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I am in the market for a new SUV. I have been a long time Hyundai guy but I'm open to anything right now. Really like the look of the new Ascent as well as the Mazda CX9. Been looking at the new Santa Fe's as well.

I like the Ascent for the size and space. I like the CX9 for the sportiness exterior and more luxury style interior. Those seem to be my top 2 picks at the moment.

The one thing I keep questioning about the Ascent is it being a first year model and seeing so many issues reported on here and other forums (plus to be honest, I wish it looked a little closer to the concept model on the header photo of this page too). This makes me really nervous about purchasing the Ascent right now. Should I wait until the next model year if I decide on the Ascent over the CX9?


thanks!
 

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As with any new model launch there are issues. But if you look there aren't really all that many and I can't think of a thread where Subaru is not fixing it. I too owned Hyundais and they were really nice, but I'm now 5 Subarus in an have loved every one of them!


And for every complaint, there are thousands of owners happily driving around their Subarus. I'm almost 5,000 miles in and the only thing I've had is a rock hit my windshield! I love my Ascent and I'm so glad I bought it.


This coming weekend I'm taking my pop-up camper for the weekend with my son. The 5,000lb towing capacity is really handy, yet it drives so much better than the truck I traded in.
 
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Here are some info for your consideration:

Subaru sold about 22K units from June thru October 2018, according to this stat. Their production capacity is 60K/yr (5K/mo) and they're able to meet 90% production for a span of 5 months. There's about 32 units being sold as USED across the US right now, which represent about 0.1% dissatisfaction (or other means).
 

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Plus, this is America, we're the best in the world about complaining. Forums are going to be full of fan boys or complainers. The majority of owners are doing just fine and are not on any forums.

The biggest point to remember is how do manufacturers deal with problems? Subaru issued a voluntary recall for the b-pillar welds that ended up not impacting any cars because they were overly cautious. Replaced steering columns on outbacks to be safe. Other manufacturers ignore and hope the problem isn't widespread. I'd personally take the overzealous rather than the peacock (stick head in sand) approach.
 

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Plus, this is America, we're the best in the world about complaining. Forums are going to be full of fan boys or complainers. The majority of owners are doing just fine and are not on any forums.

The biggest point to remember is how do manufacturers deal with problems? Subaru issued a voluntary recall for the b-pillar welds that ended up not impacting any cars because they were overly cautious. Replaced steering columns on outbacks to be safe. Other manufacturers ignore and hope the problem isn't widespread. I'd personally take the overzealous rather than the peacock (stick head in sand) approach.
There are a lot of noise to filter thru when scouring thru the forum or searching on Google. However, I believe the truth usually lies w/in the numbers/quantity not just qualities that's often misrepresented or misspoken.
 

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The old hyundai vehicles used old system designs leased or purchased from the prior manufacturer. It was a smart idea take outdated designs that were proven reliable and cobble together a vehicle made up of those systems. For instance my uncle loves his old Sonata because it has Ford designed parts he’s familiar with and some GM stuff. All of which he is familiar with.

The new Hyundia vehicles are now for the most part their own in house designs and more modern. The biggest issues with that brand have been their recent vehicles and their own designs. I looked at the recent suv and the seat fliping/folding mechanism is a great example of umm yeah ok their engineering still has a ways to go.

I have found that their pricing does not reflect the lower level of engineering prowess. Every brand has its area of weakness. I see several areas in their cars that are still not quite there yet but your still paying top $ to purchase. Recent issues that get lots of attention is very poor interior fit lots of plastic chafing, squeaking etc.
 

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Here's a link to an objective comparison of the two: https://www.motor1.com/reviews/262926/subaru-ascent-mazda-cx-9-comparison/

I've took delivery of my Ascent Touring on 09/20 and have about 1400 trouble free miles on it. I traded a 2016 Outback 3.6R for it which I REALLY liked. I had some concern about the performance of the Ascent 4 cyl turbo compared to my 6 cyl Outback. The concern was without merit; the Ascent outperforms the Outback six in all categories with the possible exception of fuel economy, but with only 1400 miles it's too early to tell.

If you live where it snows, the 8.7" of ground clearance can become a deciding factor agains most of the competition.
 

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Coming to a Forum like this you are going to see many more complaints represented than what is really going on in the general population. When people have an issue they reach out for help. The issue gets magnified. Rarely does anyone reach out when they are perfectly satisfied. We've sold over 100 Ascents at my dealership and I can count on 1 hand the number of issues we've seen with them. Three that came in the first couple allocations had the A-pillar cover fall off. After a new clip they were just fine. One of my own personal customers had his turbo bolts loose. Every check engine light came on and he was freaking out. They fixed it and he's been happy ever since.

I've seen more with transport damage (including my own) than I've seen with actual problems.
 

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thanks for the replies thus far... so convince me to purchase an Ascent over a CX9. The CX9 is sharp looking to me but the Ascent seems like a larger spacious family vehicle. trade offs
The article by JFR hits most of the points.

Towing, if you are planning on it the Ascent does it better. As well as cargo space.

https://www.motortrend.com/cars/mazda/cx-9/2017/2017-mazda-cx-9-touring-awd-arrival/
https://www.motortrend.com/cars/subaru/ascent/2019/2019-subaru-ascent-first-test-review/

Based on motor trend (not necessarily the best but wanted to use same company to compare with) the ascent holds a similar g in a turn and stops shorter and has a similar 0-60 and 1/4 mile. So similar performance.

Really it just comes down to what you want in the car. They are pretty similar outside of towing and cargo space. Both should have similar safety features and the Ascent was confirmed an IIHS safety + where the cx9 just falls slightly short via headlights and child safety latches. Should perform similar in an actual crash.
 

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Subaru has no previous experience or track record in manufacturing any vehicles this large and heavy, nor an engine and transmission proven to reliably handle the weight over an extended period of time. The typical course is a very steep learning curve for a manufacturer during the first 12 months of new model production, when the new model is an evolution of an existing prior generation. The easy-to-fix things will be running fixes during vehicle production, with TSB’s for some already built.

However, fixes that require tooling design changes for the body, chassis, engine, or CVT can take 2 to 3 years to implement. There will be some of those, and they are rarely, if ever, available to retro-fit vehicles already on the road.

p.s. we purchased an early-build 2015 Outback, an evolution of previous generations. It received CVT, steering gear, and exterior rear view mirror head fix/redesigns that took up to 3 years to implement.
 

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p.s. we purchased an early-build 2015 Outback, an evolution of previous generations. It received CVT, steering gear, and exterior rear view mirror head fix/redesigns that took up to 3 years to implement.

Exactly....I bought a 2015 Outback, which was plagued with new generation problems (the model, not mine necessarily). I upgraded to a 2017 because I wanted the 3.6. It was a big improvement in several areas, ie wind noise and touchy throttle. I now have a 2019 Outback 3.6 because I like all of the enhancements vs. the 2017. I am sure the Ascent is a great vehicle but don't you think the car will improve big time over the next few years as Subaru adjusts/refines? I don't blame early adopters for those who love the brand and need the space. For me, I will wait until it's time to replace my 2019 Outback.
 

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Subaru has no previous experience or track record in manufacturing any vehicles this large and heavy, nor an engine and transmission proven to reliably handle the weight over an extended period of time....
I see what you’re saying that this is Subaru’s first large SUV, but it’s not true that the company as a whole has no experience building large vehicles. They have built buses, aircraft, garbage trucks, helicopters, commercial engines, and more. I’d imagine they would have utilized some of that engineering expertise when designing the Ascent.
 

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Never Ever Subaru Owner

Since I've never owned a Subaru and had a similar decision to yours hear are my quick observations:

I purchased the Ascent (Premium with package 12) which replaced a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4 with the V6.

The first thing I noticed was the engine performance. Its more than adequate. Faster and for sure more torque than the Jeep V6. The ride is excellent, handling is great, the boxer engine is noisy when its working hard.

Fit and finish are very good. The interior layout is pretty basic and very intuitive, very Subaru? I've come to appreciate the simplicity. If you want to do something it should not require a trip to the owners manual it should be (and is) obvious.


This is a gear hauler for me, not a kid hauler, and its much bigger inside than its outward appearance would indicate.

I was not a fan of the exterior styling, particularly the roof rack, again very Subaru, but its grown on me. I'm good with it now, I saw a red "Ascent" coming towards me and was checking out the color but actually it was a Highlander, pretty similar from afar.


I love the Ascent so far, and have had zero issues so far. I'd get one!
 

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Subaru has no previous experience or track record in manufacturing any vehicles this large and heavy, nor an engine and transmission proven to reliably handle the weight over an extended period of time. The typical course is a very steep learning curve for a manufacturer during the first 12 months of new model production, when the new model is an evolution of an existing prior generation. The easy-to-fix things will be running fixes during vehicle production, with TSB’s for some already built.

However, fixes that require tooling design changes for the body, chassis, engine, or CVT can take 2 to 3 years to implement. There will be some of those, and they are rarely, if ever, available to retro-fit vehicles already on the road.

p.s. we purchased an early-build 2015 Outback, an evolution of previous generations. It received CVT, steering gear, and exterior rear view mirror head fix/redesigns that took up to 3 years to implement.
The Ascent is on the SGP modular frame/chassis and besides size and more structural adhesive there is very little that is different than the Impreza. Interior design is all same. The CVT is the same as the Forester XT with some improvements same with the engine. It is based on the 2.0dit. If you look closely at the interior bits most come from the Subaru parts bin. If anything is different and new it is the HVAC system
 

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I am in the market for a new SUV. I have been a long time Hyundai guy but I'm open to anything right now. Really like the look of the new Ascent as well as the Mazda CX9. Been looking at the new Santa Fe's as well.

I like the Ascent for the size and space. I like the CX9 for the sportiness exterior and more luxury style interior. Those seem to be my top 2 picks at the moment.

The one thing I keep questioning about the Ascent is it being a first year model and seeing so many issues reported on here and other forums (plus to be honest, I wish it looked a little closer to the concept model on the header photo of this page too). This makes me really nervous about purchasing the Ascent right now. Should I wait until the next model year if I decide on the Ascent over the CX9?


thanks!
I'll repeat what I just posted on the Complaint Thread:

"I drove 5 different Lexus's for 20 years, the last one being a 2010 RX450h (and my wife had a 2008 400h). I bought the Ascent in April site unseen, picked it up in July and the next day drove 550 miles to Jackson, WY. It was a total pleasure to drive. I now have almost 4000 miles on the Ascent and there is nothing I miss about the Lexus."

Brandon If you like the Ascent, by all means buy one.

Dave
 

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The Ascent is on the SGP modular frame/chassis and besides size and more structural adhesive there is very little that is different than the Impreza. Interior design is all same. The CVT is the same as the Forester XT with some improvements same with the engine. It is based on the 2.0dit. If you look closely at the interior bits most come from the Subaru parts bin. If anything is different and new it is the HVAC system
I am hopeful, but the Ascent has a 6,000 lb. GVW weight-hauling rating. That is half-ton truck territory.
 

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Choosing between the CX-9 and Ascent should be easy. The CX-9 is very sporty to drive and very tight inside. Feels small like an Outback. No leg room for the driver. I am bow legged so I do not like the tight space for my right leg against the console. The fit and finish is really nice on the CX-9 and the paint is very nice. The Ascent is very large inside, plenty of leg room, the front so wide and spacious. Ours is a Touring and it has very nice finish but they did cut a few corners like the cheap carpet and mats. The other trims have the silly beige bits on the dash. In the long run the Subaru will have better resale. Much more popular brand at least here in the North West.
 
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