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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
They have a feedback email @their name, so I took advantage of that after a news article saying the 2021 Ascent is a fantastic SUV you shouldn't get arrived in my news feed.

It was chock full of the dreaded predictability ratings, which while I sympathize with our '19 and '20 owners who have had all the TSBs and other issues, but there's definitely a line drawn before the '21 MY hit, and all TSBs and issues were (to my knowledge) fixed.

I let them know to check their facebook page as they are barbecued there for terrible journalism but my contention was to stop this Subaru hate and give people real facts, not useless Hyundai/Kia fanboy MSRP comparisons that don't hold water (them: you pay on top of MSRP to add AWD then pay $5-$8k more than MSRP to buy it) as for the price the dealership wants for their SX with dealer markup you could get a Volvo XC-90 R-design @ $56k territory, while Subaru is entertaining offers 8-10% below MSRP which is in the ballpark of $15k swing!

Anyway I did a ton of research and test drives before working 2 dealers against themselves for a good bargain on the Ascent touring I got. Honestly if the Toyota Highlander had tighter steering we would've bought their hybrid powertrain for sure. But we're super happy with the Subie so I'll defend that against any amateur blogger's website anyday!
 
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They have a feedback email @their name, so I took advantage of that after a news article saying the 2021 Ascent is a fantastic SUV you shouldn't get arrived in my news feed.
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I have a 2019 Limited and love it despite the warranty work that had to occur. All in the past and frankly I was never really concerned since I knew Subaru would step up and take care of the issues. That work is in the proverbial "rear view mirror" and now at 36,000 miles I look forward to spinning that odometer for some time to come.
 

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2020 fixed the bulk of the issues. 2019 was the only true problem, and even then only a certain subset.
 

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2020 fixed the bulk of the issues. 2019 was the only true problem, and even then only a certain subset.
That may be the case, but CR seems to be giving it to the 2021, which may hurt all of our resale values if you're moving out of the Ascent any time soon:

The 10 least reliable 2021 models, according to Consumer Reports:
1. Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500
2. Subaru Ascent
3. Volkswagen Atlas
4. Jeep Compass
5. Volvo XC90
6. Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon
7. Tesla Model S
8. Jeep Wrangler
9. Ford EcoSport
10. Volvo XC60
 

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That may be the case, but CR seems to be giving it to the 2021, which may hurt all of our resale values if you're moving out of the Ascent any time soon:
CR is clearly wrong here. I've owned a 2019 Ascent since September 2018 and other than the recalls, which were nothing more than minor inconveniences, it's been highly reliable. Reading this forum, I think most others feel the same way.

Somehow CR's survey reliability data got skewed, perhaps by those who were unhappy about the infotainment system and a vocal minority who had the early transmission issues which have now been resolved. To carry the 2019 first-year issues to the 2021 MY is incorrect and misleading.

It could be reported that 2019 had some issues, but to list the 2021 Ascent as the second least reliable car is simply ridiculous.

If you find this as outrageous as I do and are concerned about your retail value, then please do what I just did and contact CR and tell them they are way off concerning the Ascent's reliability. If enough Ascent owners speak up, they may listen.

You can contact them here.
 

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Somebody asked about the CR rating on their podcast. The guy mentioned a CVT recall, which must mean the harness recall(?) He also mentions changing the tension in the CVT. Does that sound right? Anyway, CR gives some insight and says that next year's survey has to happen before rating change. A poor reliability rating combined with high owner satisfaction suggests that Subaru stands behind their products.

 

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Ah, that's my friend, Aj. It's not quite technically accurate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ahem,

Consumer reports uses their own readers input and if they don't get enough they base predictive rankings on competitor's vehicles. They go on to admit this.

Now paying customers of CR skew much older than Subaru's enthusiasts of camping and off roading. So they likely had very few Ascent owners to poll and used competitors which really who knows who they used but since 2019 was debut for Ascent there weren't many equally "new" competitors to choose from.

Hence I have never subscribed to CR and never will. It just doesn't strike me as a business model I like and I got my Ascent after a ton of research on not just Ascents, but competitors as well.
 

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Ahem,

Consumer reports uses their own readers input and if they don't get enough they base predictive rankings on competitor's vehicles. They go on to admit this.

Now paying customers of CR skew much older than Subaru's enthusiasts of camping and off roading. So they likely had very few Ascent owners to poll and used competitors which really who knows who they used but since 2019 was debut for Ascent there weren't many equally "new" competitors to choose from.

Hence I have never subscribed to CR and never will. It just doesn't strike me as a business model I like and I got my Ascent after a ton of research on not just Ascents, but competitors as well.
I've subscribed to CR since 1976 so I'll acknowledge the possibility of CR subscriber base skewing older, but we all start out younger.

Every car I've purchased for my household in that time has been a CR recommendation at a minimum in the reliability category. CR did highly score the Ascent for categories I value including projected reliability and I included that in the decision to purchase the Ascent. If the current downgrade in reliability ranking were available at the time of my purchase, I would have purchased another Mazda, the CX-9. My Mazda's near flawless reliability and driving dynamics have made them a safe choice for me and have consistently been corroborated by CR.

Purchasing the Ascent was a huge leap of faith for me because Mazda had earned my loyalty, Subaru likewise has to earn my loyalty. We'll see. Maybe the Ascent's CR ranking will rise and my ownership experience will be positive, maybe not. It's up to Subaru and their warranty and dealerships to make that happen.
 

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I certainly don't put 100% faith into anything, even CR, but at least their methodologies (right or wrong) are available for review. If nothing else, they do try to remove some variables from the equation-> ie since they follow a format, their conclusions are less susceptible to author variation.

For instance, a hypothetical situation with two well regarded automotive journalists regardingan E-Type, Eddie Alderman may have a polar opposite conclusion in a writeup such as ( E- type oil leaks are bad), versus, say Peter Egan ( the leaking oil in the garage floor is the glorious glow of the e-type engine having had a full day workout in the hills of Wisconsin, it's actually saying 'thank you' to its owner), and frame this as part of the emotional appeal of the car ( ... Peter Egan is one of the best authors I've ever read, if you love anything automotive, check him out)...

Whereas CR, because of its criteria, would have a set of parameters that all editors/authors would have to abide by ( the E-Type dripped 3.75462 oz of oil on our garage floor, we therefore deducted xx points off its score).

So I do respect them for having a methodology, it's certainly not perfect, but at least it's an attempt. It's probably easier to judge blenders, chainsaws, and lazy-boy recliners than it is to judge cars. Cars have such an emotional appeal, it's hard to boil them down to just numbers.

FYI, CR has no sway on my car purchases.. My Avalon was a train wreck, my gls and Fpace have been near flawless, and, well, you all know about my Ascent already. But, Regardless of my somewhat contrary experiences, I consider them as being more impartial than most publications.
 

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Consumer Reports' current Ascent score is from Summer 2019 to Summer 2020, and thus includes the remaining head unit bugs, and the big recalls. While CR does not directly weigh recalls into the score, end users do obviously weigh having to do recalls into their responses on questionnaires. Heck, one owner in one of the groups (who had no actual car issues) promised to tank the survey if they got it, just because they had to go through the process of three recalls "on a car I paid $50K for!".

So, the 2021 predicted (that's all they are) ratings are based on owner satisfaction surveys from July 2019 to June 2020.

They advise the score will be updated this coming year, July-ish 2021.
 

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I firmly believe what Robert is saying regarding actual owners basically being bitter about the recalls. I wasn’t happy either but Subaru took care of them easily and painlessly. I am not a CR member and ever filled out their survey.

I like Mazda too, and they’re tops as far CR is concerned. My wife’s Mazda has been ultra reliable for 80k so far. But, and this is a BIG but, one of her rear lower control arms became disconnected WHILE DRIVING. Luckily she was very close to home and she was able to hobble to our driveway with the LCA completely disconnected. I discovered the the bolt that secures it was flat out missing! That cost $900 to fix (new bolt, shock, alignment and labor). A week later both the high pressure and low pressure fuel pumps needed to be replaced. I want to say the dealer sabotaged us, but can’t prove it. That was over $2k to fix! My wife is very busy so we take the path of least resistance with her car, i.e. throw money at it. Also she has a recall for the DRLs that the dealer did not fix the first time, and did not call back when I inquired about it a I second time. I will have to chase them down to get this resolved. I’m not a fan of their customer service.

My experience with Subaru service has been great, especially now that my dealer provides new Subaru loaners as opposed to shuttling us to Enterprise RAC (yuck!). They know how to keep owners happy.
 

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Heck, one owner in one of the groups (who had no actual car issues) promised to tank the survey if they got it, just because they had to go through the process of three recalls "on a car I paid $50K for!".
My 2010 Mazda 6 had 5 airbag recalls and it took 2 years from the first announcement date until the local dealership had parts available. Two of the recalls were for Takata sourced parts, one was for a control module, one was for the dashboard material becoming too "gummy" and potentially interfering with the proper deployment of the passenger side airbag and one was for the "passenger present" sensor in the seat. I never downrated Mazda, the dealership or the vehicle in the surveys. Mazda was very forthcoming with information and it didn't bother me enough to take it out on the surveys.

Takata screwed with every manufacturer they supplied to so if anything, CR should have discounted any airbag downrates received by any of the affected brands. Except for the initial wait for parts for the driver side, all of the recalls were done promptly and at no cost to me despite the fact that my car was long out of warranty when the recalls occurred. If Subaru is as fair as Mazda, they can pull this from the jaws of defeat.

The Subaru dealer that I purchased from is owned by the same family as the local Mazda dealer. Hopefully their Subaru store is as well run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I got mine from Ramsey Subaru in NJ who I believe is part of a wider Ramsey Auto Group.

So far they have been amazing, throwing in things I didn't even ask for, and some I did.

I have yet to do the first, and complimentary oil change with their service group, but I may buy the wireless charger and have them put that in during the same appointment so I can really see if the waiting area is nice, wifi works, and who doesn't like a free cup of joe.
 
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