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I have had 2 Foresters in the past 10 years and I Loved them. I love our Portland Service department. We used the Foresters with overhead cargo carriers. But now our age is making loading heavy stuff overhead a literal pain. So we figured…. let’s get a bigger Subaru. Went to the dealer today and checked one out and We both liked the car and the extra room. We will primarily use it for travel outings with our dog, bikes, and stuff.

We are doing some test rides tomorrow and were jazzed about working out a deal.

But then we saw the consumer reports reliability info and all of the 2019/20 transmission issues and class action suit discussions. But there is not a lot of info on 2021 reliability so far.

The Foresters were the best cars we ever had and were totally reliable.

Can I expect that from these Ascents or should I run to Kia, or Toyota?
 

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I recommend test driving them all to make the best choice for you.
There has been a decent amount of discussion on here about the various reviews and especially about using outdated data. Afaik none the 2021’s suffer from the early cvt harness issue, which hurt reliability ratings. Many members stay objective here as well, which is great considering it is ascentforums.
Personally, I wouldn’t be satisfied driving a Hyundai or Kia. Their offerings are nice but left a lot to be desired. That’s me though 🤷‍♂️
 

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Before the chip shortage the Kia/Hyundai were still selling above MSRP around here (NJ) so I didn't even bother looking at one. If that wasn't the case I probably would have looked at the Telluride, but that was the only other SUV that caught my interest. There's plenty of complaints about Ascent issues here, but nothing that you wont see in forums for another car (the vocal minority). After plenty of reading on this forum nothing makes me think there's any long standing reliability issues. I just ordered one < invoice price since I was able to find a dealer still willing to deal. Now I just need to wait it out!
 

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I wouldn't run or walk away. If you like the car, buy it. However there are a lot of great options in the segment and I would suggest you test everything. But it sounds like you are already comfortable with the brand, so hopefully the test drive will go the way you want it to & your decision will be easy.

I'm one of the people who had quite a few things go wrong with my 19 touring, but I would not ever dissuade anybody from buying an Ascent. It's the luck of the draw - most people get very reliable cars (from any manufacturer), but there will always be a few who don't.

I also had a Toyota Avalon years ago that had the unintended acceleration issue, which reared its head in the middle of a crowd as I was dropping my son off in the staging area for a community parade. Second scariest moment of my life, and for the people around me....most of which who knew me and realised I wouldn't intentionally try to kill anyone. Luckily I got the car in neutral with my foot full strength on the brake until I was able to shut the car off. When I restarted the car, it went straight back to redline, so I know I didn't have my foot accidentally on the gas. I literally could have killed a couple dozen people when it happened. I point that out because probably millions of Toyota avalons/Camrys have been sold, but I happened to have one of the handful where the acceleration issue actually happened. Of the hundreds of thousands of Ascent's sold, I got one that had more problems than most. It's just the way it goes.
 

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2021 Ascent Limited Black/Black
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I have had 2 Foresters in the past 10 years and I Loved them. I love our Portland Service department. We used the Foresters with overhead cargo carriers. But now our age is making loading heavy stuff overhead a literal pain. So we figured…. let’s get a bigger Subaru. Went to the dealer today and checked one out and We both liked the car and the extra room. We will primarily use it for travel outings with our dog, bikes, and stuff.

We are doing some test rides tomorrow and were jazzed about working out a deal.

But then we saw the consumer reports reliability info and all of the 2019/20 transmission issues and class action suit discussions. But there is not a lot of info on 2021 reliability so far.

The Foresters were the best cars we ever had and were totally reliable.

Can I expect that from these Ascents or should I run to Kia, or Toyota?
Well, don't know what you'll end up deciding, but if you do end up going for the Ascent, I'm guessing you'll be happy if you loved the Foresters. We certainly love our Ascent, and we're also in Portland, by the way (though we bought our Ascent across the river). And our Ascent absolutely LOVED its first trip up to Mt. Hood a while back. Anyway, hope you're happy with whatever you end up getting.
 

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I have had 2 Foresters in the past 10 years and I Loved them. I love our Portland Service department. We used the Foresters with overhead cargo carriers. But now our age is making loading heavy stuff overhead a literal pain. So we figured…. let’s get a bigger Subaru. Went to the dealer today and checked one out and We both liked the car and the extra room. We will primarily use it for travel outings with our dog, bikes, and stuff.

We are doing some test rides tomorrow and were jazzed about working out a deal.

But then we saw the consumer reports reliability info and all of the 2019/20 transmission issues and class action suit discussions. But there is not a lot of info on 2021 reliability so far.

The Foresters were the best cars we ever had and were totally reliable.

Can I expect that from these Ascents or should I run to Kia, or Toyota?
Before your test drive, buy 5000 consumer reports, load them in the Ascent, drive to the local recycling center and re-purpose them. You will be doing the world a favor. Then drive to your favorite view spot and read the detailed critique of that CR review that has been posted in this forum. Upon completion of that read, you will notice the Portland skies clearing, birds chirping and the air will have just a bit cleaner feel.
 

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2020 CWP Touring
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One of the most important aspects of a customer's relationship with a particular brand is the local dealer and service department. It sounds like you already have a good rapport with your local Subaru dealer, which is great. I think you can have confidence that they'll take care of you if you do have problems with an Ascent. The likelihood of that is low, as it is with nearly every vehicle out there (even the spread from best to worst is pretty narrow when considering the volume of vehicles produced).

Every brand has pros and cons, and there will be design aspects that you'll like and dislike with every vehicle out there. I agree with driving several choices to see what seems to be the best fit for you, both physically and emotionally. Physically: do you fit well in the car, in the driver's seat? Do you like the driving position? Do you have good visibility? Emotionally: do you like the car? Do you like the styling, the materials, the ergonomics? There's a place for objective number crunching and research and statistics, but there's also value in you actually liking what you bought. Don't buy something you don't like just because you think the statistics are a little better on that one vs. something else (at least in my humble opinion).

I think the right balance is a blend of both. Hopefully, you'll find something that you feel good about buying from both perspectives. For us, the Ascent was that vehicle. We have a pretty good track record with Hondas, but the current Pilot just didn't work for us. The only other SUV we were considering was the Buick Enclave. Ultimately, we liked the way the Ascent drove and I liked the boxer engine and CVT and we liked all the safety features that come standard in the Ascent that were optional in the Buick. So we bought a 2020 Touring. We've had some issues with it that the dealer has (mostly) resolved. Our service department is not all that terrific, but that's life, right? Just make the best choice you think you can make and then move forward from there. We like the car and I think our next vehicle will be another Subaru. Not because of our dealer for sure, but because I've come to like the brand's approach to building cars.
 

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I have had 2 Foresters in the past 10 years and I Loved them. I love our Portland Service department. We used the Foresters with overhead cargo carriers. But now our age is making loading heavy stuff overhead a literal pain. So we figured…. let’s get a bigger Subaru. Went to the dealer today and checked one out and We both liked the car and the extra room. We will primarily use it for travel outings with our dog, bikes, and stuff.

We are doing some test rides tomorrow and were jazzed about working out a deal.

But then we saw the consumer reports reliability info and all of the 2019/20 transmission issues and class action suit discussions. But there is not a lot of info on 2021 reliability so far.

The Foresters were the best cars we ever had and were totally reliable.

Can I expect that from these Ascents or should I run to Kia, or Toyota?
I was in same boat as you.... Had a 2018 Forester; great, reliable car. Bought a 2020 Ascent. I experienced some of the "growing pains" of the Ascent. I have a dealer that has bent over backwards to get the bumps in the road resolved.
My advice is: if you have a dealer with a great service and sales department, go for it. I was totally turned off with the KIA and Toyota dealerships I visited while shopping for a larger SUV. I knew the dealership that I had bought my Forester from was very trustworthy and knew any problems would be taken care of in a very professional way if they showed up. Go for it. Get the Ascent.
 

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I came from an 2018 Outback Touring into my 2021 Ascent Touring - I've only had it for 3 months, but it's been great so far. The only issue I had is that the HK amp went flaky and sound disappeared, but that was taken care of by my service center right away with a new amp. I too looked at the Telluride/Palisade, but no way I'd pay above MSRP these days :). I also like the 2.4T engine, and getting 24+ MPG in mixed driving conditions.

Also - as posted on this forum, the Ascent was just awarded the lowest cost of ownership over5 years by KBB. Yes, the 2019's had issues as a Y1 offering, but if you've enjoyed your Forrester, I'd think you'd love the Ascent. Good luck!
 

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I thoroughly enjoy my 2019 limited even having had the occasional dead battery issue (dealer has replaced under warranty twice now).
mad others have said - all brands have some individual cars that have issues. Hard to make every one perfect when making so many complex machines.
the good news is that from what I have heard they ironed out the bigger issues and overall it is an excellent vehicle (in my opinion).
Good luck with whichever option you ultimately go with.
 

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One of the most important aspects of a customer's relationship with a particular brand is the local dealer and service department.
In 1977 I was going to buy my first new car. I wanted either a Honda or a Toyota. The Honda dealer wouldn't let me even get a test drive without first signing a contract and leaving a deposit. The Toyota dealer asked me which car on their I would like to drive. I picked out a Celica 5 speed GT. They handed me the keys and told me to bring it back on Monday (it was Saturday). Guess which one I bought. Never been to a Honda dealer since then.

Fast forward to 2020 and many new car purchases under my belt. I thought I'd buy an Ascent or a telluride. Got a 24 hour test drive from the Subaru dealer two times a couple of months apart. Kia dealer sent me out with the salesman for literally a ride around the block, 4 right turns. Then the hard sell started. I hadn't even decided if I wanted the telluride. Who could after driving 4 blocks? If got worse from there, especially their "no-haggle" extra markup window sticker that added over $10k. Guess which one I bought.

If the sales side of a dealership can't treat you with respect, don't reward them with your business. It'll only get worse once they have your money.
 

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If you read enough of this forum, you'll see that yes there have been issues with 2019+2020, but many have been ironed out.
The battery and HK amplifier seem to be the biggest complaints on the 2021 that I've seen (and yes, even brand new ascents have the old style battery, mine was mfd 3/2021 and I have the old one).
I over-analyzed all the data, but ultimately getting in and driving it around sold me on it.

If you're been happy with your local dealer then there really shouldn't be any reason to be hesitant.

Just make sure they give you a really good trade-in value and price it well below MSRP for your loyalty.
The supply is starting to dry up, so if you want one you might want to get it before it's gone.

Good luck!
 

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The supply is starting to dry up...
Our local dealer has been plumb out of Ascents for a few months now. None. Not a single new or used Ascent on the lot.

Even the Outbacks and Foresters are starting to thin out (due to the manufacturing shortage). There's an empty parking space between each one now, where the lot used to be packed in.
 

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Ascent inventory in the Chicago-land area is down about 75% since the end of March due to a combination of chip shortages and strong sales.

In terms of your decision, I don’t have much to add other than I judged the CR report to be a bit on the harsh side. The ascent has great ratings in all categories, other than reliability.

We have had a bunch of foresters, imprezas, and outbacks in oir extended family (9), and have not had a single non-wear mechanical issue. So we didn’t hesitate and bought a 2021 Touring for travel and road trips... and we love it.
 

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I have had 2 Foresters in the past 10 years and I Loved them. I love our Portland Service department. We used the Foresters with overhead cargo carriers. But now our age is making loading heavy stuff overhead a literal pain. So we figured…. let’s get a bigger Subaru. Went to the dealer today and checked one out and We both liked the car and the extra room. We will primarily use it for travel outings with our dog, bikes, and stuff.

We are doing some test rides tomorrow and were jazzed about working out a deal.

But then we saw the consumer reports reliability info and all of the 2019/20 transmission issues and class action suit discussions. But there is not a lot of info on 2021 reliability so far.

The Foresters were the best cars we ever had and were totally reliable.

Can I expect that from these Ascents or should I run to Kia, or Toyota?
I tell you what...you find a 2021 Touring with black interior around here and we'll trade you straight across for our 2019 Limited without a single mechanical issue (CVT harness and AC evaporator recalls done). That way you get a car with proven reliability and we get the car we want.
 

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I would walk away if I had to pay nearly $50K for an Ascent. New car prices are insane right now with the chip shortage, low inventories, etc.
 

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Our local dealer has been plumb out of Ascents for a few months now. None. Not a single new or used Ascent on the lot.

Even the Outbacks and Foresters are starting to thin out (due to the manufacturing shortage). There's an empty parking space between each one now, where the lot used to be packed in.
I read an article that auto manufactures will never carry inventories like they did pre-pandemic. Yes the recent plant shut downs and chip shortages may play a role. But dealerships and manufactures have learned they'll still sell and can get more without carrier such high levels of inventory. Basically thanks to the pandemic the cost of new vehicles has gone up and won't come back down.
 

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Maybe ... I can see your point, if your reasoning that too much inventory drives dealer margins down when they are forced to reduce their stocks.

My take however, is that since dealer costs are reduced with lower inventory, they will be more likely to discount ‘cars-sold-off-the-truck’. This allows them to drive volume and increase their mfg’r rebates accordingly.

This was certainly the case w our 2021 Touring we bought it March. It was fresh to the dealer and we got over $6k off sticker. They were moving cars to internet buyers who knew what they wanted and were ready to buy (ie: not tire kickers).

Guess time will tell ...
 
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