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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.
DOC, I HAVE ALL THE RECEIPTS. This isn't about "perfection". Such a thing does not exist in the car manufacturing world. Please see my very recent reply to LinuxNerd. I hope you will understand there are some serious engineering & build quality issues with the Ascent. I love Subaru in general & over the years they have treated me very well. My Outback was one of the best cars I ever owned. The same cannot be said for the Ascent. 3 build years of problems. Please read CONSUMER REPORTS ratings for all 3 model years.
 

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DOC, I HAVE ALL THE RECEIPTS. This isn't about "perfection". Such a thing does not exist in the car manufacturing world. Please see my very recent reply to LinuxNerd. I hope you will understand there are some serious engineering & build quality issues with the Ascent. I love Subaru in general & over the years they have treated me very well. My Outback was one of the best cars I ever owned. The same cannot be said for the Ascent. 3 build years of problems. Please read CONSUMER REPORTS ratings for all 3 model years.
I sympathize with the you for the troubles you've had. I think I made it clear that complaints can be sincere. Ironically, it was Consumer Reports that first got me interested in the Ascent back in late 2018. They scored the 2019 model off the charts (somewhere in the 90s). Called it their "best car in the category," and put it on the cover of their 2019 auto issue. Now, CR says it is "not recommended." CR rates the 2021 a "60."
 

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I find the board pretty fair. I've had my share of issues but I try to be honest and realistic about things, and I know my experience is atypical. But I also know if you have a problem and approach it civilly, plenty of members will offer advice. Coming out guns blazing with your first post will generally get you nowhere...

I think the board is good for somebody to get an idea of pros and cons but shouldn't be the main source of information on a purchase. There is as much pro bias as there is con bias (possibly more, as this is a Subaru board)...
In the end we all voted for the Ascent with our pockets, chequebooks, credit cards, or left arms in some cases.
 

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Alas, that brings us back to anecdotal complaints. I wonder what responsibility your dealership has for creating your issue, when you're literally the first and only person who's had a fuel pump fry the car's harness, in here, or in the Facebook group I help run. So very sorry you ran into that situation, but, you're the only one, so far - so, that smells of fluke or installation error during the recall. And, I hope it stays that way (it's been a while, so, so far, so good).

I am glad that, regardless of the cause (fluke or bad install), that Subaru apparently made it right for you. I do understand you not feeling safe after such a situation, regardless of cause.

But, let's get to the 2021. Keep in mind that Consumer Reports has NOT rated the actual reliability of the 2021 Ascent.

They've predicted the 2021 Ascent reliability based on the 2019 Ascent data from their questionnaires, even while noting that reliability increased in the 2020 Ascent (we who run the FB group asked, it's EXACTLY what they did). Consumer Reports is a GREAT resource, but, quite frankly, we have computers, and they need to learn how to make better use of them. They're horridly behind in data updates for their predicted ratings, and, it's far from just the Ascent. It really should be real time and ongoing. Instead, they're literally rating the THIRD year (2021) of a vehicle, off the FIRST year (2019) of production while their ancient algorithm can't take into account the SECOND year (2020) of production, nor the data they're already collecting on the 2021.

Don't get me wrong - I am and have been a paid subscriber for YEARS (3.5 years, on this account, with donations), and before me, so has been my family (for decades, to this day). I like their reviews and the consistency of them. And, even when they don't know a specific product very well, they do try to remain unbiased. But, again, it's time they bring their ranking and data usage out of the stone age and into current times.


IMAGINE...
Imagine trying to read reviews for the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (something I am interested in), and, they give me a review/rating based on the Note 9 even though they (versions are Note 7, 8, 9, 10/10+, 20/20 Ultra).

Or imagine a couple years ago, me looking for ratings on the Note 9 (which I bought and kept to this day to use as my spare phone) and I see ratings for the exploding Note 7 being masqueraded as ratings for the Note 9 under "predicted ratings".

Each of those phones are slight evolutions on the last, with more bugs and kinks worked out. Just like each model year of the Ascent. I won't settle for predicted reliability ratings of the FIRST model year for cars in the THIRD model year, especially when they already have the data (or should) for the SECOND and THIRD model year.

11795



SIDE NOTE:
Consumer Reports told us they will be "updating" their ratings in July 2021 with the new data they've been collecting and sitting on. They were NOT clear whether that meant changing existing ratings across the years.
 

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2020 Ascent, 2011 WRX, 2009 Outback
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I never read any of the consumer reports (or other) type of stuff. I'll read some forums, talk with people in person, but at the end of the day make my own silly decisions.

We test drove a Chevy car back in 2005 and decided against it. Why? Because I thought the cruise control stalk was completely stupid. Ended up buying an Outback a week or so later. And that was after personally owning a few GM vehicles as well as growing up with them.

Fast forward 15 years and 2 additional Subaru's later, bought our 4th Subaru the Ascent. And yes the forums had me dead scared, but I just decided to tune them out :)
 

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Alas, that brings us back to anecdotal complaints. I wonder what responsibility your dealership has for creating your issue, when you're literally the first and only person who's had a fuel pump fry the car's harness, in here, or in the Facebook group I help run. So very sorry you ran into that situation, but, you're the only one, so far - so, that smells of fluke or installation error during the recall. And, I hope it stays that way (it's been a while, so, so far, so good).

I am glad that, regardless of the cause (fluke or bad install), that Subaru apparently made it right for you. I do understand you not feeling safe after such a situation, regardless of cause.

But, let's get to the 2021. Keep in mind that Consumer Reports has NOT rated the actual reliability of the 2021 Ascent.

They've predicted the 2021 Ascent reliability based on the 2019 Ascent data from their questionnaires, even while noting that reliability increased in the 2020 Ascent (we who run the FB group asked, it's EXACTLY what they did). Consumer Reports is a GREAT resource, but, quite frankly, we have computers, and they need to learn how to make better use of them. They're horridly behind in data updates for their predicted ratings, and, it's far from just the Ascent. It really should be real time and ongoing. Instead, they're literally rating the THIRD year (2021) of a vehicle, off the FIRST year (2019) of production while their ancient algorithm can't take into account the SECOND year (2020) of production, nor the data they're already collecting on the 2021.

I like their reviews and, that even when they don't know a specific product very well, they do try to remain unbiased, but, again, it's time they bring their ranking and data usage out of the stone age and into current times.
very good points re CR
 

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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.
...
Negativities tends to be the representative of the truth on the internet these days. 😉😉😉

All engineers are created equal so you should be able to appreciate the RWD type architecture like I do :p :p :p . It's the primary reason why I bought it in 2018, and there was no direct competitor at that time until Ford recreated the Explorer in 2019. Ford realized they screwed up significantly since 2010 and had to revert back their original design, engine tranny positioned longitudinally like the Ascent. There is no other 7/8 mid-size CUV at this price point that's built this way.
 

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Yep, and then Ford re-recreated the Explorer mid model year for the 2020 Explorer.
 

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Negativities tends to be the representative of the truth on the internet these days. 😉😉😉

All engineers are created equal so you should be able to appreciate the RWD type architecture like I do :p :p :p . It's the primary reason why I bought it in 2018, and there was no direct competitor at that time until Ford recreated the Explorer in 2019. Ford realized they screwed up significantly since 2010 and had to revert back their original design, engine tranny positioned longitudinally like the Ascent. There is no other 7/8 mid-size CUV at this price point that's built this way.
I must admit that having the engine facing forward instead of sideways was a selling point for me too.
 

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Lack of 360 camera is the biggest reason it's not selling.
There are too many other SUV's that have 360 bird's eye view as optional or standard, so no reason to choose the Ascent.
If they couldn't engineer a few cameras into this car to improve safely and reduce stress when backing up, then what else did they skimp on?

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!
 

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Lack of 360 camera is the biggest reason it's not selling.
There are too many other SUV's that have 360 bird's eye view as optional or standard, so no reason to choose the Ascent.
If they couldn't engineer a few cameras into this car to improve safely and reduce stress when backing up, then what else did they skimp on?
So if you think no 360 bird's eye view = no reason to choose the Ascent, sounds like you are saying that the 360 view is by far the single most important feature any car can have? Maybe it's just me, but though a 360 view would be nice, I can think of a ton of things that are higher up on my list of important features I'd be looking for in any vehicle.
 

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Ugh, I hate typos. BY far, not BAR far is what I meant to type. How do I edit?
 

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Lack of 360 camera is the biggest reason it's not selling.
There are too many other SUV's that have 360 bird's eye view as optional or standard, so no reason to choose the Ascent.
If they couldn't engineer a few cameras into this car to improve safely and reduce stress when backing up, then what else did they skimp on?
the next gen of eyesight will leap frog the 360 feature. BTW, I have windows that have worked for 45 years with my no fault accidents to date. the additional sensors of the next gen will be great.
 

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Lack of 360 camera is the biggest reason it's not selling.
Um...I kinda doubt that, honestly. The average driver wouldn't even notice that kind of higher end feature and vehicle companies tend to cater mostly to their larger market. The Ascent's price point is at the low-mid point for the class, too. I know many folks think that an Ascent Touring at about $48K list is expensive, but honestly, it's not even close to the higher end at all these days.
 

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Um...I kinda doubt that, honestly. The average driver wouldn't even notice that kind of higher end feature and vehicle companies tend to cater mostly to their larger market. The Ascent's price point is at the low-mid point for the class, too. I know many folks think that an Ascent Touring at about $48K list is expensive, but honestly, it's not even close to the higher end at all these days.
head on a swivel works just as well. Just one more piece of electronics to stop working.
 

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Um...I kinda doubt that, honestly. The average driver wouldn't even notice that kind of higher end feature and vehicle companies tend to cater mostly to their larger market. The Ascent's price point is at the low-mid point for the class, too. I know many folks think that an Ascent Touring at about $48K list is expensive, but honestly, it's not even close to the higher end at all these days.
Perception is key. Anecdotally, everyone I know considers Subaru to be the most expensive non-luxury brand.

When I told my coworkers that I got an Ascent, used or not, more than one was lamenting about wanting a Subaru, but not being able to afford one.

Additionally, I found this article, though I don't know how accurate of a source it is...
 

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New to the forum and I love my 2021 Ascent Touring. It’s my 3rd Subaru after a 2004 Forester XT turbo and my beloved 2014 Outback 3.6R. Could the mileage be better? Probably if I drove more mellow. But I love the way it drives at all speeds including in tight parking lots.

The Eyesight is amazing. Driving with ACC on and letting it steer me between the lines on the freeway makes me literally lol. The HK sound system is just fine. The cameras and technology kick ass. I love the interior, the cargo room, and the exterior looks. I love the heated steering wheel and seat heat and cooling. It’s quiet and smooth and has great visibility in all quadrants. I sit up high. Subie warns me when someone is close and has already saved me from potentially backing into someone passing behind me in a parking lot.

I bought it in February from a local dealer in San Diego who beat the Costco Buying Program price ($47K out the door) and I have 1400 miles on it. The only things so far I’m not thrilled with are how long the Tom Tom navi takes to calculate a route (Garmin rules!), and the little piece of fabric on the front seatbelt that positions the buckle because it rides on my lower abdomen. But these are so minor. I installed the crossbars correctly and they don’t whistle or make wind noise even at 80 mph. Someday I will have the towing package installed and see how well it does.

This 2021 Ascent is the best of the 14 vehicles I’ve owned. I’m a Subaru owner for life.
 

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When I told my coworkers that I got an Ascent, used or not, more than one was lamenting about wanting a Subaru, but not being able to afford one.
I suspect that their lament would apply to many makes and models when you consider what the average new vehicle price is in the US... for the fourth quarter of 2020, that was just a hair over $40K, according to Edmunds.
 

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The higher trims of the Ascent can be a tough sell for some because they're nudging up into Acura MDX and Lexus RX territory, where you do start to get things like the 360 degree cameras. It's easy to forget that the Ascent really does start in "working man's" territory, down in the mid-30s. At its roots, the Ascent is not a "luxury vehicle"...it's a solid, safe, and practical 7/8-passenger family SUV. You can get leather and navigation in everything these days. What makes a "luxury vehicle" today, at least to me, are the things like the surround cameras, full automation, massaging seats, and things like that. Additionally, vehicles that start at price point where the Ascent tops out (like the new MDX) are fundamentally different down to the chassis. For example, the new MDX (and many BMWs, Mercs, etc.) have double wishbone front suspensions whereas the Ascent has MacPherson struts.

The Ascent is an up-sized Outback, which is a $27,000 station wagon. I think it competes very well against rivals like the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Hyundai Palisade, etc. Note: these are not luxury vehicles, either. They're all mainstream family SUVs. But if you're looking at a Touring ($45k+), it may not look all that great against an entry level Merc or BMW that starts at $45k. Or maybe it will...it just all depends on what you're looking for, and we're fortunate to have the choice.

We chose the Ascent for a variety of factors. One was dealer network (BMW and Merc are located in Northern VA, which is "over the mountain" from us to the east, and a place I prefer not to go). One was design philosophy. The Ascent has more traditional styling, a more traditional dash layout than many, and just overall a more "working man's" feel to it than some of the others. Another was the non-traditional powertrain (turbo boxer-4, CVT, and real AWD).
 
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