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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ready to purchase within the next couple months. Was nearly 100% set on the Ascent. Thought about the Highlander, drove a 2019 and just wasn’t that impressed, despite the great reviews it always receives, it seemed dated and didn’t love the way it handled compared to the Ascent. When I first started looking Ascent was coming out on top in almost every review of the 3rd row segment (JD power/edmunds/car & driver etc) Now it seems like everywhere it’s dropping to 5, 6, 7 or even lower in reviews. The Kia/Hyundai seem to be consistently #1 and 2 now with the Pilot following close behind. And even the Atlas. While the Telluride looks appealing I can’t get past the fact that it is ... a Kia. The Pilot has never appealed to me looks wise, but I’m thinking, maybe I should at least drive one and now also wondering if I should drive the 20 highlander.

Why do these reviews keep dropping the Ascent lower and lower? Should I even be letting them influence my decision??
 

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As has been discussed in various threads, First year reviews are based on expected; second year reviews are based on actual. The same thing will happen with the Kia and Hyundai when the clock ticks over. Frankly, I don't even read the reviews anymore. The Ascent is an excellent vehicle that's now in it's second model year. I have a first model year and have had zero issues with it after 14K miles.

That said...drive them all and buy whichever one best suits your needs and that you feel most comfortable with.
 

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I wouldn't worry too much about professional reviews. Professional reviewers have a serious case of shiny object syndrome, and basically don't care at all about long term reliability, which I suppose explains why so many American cars get good reviews but wind up being money pits down the road.

A general piece of advice: I would strongly encourage anyone to NEVER buy a first model year. I would buy the Ascent again, but there are too many problems and dealer visits to make the headache worth it.
 

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I wouldn't worry too much about professional reviews.
exactly

drive them all, compare the features that are important to you and make a decision based on your needs

we could provide insight if you let us know what features you’re looking for.
 

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I was in your situation about a year and a half ago. I'd had a couple of Subarus then a bunch of Hondas, all of them were great cars and I was leaning towards the Pilot at first out of habit but decided to give all the others a fair trial. In the end, I chose a 2019 Ascent Limited making a leap of faith on a first year model. Like Jim above I've had zero problems over 17,000 miles and I've been impressed with Subaru as a corporation in dealing with issues that have come up even though I haven't had any myself.

For me, I decided what things were most important to me overall, like safety, cargo space AWD performance, comfort, etc. Your list will be different and may favor one model over the others like mine did and help you decide.

Have fun deciding!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
exactly

drive them all, compare the features that are important to you and make a decision based on your needs

we could provide insight if you let us know what features you’re looking for.
Thank you! What everyone has said makes sense. The most important things for me... besides price ?, are safety features, AWD, and being a kid hauler. Will be trading in an Saturn Outlook, a lot of friends think I should just upgrade to the Acadia/Traverse. Not really interested, although I know I’m giving up cargo space which does make me a little nervous. Also have a 2015 Impreza, that I really like for daily commutes, so I’m not totally unfamiliar with the brand and feel like I’d be comfortable with another Subaru.
 

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You also need to consider the quality of service for the vehicle you are purchasing. I think many of the issues/problems in the forum could have been avoided or down played if the service department had been better. We have been driving Subarus for 26 years (on our 6th and 7th) and have been using the same dealer/service for that time as well. When it came time to upgrade (2012 Outback to 2020 Ascent) I considered Honda, Toyota and VW but when we considered the ease of purchasing and then service it always came down to Subaru. With all the service we have had done at the dealership we never had to return for any repeat service.
 

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Ready to purchase within the next couple months. Was nearly 100% set on the Ascent. Thought about the Highlander, drove a 2019 and just wasn’t that impressed, despite the great reviews it always receives, it seemed dated and didn’t love the way it handled compared to the Ascent. When I first started looking Ascent was coming out on top in almost every review of the 3rd row segment (JD power/edmunds/car & driver etc) Now it seems like everywhere it’s dropping to 5, 6, 7 or even lower in reviews. The Kia/Hyundai seem to be consistently #1 and 2 now with the Pilot following close behind. And even the Atlas. While the Telluride looks appealing I can’t get past the fact that it is ... a Kia. The Pilot has never appealed to me looks wise, but I’m thinking, maybe I should at least drive one and now also wondering if I should drive the 20 highlander.

Why do these reviews keep dropping the Ascent lower and lower? Should I even be letting them influence my decision??
Check out the 20 Highlander(new design) and see what you think
 

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I would put the 2020 explorer above all of other competitors. They redesigned the explorer literally from the ground up and it’s nothing resemble the previous generation, in terms of the mechanical architectural
 

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I would put the 2020 explorer above all of other competitors. They redesigned the explorer literally from the ground up and it’s nothing resemble the previous generation, in terms of the mechanical architectural
Still horrible IIHS test results. Near last in IIHS ratings (18th of 25). So, that's one area they're doing horrible in. Still.


2984


They didn't even test small overlap front passenger, which is an area the Explo has historically been terrible at. I had high hopes for the redesign (and many fond Explo Adventure memories with my best friend), but the Explo still scores poorly in the same areas.

Ascent still holds #1 position.
 

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I would put the 2020 explorer above all of other competitors. They redesigned the explorer literally from the ground up and it’s nothing resemble the previous generation, in terms of the mechanical architectural
If I need another SUV I would put the 2020 explorer ST or the Dodge Durango RT on my honor roll list.
 

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Dodge Durango RT
You might as well add the Grand Cherokee to that list then, too, since it and Durango are essentially the same vehicle with the JGC having better drive train options, but the Durango having 5" of stretch to accommodate a third row. Know that Durango is in it's last year for the current platform...it's going a different direction than next-gen JGC with MY21.
 
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In Jan 2020, we test drove a low-mileage 2019 Ascent and five others in the class (2018 Explorer, 2017 Durango, 2019/2020 Highlander, 2019 CX-9 and 2020 Telluride) to replace our 2008 Sienna. We felt that — for the money — no competitor drove better, had all the cargo room, provided the safety features and/or was as conveniently located. Very happy with this Ascent, which is our third Subaru — from the same dealer.
 

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Ready to purchase within the next couple months. Was nearly 100% set on the Ascent. Thought about the Highlander, drove a 2019 and just wasn’t that impressed, despite the great reviews it always receives, it seemed dated and didn’t love the way it handled compared to the Ascent. When I first started looking Ascent was coming out on top in almost every review of the 3rd row segment (JD power/edmunds/car & driver etc) Now it seems like everywhere it’s dropping to 5, 6, 7 or even lower in reviews. The Kia/Hyundai seem to be consistently #1 and 2 now with the Pilot following close behind. And even the Atlas. While the Telluride looks appealing I can’t get past the fact that it is ... a Kia. The Pilot has never appealed to me looks wise, but I’m thinking, maybe I should at least drive one and now also wondering if I should drive the 20 highlander.

Why do these reviews keep dropping the Ascent lower and lower? Should I even be letting them influence my decision??
I find the reviews useful, in terms of how they compare handling, acceleration, and some basic controls, but as mentioned elsewhere, most of these have no bearing on long-term durability or usability. The magazines usually have an enthusiast slant to them, which is understandable, and therefore judge the cars from that angle typically.
It's natural as newer models come out, the existing models will often drop down slightly in the reviews.
That's the way it should be though, new, latest and greatest technology will generally outpace existing model technology, and it's good for competition because it increases the competitiveness of the segment. The Ascent wouldn't be as good as it is if they didn't benchmark the competition.

But in the end, I would drive everything in the segment, and go with what you like. The only opinion that matters is yours. And please, don't get hung up on a badge. I went from an MB gls450 to an Ascent touring. Will I buy a Subaru again, no, but it's a perfectly nice car, and very competitive in the market. And now that I have most of my problems seemingly sorted out with the car, I am planning on keeping it for a while.
 

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I wouldn't worry too much about professional reviews. Professional reviewers have a serious case of shiny object syndrome, and basically don't care at all about long term reliability, which I suppose explains why so many American cars get good reviews but wind up being money pits down the road.

A general piece of advice: I would strongly encourage anyone to NEVER buy a first model year. I would buy the Ascent again, but there are too many problems and dealer visits to make the headache worth it.
I own 2019 wscent limited and despite the software updates, harness replacement and valve body replacement, I am very happy with it. 19000 miles.
 

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Hey welcome, you'll have biased answers being in a Subaru forum but hey I think we all have been there. I've tried the Pilot, didn't like the high chair seating position, but instead bought an MDX for the wife. It was roomy for sure but didn't impress me. Highlander. I did test drive it a few years before and I just couldn't accept the body roll particularly the nose diving. But there's a makeover of the Highlander coming out soon maybe just maybe it might have improved. The Telluride looks promising. But yes it's a Kia and my wife said it just like that plus the "why"? Didn't get a chance to drive it. I thought Q7 and the price was right after some haggling but the 3rd row, to get to the 3rd row and storage was a joke... plus the additional maintenance and premium gas again. But 2019 I test drove an Ascent and instantly was impressed in every way. A year and half later, I ended up with an Ascent due to some unforeseen events surrounding my BMW. Hope the stories helped. Otherwise, get an Ascent! Hahaha
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Still horrible IIHS test results. Near last in IIHS ratings (18th of 25). So, that's one area they're doing horrible in. Still.


View attachment 2984

They didn't even test small overlap front passenger, which is an area the Explo has historically been terrible at. I had high hopes for the redesign (and many fond Explo Adventure memories my best friend), but the Explo still scores poorly in the same areas.

Ascent still holds #1 position.
Safety is one reason I have kept Explorer and Durango off of my short list. My aunt has a 2019 Explorer and I’m just not a fan of it. I realize the 2020 is a redesign but it seems very bulky to me, I’m just not comfortable driving it. My sister has a new Durango, her second one, and loves it, but we both agree the interior of the Ascent is far nicer.
 
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