase at age 18. I am very on-time/early preventive maintenance oriented. I'm a busy realtor these days, but in the 1990's I was a busy manufacturer's rep selling automotive service equipment, which included pioneering the sales of one of the first through-the trans-cooler-line automatic transmission fluid exchangers. So I know the value of regular ATF fluid replacement to extend the life of transmissions. It was a game-changer for extending automatic transmission life, so much so that manufacturers started removing transmission fluid dipsticks from new vehicles and installing fluid temperature control valves on the transmission cooler line flow ports to make ATF fluid changes procedurally time-consuming, difficult, and ultimately eliminating the utility of an ATF exchanger to most automotive service centers. Suddenly manufacturers were pitching "filled for life" transmissions on their new vehicles. Planned obsolescence reigns on...vehicles are built to last 120,000 miles before an expensive, major component failure ( such as a transmission) that drives people to buy a new car rather than spending thousands to fix their current vehicle. Auto manufacturers need/want people need to buy new cars more often, parts need to wear out, transmissions are a "part," and by the way the parts departments at all dealerships sell new/remanufactured transmissions, and dealership service departments install them...for hefty prices. I followed the severe duty schedule for the CVT transmission, doing a drain & fill of the CVT fluid at 25,000 miles and again at 50,000 miles. (I'm told very, very few customers do that with these CVT's. It's a $400 service, parts and labor, but how many times can you spend $400 before the cost of maintenance even comes close to the cost of a $10,000 CVT replacement, right?) Outside of the fact that I live in Northeast Florida in a hotter climate parts of the year, my Ascent has not lived a life of "severe duty." I've towed a utility trailer with it all of 3 times, probably less than a total of 80 miles combined those 3 times, and I drive "normally." At about 28,000 miles when the original equipment Falken tires were well worn, with some slight but normal cupping on the outside tread, I started feeling a vibration/chugging sensation on sharp, low speed turns (backing up or pulling forward onto streets/from driveways running perpendicular) that would go away as soon as the steering wheel was partially straightened out. At 32,000 miles I replaced the well-worn Falken tires with much better tires for this vehicle, the Hankook Ventus 1 Noble 2 that is installed as original equipment on the Kia Telluride/Hyundai Palisade. Those vibration/chugging sensations went away immediately with the new tires. As odd as this is going to sound from a self-professed car guy, I let myself assume that somehow the combination of full-time all wheel drive (which I've never owned/driven before) with two differentials and worn/cupped tires created that sensation. I didn't feel it return again until I had about 23,000 miles on the replacement Hankook tires...and then it was a regular occurrence daily. I took it in for regular maintenance at 54,000 miles. The tech noticed the vibration/chugging sensation driving it in and out of the service bay, let my service advisor know that it was a clutch issue from the CVT, and the service advisor called me to let me know that when he had a loaner vehicle available in about 5 business days, that I was to bring my Ascent in for a replacement transmission. On the last two days of that 5 day stretch for my scheduled service turn-in appointment, under moderate to harder acceleration, I suddenly had a high pitched whine coming from the CVT that I'd never experienced previously, and a loud pop and bump sensation 2 or 3 times. That's when I looked for, found, and joined this wonderful forum. Apparently I'd had my head in the sand, as I didn't know about the recall on the 2019 Ascents for the CVT issue until I read about it in this forum. Supposedly I do not have a VIN associated with that recall/TSB. I asked my service advisor if he'd had any other 2020 Ascents (other than mine) brought in for service that needed a new CVT. He told me that he had not, but reminded me that I had the first-delivered and highest-mileage 2020 Ascent that he knew of sold & serviced by this particular dealership. He did tell me that their shop foreman/head tech called other top techs he knows at other dealerships, as well as Subaru of America, and all parties he contacted confirmed that this vibration/shudder/chatter through tighter, 90 degree-ish, low-speed turns is indeed clutch failure within the CVT, and that teardowns on returned units that involved only clutch replacements and subsequent testing was not a long-term fix...the CVT in it's entirety must be replaced. I purchase brand new vehicles, and I keep/drive my vehicles somewhere between 250,000 - 300,000 miles. I've never replaced a transmission in any vehicle I've ever owned with less than 160,000 miles on the odometer. I asked the service advisor what it would cost me out-of-pocket, parts & labor total, if I were paying for this CVT replacement. He said "almost $10,000." CVT's have LESS components/parts than a conventional automatic transmission, and cost LESS to manufacture. Frankly, I find that to be an insane amount of money for a non-luxury branded vehicle. I've called/emailed/written to Subaru of America to see what, if anything, they would/will do to extend the powertrain warranty beyond the conventional parts department warranty, as frankly, as much as I drive, that would give me only about one year of warranty coverage on the new CVT. If my thinking is flawed, help me understand, but even an extension of the powertrain warranty to 100,000 miles, which I suspect they may well agree to do ultimately if they did so for 2019 Ascents that were part of the recall, is basically an admission that the "beefier" CVT transmission installed in the Ascent is a product that has a "life expectancy" of 50,000 - 60,000 miles. Then I have to decide how soon I sell my Ascent and buy something else more reliable in the transmission department, because I'm not going to spend $10,000 on a replacement CVT every 50,000 miles or so and drive it 250,000 miles like I am accustomed to doing. I paid $43,500 plus taxes, tag & DOC fee to buy it. Somehow it doesn't make sense to me to pay $40,000 for replacement transmissions over what I assumed was the reasonable expected service life of this vehicle, given Subaru's longevity and durability reputation. It goes without saying that I'm extremely disappointed. I'm not an early adopter of new technology. I let other early adopters work the bugs out of a product before I buy it. 12 years of CVT's in other Subaru models sufficient. I watched Nissan work out their early CVT woes with improvements and enhancements, and they seem to have things optimized and reliable. We also own a 2020 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring, equipped with a CVT. Again, it seems that the number of years of use of CVT's in Hondas has produced a time-proven, reliable transmission. Interestingly though, in their biggest/heaviest vehicles, Honda still equips them with a conventional automatic transmission. A 2020 Honda Pilot Touring Elite was a close contender for us to buy in lieu of the Subaru Ascent. I made the final decision to opt for our first Subaru. I hope I don't long-term come to regret that purchase decision. A 100,000 mile extension of my powertrain warranty (to 150,000 miles from 60,000 miles) would make me feel confident that Subaru believes in the future of this CVT in this vehicle platform. A 50,000 mile extension of my powertrain warranty (to 100,000 miles from 60,000 miles), which I anticipate, will do little to encourage me to keep this vehicle. That's really too bad, because other than the CVT, it has met and/or exceeded my expectations and I really feel like it's the best vehicle in it's segment at this price point as well as higher price points in luxury brands. It's a great value for under $50,000.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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Glenn, there will always be some vehicles that have issues. Sad that you seem to have gotten one of them. If in the end you are uncomfortable keeping it, then it would likely be best to move on when the time is right for you.
 
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