Reliable and relatively trouble free
Speedometer/tachometer started acting up at about 30000 miles. I did a little research and found that this is common on these cars. I bought a couple of new stepper motors from ebay and replaced the original. This required taking the instrument panel off, but I'm pretty handy, so it only took about an hour.
Overall, it's been reliable. We traded a Rodeo for it because the Rodeo was built on a truck chassis (and rode like it). The Ascender has a much smoother ride. It's a big car, however, and gives me the overall impression of being 'bulky'. My wife loves it, however. The third row of seats is great when family visits, or my kids have friends over, and is easy to fold down.
We've taken a couple of long road trips, and overall it's a very smooth driver. I expected better mileage... averaging 14-17 mpg in mixed city driving. Not long after we got it, my wife wished we had gotten the luxury model, because she realized we would have it for a long time.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 6th April, 2010