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2019 Subaru Ascent Mid-sized SUV - True 3-row vehicle


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But the average people driving the Ascent don't care about 93 octane or maximum performance. We are certainly in the minority here. I'm curious if the power is being limited intentionally as to not grenade the CVT as covertrussian alluded to... Perhaps there's longer-term goals at play here? After all, they take a lot of pride saying "98% of Outbacks are still on the road after 10 years"

 

My reasoning is not for power exactly, I would surmise the timing tables have been adjusted for optimizing 87 octane fuel. I don't plan on running 87 so I would like the tables optimized for 93 allowing slightly more power but more importantly utilizing it's full potential. My guess is 93 runs richer than it needs to in the 2.4 due to optimization for 87.

 

It would be cool to have a flex fuel option also.

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Thanks for the summarization of your experience Pilot1226! I've been sick as a dog and haven't had the brain capacity to read through and reply.

 

I've not owned a modern Subaru, thus it's interesting to hear about the changes. It really does feel like the Forester has nicer features then the Ascent. It does seem like Ascent Limited's + have LED fogs too.

 

As for rear styling of the Ascent, I think they really wanted to make it look more in the family with Impreza/Crosstrek bulky tail lights. I also dislike how dominating and cheap the rear plastic cladding looks. I think designers realized the rear looks too much like a minivan and it was easier to just "increase the cladding to make it Macho SUV". This is why I like darker colored Ascents (like the charcoal gray), the cladding/tail lights are less of an eye sore.

 

I'll agree with you that even the claw style forester design looks better overall. But what I really would love to see is the clean and fresh look of the Ascent concept instead! Cladding is not as not as overpowering, tail lights look more streamlined, and overall the concept design makes it look less tall (good thing):

2019-Subaru-Ascent-rear-end.jpg

 

 

But the average people driving the Ascent don't care about 93 octane or maximum performance. We are certainly in the minority here. I'm curious if the power is being limited intentionally as to not grenade the CVT as covertrussian alluded to... Perhaps there's longer-term goals at play here? After all, they take a lot of pride saying "98% of Outbacks are still on the road after 10 years"

 

I'm actually siding with the average people: I got tired of having 3 cars that all required premium gas. I'm fine with my two sedans requiring premium gas, since I mostly short distance them. But with the Outback or Ascent, it's a long trip car, thus I need the gas to be cheap and readily available. I'm not saying the Ascent would be a good SHTF car, but one day I might need to borrow fuel form my lawn mowers :lol:.

 

As for the CVT and torque sensing. It does seem like they have built in torque sensors, since a lot of people are seeing the same max power output on their CVT's with FXT's and WRX's. I seem to recall seeing that it also varies belt clamping force based on torque amount, which is clever and would explain why there is a delay in flooring the throttle and something actually happening.

 

Heck, thinking about it, it probably increases the longevity of the belt to have torque based pulley pressures.

 

My reasoning is not for power exactly, I would surmise the timing tables have been adjusted for optimizing 87 octane fuel. I don't plan on running 87 so I would like the tables optimized for 93 allowing slightly more power but more importantly utilizing it's full potential. My guess is 93 runs richer than it needs to in the 2.4 due to optimization for 87.

 

It would be cool to have a flex fuel option also.

 

I'm sure they have variable timing tables for the Ascent, especially since even the 2010 NA Legacy/Outbacks had variable tables too (IAM based base map switch over + IAM learning).

 

I do hope to see more side by side testing of 87 vs 93, but the car is still too new and expensive for those of us that would care about that data :lol:. I personally would run 93 on a hot day, especially while towing.

Edited by covertrussian

05 LGT 16G 14psi 290whp/30mpg

12 OBP Stock 130whp/27mpg@87 Oct

00 G20t GT28r 10psi 250whp/36mpg

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My overall feeling is that the Forester is the first model to get new features.

 

 

I did look at the hybrid Forester last Friday and it was interesting to see. It was a China spec version since they haven't produced any for Europe yet so some items might change.

 

 

Some items that I saw:

 

 

  • The battery pack is under the cargo floor in the rear, which now has removed the ability to have a spare wheel entirely. This is a bit annoying and not good if you find yourself in a remote location with a blown tire.
  • Dual batteries under the hood, and I see that it's to accommodate sufficient power reserves for the start/stop system.
  • Driver alertness monitoring system is introduced to see if the driver is impaired. It shall from what I was told use a camera to monitor the eyes of the driver. Not sure how it will work with sunglasses or cross-eyed persons.
  • There are upgrades to X-Mode to have two different variants.
  • The platform for the Forester is now shared with the Outback, the main difference is the cargo area size and some cosmetics.
  • Headlights are LEDs with both low and high beam in the same lens.

(Sorry for going a bit off topic)

453747.png
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They definitely removed the spare in the Crosstrek hybrid. You obviously are in trouble here if you get a flat. Hopefully you’re equipped with run flats.

 

The auto start on my Forester looks the same as a regular battery. It’s the internals they are different.

 

DriverFocus can be turned off but generally speaking I think there are a few cases of it not liking sunglasses on the Foz forum.

 

Dual mode x-mode just gives you a deep snow or mud option.

 

Yeah low beams are shared LEDs now.

 

My concern is obviously the removal of the spare.

 

Onyx edition 2020 Outback has a full size spare!!

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I think the Crosstrek or Forster would look nice with a rear trunk mounted spare tire.

 

 

In that case they would have to change the gate to a door.

 

 

In the 80's they had the spare in the engine compartment, but that was with the EA81 engine, today there's too much stuff there to allow for it - and the wheels are a lot larger than the 13" rims they used to have.

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  • 1 month later...

Just saw the Legacy/Outback pricing & features thread, and noticed something that makes me angry at Subaru and Ascent.

 

The 2020 Legacy Premium begins at $24,995. Upgrades over the Base trim include All-Weather Package (heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer), leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control system and a 10-way power driver seat that includes power lumbar support. The Premium now comes standard with power-folding exterior mirrors in matching body color with integrated turn signal.

 

Why is it that we have to go ALL THE WAY TO Touring model of the 2020 Ascent to get power folding mirrors, when a 20k cheaper legacy premium gets it standard (not even as a $$ add-on!).

 

I really want a Front camera, Rear view mirror camera, and power folding mirrors, pricing aside I really hate the forced 7 seat BROWN leather, along with moon roof. Thus I wish Subaru would give us these items as option packages for the Limited trim.

05 LGT 16G 14psi 290whp/30mpg

12 OBP Stock 130whp/27mpg@87 Oct

00 G20t GT28r 10psi 250whp/36mpg

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Sometimes I really wonder who is in charge there and if they have a clue.

 

 

As much as I research vehicles, I'll admit I missed this on the new Outback we bought the wife. Memory seats- who the **** puts memory seats in a vehicle but not mirrors- oh hey Subaru in 2019.

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Just install the Front camera, Rear view mirror camera, and power folding mirrors on your current outback and you're set :hide:

 

Halfway there, installed a mirror dashcam right before my last long trip. It was useful to catching idiots doing idiot things. I didn't hook up the backup camera portion yet though.

 

But even with all of that, we are at the limits of the Outback size, it's just too cramped for us. Having to take two cars to go anywhere was also a pain, if we had an 8 seater, around town excursions would fit my whole family.

 

Anyway, so I'm back to shopping for bigger car, I love the Outback but we simply outgrew it already :redface:.

05 LGT 16G 14psi 290whp/30mpg

12 OBP Stock 130whp/27mpg@87 Oct

00 G20t GT28r 10psi 250whp/36mpg

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Yeah. We're having a baby in about two weeks. Currently have a 6 year old and 3 year old. Have decided to continue using the 05 OBXT. Test fitted all the carseats and it fits :eek:. We shall see how it goes!! I did too many mods to this car to just let it go like that. Too hard to do at this time.
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Thanks. Yeah, no way an adult fits in the back of a 3rd gen OB between two car seats. I mean, the three car seats fit but it is a pain for sure. We still managed to find a configuration that'll work for us though. And having a 16 cu ft skybox and an additional 12cu ft stowaway box (on the hitch) is very helpful for long trips. I just need to install that vf52 JMPed, retune that thing and move on!
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This was one of the reasons my wife wanted a third-row SUV a few years ago - if anyone had to sit in the middle seat between the two car seats, you literally could not put your arms down, you had to hold them out over the back of the seat tops... lol.
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Halfway there, installed a mirror dashcam right before my last long trip. It was useful to catching idiots doing idiot things. I didn't hook up the backup camera portion yet though.

 

But even with all of that, we are at the limits of the Outback size, it's just too cramped for us. Having to take two cars to go anywhere was also a pain, if we had an 8 seater, around town excursions would fit my whole family.

 

Anyway, so I'm back to shopping for bigger car, I love the Outback but we simply outgrew it already :redface:.

 

Time for a van. Mini-van or even better a full size van if you are regularly carrying around 8 people. I think even an extra-long suburban will feel cramped.

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Nah we're only a family of 4, so around town it's fine. It's would be most useful when we go anywhere, especially with extended family.

 

Also minivan fails the ground clearance and AWD requirement. Also minivan's are uncool, which is one of the reasons the Honda Pilot is not high on the list, nor the 2020 Highlander (both look too much like a minivan).

 

Realistically though both Highlander and Pilot are not on my high list due to: cylinder deactivation, auto start-stop, and boat like handling, and lack of space (highlander). Though I might settle for a used Pilot since they are half the cost of the Ascent.

05 LGT 16G 14psi 290whp/30mpg

12 OBP Stock 130whp/27mpg@87 Oct

00 G20t GT28r 10psi 250whp/36mpg

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Nah we're only a family of 4, so around town it's fine. It's would be most useful when we go anywhere, especially with extended family.

 

Also minivan fails the ground clearance and AWD requirement. Also minivan's are uncool, which is one of the reasons the Honda Pilot is not high on the list, nor the 2020 Highlander (both look too much like a minivan).

 

Realistically though both Highlander and Pilot are not on my high list due to: cylinder deactivation, auto start-stop, and boat like handling, and lack of space (highlander). Though I might settle for a used Pilot since they are half the cost of the Ascent.

 

We are in the same predicament you are, needing more space. We have a 2012 Mazda CX9 but the cargo space is next to non existent and the back seat is tiny and our growing children will soon outgrow it. We are a family of 7.

 

Like you we want all-wheel drive. There are minivans with all wheel drive, notably the Toyota Sienna. A minivan doesn't address your ground clearance issue though. I would argue that a minivan can be cool. But only with some aftermarket investments.

 

Best of luck in your car search.

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Sienna's AWD is a bit weak for me, it's based on the same system as the pre-2019 RAV 4 and Pre-2020 highlander. They are very FWD biased and the programming refuses to use rear wheels, which means I will be stuck in the first snow/mud ditch and wont make it up my driveway.

 

I had high hopes for 2019+ RAV4's new torque vectoring system "Dynamic Torque All Wheel Drive", available in higher RAV4 and 2020 Highlander trims, but based a lot of tests it seems to be rather weak still.

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWxzkY8_D3g]Toyota AWD Explained and Tested: 2019 RAV4, Highlander, Prius AWD - YouTube[/ame]

 

With that said, I've been researching Honda Pilots (which also have a FWD based AWD, but do have a real torque vectoring system). The 2016's are in my affordability range, but they seem to have their fair share of issues, even the 6 speeds...

  • Injector design flaw for first 140k cars, shows up at around 30k miles and is not covered under powertrain warranty so $2k replacement. Honda seems to be difficult to people right out of warranty.
  • Transmissions slipping at about 36k miles. Honda's fix is to flush fluid 3 times and reprogram TCU, there is a TSB. If your out of warranty your at the mercy of the dealer on getting the fixed tune it seems. Some are saying they will probably have to do 3 flushes per oil change going forward
  • Variable Cylinder Management unpleseantries and past model issues (cylinder scoring, plug fouling, rough idle/engine operation, etc.)
  • Idle stop-start Issues, luckily it's only a feature of models above EX-L!
  • Honda does seem to care about having good customer service
  • Looks like a damn minivan

 

All of this is making me hold out for the Ascent... plus IMO it has one of the better looking front end's (2017-19 Highlanders are up there for me too, 2020 Highlanders are FUGLY and look too much like minivans).

 

I still don't love the idea of a 2019 one because of first year problems, especially when so much of the stuff is computerized and a lot of fixes ECU/TCU reflashes. Manufactures tend NOT backport these fixes to older models, especially if they are discovered after warranty period is out. I seem to recall that Toyota ran into this with the AWD logic, where an AWD fix was introduced but was not being backported to previous models.

 

As for Ascent transmission issues, there are some talks that it could be related to faulty wiring. Which means that Subaru might be closing in on the issue for those specific cars. My concern with this is, wires fail over time, especially when you have pesky squirrels and mice that love eating those soy based wiring. On a traditional auto, if wires are chewed trough, replacing them should mean the trans is good to go after. With CVT, too much damage might be done (solenoids didn't engage + cones/belt slip and wear out). To me this could be really bad since when I'm off road camping, there is no cell service and might not be another soul for hours/days.

 

This morning I had a crazy thought, there is a GOOD chance that STI's will get the Ascent engine too. Which means, eventually there will be a surplus of wrecked STI's with 6 Speed manuals, that might just bolt up....

Edited by covertrussian

05 LGT 16G 14psi 290whp/30mpg

12 OBP Stock 130whp/27mpg@87 Oct

00 G20t GT28r 10psi 250whp/36mpg

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I’m in talks with Honda now regarding the electrical issues on the infotainment now that we are out of warranty. Curious what happens. Part of me wants the thing to blow up so I can tell my wife told ya so.
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Careful now, when otherwise she'll have the same attitude when the Ascent has any minor issue.

 

Also just learned that Pilot doesn't tow 5k lbs unless you install the optional ATF cooler, weaksauce.

 

On another note, had a shower thought today... Outback 3.6's have had the same CVT, while having similar HP and close enough weight for a while now and Outback 3.6's don't seem to be dropping CVT's. This is a common comparison that is made on Ascent forums (the TR690 CVT trans has been in production for 10 years, etc.)

Anyway the shower thought is, how many 3.6 CVT Outbacks were actually made? Vast majority of Outbacks and Legacies were much weaker and lighter 2.5i's (and even then had a different CVT model).

 

Perhaps it's simply scale, but it could also be the gobs of torque that the FA24DIT provides too, guess we'll know soon enough with all the OXT's and LXT's (sounds wrong Subaru!) being pushed out soon.

05 LGT 16G 14psi 290whp/30mpg

12 OBP Stock 130whp/27mpg@87 Oct

00 G20t GT28r 10psi 250whp/36mpg

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