Skip to main content

Reliability is a really important quality to factor in when buying a new vehicle. Some brands, like Mazda, Toyota, and Lexus, are frequently listed as reliable brands. On Consumer Reports’ brand reliability rankings, Subaru’s overall reliability score was dragged down by the Ascent. Here’s a look at the Subaru Ascent and whether Subaru is otherwise a reliable brand.

Consumer Reports’ list of most reliable brands

Consumer Reports comes up with predicted reliability scores for all the vehicle models. These scores fall between zero and 100 and are based on the surveys that Consumer Reports sends to its members each year to request information about their vehicles.

The surveys collect information about problems across 17 categories over the previous year. The Predicted Reliability Score is then created based on the weighting by the severity of all the issues.

Consumer Reports then averages the reliability scores for all the models that a brand manufactures to come up with the brand reliability average. Only brands that have two or more models were included in the list of rankings.

What was Subaru’s overall reliability score?

Mazda, Toyota, and Lexus are the top three on the reliability list for 2020, as these companies frequently are. For 2020, Buick and Honda are also in the top five spots. Of the 26 brands on the list, Subaru falls in eighth place, dropping one spot since 2019. It has an overall reliability score of 57, while Mazda has an 83.

Interestingly, of Subaru’s six models, five have average or better scores. The Crosstrek and Forester have the best reliability scores, with 78 and 77 respectively. Outback, Legacy, and Impreza have average scores of 60, 59, and 52 respectively. And Ascent has a dismal 18 as its reliability score.

Is the Subaru Ascent a good car?

The Subaru Ascent’s low reliability score hurts Subaru’s overall reliability ranking. If it were omitted entirely from Subaru’s score, the overall average reliability score would jump from 57 to 65.

That would move it from eighth to fifth place. The 2021 Ascent has a very low predicted reliability rating from Consumer Reports. With a one out of five for 2021, it also had just two out of five in 2020 and one out of five in 2019.

The Ascent is Subaru’s newest model, and it’s had problems with the 2019, its first model year, says Torque News. The Ascent has had recalls on the 2019 Ascent for transmission problems, a defective PCV valve, driveshaft bolts that might loosen up, possible missing spot welds, and faulty fuel pumps.

As reported by Torque News, found that the three biggest problems for the 2019 Ascent are an open tailgate that drains the battery, windshields that easily crack, and a failure to start.

While the 2021 Ascent is also predicted to have poor reliability, it did score well in Consumer Reports’ road tests and has a four out of five score for predicted owner satisfaction.

While its overall score is 60 out of 100, its road test score is 93 out of 100. The Ascent gets plenty of performance out of its turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Consumer Reports found its ride to be better than that in some luxury cars. It provides an “upscale flair” in the interior as well.

The questionable predicted reliability of the Ascent has hurt the overall reliability of the Subaru brand on Consumer Reports’ list for 2020. However, Consumer Reports did like the 2021 Subaru Ascent overall, calling it “an extremely functional and comfortable vehicle that will appeal to many suburban families.”

With three rows, a “plush ride,” and impressive performance, some buyers may be willing to take a chance on the reliability of the Ascent. The rest of Subaru’s lineup has strong reliability, so hopefully the Ascent can be improved.


The Subaru Outback Is Good Now Just Like It Was in 2012