2022 Subaru Ascent Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Transmission issues, cracked windshields, and electrical problems are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Official production of the first Subaru Ascent model began in May 2018 at the manufacturer’s plant in Indiana. The 2019 model was launched in the third quarter of that year.

Subaru’s second attempt at a crossover, they sold 36,211 units in the U.S. in 2018 and 81,958 in 2019. Not bad for a first model. But the figures have been dropping since then, to 67,623 in 2020 and 59,980 in 2021.

A major issue is reliability. Consumer Reports (CR) had the Ascent on its list of the 10 least reliable cars from the start. And it hasn’t gotten any better. Based on data from 2019, 2020, and 2021 models, they reported that they expected the 2022 model to be “much less reliable than the average new car.”

Complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for these four models highlight areas of concern.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2020   2021   2023

Most Common Problems with the 2022 Subaru Ascent

There isn’t a huge volume of complaints to the NHTSA about the 2022 Subaru Ascent… yet. Only 7 and still counting. The volume of complaints received by the NHTSA for the 2019 and 2020 models is significantly higher.

Complaints received about the 2019 model currently total 353. Complaints about the 2020 model total 226, and there are 41 about the 2021 model. Of course, it stands to reason that complaints will increase the longer a model has been on the road. But a factor worth noting is that irrespective of the numbers, the most common problems remain the same year after year.

These aren’t the only problems, but we have noticed some that constantly recur. They include transmission issues, problems with windshields randomly cracking without any impact, and electrical problems that result in dead batteries have been common since day one. Problems with the 2022 Subaru Ascent are no different.

Reviewers on Edmunds get the opportunity to rate various factors about specific vehicles. Some give the 2022 Ascent 5 stars, but some don’t.

One Edmunds review that gives the vehicle only 1 star for reliability, and 1 star overall, states: “I can’t express how disappointing this car is. (It is the) worst car I have ever bought, ever! This car is dangerous due to the transmission issue that they won’t acknowledge. I hate this car.”

Another 1-star Edmunds review warns consumers not to buy the 2022 Ascent because it is not up to Subaru standards. “I can’t say enough about my bad experience with this vehicle. From the get-go, we’ve had issues.”

2022 Subaru Ascent Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Power Train
Service Brakes
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Fuel/propulsion System
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Back Over Prevention: Warnings
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control

Transmission Problems

The Ohio owner of a 2022 Ascent states that he got rid of his 2020 Ascent because of transmission problems that were exactly the same as those he is experiencing now.

“The transmission of my 2022 Ascent regularly slips or shutters when trying to accelerate. While maintaining speed I can also feel a shutter or flutter. As if it is trying to decide what ratio to keep, even though I’m on flat ground and maintaining speed. It is a similar feeling to the transmission of my 2020 ascent I got rid of because of the fear of safety.”

An owner from New York states that the transmission is slipping and lunging forward without any prior warning. “I believe this is the same reason there was a recall for my model car in 2019 & 2020.”

Highlighting the fact that it is a safety issue, he says, “I was carrying five (5) passengers in the car when it lunged forward and I almost rear-ended the car in front of me and was also (nearly) rear-ended because I had to apply my brakes quickly.”

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Cracked Windshield Problems

There is 1 complaint to the NHTSA about a 2022 Ascent windshield spontaneously cracking. But there are 11 similar complaints about the 2021 Ascent and many, many more that relate to the 2019 and 2020 models.

This complaint from an owner in California states that it is the second windshield that has cracked in the five months they have owned the car. They don’t know how either of them happened, but the second crack has quickly spread across half of the window.

Electrical System Problems

Again, there is only one NHTSA complaint about the 2022 Ascent battery dying, but there are 5 very similar complaints about the 2021 model and a lot more about the 2 earlier models.

This particular complaint, from an owner in Pennsylvania, states that the “electrical system/battery failed after only 392 miles. The car could not be jumped. When the cables were put on the battery, the tech said they got real hot (which leads us to believe it was shorting out.)

“Even though Subaru blamed the battery, the dashboard lights, the horn, and the headlights were all flickering and flashing like a Christmas tree. The car had also just been driven 45 minutes before. Subaru blamed driver error on not shutting the car off properly, but according to a class-action lawsuit, Subaru is aware of this happening with other Subaru vehicles”

This same owner also reports a burning smell in their garage that had been happening for a few months. It stopped after the vehicle had been attended to by the dealership.

What to do if your 2022 Subaru Ascent is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

Whether you are convinced you have bought a lemon or just suspect it to be the case, if the problems keep recurring or they impact your 2022 Ascent negatively, it’s a good idea to take action.

Lemberg Law has a lot of experience with lemon law vehicle cases and we have negotiated settlements with manufacturers for many clients. If you’d like us to do a free assessment of your case, please call us or fill in the contact form. Ultimately, the law will make Subaru pay if it’s a lemon law case.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • John J

    I have a 2022 Ascent and am quite satisfied with it. Comfortable highway ride and excellent all-wheel drive on rough gravel roads. I have driven it 22,000 miles with no problems.

  • David L

    You said in your article that the numbers of sales have dwindled since 2020 to 2022? Just remember during Covid not many dealers had stock of vehicles etc, so I believe that is the reason for lack of sales in those years.

  • Leslie

    I had a 2019 Ascent and while there was an issue with braking at times that we were having trouble getting addressed, when I started blacking out last week with enough thought to get off the road, I ended up going up 6 ft of guidecwire on an electri pole, fell on the back end, then rolled to passenger side, coming to a stop upside down..no injury AT ALL! The roof shows some slight crumpling..but not my head. The car is totaled but if I were planning to fly into the air and roll…I would pick the Ascent again.

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