The 2021 Subaru Ascent Isn’t Reliable According to Consumer Reports

Oh no, this information may hurt some Subaru Ascent fans. The 2021 Subaru Ascent just dropped in its reliability ranking from Consumer Reports. In fact, the Ascent is now in the top five midsize SUVs with the least reliable rankings. 

Why is the 2021 Subaru Ascent unreliable? 

The 2022 Subaru Ascent driving in the city
2022 Subaru Ascent | Subaru

The 2021 Subaru Ascent has one of the lowest predicted reliability ratings in its class. Consumer Reports gave it a predicted reliability rating of 18 out of 100. This is well below average, especially for such a new model. The Ascent just came out in 2019. 

It sits in the middle of the list with other SUVs with low-reliability ratings like the Jeep Wrangler, Volkswagen Atlas, Ford Explorer, and Dodge Durango. But how is the reliability ranking determined? 

Consumer Reports sends out surveys to vehicle owners allowing them to report on any issues that they may have faced. It includes 17 potential trouble spot areas running from the engine, transmission, and fuel system to the body integrity, electronics, and more to generate a score on a 100 point scale. 

What’s wrong with the 2021 Ascent?

Based on owner history, there are reports of minor engine problems, more severe transmission issues, climate system problems, suspension problems, breaking issues, trouble with the electronics, and trouble with the power equipment. This is what’s bringing the score down for the 2021 Subaru Ascent.

However, fewer issues are reported for the 2020 model, meaning these problems may have been addressed. The 2022 model hasn’t been ranked based on performance and reliability yet. According to CarComplaints, the 2019 Subaru Ascent has the most problems reported. The most significant issue seems to be with the electrical system. 

Owners faced the battery dying when the hatch was left open, not starting, dying immediately after being replaced, and the inability to be recharged. Problems with the steering system, engine, fuel system, and suspension are also listed. 

The 2019 model has six recalls, and the 2020 model has one recall. The 2019 recalls involve two fuel system issues, two powertrain issues, one engine problem, and a structural problem. The 2020 recall is for the fuel system. 

It’s a little odd that there wasn’t a recall for the battery. But the seven recalls may have addressed serious issues that have been corrected for the 2021 Subaru Ascent. 

Is the Ascent worth buying? 

2022 Subaru Ascent interior
2022 Subaru Ascent interior | Subaru

Kelley Blue Book Better Buy: 2021 Kia Telluride vs. Subaru Ascent

Despite having a low-reliability rating, the 2021 Subaru Ascent is still a solid midsize SUV option to consider. It scored a four out of five for owner satisfaction, meaning drivers have been enjoying it so far. 

You can get started in an Ascent for about $32,295. Owners love how comfortable and supportive the seats are. Drivers are also impressed with how the Ascent handles. Plus, it comes with standard all-wheel drive. 

The second row lacks shoulder room, and the third row is tight. But there is plenty of cargo capacity space, and the Ascent can tow up to 5,000 lbs when properly equipped. It’s worth taking it on a test drive because it still deserves a chance. 

If the Subaru Ascent isn’t your cup of tea due to the low-reliability rating, other options to consider include the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, and Toyota Highlander.