Subaru’s three-row SUV 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 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

We expect the 2022 Ascent will be much less reliable than the average new car. This prediction is based on data from 2019, 2020 and 2021 models. Select the used car model year to see reported issues with those similar past models.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2020 Subaru Ascent has been recalled 3 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
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Overall Reliability Verdict
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
Engine Minor
Engine Cooling
Transmission Major
Transmission Minor
Drive System
Fuel System
Electric System
Climate System
Suspension
Brakes
Exhaust
Paint/Trim
Body Integrity
Body Hardware
Power Equipment
In-car Electronics
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for over 300,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2021 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA 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.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2020 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

Android Auto

"The interface does not work well. The wireless function has never worked. Notifications of messages on the head unit are sporadic"

Anonymous, AR (2020 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Apple CarPlay

"CarPlay will become flaky from time to time. Unplugging the phone and replugging it in normally resolved the issue. At worst, turning the car off and on again fixed it. I have yet to determine any pattern to the behavior"

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Ascent Premium 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen freezes up

"After receiving an incoming call, the interface froze on the "call in progress", even after the phone call ended. This was apparently fixed with the software update."

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Hardware replacement

"The main amplifier went dead causing the entire STARLINK system to stop operating."

Anonymous, OH (2020 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"The voice recognition on the installed maps is absolutely horrible. Typing in an address or location is fine. However, when the vehicle is moving address and locations need to be put in verbally. The system has never once recognized the correct address."

Anonymous, AR (2020 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Radio

"The radio stops producing sound altogether after about 30 seconds if, and only if, a phone is plugged in"

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Ascent Premium 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The audio completely stopped working. Hard to perform a "hard reset " several times before dealer decided to replace the unit."

Anonymous, MO (2020 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Software update fixes

"The audio becomes inaudible when using XM, Bluetooth, and Apple Pay, but FM was normal. Dealership fixed the problem with an update."

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Recall to reprogram safety features."

Anonymous, OK (2020 Subaru Ascent Limited 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

Body control module

"BIU module had to be replaced. Was unable to open doors using keyfob due to this issue. Had to use the emergency key enclosed in the keyfob. Could start the car once inside and all other systems seemed to work normally. If car was turned off, keyfob would work for about ten minutes. After ten minutes, had to use emergency key to gain access. Very inconvenient."

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Ascent Premium 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Heated or cooled seats

"Heated seats never heat up. Can leave on high all day without feeling them"

Anonymous, IA (2020 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
USB port

"Electronic item plugged into USB port caused the battery to drain and car needed to be jumpstarted."

Anonymous, OH (2020 Subaru Ascent Touring 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

Antilock system (ABS)

"On 21 Dec 2019, the vehicle would not start. After AAA "jumped" the vehicle, I drove it to local Subaru Dealership for "repairs". They identified the following cause for starting issue: The ABS was not shutting down when the vehicle was turned off and instead continue to draw high amperes, which, in turn, depleted the battery and ultimately damaged the battery. I had to return to the local dealership service department twice for this issue. First time, after they identified the battery drain cause, they replaced the VDC CM / ABS module but claimed the battery had not been damaged. I drove the vehicle home on 26 Dec 2019; however, on 2 Jan 2020, I had to return vehicle to the local dealership service department for a second time because battery was not holding a charge and it was becoming more & more difficult to start vehicle. During second visit, service department determined one of the battery cell had indeed been damaged, and, they finally replaced it with a new battery. Of course, all this work was accomplished under warranty. I have not experienced any electrical issues since this second visit to the service department."

Anonymous, CO (2020 Subaru Ascent Touring 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaking

"Brakes squeaked after a few thousand miles. Would squeak pretty loudly when tapping the brakes. The dealer provided a warranty replacement of all brakes."

Anonymous, VA (2020 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

Locks and latches

"rear hatch would not lock. Problem was dead battery"

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Ascent Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Tailgate functions don't work properly. At one point the tailgate stuck about an inch open and I couldn't open or close it. The buzzer that warns you it is open stuck and would not shut off. Called dealer but no help. Finally had to remove battery cable. Dealer later told me when it happens again to hold the tailgate for 7 seconds and you can manually open it. It happened again and it worked. But that doesn't correct the defect."

Anonymous, OH (2020 Subaru Ascent Limited 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

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Paint had noticeable discolorations in the paint upon delivery, to the extent the dealership was willing to exchange the car after initial delivery. We purchased the car in the evening and didn't notice the issue until the following day after delivery. Also, the paint seems very fragile, scratching very easily."

Anonymous, ID (2020 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Door sills get marked with foot traffic and paint chips off. Had to buy aftermarket protectors."

David P., FL (2020 Subaru Ascent Touring 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

A/C compressor

"AC didn't work. Dealer evacuated system and recharged it. So far so good. It was under warrentee."

Anonymous, NY (2020 Subaru Ascent Unsure 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

Engine rebuild or replacement

"At 1900 miles. Driving on the interstate the engine totally blew and all oil drained out on the ground. Subaru Replaced the engine including the turbocharger."

Anonymous, NC (2020 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

"CVT behavior resulted in bucking and lurching of the entire vehicle when trying to drive a steady slow or moderate speed. Dealer says "no computer code indicates no problem." Occurring two or three times a week, worse in cold weather."

Anonymous, TX (2020 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

"Transmission needed replaced at only 4000 miles. Was horrible to drive before that. Never a smooth driving car because of the horrible transmission"

Anonymous, IA (2020 Subaru Ascent Limited 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

"There is an intermittent buzzing noise that can be heard inside the cabin that is coming from the engine area of the car when accelerating over 30 mph"

Anonymous, (2020 Subaru Ascent Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

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

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.

Engine Minor

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

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

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.

Exhaust

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

Drive System

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

Compare 2020 Models

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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
POWER TRAIN
Dec 09, 2021
An improperly secured drive chain may slip and break, causing a loss of drive power and increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Ascent, 2020 Legacy and Outback vehicles. A programming error in the Transmission Control Unit (TCU) may allow the clutch to engage before the drive chain is completely clamped.
What should you do:
Dealers will reprogram the TCU, inspect TCU data for chain slip, and visually inspect the chain guide. If evidence of chain slippage or damage is found, the transmission will be replaced. Repairs will be performed free of charge. Interim owner notification letters were be mailed February 7, 2022. The remedy is expected to be available in May 2022. This recall includes all vehicles previously recalled under 19V-855. Vehicles previously recalled under 19V-855 will need to have the new remedy performed for this recall once available. Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-844-373-6614. Subaru's number for this recall is WRK-21.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 21V955000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 198255
STEERING
Dec 09, 2021
The tie rods may separate from the housing, causing a loss of steering control and increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling certain 2020 Ascent vehicles. Due to an incorrect tapered hole in the housing, the front tie rod ends may not fit properly. The improper fit can result in the tie rods and housings being deformed during assembly and service replacement if excessive torque is applied.
What should you do:
Dealers will replace the left and right front tie rod ends and housings, free of charge. Owner notification letters were mailed February 7, 2022. Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-844-373-6614. Subaru's number for this recall is WRL-21.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 21V954000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1305
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE
Jul 29, 2021
Fuel pump failure can cause an engine stall while driving, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Ascent, 2018 Forester, 2018-2020 Impreza, Legacy, Outback, 2018-2019 BRZ, WRX, and Toyota 86 vehicles. The low-pressure fuel pump inside the fuel tank may fail.
What should you do:
Dealers will replace the low-pressure fuel pump, free of charge. Owner notification letters were mailed September 24, 2021. Subaru and Toyota owners may call customer service at 1-844-373-6614. Subaru's number for this recall is WRG-21.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 21V587000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 175968
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