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I'm new to forum because my wife wants a new 2020 Ascent. I am on the fence as I see lots of problems addressed here in the forum. In 2013 bought wife a New Merc Benz 350 ML and it was a piece of crap, so I'm reluctant to try with a new SUV with so many reported problems. I am a Honda guy with great experience with Pilot and my new Ridgeline and seriously consider a Honda Pilot instead of the Ascent for her. Any opinions from you 2020 Ascent owners would be appreciated.

I'm pretty up to date on cars and very handy as I build street rods and restore old cars as a hobby so I usually check out vehicles before deciding and I failed to do that on the Mercedes because of the rep that MB had....was I ever wrong on that one and don't want a repeat on the Subaru which also has a great rep. also.
 

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I'm new to forum because my wife wants a new 2020 Ascent. I am on the fence as I see lots of problems addressed here in the forum. In 2013 bought wife a New Merc Benz 350 ML and it was a piece of crap, so I'm reluctant to try with a new SUV with so many reported problems. I am a Honda guy with great experience with Pilot and my new Ridgeline and seriously consider a Honda Pilot instead of the Ascent for her. Any opinions from you 2020 Ascent owners would be appreciated.

I'm pretty up to date on cars and very handy as I build street rods and restore old cars as a hobby so I usually check out vehicles before deciding and I failed to do that on the Mercedes because of the rep that MB had....was I ever wrong on that one and don't want a repeat on the Subaru which also has a great rep. also.
No one has any opinions here. LOL The issues you have read about on this forum represent a minuscule percentage of the Ascents sold to date. All owners who have experienced some issues (including myself) have been fully taken care of by Subaru. There is an entire thread on these problems in perspective of the total number of vehicles. Most of the problems are found in the 2019 (which I have) and then most limited to a narrow range of build dates. The design is sound. Some parts have had problems from these build dates, most notably the wiring harness. Anyone with a bad harness has had it replaced under warranty. The CVT itself has been found to be sound.

My build date was on the edge, so I indeed experienced a few issues. I have had a air conditioning part replaced (it has worked fine ever since). I have had some transmission parts replaced such as a the control valve body and now the harness, (I expected this harness to go out). I never really had any problems with the drive-ability of the vehicle. I noticed something was wrong because of the dash lights going on. My dealer and SOA were great and continue to be very responsive in making me whole and limiting any inconvenience.

I own a limited with 19000 miles (acquired the end of February 2019) and love it. If your road testing of the vehicle meets your needs and preferences, I would not hesitate one bit. Before my purchase, I compared it to four competitors on paper and road tests. Every one's needs and preferences are different. We have had some owners complain about seat comfort and others who love the seats. Make sure the design works for you. No vehicle is perfect for anyone. Distinguish the minor from the major concerns and make your decision.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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Internet forums are always heavy on complaints compared to praises...folks with the latter are out driving and enjoying. It's the same in every other vehicle forum, too. Early issues have been or are being addressed.

 
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we were in same boat 6 weeks ago.
we've also had a ML mercedes series also a piece of crap not so much the vehicle but the service stunk and allowed more problems to come up i think they sabotaged the car for more service. never again.

we looked at ascent ( we already have 2 2015 OB limited 2019 forester touring ) so impressed the ascent HAD to be on our short list
honda pilot
kia telluride
ascent touring
2020 toyota highlander

highlander fell off fast since head room and size just not enough very nice but wife wanted more room and easier access
kia telluride nice features to the $$$ but my wife said wallows around turns and feels top heavy hard to park. 4-6 month wait and 1k over list
pilot--dated the only one to get to avoid the issues with the trans and start stop system pilot EX-L 6 speed trans bullet proof all others not worth it comfortable quiet but dated tech nice room. EX-L Only

ascent since we had 2 other subarus easy choice no wait blue touring available in 2 days and big issue was smooth quiet, maneuverable the thigh support and eye sight won the day

we have had zero issues with our subies

i do so love the power of my ascent smooth quiet maneuverable my wife loves it.
got a great end of year deal, 0.9% for 4 years, and $500 loyalty award very easy to say YES

as far as problems: NOPE NOPE NOPE, forums magnify the issues i have three and no problems and my wife and daughters drive them. i'm not putting my family in anything i can't trust. I trust subaru. ZERO ISSUES AND LOVE THE LOW COST OF OWNERSHIP ITS WHAT MY FAMILY DRIVES
 

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Test drive anything and everything that interests you, and go with what you like best (personally, I wouldn't limit myself to just two models). My '19 has been a bit problematic, it seems like the 20's are doing better so far.

Statistics can give you an indication of how reliable a car model is overall, but regardless of what model you buy, you cannot predict how (un)reliable your particular vehicle is going to be. So I ultimately recommended that you purchase whichever model you / your wife like best.
 

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We cross shopped the Pilot and almost went with it. It’s very similar to the Ascent but differs in a few key ways.

1 - CVT/Turbo4 vs auto/V6. The CVT is smoother now that the recall took place, but the auto was smoother before that.You should get better mileage with the Ascent vs the Pilot but I wouldn’t make a choice based on that.

2- the pilot seemed noticeably quieter than the Ascent but the Ascent has a smoother ride. The Ascent ride is comparable to some luxury SUVs.

3-Subaru’s eyesight is superior to Honda Sensing in just about every way. Eyesight ACC is rock solid and goes all the way down to zero. The Pilots ACC only goes down to 25 and then cuts out. Disappointing for 2020 and super annoying in stop and go traffic.After having Eyesight ACC I’ll never go back to a less capable system. Makes Highway driving so easy.

4-some small things. Pilot third row folds completely flat. Ascent has a very small bump. Pilot has a real cargo light, Ascent does not. Pilot center console is bigger. Ascent has more ground clearance.

5- Value: IMO the Pilot is a better deal in the lower trims because you get LED headlights which are a huge safety feature. The Ascent is clearly better in the higher trims because EVERYONE agrees that the 9-speed transmission on the higher trims of the Pilot is garbage and you get a lot more features for the price.

6-You can get the Ascent with Captains chairs at every level. Can’t get them in the pilot until the Touring trim.

7-AWD. Honda’s I-VTM system is supposedly pretty good, but Subaru’s is still the best.

It honestly depends on what you’re going to do with it. If you’re going to go off road or live in a snowy area then get the Subaru and don’t look back. Subaru’s are legendary in the snow for good reason. If you live in a milder climate and you’re going to stay on pavement I would go with the Pilot. The Pilot will give you a quieter cabin and more predictable mileage. If you are going to be in stop and go traffic everyday: neither, buy a Highlander Hybrid. Your wallet will thank you.
 

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And to reiterate, if you’re much over sea level, like me in CO @ 6,800ft, the power gap difference between the Ascent’s turbo and the other naturally aspirated competitors starts to widen significantly. Turbos at this altitude are pretty much a requirement for me anymore. A lot of people overlook this. The difference between a small 4 banger turbo and a big V6 on paper looks big to people who aren’t aware what effect altitude has on naturally aspirated engines. It‘s a 25% power loss from sea level where I’m at in CO.
 

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This is a thoughtful and comprehensive list of pros and cons, one of the great things about this forum!

I'll just add Subaru's superior crash mitigation and crash test results to this list. For us, everything else is secondary to this because when one of your kids t-bones a mini van at 55mph it changes your priorities.

We have been driving Hondas since 1991 but chose the Accent over the Pilot. After a year and a half of trouble free driving, last week we sold my wife's Accord Hybrid back to the dealer because she loves driving the Subaru so much her car was left sitting in the garage.

Best of luck with whatever new vehicle you decide to buy.
 

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you Never go wrong with the pilot! My wife really likes the pilot because we had a Honda Odyssey before and it was a very reliable car. However, what made me decide to change to Subaru is mainly because of its drivetrain. The feeling that you have a tested AWD system makes you feel that you’re safer especially during snow or rainy season. It’s all about safety. At the end of the day the decision depends of what you need. I’m pretty sure that I will be having issues with my first model year car but we will see! I might reconsider another model?
 

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A good list of pros and cons, but I would still test everything in the segment.

Go with what you like best. In the end, the only opinion that matters is yours.
 

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And to reiterate, if you’re much over sea level, like me in CO @ 6,800ft, the power gap difference between the Ascent’s turbo and the other naturally aspirated competitors starts to widen significantly. Turbos at this altitude are pretty much a requirement for me anymore. A lot of people overlook this. The difference between a small 4 banger turbo and a big V6 on paper looks big to people who aren’t aware what effect altitude has on naturally aspirated engines. It‘s a 25% power loss from sea level where I’m at in CO.
My 2019 Limited has never missed a beat in the Colorado mountains. Neither with power or traction.
 

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Yep - gotta have a turbo up here. They make an effortless mess of the mountain passes - while the N/A cars are suffocating.
 

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Here is some data:

CR 2019 - Honda #11 in reliability, Subaru #2. I drove nothing but Honda/Acura in the 1990s. They knew how to build a simple car of high quality. Now they have issues with their newer transmissions, infotainment, etc. They seem to be sitting on their fan-base and not keeping up with other manufacturers, especially the Korean upstarts in quality.

I used to race a 1996 GS-R in autocross events, and did most of my own engine work. I was reticent, even then, of the design of Honda engines. They are great for their rated power for short periods of time, but to reduce weight for MPGs, they make the engines super compact. Cylinders were siamese-d together with insufficient coolant flow. Most of the Asian makes do the same thing, including Subaru.

People buy horsepower and drive torque; in your high altitude environment, the turbo would be a better choice, as others have stated. Problem is if you enjoy it too much, the gas milage goes well below the EPA promised. For all the cars my wife and I have owned, even with our lead-feet, we get the EPA combined number as our average....until our Ascent. We average 18.8 in the winter with snow tires, and 19.7 in the summer.

These are just my opinions, good luck with whatever you choose!
 

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6-You can get the Ascent with Captains chairs at every level. Can’t get them in the pilot until the Touring trim.
THIS!!! Why Honda thinks captains chairs are an upper trim feature baffles me.

I'm not everyone but I have four young kids which means they're getting into the third row every trip. Needing to fold and push/pull the Pilot's seats every day was a deal breaker. I fully negotiated the Pilot and Ascent and the Pilot came in $2k less. I was coming from an Odyssey and was familiar/comfortable with Honda but still went for the Ascent.
 

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For us the things that caused us to decide in favor of the Ascent over the Pilot were:

1) Pilot's rear end is more sloped so that the 3rd row passengers heads are just too close to the glass of the hatch. I wouldn't want to be the guy sitting back there if someone rear ended us. And I'm certainly not putting my kids back there.

2) I HATE the Pilot's push button shifter. It's such a horrible design.

3) I had a 2015 Outback and loved that car. Even though it was the 2.5 4 cyl version, it handled and drove nicely. In contrast I do not like driving my wife's Honda Odyssey at all. The ride is terrible and the motor loses a lot of power as soon as you get higher in altitude.

4) We also looked at the Honda CRV. Yes a totally different class of vehicle due to it being so much smaller. The CRV's have an oil dilution issue in the motor where people are finding coolant is leaking into the motor. AFAIK Honda has so far pooh poohed the issue. There are a lot of upset owners. I've not seen Subaru ever treating their customers this way.

5) Subaru has a long history of excellent safety ratings.
 

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I started out with either the Honda Passport or Ridgeline in mind as near empty nester, having owned two Pilots and two Odysseys, and only needed the space for outdoors gear and because I'm 6'3". Large blind spots from the forward safety system coming down too low on the windshield, mostly related to my height, got me looking around. We put our youngest in a Forester last year for the safety systems and I'd been impressed with it over all so I went to checkout the Ascent. I found the interior on the Ascent to be better and when I took longer second test drives the subtle nature of the Ascent's refinements started to show. As a tall guy, the Ascent definitely has the most leg room in the class and the thigh support extension is a very nice touch.

Always turn off the radio when test driving so you pay more attention to the vehicle.

I hated that push button shifter too.
 

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If you want a school bus, get the Honda. The Ascent is incredibly nimble... actually sold our 2018 Outback and got an Ascent. The ride and cornering are fantastic... best driving / riding car I've ever owned. - just me tuppence
 

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kia telluride nice features to the $$$ but my wife said wallows around turns and feels top heavy hard to park. 4-6 month wait and 1k over list
ONLY $1000 over MSPR? LOL, that's a good deal! most dealerships are charging about $6000 over. That's why I walked away and bought a 2020 Ascent
 

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Our road to the Ascent is similar to many on here. 3 kids, an aging Honda Odyssey, snow belt living and have owned 2 Subies in the past (‘98 Forester and ‘01 OB). We wanted captains chairs, awd, and reliability.

Highlander... excellent, just too small.

Pilot... the Elite trim was super pricey and didn’t want the iffy 9spd , even w the 2019 updates.

Ascent... checked all the boxes for us (still a tad anxious about the longevity of a turbo past 150k) but otherwise thrilled w it. Signed on a 2020 Limited Friday evening. Should be delivered tomorrow.
 

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Our road to the Ascent is similar to many on here. 3 kids, an aging Honda Odyssey, snow belt living and have owned 2 Subies in the past (‘98 Forester and ‘01 OB). We wanted captains chairs, awd, and reliability.

Highlander... excellent, just too small.

Pilot... the Elite trim was super pricey and didn’t want the iffy 9spd , even w the 2019 updates.

Ascent... checked all the boxes for us (still a tad anxious about the longevity of a turbo past 150k) but otherwise thrilled w it. Signed on a 2020 Limited Friday evening. Should be delivered tomorrow.
congrats, thought exactly what u described on pilot and hylander. We just got our blue touring 2 weeks ago.Happy subie!!
 
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