2022 Subaru Ascent: Terrible Reliability Ruins an Impressive Road Test From Consumer Reports

The Subaru Ascent has made a good name for itself as a three-row SUV that provides many features for families. Not only is the Ascent a very safe car, but it also offers a surprisingly excellent driving experience. Unfortunately, the 2022 Subaru Ascent suffers from a poor reliability rating, and that has put a damper on the Subaru‘s great road test score.

Why the 2022 Subaru Ascent earned a great road test score

A front exterior shot of the 2022 Subaru Ascent three-row midsize SUV's headlights and grille
2022 Subaru Ascent | Subaru of America, Inc.

As Consumer Reports wrote, the Subaru Ascent earned one of the highest road test scores of the 2022 model year. It has a road test score of 93 out of 100, which is tied with the Toyota Avalon for 10th place. This excellent road test score put the Ascent in the same leagues as SUVs such as the BMW 5 Series or the Audi A8.

One of the main reasons the Ascent scored so well was its engine. Compared to SUVs in its segment, Subaru gave the Ascent a smaller, four-cylinder engine. However, as Consumer Reports said, Subaru’s plan worked, and the Ascent’s engine is actually pretty good, especially compared to its segment rivals.

More importantly, though, the Ascent is a three-row SUV with a great interior. Not only does it have an excellent ride quality, but its interior design also makes it look and feel luxurious, despite not being a luxury SUV. Additionally, since it’s a Subaru, the Ascent is loaded with smart safety features, which makes being in the Ascent a pretty safe experience.

The 2022 Subaru Ascent’s reliability rating ruins things

Despite that great road test score, the Subaru Ascent’s predicted reliability rating sinks the car’s overall rating. Consumer Reports only gave the 2022 Ascent a predicted reliability rating of 1 out of 5. That is a very low score, and it’s much lower than what most Subarus usually get. In fact, as a brand, Subaru’s reliability rating was hurt by the Ascent’s reliability score.

In fact, the Ascent has one of the lowest reliability ratings in its class, according to Consumer Reports. One of the few SUVs with a worse reliability rating than the Ascent was the Ford Explorer, which is also notorious for having a poor reliability rating. That being said, the Ascent’s reliability scores have been improving as of late.

The Ascent started off very rocky in the 2019 and 2020 model years, where the Ascent had a lot of reliability issues. Some of those issues, such as its transmission problems, were improved between the years, but others, such as its body integrity reliability, were not. The 2021 model year had a more significant reliability improvement, but it still had a few issues with its electronics.

An overview of the 2022 Ascent

While the Ascent’s predicted reliability score drags its overall score down to just 60 out of 100, the Ascent is still a pretty good vehicle in other areas. Off the bat, it starts at about $32,000, which makes it a pretty affordable three-row SUV for families. Its 2.4-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine gets about 260 horsepower, making it powerful enough for most drivers. However, the more critical aspect of the Ascent is its practical features.

As Consumer Reports wrote, it gets about 22 mpg combined, which is better than what most other three-row SUVs can get. Its cargo space is also pretty good, with a max cargo capacity of 86.5 cubic feet with its seats folded down. It also has a 6.5-inch touch screen and many standard smart safety features, including Forward-Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Keeping Assist.

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