Subaru Ascent Forum banner

21 - 40 of 80 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
Definitely drive a different Ascent, and I think you should at least test drive some of the competition just for comparison. It's a lot of money to spend and you want to make sure you don't have any regrets. I've bought more than a few makes and models that I had initially not considered... My MKZ, Saab 9-5 Aero wagon, and F-pace are some of the cars I would not have purchased if I hadn't at the 11th hour decided to test drive them.

Good luck whatever you decide.
 

·
Registered
2020 Ascent, 2011 WRX, 2009 Outback
Joined
·
472 Posts
You were upfront with the sales person (long day too), so they were honest with you. I wouldn't have batted an eye at the response, after all you said you wernt buying yet. Also, any dealer which wont let you test drive alone would never get my business.

End of the day, if you are an engineer then the Subaru should be your pick when you look at all the safety features, etc. If its the little stuff that has you questioning your choice that is usually a good thing, that means all the major stuff checks out. :)
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
Joined
·
3,042 Posts
  • Like
Reactions: James B

·
Registered
2020 CWP Touring
Joined
·
783 Posts
The Ascent basically sold itself to us as well. We're a Honda family (2005 MDX and 2009 Ridgeline), but the MDX and Pilot just didn't work us this time. We could not get the 2nd row captain's chairs in the configuration we want. I did not want the 9-speed transmission, which kept us out of an MDX entirely, and the Pilot EX-L was the highest you could get with the 6-speed, and it came with a bench only. That may have changed for 2021, but that was the case with 2019 and 2020. Our other top contender was the Buick Enclave, but too many safety features were optional on too many trims for it to be a good avenue for us. We'd have been forced into an Avenir trim which came with things we didn't want, at a price that was not appealing to us.

Plus, I wanted the turbo-4 engine in the Ascent. I wanted the CVT in the Ascent. I wanted the real AWD in the Ascent. The layout of the car is very practical for us. We like all the stuff on the Touring, including the Java Brown leather (though black is now an optional color as well). We like the tasteful styling; the Kia/Hyundai twins were out of contention due to styling for us as well.

Our Ascent has not been perfect. I'm not sure any car could be. Our dealer has not been great, though they've worked with me after significant effort on my part. I think if our dealer was better, I'd have a much higher opinion of the after-sale experience. We love the car, but our dealer has not been super willing to go even the expected mile for us (never mind any extra miles!).

I'd buy our Ascent again if given the chance. The engine is a real sweetheart. I love the CVT. Some of the programming is not optimal for me, but I haven't been 100% satisfied with an automatic transmission...almost ever (our 2005 MDX is darn close to 100%). The paddle shifters are enjoyable and engaging to use and the ride is taut, firm, and pretty playful. Our MDX feels like an old Lincoln by comparison. That's nice sometimes...but the Ascent is fun to drive.

I like the Ascent, and the Subaru brand, so much now (despite our dealer!) that I'd buy an Outback for me if our MDX suffered a major mechanical or a total loss.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Just to put some more positive vibe on this post - I'm a long time Subaru owner - my Ascent Touring is my 5th one. All new except a used Eddie Bauer Outback! I've only had the MY21 Ascent Touring a few weeks but have driven it a lot - and on the highway. I have no whistling noise. My crossbars were installed at the factory so maybe that is the key? The main consideration for me was the AWD - and in Colorado I need the best i can get! My wife and I have 9 grand-kids between us so the 3rd row seat was a key feature. Since I've had multiple Subarus, the styling is fine - I agree the style is a little "blah" - but I'm a practical engineer type guy so features and mechanicals trump styling any day. When I got in to test drive one, it felt familiar. My MY16 Outback Limited had many similar features and the Ascent seems to have improved on many of them. I didn't notice the steering wheel being smaller, but I'm short and have to crank the seat up so a smaller wheel benefits me. And the heated steering wheel trumps any size!!
It's more fun to drive than my Outback. On top of all that we are in the process of buying a travel trailer so we needed the towing ability. And the Ascent fits in my garage where most of the trucks I looked at (to tow a larger trailer) wouldn't fit!
And I'm blessed with a really good dealer with an excellent service department - so that was an overriding consideration when I looked at other brands! Hope this helps. Good luck!
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
Joined
·
3,042 Posts
The Ascent sold itself to me even before it was in production...and mine has been stellar to-date. I like it every bit as much as the top trim Grand Cherokee I drove previously. Actually more because of the added interior cargo space.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TheRaven

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
The other picky thing my wife noticed was that the steering wheel was "too small" and felt different.
From what I could find It is only half an inch smaller than the steering wheels she'd be used to, but she said it was awkward and would take getting used to.
FWIW, I hated the steering wheel too at first (seriously why is it so small--is it sharing parts with other rally car derived subies?) but got used to it quickly. And I begrudgingly like the way it's only heated where you should be holding it. At first I was annoyed by the lack of heat up top, but it's nudged me to better hand position, so that's good.

Haven't noticed any real wind noise on ours. Dealer put the rails on the right way though
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
Plus, I wanted the turbo-4 engine in the Ascent. I wanted the CVT in the Ascent. I wanted the real AWD in the Ascent. The layout of the car is very practical for us. We like all the stuff on the Touring, including the Java Brown leather (though black is now an optional color as well). We like the tasteful styling; the Kia/Hyundai twins were out of contention due to styling for us as well.
Greetings,
I was going to post something similar, but this beat me to it. And said it better...

I hate, hate, hate the whole "love is what makes a Subaru" thing. There really are significant ways that Subaru differs from other cars in the class, starting with the horizontal boxer engine and all-time AWD. (Though I'm not sure that the latter is unique anymore.)

To throw in my two cents, I've taken a few road trips with bars and box on top. Never a whistle with the Thule AeroBlade Edge bars (i.e., not the Thule bars that are a factory option) that I install and remove myself. Personally, I'd be wary of a dealer that is aware of a problem that could affect business and just writes is off as "it happens." If it is just the bars, it shouldn't be that hard for them to figure out. You'd think they would have the service department (I'm assuming there is one) try to diagnose the problem. If they can't be bothered for cars they are trying to sell, how interested are they going to be in diagnosing and fixing things under warranty after the sale?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
We are about 4k into our Ascent and we are loving it. No issues with whistling noises for us. Elevated wind noise with Kayaks on board, but that's to be expected. No electrical or other issues so far.
Gas mileage could be better. I feel like the transmission occasionally lags on shifting. I love all the safety features and eyesight cruise. Not crazy about the lane minder, but I don't like that on any car. Our dealer is fantastic and they made the whole process very easy. We are looking forward to putting many, many miles on this car with new adventures around the US.
The styling is a bit bland, but I will ALWAYS take function over form. I also have a Prius, lol. I highly recommend this car and the Subaru brand in general.
Good luck with your decision.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,687 Posts
Please see my "Got off to a rocky start"
2019 Subaru Ascent Recalled for Bad Welds
Don't worry, that's all media hype and misinformation:
  • Only 293 cars were (not) affected.
  • Zero customer Ascents were affected
  • 9 customer orders were affected
  • Subaru issued a stop sale immediately, which is why the 293 cars weren't customer delivered.
  • Subaru planned on destroying any cars that ended up having a bad weld (as opposed to trying to fix it.
  • Zero welds were bad - the robot miscounted how many it did, due to a programming error.
In just a few hours of the engineer noting the bug, SoA issued a stop sale, while they identified the issue in more detail and pulled all 293 cars for testing. To me, that's a win. Chances are, no one would ever have known if there was a bad weld. Subaru still did the right thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Thanks everyone for the input thus far.
At this point I think the "bug" that still has me leery is a few reports of moon roof leaks, also on other Ascent groups/forums. That's been an issue I've experienced in the past, and I would not want to relive it again; and even if it only happens ONE time, the car is never the same again, water can get into electronics, cause rust, and all kinds of other gnarly problems later. Granted I know this may only be a "one in a million" problem, but nonetheless does seem to be a problem. And yes I'm being hyper analytical :geek:
I am still on board, just have to weigh the moon roof option carefully.
I wish we could get the HK audio without the moonroof, or the touring in White leather, but eh, too many options adds to the cost to manufacture.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,059 Posts
Don't worry, that's all media hype and misinformation:
  • Only 293 cars were (not) affected.
  • Zero customer Ascents were affected
  • 9 customer orders were affected
  • Subaru issued a stop sale immediately, which is why the 293 cars weren't customer delivered.
  • Subaru planned on destroying any cars that ended up having a bad weld (as opposed to trying to fix it.
  • Zero welds were bad - the robot miscounted how many it did, due to a programming error.
In just a few hours of the engineer noting the bug, SoA issued a stop sale, while they identified the issue in more detail and pulled all 293 cars for testing. To me, that's a win. Chances are, no one would ever have known if there was a bad weld. Subaru still did the right thing.
thanks Robert. Facts matter, but rarely get reported in the media or on the NHTSA website for relevant points of clarification. As it stands now visitors to the website would be concerned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Thanks everyone for the input thus far.
At this point I think the "bug" that still has me leery is a few reports of moon roof leaks, also on other Ascent groups/forums. That's been an issue I've experienced in the past, and I would not want to relive it again; and even if it only happens ONE time, the car is never the same again, water can get into electronics, cause rust, and all kinds of other gnarly problems later. Granted I know this may only be a "one in a million" problem, but nonetheless does seem to be a problem. And yes I'm being hyper analytical :geek:
I am still on board, just have to weigh the moon roof option carefully.
I wish we could get the HK audio without the moonroof, or the touring in White leather, but eh, too many options adds to the cost to manufacture.
The HK system isn't great (I have it) and there is a fairly lengthy topic about it somewhere in these forums. So, if you really don't want the moonroof, maybe drive an Ascent without that package and see how much "worse" the non-HK audio is.

IMO, don't come to an internet forum to be "convinced" to buy something - I don't think that will ever end well, as someone else mentioned, the complaints are often the most poignant...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,059 Posts
The HK system isn't great (I have it) and there is a fairly lengthy topic about it somewhere in these forums. So, if you really don't want the moonroof, maybe drive an Ascent without that package and see how much "worse" the non-HK audio is.

IMO, don't come to an internet forum to be "convinced" to buy something - I don't think that will ever end well, as someone else mentioned, the complaints are often the most poignant...
Auto forums provide some important data points. A prospective buyer will still need to complete a deep dive to put all the data points in context and to determine their accuracy and relevance to an individual reader. Unfortunately many buyers do not complete their research instead relying completely on magazine reviews or forum complaints/praises without understanding the background, relevancy to true satisfaction, or context. The Ascent "CVT" issue is one example of what amounted to a false narrative regarding a faulty CVT when in fact that was simply not true. The "faulty" welds as posted was yet another irrelevant false narrative. Over emphasizing the positive aspects of how many water bottle holders or the negative aspects of insufficient cargo lighting does a disservice IMO to a prospective buyer. While the last two issues were true they are nowhere near the top tier issues to consider when spending $40,000 or so on a mode of transportation. The comments on seat comfort on forums are not relevant since this is a very personal experience. Why would I care if someone else thinks the seats are very comfortable? They either work for me or they do not and this can be determined with a thorough test drive. In contrast, I found the forum useful for keeping up with TSB issues and other updates, symptoms, diagnostics, aftermarket options, contract disputes and solutions for other challenges that arise. For those who have read many of my prior posts, you already know what I think about expectations of perfection with these highly technical machines. Audiophiles should never expect the OEM equipment to be satisfactory (its a car, not symphony hall). For those who have less demanding requirements, a simple sampling of the equipment per-purchase will establish which options might meet your requirements. My opinion on the sound has no real bearing on your experience with the same equipment. Rough ride, smooth ride, sporty enough or luxurious enough... it is all about personal preferences and all can be learned with pre-purchase test drives.

Modern vehicles provide amazing freedom of movement, safety and comfort, but they will at times all require attention, money and time from the owner or their designate. There has never been a mode of transportation for which that was not true (including walking).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Auto forums provide some important data points. A prospective buyer will still need to complete a deep dive to put all the data points in context and to determine their accuracy and relevance to an individual reader. Unfortunately many buyers do not complete their research instead relying completely on magazine reviews or forum complaints/praises without understanding the background, relevancy to true satisfaction, or context. The Ascent "CVT" issue is one example of what amounted to a false narrative regarding a faulty CVT when in fact that was simply not true. The "faulty" welds as posted was yet another irrelevant false narrative. Over emphasizing the positive aspects of how many water bottle holders or the negative aspects of insufficient cargo lighting does a disservice IMO to a prospective buyer. While the last two issues were true they are nowhere near the top tier issues to consider when spending $40,000 or so on a mode of transportation. The comments on seat comfort on forums are not relevant since this is a very personal experience. Why would I care if someone else thinks the seats are very comfortable? They either work for me or they do not and this can be determined with a thorough test drive. In contrast, I found the forum useful for keeping up with TSB issues and other updates, symptoms, diagnostics, aftermarket options, contract disputes and solutions for other challenges that arise. For those who have read many of my prior posts, you already know what I think about expectations of perfection with these highly technical machines. Audiophiles should never expect the OEM equipment to be satisfactory (its a car, not symphony hall). For those who have less demanding requirements, a simple sampling of the equipment per-purchase will establish which options might meet your requirements. My opinion on the sound has no real bearing on your experience with the same equipment. Rough ride, smooth ride, sporty enough or luxurious enough... it is all about personal preferences and all can be learned with pre-purchase test drives.

Modern vehicles provide amazing freedom of movement, safety and comfort, but they will at times all require attention, money and time from the owner or their designate. There has never been a mode of transportation for which that was not true (including walking).
I think this furthers my point, and I agree with that you're saying - a lot of info here is objective/anecdotal and not necessarily indicative of what everyone will experience. That's the same as any forum, on any topic.

I am not saying it's not a good idea to join a forum and do some research at all. I've done it numerous times; heck, I joined this forum in 2018 without a single post until late last year. What I am saying is to not rely too heavily on what a minuscule % of total Ascent owners have to say in order to be "convinced" spend $35-45K on a vehicle.
 

·
Registered
2020 Ascent Touring
Joined
·
693 Posts
What I am saying is to not rely too heavily on what a minuscule % of total Ascent owners have to say
Just based on US sales through 2020, the membership of this forum represents less than 5% of the Ascents sold. Taking into account Canadian, European, global and 2021 sales, that percent drops well below 5%.

If would be interesting to see an analysis of how many of the members post just to complain about something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #37 ·
I think it is totally fair that shopping for any expensive purchase where the item has stylistic features that each individual person has different preferences and values for will become highly subjective, so you have to take input as opinions with a grain (or metric ton) of salt.
And yes a forum will be biased possibly higher on issues because people come here to gripe and find commiseration for their problems. But even that seems fairly tame here by volume.
Agree that its about collecting many data points and distilling it down to what matters most for our family.
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I enjoy hearing both horror and success stories just for my own piece of mind, knowing what to expect is half the battle.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,687 Posts
And yes a forum will be biased possibly higher on issues because people come here to gripe and find commiseration for their problems. But even that seems fairly tame here by volume.
Oh, not possibly higher, but definitely higher. As one "for instance", out of over a thousand posts about CVT issues, one person and those responding to that person are responsible for the vast majority of posts. There's a similar trend with any such things, not just because people are ten times more prone to gripe than praise, on social media of this form, but also because such things engender conversations that increase the post count considerably more than most other topics. Especially when someone is looking for a solution.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Any normal person could get severely depressed reading these boards (or any other auto brand message board). Robert is right that gripes far outweigh kudos. That is not to say these gripes are not sincere. A major dollar purchase like a new automobile comes with high expectations on the part of the buyer. What cannot be easily judged is whether those high expectations were reasonable. Some people expect perfection. If they don't get perfection, they may express their dissatisfaction publicly. I think the Ascent is likely to be a fine choice for most buyers. For others, like us, it simply didn't end up being a good fit for either of us. I dearly hope it ends up being a better fit for the folks who bought it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
I'll start by saying I'm an engineer by trade and I over-analyze everything.
We are a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 kids 8, 5, 2.5) with occasional guest passengers.
Our daily driver is an Odyssey minivan but as the kids start to do more activities again, we have come to the realization that we need another car with additional capacity, as my sedan no longer fits everyone safely. I've read a ton of posts here before posting and while this post may be a tad redundant to some others, for my own sanity it's worth going through the motions.
I've been obsessing over the Ascent for a while as the most safe/reasonable/practical choice, vs mildly-similar 7-seaters like the Honda Pilot, Acura MDX, etc.
By the end of April I should be in a better position to go ahead and make the leap, but I'm trying to put to rest the little concerns that are holding us back.
On paper, the Ascent ticks all the boxes. But some of the posts here and some videos on youtube have me a bit concerned.
My wife and I finally got a moment without the kids to take a test drive tonight and got to the dealer an hour before closing.
The "sales expert" we got was literally exhausted. He said they had sold 18 cars just today and its not usually this busy.
Apparently people are starting to buy things again.
I let him know we already had done a ton of research, weren't ready to buy yet, and just wanted to test drive an Ascent to get a feel for it. He was fine with that and literally handed us the keys and even offered to let us go alone.
That's probably the first time I've ever gotten to do a test drive without a company chaperone, so that was interesting and in Subaru's favor.
But here's where it gets strange. We take the car in a loop around the area, and immediately noticed once we hit about 50, the car whistled very loudly. Like the howling of wind noise, and it was very off-putting. After reading posts here it could be one of about 10 different things, but I'm guessing it was the roof rack. I did let them know and he acknowledged that "yeah sometimes we have cars that whistle". Oof. Not a good thing to say.
3 Model years in, are they still ironing out the bugs with the 2021? Or is it really the best Subaru yet and because they're making so many, it's just random quality issues?
The other picky thing my wife noticed was that the steering wheel was "too small" and felt different.
From what I could find It is only half an inch smaller than the steering wheels she'd be used to, but she said it was awkward and would take getting used to. Then I told her we could get unlimited hotspot for $20 and then it balanced out.
All that said, basically we keep orbiting around the Ascent, but it each pro keeps getting negated by a con, or vice-versa.
What can you super happy owners tell us that would convince us we're making the right choice?
Thanks in advance!
Please allow me to be perfectly frank & honest. I love Subaru. However, if you are seriously considering a new Ascent please buy a Kia Telluride instead. When doing "research" for new cars DO NOT use JD Power for recommendations. If you want accurate, well tested car reviews use Consumer Reports. They purchase all the vehicles they test & do not accept loaners from manufacturing companies. The 2021 Ascent is one of the worst rated cars you can buy. Too many problems. How do I know? I read a lot. I also have an Ascent Limited with less than 14,000 miles on it. Last month, my wife & I were driving about 40 mph down a very busy 4 lane road. Just before we got to a major intersection all the dash lights started going nuts & the engine died. I could not restart it. A very frightening experience considering other drivers were flying around us on both sides, blowing their horns & giving me the finger. I propped the hood open to give other drivers a warning that my car was disabled. I had no power to even put the emergency flashers on or call SOS. Finally reached Subaru by phone & they sent a tow. 35 minutes later we were on our way to the dealer. TURNS OUT THE FUEL PUMP SHORT CIRCUITED, FRYING THE WIRING HARNESS. This is after I had the original fuel pump replaced last December in the recall campaign. I have had other issues with my Ascent besides the recalls. I would like to think Subaru or any manufacturer could work out the "bugs" after 3 years of production. Guess not. Previously, I had an Outback that was one of the best cars I ever owned. Never had a problem. I recently negotiated a solution with Subaru of America that I hope will be beneficial to both me & the company. I cannot continue to drive a vehicle that I do not feel safe in.
 
21 - 40 of 80 Posts
Top