The 2021 Subaru Ascent Received a Confusing Score From Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports tends to be a reliable source of information. In addition to their independent reviews of new vehicles, they tally the feedback and opinions of actual vehicle owners. The 2021 Subaru Ascent recently received confusing evaluations and an end-result score. We dove in to sort things out for clarity and figure out why the score didn’t seem to match the overall sentiments in the review.

A mediocre score and marginal opinion

Consumer Reports evaluated 25 midsize SUVs. And based on the vehicle owner surveys as well as road testing, the 2021 Subaru Ascent landed in the middle. With a score of only 60, some would suggest that’s mediocre, at best. This score positioned the Ascent 17th out of the group, indicating either Consumer Reports or Ascent owners aren’t that impressed with this three-row SUV.

Here’s where things get confusing. With a less than impressive numerical score, reading on in the road testing, and evaluations, it seems there’s nothing but great reviews and first impressions.

The sentiments are overwhelmingly clear

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Oddly enough, diving into the overview, the sentiments become clear and somewhat contradict the numerical score given to the 2021 Subaru Ascent. The team at Consumer Reports expressed their overwhelmingly positive reviews, citing the Ascent to be an impressive all-around SUV. They didn’t have much negative to say at all actually. 

The praise came for the 2021 Ascent’s smooth ride, functional interior, and zippy performance. They call this SUV a plush ride, rivaling even some luxury cars. The cabin makes it easy to climb into, and the third row is relatively comfortable. The infotainment controls are easy to use and intuitive, complimenting the upscale flair and aesthetics. While the scoring may signal a marginal SUV, it’s evident the Consumer Reports team is thoroughly impressed with nearly every aspect of the 2021 Subaru Ascent.

The reason the 2021 Subaru Ascent scored less than great

So, how did the latest model Subaru Ascent get such a low score and still earn rave reviews in testing? Taking a closer look at the criteria that contribute to the score, the predicted reliability for the Ascent only scored a one out of a possible five.

It’s not that the Ascent isn’t going to be a reliable ride, though. Reliability scores are typically based on the past several years of ownership, citing repairs and maintenance in a historical snapshot. Because the Ascent is still a newer member of the Subaru family, it may just take time to earn higher predicted reliability.

The key takeaway from this Subaru Ascent review

While Consumer Reports ratings and reviews tend to be solid, it might be a good idea to read further beyond the actual score. In the case of the 2021 Subaru Ascent, there is very little wrong with any aspect of its performance, comfort, and convenience. And the list of standard features is robust, customary for Subaru.

In this instance, being a newer member of the Subaru portfolio counted against it in scoring. But it doesn’t mean this three-row SUV isn’t worth a look. Consumer Reports suggests the best version to consider is the Premium trim, to bump up a few amenities, including a power liftgate, push-button start, reverse auto braking, blind-spot indicators, and a panoramic roof.

If you’re ready to get serious about looking for and buying a three-row SUV, the 2021 Subaru Ascent should be on your list of contenders. It seems to be winning over the critics, and despite its subpar Consumer Reports score, it may be the ideal family crossover you’ve been looking to buy.