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Subaru produces iconic SUV models, especially in the off-roading space. The Subaru Ascent is the largest SUV model from the Japanese automaker. Is the 2022 Subaru Ascent worth buying, or should consumers consider one of its rivals instead?

Should you buy a 2022 Subaru Ascent?

The Subaru Ascent is pretty special in the sense that it’s a large family SUV that could double as a large off-road SUV (or is it the other way around?) The Ascent is a mid-size model that offers many of the same perks as smaller Subaru off-road SUVs like the Forester.

The 2022 Subaru Ascent starts at $32,295. It uses a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine to make 260 horsepower. The mid-size SUV achieves 21 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Ascent comes standard with all-wheel drive, making it safer and more well-equipped for adventure when it encounters steep inclines. The mid-size SUV has a whopping 8.7 inches of ground clearance.

Ground clearance is especially important off-road. Edmunds claims that vehicles with at least 8.5 inches of ground clearance should be capable off-road. Like other Subaru SUVs, the Ascent knows its way around a trail. The Subaru Ascent is a decent mid-size SUV, but it doesn’t compete with class-leading models like the Kia Telluride. One of the main reasons to avoid the ascent is its reliabiltiy.

Is the 2022 Subaru Ascent reliable?

A blue 2022 Subaru Ascent mid-size SUV is driving on the road with kayaks strapped to its roof.
The 2022 Subaru Ascent | Subaru

The 2022 Subaru Ascent has a much lower Consumer Reports predicted reliability rating than most other Subaru SUV models. It got a 1/5 predicted reliability score, or a 20%. This rating is concerning to say the least.

Reliability factors into a vehicle’s overall value and appeal, becuase who wants to own a new vehicle that frequently has problems that may require visits to the mechanic? While Ascent reliability scores from other publications have risen over time, this issue has significantly affected the vehicle’s overall score in the eyes of publications and consumers.

The Ascent also got a poor smog rating from Consumer Reports. It scored a 3/10. In an age where fuel economy is becoming increasingly important due to gas prices and enviromental issues, many vehicles with poor gas mileage aren’t looked upon favorably by consumers.

Does the 2022 Subaru Ascent have transmission problems?

A black 2022 Subaru Ascent mid-size SUV is driving down the road.
The 2022 Subaru Ascent | Subaru

2022 Subaru Ascent: Terrible Reliability Ruins an Impressive SUV

The Subaru Ascent has only been in production since 2018. Early Ascent models struggled with transmission issues making the SUV clumsty and uncouth. While driving dynamics have improved greatly since the first Ascent model, the mid-size SUV is still unreliable compared to both rivals and other Subaru SUVs.

Bigger doesn’t always mean better, and that seems to be the case with the Ascent. If you want an incredible Subaru SUV that’s slightly smaller, the Outback Wilderness doesn’t have as many seats but it handles like a dream off-road. The Subaru Outback Wilderness starts at $37,195.