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Subaru Ascent Problems & Complaints: Are The Issues Worth Buying It?
Subaru has long been a popular car brand in the United States and has a very distinct, and devoted following.
Known for its reliability, high safety records and reasonable price, its fan base tends to be young families, explorers, and anyone who enjoys an active and outdoorsy lifestyle.
Subaru produces all-wheel drive vehicles that are also known for being able to handle rough road conditions as well as all types of inclement weather.
The Subaru Ascent is a midsize SUV that began being produced in 2018. It is the largest vehicle that Subaru manufacturers and can seat up to eight people in certain trim models (though the standard is seven.)
Manufacturing a vehicle of this size was a relatively new concept for Subaru and - though the company has always had a strong fan base amongst certain populations - the reviews on the Ascent are still mixed.
There has been optimistic talk that many of the Ascent’s early issues are going to be resolved when the new model is rolled out.
But for anyone wanting to purchase an Ascent now, it’s important that you know some of the biggest problems that previous and current owners have dealt with.
Like I said earlier, I am a current owner of a Subaru Ascent and have really enjoyed the car. That said, there are some issues that have come up, but they haven’t been significant enough for me to have regretted buying it.
Let’s see if the issues are going to be deal breakers for you, or if a Subaru Ascent is in your near future.
1. The Eyesight Driver Assist Technology Tends to Not Always Work Properly
One of the greatest new features on many newer model vehicles has been the introduction of Eyesight Driver Assist Technology.
As we move closer to the concept of driverless cars, the Eyesight Driver Assist Technology is definitely part of that movement.
The idea is this…car manufacturers have begun adding features to their vehicles that allow the car to help you as the driver makes decisions that could be compromised when you are tired, the road or weather conditions are poor, or you find yourself in traffic situations where some added support is welcome.
By installing wide-lense cameras at different focal points of the vehicle, the driver is now equipped with - what in essence is - an additional pair of eyes.
Depending on where the cameras are located, your car will be able to help you navigate everything from lane swerving, speed adjustments and even obstacles that may be in your way.
On the Ascent, the Eyesight Driver Assist Technology is designed to do all these things and more.
With multiple cameras mounted around the Ascents body, the vehicle is equipped with Lane Change Assist, Blind Spot Recognition and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
But when the cameras aren’t working properly, none of these features will be reliable. And, if you are someone who has come to rely on them, this can be very problematic.
I know people who have said that the cameras on their Ascent never seem to be working the way they should. They either get tweaked during movement and need to constantly be adjusted, or the way they are positioned means that dirt and debris often cloud the lens and make it hard for them to detect possible issues on the road.
Personally, I have not had an issue with my Eyesight Driver Assist Technology on my Ascent. I also try to not rely on it too much, so even if there was an issue, it may not be one that would be highly important to me.
But, if the thought of your vehicle’s Eyesight Driver Assist Technology not working properly is a concern for you, then the Subaru Ascent may not be your next car of choice.
2. The Battery Tends to Drain Easily
This is another issue that may or may not cause you great concern, depending on your lifestyle and what you are planning to use your Subaru for most of the time.
The Subaru Ascent is marketed to those who have busy, outdoor lifestyles and like to spend a decent amount of their free time outside exploring, camping, tailgating and engaging in other activities that make having an Ascent more enjoyable.
With a large cargo area and wide tailgate, the Subaru Ascent is often used for activities that may require the tailgate to be open for long periods of time.
There’s nothing more fun than going to a tailgate party with a large group, cooking, eating and lounging out of the back of everyone’s vehicles.
And though the Subaru Ascent is designed with exactly this type of activity in mind, there is an issue that may prevent it from being nearly as enjoyable as it should.
When the Ascent’s tailgate is open for an extended period of time, there are often reports that the Ascent’s battery will run out, causing the Subaru to be inoperable.
This can be problematic for the Ascent owner, not only because it’s incredibly inconvenient, but can also leave you stranded in a very inconvenient place and/or time.
Unlike with the Eyesight Assist technology, I have actually had the battery die on my Subaru Ascent during a tailgate party. But, because I had already researched any potential problems with the vehicle, I was prepared and asked a fellow tailgator to jump my vehicle when it was time to leave.
They did, and my Ascent started back up just fine.
Again, this could be a big issue for someone who doesn’t want to have to deal with jumper cables and asking for assistance anytime they leave the SUVs tailgate open for an extended period of time.
But - if a quick jump start doesn’t seem to bother you, then the Subaru Ascent may still be in the running as a potential car of choice.
3. The Windshield Can Spontaneously Crack
Another potential deal breaker for someone considering the Subaru Ascent is the possibility of the windshield cracking for no apparent reason.
For a time, cracking windshields have been a problem for Subaru vehicles in general.
Subaru uses acoustic glass in most of their cars in the manufacturing of their windshields. The advantage to acoustic glass is that it helps alleviate outside noises, whether they be from road traffic, high wind or other natural or man-made elements.
Having less noise in your car’s cabin means for a more pleasant ride as well as added safety, since there is less noise pollution to distract you and your passengers.
But - one downside to acoustic glass is that it’s known for being more sensitive to cracking, even when there is no apparent cause for the crack appearing.
A cracked windshield is not just aesthetically unappealing. It can be a huge safety detriment to not be able to see through your windshield with a clear, unobstructed view.
Depending on how significant the crack is, it may not even be legal to drive your Ascent if the crack is causing so much obstruction that a police officer deems your car unsafe for the road until the windshield is repaired or replaced.
And windshield replacements aren’t usually inexpensive.
The average cost to replace a windshield on a Subaru Ascent is anywhere from $160 to $270 depending on where you live.
Even if you were to replace the windshield, there’s no guarantee it won’t happen again, meaning that you’ll end up shelling out big bucks more than once, for possibly no obvious reason.
I have not had my windshield on my Ascent crack, thank goodness. But, I know this is a possible problem that I may have to deal with down the road.
For me, the potential windshield replacement issue was not big enough for me to not want to buy the Subaru Ascent. But for you, that may be a different story.
About The Author
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding