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Japanese automaker Subaru is known for producing capable SUV models. Subaru SUVs tend to be safe and reliable. The brand is recalling around 270,000 SUV models due to a potential fire risk.

The Subaru Ascent is on recall notice

A blue 2023 Subaru Ascent midsize three-row SUV is driving on the road.
The 2023 Subaru Ascent | Subaru

The Subaru Ascent is Subaru’s largest SUV offering. CNN claims that the automaker is recalling 271,694 SUVs because of a fire risk. The Ascent’s cabin heating system seems to be the culprit. An electrical grounding bolt fastened to the heating system could cause a vehicle fire.

Subaru is urging 2019-2022 Subaru Ascent owners to park their SUVs outside rather than inside any structures that could be at risk of catching fire. There’s no telling how prevalent of an issue this could be, but it’s best to err on the side of caution.

A recall of this magnitude certainly brings the Ascent’s reliability into question for many owners and consumers. So, how reliable is the Subaru Ascent?

Is the Subaru Ascent reliable?

A purple 2023 Subaru Ascent midsize SUV is driving on the road.
The 2023 Subaru Ascent | Subaru

Recent Subaru Ascent model years seem to be reliable based on complaints issued on The 2019 Subaru Ascent has the most complaints listed against it of all Ascent model years.

Some of the worst Ascent problems listed include a fragile windshield on the 2020 Ascent, a battery-draining open tailgate issue on the 2019 model, and an issue starting the 2019 Ascent. So if you’re looking for the most reliable Ascent, the used models seem to be worth avoiding. The 2022 Subaru Ascent only has two complaints listed against it on thus far.

Most major automotive publications don’t list reliability as an issue for the 2023 Subaru Ascent. That being said, the Ascent is far from the best in its vehicle segment.

Should you get a 2023 Subaru Ascent?

The front of a black 2023 Subaru Ascent midsize SUV.
The 2023 Subaru Ascent | Subaru

The 2023 Subaru Ascent starts at $33,895. It uses a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to make 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. The Ascent achieves 20 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Subaru Ascent has 8.7 inches of ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive. It is a three-row SUV, but many automotive publications claim that the third row is too small to seat most adults. The Ascent is supposed to be appealing to off-roading enthusiasts, but it can’t compete with other midsize off-road SUVs.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee L is a better buy for drivers that want a three-row SUV with off-roading capability. If you can forego the third row, the smaller Subaru Outback Wilderness is a great midsize off-road SUV. It has a whopping 9.5 inches of ground clearance. The Outback Wilderness comes with a skid plate and different terrain settings for mud, snow, and sand.

It’s no secret that Subaru knows how to produce a great off-road SUV, but its three-row model still has a long way to go to become competitive. Car and Driver lists the Ascent’s acceleration, engine noise, and snug third row as some of its cons. The three-row midsize SUV space is competitive. Subaru will need to step it up to rival the best in its segment.


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