Skip to main content

Subaru is one of the premier family hauler brands, particularly for those with a more adventurous leaning. Over the past few years, models like the Outback and Crosstrek have blossomed into massively popular models for folks wanting an SUV without all the bulk. The Forester remains the mainstay for the Subaru SUV. However, we rarely hear the Subaru faithful go on about the Subaru Ascent. Why is that? For such a great car brand, why is there one Subaru model no one seems to want? 

These popular three-row SUVs include the Subaru Ascent
A 2023 Subaru Ascent | Subaru

Is the Subaru Ascent a good SUV? 

The 2023 comes highly recommended by Consumer Reports. Its road test landed at the top of the charts in its category. It even scored higher than the much-loved 2023 Subaru Outback on the road test. It is comfortable, roomy, and the ride is said to be nicer than some luxury competitors. The dark horse Subaru is also fuel efficient due to its turbocharged four-cylinder. Like most Subarus of its kind, it is mighty slow.

So, if the 2023 Subaru Ascent is so good, why don’t we see them or at least hear about them more? Consumer Reports has figured it out. 

How reliable is the 2023 Subaru Ascent?

Blue 2023 Subaru Ascent
Blue 2023 Subaru Ascent | Subaru

The Ascent scored worse than all of its brand mates in only two categories: predicted reliability and predicted owner satisfaction. These two scores tend to mirror one another. No matter how good a car is in other ways, if you experience many problems, you aren’t likely to be satisfied with the car overall. 

For the 2022 model, the Ascent has made major strides in reliability since 2019. However, Subaru continues to struggle with brake, bodywork, and in-car electronics issues. 

Considering the issues popping up in 2022 models, Consumer Reports rated it at only a 3 out of 5 on reliability. Following suit, Consumer Reports asked existing Ascent owners if they would make the purchase again to indicate customer satisfaction. 

On average, over 75 percent of owners liked the driving experience, over 80 percent liked the comfort, but only 59 percent found that the money they spent reflected the car’s value. This last figure shows that nearly half of Subaru Ascent owners weren’t satisfied with the product, given the money they spent. 

Should you buy a 2023 Subaru Ascent? 

Rear Cargo Area 2023 Subaru Ascent
Rear Cargo Area 2023 Subaru Ascent | Subaru

This is a question only you can answer. The facts are Subaru makes some of the safest and most reliable cars on the market these days. There aren’t many better options than a Subaru SUV for young families who need to cart around some youngsters and still want something contemporary, fun, and adventurous. However, the spotty reliability and owner satisfaction of the Ascent has given pause to many buyers. As a result, the popularity of models like the Forester, Outback, and the little Crosstrek have boomed. 

Given the state of the current car market, maybe the Ascent could be bought without fighting dealer markups, and long waits like you might expect with the more popular models. 


3 Popular Used Pickup Trucks That Are More Reliable Used Than New