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Per Consumer Reports, January 2021, Subaru has sunk to 8th place. The reason? The Ascent.
The Ascent is so all over the place in reviews. I love mine but if I had read everything about it before buying I would’ve been hesitant. The last one I read talked about how boring the Ascent’s ride is compared to other brands. Unless they’re comparing to full size SUVs that drive like trucks I’m dumbfounded.
 

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The Ascent is so all over the place in reviews. I love mine but if I had read everything about it before buying I would’ve been hesitant. The last one I read talked about how boring the Ascent’s ride is compared to other brands. Unless they’re comparing to full size SUVs that drive like trucks I’m dumbfounded.
It doesn't really matter. I certainly do not need confirmation of my decision from CR. The Ascent is not designed to be a thrill ride but more of a competant and comfortable ride, so I suppose it is what the driver expectations and desires are. I do not confuse the two. Do you see Subaru marketing a brisk, fast handling Ascent around on a race track? No, we see the Ascent handling snow, and dirt roads while camping or during storms. We see documented highest safety ratings and we see a reasonably well thought out interior for carrying passengers, gear and some towing.
 

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From what I understand, the ride was really firmed up since the 2019 models. Plus, some cars come with 18s and some with 20s. Ours is a 2020 Touring with the 20" wheels, and I'd say the ride is firmer and tauter than I'd prefer. I can't imagine it being any stiffer. Maybe compared to our car, a 2019 on 18s would ride more like a Town Car? I don't know....but the Ascent has certain evolved over its short life.

I'd sort of like to have the soft ride that all the early reviews mention. :)
 

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Ours is a 2020 Touring with the 20" wheels, and I'd say the ride is firmer and tauter than I'd prefer. I can't imagine it being any stiffer.
Same here. The CR tester had the 18s. I would have preferred the 18s knowing the ride would have been softer and possibly quieter. But, I wanted the front cam and smart mirror. I prefer the appearance of the OEM 20s over the 18s but won't be investing in aftermarket wheels so I hope I can find a smoother riding 20s when the time comes for new tires.

Most of the car mags tested 20s
 

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It doesn't really matter. I certainly do not need confirmation of my decision from CR. The Ascent is not designed to be a thrill ride but more of a competant and comfortable ride, so I suppose it is what the driver expectations and desires are. I do not confuse the two. Do you see Subaru marketing a brisk, fast handling Ascent around on a race track? No, we see the Ascent handling snow, and dirt roads while camping or during storms. We see documented highest safety ratings and we see a reasonably well thought out interior for carrying passengers, gear and some towing.
That is such an important statement... Personally, our Ascent has met our expectations, however, it doesn't meet all of our desires. My wife and I knew this before we purchased it, but it is quite important to distinguish between the two.
 

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I prefer the appearance of the OEM 20s over the 18s but won't be investing in aftermarket wheels...
We're in pretty much exactly the same boat. On the other hand, I really don't dislike the OEM Falken tires. Ours have 10k miles now and have 8/32" of tread, which is very reasonable in my opinion. They're super quiet tires, they do very well in the rain (at least for us), and they didn't skip a beat when purposefully driven in deeper snow than we'd ever really need to drive in. Although tread life is a concern, it's not my primary concern, and it takes a back seat to other performance and subjective metrics for me.

On the other hand, being about as expensive as other third party tires, and having no treadlife warranty from Falken, makes them a hard sell from the value perspective.
 

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It doesn't really matter. I certainly do not need confirmation of my decision from CR. The Ascent is not designed to be a thrill ride but more of a competant and comfortable ride, so I suppose it is what the driver expectations and desires are. I do not confuse the two. Do you see Subaru marketing a brisk, fast handling Ascent around on a race track? No, we see the Ascent handling snow, and dirt roads while camping or during storms. We see documented highest safety ratings and we see a reasonably well thought out interior for carrying passengers, gear and some towing.
Exactly.

We wanted something that benefited from Subaru's reputation of reliability and ability to handle the snow, but still was able to safely seat our large family. We didn't need anything that can be used to whip around the racetrack. We did quite a bit of research and looked at many reviews before finally deciding on the Ascent.

The thing with many reviewers is that they aren't just trying to appeal to those looking for purely practical - MPG, crash test ratings, etc. - but also the people who just love to drive and care a great deal about the handling and acceleration. I read/watch all of their reviews with that in mind and with a grain of salt.
 

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I just picked up a 2021 Touring. Gray exterior w carbon interior. I consolidated two cars, a BMW 535i GT and a Gen 1 Acadia, when I bought the Ascent. No doubt that the BMW’s overall heft and quality was better than the Subie, but simplifying into one car was my goal. Given we have had 7 or 8 Subie’s in our extended family we knew the quirks and benefits of Subaru engineering well.

While it’s on been a few days, and a couple of hundred mikes, I am very happy with my decision. I have found the 2.4 turbo up to any task so far and may add a COBB access port if I want more pep. I have found the ride to be silky smooth and quiet. At some point will consider going to 19” wheels to get a little more tire on the road and still keep the good looks of the larger wheels. Will probably go with a 255 55 19 high performance all season, and definitely not a Falken; likely a Michelin LTX or similar.

So I agree with the comments above ... Subaru’s are not for everyone, and if you can get comfortable with a safe & solid all-wheel drive platform, a highly functional interior, and technology that evolves steadily, then you won’t be disappointed.
 
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