Subaru’s three-row SUV, with has impressive all-around performance. The Ascent’s smooth ride, functional interior, and slick power delivery helped lift it to success. The Ascent has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine in a segment where V6s dominate, which might seem to be a disadvantage on paper. But in real-world driving, the SUV feels zippier and more satisfying than its numbers suggest it should be.
Alerts
There are 5 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard.
Road Test

Subaru’s three-row SUV, with has impressive all-around performance. The Ascent’s smooth ride, functional interior, and slick power delivery helped lift it to success.

The Ascent has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine in a segment where V6s dominate, which might seem to be a disadvantage on paper. But in real-world driving, the SUV feels zippier and more satisfying than its numbers suggest it should be. Plus, its 22 mpg overall is comparable to its rivals.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 3 third
Drive Wheels
AWD
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • 2.4-liter 4 turbo (260 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2019 Subaru Ascent owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

"The camera is lighted. The light doesn't come on until about 30 seconds after putting car in reverse. This only happens from a cold start."

Anonymous, TX (2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
CD player

"My self copied CD got stuck in CD player. Dealer said warranty only covered prerecorded CDs. They said car might be non functioning if repaired because radio would need to be removed and shipped somewhere. Recommended I go to car radio place in town. Either way warranty apparently has small print about using CD that is not prerecorded. It also does not cover “courses in tape” CD."

Dana W., IA (2019 Subaru Ascent Premium 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen freezes up

"No sound on radio or microphone. You can see radio stations and move about the display. There is a X through the speaker icon. It resets itself after being turned off for at least 15 minutes. A quick turn off and turn on does not reset the display."

Anonymous, MI (2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"If I manually input a destination address in the Chicago & suburbs area it recognizes the address, but cannot calculate a route to that address. If I give it a verbal command to go to the same address it is able to recognize the address and complete the route calculation."

Gerald S., WI (2019 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Pairing doesn't last - works for a while then I have to re-pair."

Anonymous, AZ (2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Radio

"Twice now it has just stopped working, no radio. The only thing you can get to play is the XM radio on the advertisement channel. We are not subscribers to XM. Tried stopping and restarting the car with no luck. The next day it started to work again both times."

John K., MN (2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Actually minor; the pre-sets disappear. Subaru states they are aware and are working the issue. And the radio sounds like it is a 1960's vintage radio."

Ralph H., (2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The starlink Head unit quit playing all sound. Radio, phone, cd, navigation, hands free voice commands, whatever. Dealership updated the software, but that didn’t fix it. Now they want me to come back so they can install a new head unit and amplifier (this comes with the. Harmon Kardan system). I don’t think this will fix the problem, as a quick internet search shows this. To be a very widespread problem.with Subaru vehicles. Anyway, I read on one forum that pulling the radio fuse would clear the issue, so I tried it and it worked. This is not an acceptable long term fix, but at least I have radio until my next service appointment. Also, the dealership uses a third party answering service for their service department so you don’t ever actually speak with an employee in the service department when you call them. Problem is, after you leave your name and number, no one ever calls you back to make an appointment."

Matthew E., GA (2019 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Software update fixes

"The rear hatch had to be reset because it quit working"

Anonymous, TN (2019 Subaru Ascent Premium 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"SIRIUS Radio kept dropping out stations after being set to hod them"

Randall L., OR (2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"Maybe I missed something.... The largest problem was the battery drainage when the tailgate was opened and we were camping. If the key fob is near the vehicle, the battery drains within a couple of hous. (Check Subaru Ascent Forums on Google and search for battery drain to see similarr issues.) (And excuse the quirky r key on my keypad... Sorrrrrry.) Also A/C was not functional this summer, even though we were in Juneau AK. Didn't expect to need it, but it was how and the car was sweltering. Having it looked into tomorrow, though Subaru Customer Service and rrepair has been abysmall to work with."

Sherri H., VA (2019 Subaru Ascent Premium 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Heated or cooled seat controls

"loud fan noise in driver seat along with significant vibration when cooling seat turned on."

Matthew W., NC (2019 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"seat cooling fan need replacing -- made friction-related noise when operating"

Anonymous, NY (2019 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Refrigerant leaks

"AC didn't work on a new car. The dealership appt took 2 weeks to get, and then another 10 days before repaired."

Anonymous, CA (2019 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The Ascent probably came out of the factory with this problem. As soon as weather became how, noticed the problem. Dealer needed to order a part -- took 4 days for part to arrive and car to be repaired. I was loaned a brand new ascent during that period. very satisfied with transaction."

Anonymous, UT (2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The car came from the factory with a refrigerant leak. After the first few days, the A/C no longer produced cold air. The dealer recharged the system and added dye, and a week later there again was no cold air. The dealer found a cracked refrigerant line."

Anonymous, NY (2019 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Crack in metal line. Dealer repaired without hesitating. Took 10 work days due to part availability. Dealer provided suitable loaner car without charge."

Anonymous, NV (2019 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"Many rattles in the otherwise very quiet interior."

Anonymous, VT (2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Within approximately 2 weeks of ownership a heavy clunking type rattle was noticed. As of today's date the car was returned to the dealership 11 times to locate and repair the rattle, with NO success. They now admit that they cannot find or repair it."

Anonymous, NM (2019 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Loud noise from rear suspension resulted in multiple service visits including a two week service period. Took senior engineers from Subaru to solve problem"

Anonymous, TX (2019 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Gauges

"The gauges go haywire and many systems indicate that they are not operational (cruise control, lane departure, battery). At one point everything went blank and the care would not start. Roadside Assistance had to come; they said there was no water in the battery."

Anonymous, NY (2019 Subaru Ascent Premium 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Keyless entry

"The sensor for the keyless entry was faulty and only worked intermittently, so it needed to be replaced."

Anonymous, AZ (2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Warning lights

"All warning lights would randomly stay on after starting."

Michael C., CT (2019 Subaru Ascent Premium 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Pulsation or vibration

"I report this problem to the dealer and they told me that this problem is known by the company ant they are working at it but I never had any news from them at this moment. I still have the problem."

Rejean F., QC (2019 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaking

"squeaks every morning. Dealer is aware of the problem and said Suburu was woking on it. I say BS"

Anonymous, MN (2019 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The brakes squeak when you first start the vehicle and when you use it for while and they warm up they stop squeaking."

Harry K., IL (2019 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

"large amount of smoke when you start the car in the morning."

Anonymous, NY (2019 Subaru Ascent Premium 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Other/unsure

"Vehicle is difficult to control. Appears that steering wheel is not connected to the wheels (actually it is not, I've been told). Vehicle wanders in the traffic lane so lane departure signals are often active, requires constant input to keep in the lane. Vehicle drifts one way or the other randomly, not one consistent direction. I describe it ass like the early days of power steering (I was there!)"

Anonymous, AZ (2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"The transmission make strange noises and hesitated"

Cheryl R., AZ (2019 Subaru Ascent Premium 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"It took 3 times going to the dealer to have the transmission addressed. Each time all dashboard lights came on including the Engine Light. Each time all safety features were disabled because of this. The Subaru dealer could only turn off the lights and turn the safety system Eyesight back on, but could not repair the vehicle because the problem was intermittent and they could not duplicate it. The dealer knew what the problem was, but Subaru headquarters needed proof. The third time this happened, the vehicle also started making a screeching sound. This happened 2 days ago. The dealer has the vehicle at this time and we were given a loaner vehicle. It is unclear when we will get our Ascent back."

Anonymous, AZ (2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Shocks or struts

"At 5400 miles we heard a noise when turning. The service department of the Subaru dealer said it was the strut mounts, and replaced them. However, the problem persisted. Now they have replaced a strut, and the problem may be solved. We find this unacceptable on a brand-new car."

David H., CA (2019 Subaru Ascent Premium 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Springs or torsion bars

"The back end kept squeaking like someone was bouncing on springs. Took to dealer and they couldn't find anything wrong. Wrote in to the Subaru forum and found out other people had the same problem. Contacted dealer again. They called to tell me they ordered new springs (not sure if springs or struts) and have had no problem with that noise since then. On another note, have noticed slits in rubber seals on both front doors. Took it to dealer again and they could also see the tears (slits) and will replace. Final thing at this time is that there is a noise coming from the right front wheel when traveling slow over a rougher road. The repairman could not ever hear the noise when he drove it. My opinion is that Subaru was rated so high by Consumer Reports that people were wanting them and the company was simply throwing the things together to get them out to the public. They were not taking the time to make sure each vehicle was tested and safe."

Anonymous, MO (2019 Subaru Ascent Premium 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

"Interior post trim comes loose blocking driver field of vision. Was repaired with replacement part 4 separate times but each repair only lasted a couple months.Each time required taking time off work to take car in to repair."

Anonymous, TN (2019 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"There was a chip in the paint when purchased, the dealer fixed it for free, but it took 4 days"

Anonymous, IL (2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"The CVT transmission sometimes jumps around at lower speeds. It may shift up or down when it is not supposed to."

Anthony K., NY (2019 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Transmission computer

"All dash display warning lights came on at once, stayed on. Didn’t affect drivability, local dealer worked with Subaru to resolve issue As warranty item. Fix was replacement of faulty valve body and transmission wiring harness. Solved the warning display issue. Very satisfied with result and love the vehicle. Took 3 weeks to resolve, Subaru covered full cost of a rental vehicle for us."

Heather H., OR (2019 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveline vibration

"For a CVT transmission, it's very jerky. We underrstand it has some prreset shift points, but my question is why? The dealerr can't explain."

Sherri H., VA (2019 Subaru Ascent Premium 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Electrical failure

"Three times it has failed to start. All the electronics come on, but the engine does not. THEN you can't turn the car off, so you are stuck waiting for the car to go into a battery saving mode where it shuts the electronics off again. Then it can be started normally. This usually takes over an hour for it to shut off, which means you are stuck wherever that is until then. I have taken the car in twice about it, and they never find anything wrong. They asked me to take a video which I did. I am waiting to hear from them about it."

Anonymous, PA (2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Electronic ignition

"Within first 2 weeks of ownership vehicle locked into accessory mode instead of starting. Also battery went dead while sitting in garage for a two day period. Attempted to return car (Had about 250 miles on odometer. Dealership and Subaru of america refused. Had to be towed. Dealership can not find problem. Within this 2 week period emergency breaking system hit breaks with no significant cause. Driving about 55mph/car entered from cross street at least 300yards away. Now with about 3000 miles last week car started in garage, would not go into reverse. Instead warning beep. Started and turned off multiple times with same result. Self corrected about an Hour later. Dealership informed basically said it didn't happen"

Anonymous, NC (2019 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"All of the engine warning lights lit up. I took it to the dealer where problem was diagnosed. Again, a part was needed. The gave me another Ascent as a loaner. It took about 4 days for the repair. Not much of an inconvenience. It was actually an oil control valve issue."

Anonymous, UT (2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

"Our (non-Subaru) mechanic noticed an oil leak in our 2019 Subaru Ascent (5400 miles). At the Subaru dealership they stated that the oil leak was coming from the turbo iol line that connects at the timing cover. They installed a new union bold and washer. How is it possible that this happens in a brand-new car??"

David H., CA (2019 Subaru Ascent Premium 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Mirrors

"Drivers side mirror does not go out far enough to cover the blind spot for tall drivers with the seat moved rearward. In the fully left position, can still see the side of the vehicle and behind it. This causes headlights of the car directly behind to reflect directly in drivers eyes."

Anonymous, CO (2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Turbo or supercharger

"engine lost power upon acceleration to highway speed and eyesight functions were disabled; dealer determined loose screws connecting turbo to engine thus breaking seal was cause. Easy fix once identified. Excellent support by dealer and manufacturer."

L L., MD (2019 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

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