Subaru Ascent Forum banner
61 - 80 of 101 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
We bought an Subaru Ascent Premium a few weeks ago and now have about 800 miles on it.

I've been driving it VERY gently -- accelerating slowly, not speeding, keeping RPMs low, paying attention to fuel economy meter as I drive, etc.

The best mileage I've ever gotten on a tank (according to the average MPG on the dashboard) is 20.4, and that was mostly long (60 min +) highway trips with no traffic.

We just refilled the tank after an average amount of city/highway driving. The dashboard said 17.2 for that trip, but we calculated 16.2.

We live in California, but in a normal suburban area (not city). It has been hot here, and I do run the A/C when I drive, but I don't think that should make this much of a difference, should it?

We did get a tow package with trailer brakes installed on our car a couple days after purchase, but we haven't been towing anything, so that shouldn't make much of a difference, should it?

I'm so upset about this, as I was sort of okay with getting low 20s for gas mileage, but I'm not okay with getting 16.2 mpg.

Is there anything the dealer can do?
Our 2020 Ascent has a dealer installed tow package. We just passed the 20K odometer reading and average 24 to 28 mpg. Although we have not towed used the Ascent for towing we do run the A/C.
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
Joined
·
3,722 Posts
The "tow package" for the Ascent is a hitch receiver and a wiring pigtail. It's not going to have any effect at all on mileage. There are no modifications to the drivetrain, etc., that did not already exist from the factory on Premium, Limited and Touring trim levels, when the hitch receiver is installed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Robert.Mauro

·
Registered
2019 Ascent Limited
Joined
·
798 Posts
I just did a vehicle status check and got the following which is pretty normal mpg for the 80 mile run to the airport. It’s been sitting in long term parking at DTW since 7/28 while we are in LA.

13283
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
We bought an Subaru Ascent Premium a few weeks ago and now have about 800 miles on it.

I've been driving it VERY gently -- accelerating slowly, not speeding, keeping RPMs low, paying attention to fuel economy meter as I drive, etc.

The best mileage I've ever gotten on a tank (according to the average MPG on the dashboard) is 20.4, and that was mostly long (60 min +) highway trips with no traffic.

We just refilled the tank after an average amount of city/highway driving. The dashboard said 17.2 for that trip, but we calculated 16.2.

We live in California, but in a normal suburban area (not city). It has been hot here, and I do run the A/C when I drive, but I don't think that should make this much of a difference, should it?

We did get a tow package with trailer brakes installed on our car a couple days after purchase, but we haven't been towing anything, so that shouldn't make much of a difference, should it?

I'm so upset about this, as I was sort of okay with getting low 20s for gas mileage, but I'm not okay with getting 16.2 mpg.

Is there anything the dealer can do?
Honestly, I’m in the same boat and I’m afraid this is normal. I’m approaching 10,000 miles on my 2020 Ltd and that’s about my average also. My window sticker very clearly says “city 20” which I very clearly find misleading. Subaru bleeders will make excuses all day long on here but nothing is wrong with your car. We were just mislead. It is a big heavy car and conditions do vary, early oil changes etc. but I have babied and coasted and can only approach 17.3 at very best. I have managed about 26.6 on the highway. If I had known this going in I would definitely have looked elsewhere or Outback-ish. I asked my dealer about possible software updates etc but imy car is totally updated and my dealership is unconcerned. How Subaru got that “20” is like … a downhill conversation.
 

·
Registered
2020 CWP Touring
Joined
·
1,120 Posts
How Subaru got that “20” is like … a downhill conversation.
They got it by using the EPA's city testing schedule. It's not an arbitrary number that Subaru got because they sent their best hypermiler out to see what they can get. Every manufacturer tests every road-going vehicle using the exact same procedure. That your Ascent will clear 26 mpg or better on the highway is great -- it sounds like it's working well, mechanically. The dealer could check for things like dragging brakes or something that would explain systemically low fuel economy, but your highway fuel economy is right on the money. It sounds like there's nothing wrong with your vehicle, and your driving style is probably fine. Your "city" driving environment, or where you drive on a regular basis, is likely just a less efficient environment than is represented by the EPA's city testing schedule.
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
Joined
·
3,722 Posts
My window sticker very clearly says “city 20” which I very clearly find misleading
There is a huge misunderstanding about what the EPA numbers represent when they are on that sticker. They do not represent the expected mileage in the real world. They are numbers from specific tests that are supposed to be used to compare vehicles as ever vehicle has the exact same test in every way done to establish those numbers. But the "City" test isn't anything like driving in a real city...it includes limited stop and go and has some periods of cruising. The "highway" test doesn't exceed 60 mph/ None of us drive in controlled conditions and the speeds that those tests represent. So there is no misleading in the numbers if they are taken as they are intended...to compare two or more vehicles under the exact same conditions, albeit "none real world" conditions.

That said, when someone constantly gets a much lower fuel economy result and it cannot be attributed to terrain and driving style, there's likely an issue with that specific vehicle. I believe that is the case with teh OP. If someone is getting 18-19 mpg in "around town" driving that can be considered somewhat normal. Slightly lower driving in a place like Manhattan would also be considered normal. Getting 14 mpg or less is not normal unless one is towing something big.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AustheAscent

·
Registered
2020 CWP Touring
Joined
·
1,120 Posts
Getting 14 mpg or less is not normal unless one is towing something big.
Economy in the 14s can be normal, but it depends entirely on the driving environment. You may have intended to hit on this with your reference to terrain (hills or flat) and driving style (lead foot or blue hair), but stop and go and long periods of idling can really impact the number. We usually get about 20-21 mpg in our Ascent, even in "city" driving. But this is our current situation, with only about 12 miles on this current tank. Our tank's mileage is under 15 mpg because we've been doing a lot of short trips with idling waiting for the kids at cheer practice in hot weather with the A/C on. If our entire tank consisted of this type of driving, then we'd be lucky to get 15 mpg on the tank.

But this is very atypical for us and I know it's neither a malfunction in the car or a malfunction in our driving or a product of hills or anything else. It's simply the duty cycle we've been doing for this tank. Other people may experience this type of driving all the time and consider it normal city driving. As you correctly pointed out, @Jim_in_PA, any deviation from the EPA's strict city cycle will produce numbers higher or lower than the stated value...sometimes alarmingly higher or lower.

13292
 

·
Registered
2020 CWP Touring
Joined
·
1,120 Posts
This is what we typically get for "city" driving (which is really more semi-rural/semi-suburban).

13293
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Never looked at the vehicle status screen in the MySubaru app before. As usual my wife's tank is nearly empty...


13294
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
907 Posts
They got it by using the EPA's city testing schedule. It's not an arbitrary number that Subaru got because they sent their best hypermiler out to see what they can get. Every manufacturer tests every road-going vehicle using the exact same procedure. That your Ascent will clear 26 mpg or better on the highway is great -- it sounds like it's working well, mechanically. The dealer could check for things like dragging brakes or something that would explain systemically low fuel economy, but your highway fuel economy is right on the money. It sounds like there's nothing wrong with your vehicle, and your driving style is probably fine. Your "city" driving environment, or where you drive on a regular basis, is likely just a less efficient environment than is represented by the EPA's city testing schedule.
And to be clear, the manufacturers themselves do not test it. An EPA certified driver tests it on their course and they use exacting procedures to make sure the tests are apples to apples. An article I read said the drivers are highly trained similar to race car drivers so that they can do the course exactly the same every time for every vehicle.
 

·
Registered
2020 Ascent Touring
Joined
·
1,081 Posts
And to be clear, the manufacturers themselves do not test it. An EPA certified driver tests it on their course and they use exacting procedures to make sure the tests are apples to apples. An article I read said the drivers are highly trained similar to race car drivers so that they can do the course exactly the same every time for every vehicle.
Correct. And the manufacturers simulate what the EPA will do before ever turning over a sample for the EPA certification. Just like attorneys in court never ask a question they don't already know the answer, the manufacturers know the mileage results before the cert.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
I'm not sure how much it matters in "real life," but I'm sure there is some variation is fuel quality of the various owners here reporting different mileage. I assume that's a relatively small part of the equation though.
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
Joined
·
3,722 Posts
I'm not sure how much it matters in "real life," but I'm sure there is some variation is fuel quality of the various owners here reporting different mileage. I assume that's a relatively small part of the equation though.
I think that's absolutely true. Professor Dr. SWMBO, since we moved, has been less inclined to drive to Costco for gas when the Forester gets low. I think she got a few bad tanks from the place she was buying from because while it's normal to take a hit for more "in town" driving, it was a lot more of a hit than I expected, especially since I drive it more than she does at this point and I'm really good on getting fuel economy. It's coming back up now to where I expected it to be so hopefully, that's because the tank at the station has better product in it.
 

·
Registered
2020 CWP Touring
Joined
·
1,120 Posts
And to be clear, the manufacturers themselves do not test it. An EPA certified driver tests it on their course and they use exacting procedures to make sure the tests are apples to apples. An article I read said the drivers are highly trained similar to race car drivers so that they can do the course exactly the same every time for every vehicle.
I think the manufacturers DO test their own vehicles. From fueleconomy.gov: How Vehicles Are Tested (fueleconomy.gov)

Manufacturers test their own vehicles - usually pre-production prototypes - and report the results to EPA. EPA reviews the results and confirms about 15%-20% of them through their own tests at the National Vehicles and Fuel Emissions Laboratory.
Several manufacturers have been caught "cheating" the system and I think this is how that happens. Manufacturers self-attest the results and EPA will fact-check some of those. As Subaru has never been known to be involved in any fraudulent activity in this regard, I think it's reasonable to presume that the Ascent really does return 21/27 (or 20/26 for Limited and Touring) in the EPA's testing protocol. But, at least according to the EPA, Subaru itself is doing the testing.
 

·
Registered
2020 Ascent
Joined
·
195 Posts
I'd wager that the break-in is more for the driver than the car. The Subie (and most/all subies) have a very touchy throttle compared to most other cars. When driving rentals (like a Suburban) I have to really mash on the throttle to get it to move. Doing that in the Subie makes it take off fast!

I did a test where I gave the Ascent 20% throttle and it did the quarter mile faster than an average sedan at full throttle! :D

I'm on my fifth Subie, so I didn't have the throttle break-in that lots of other people had. So I was getting 18-20mpg or so. I've added AT tires and a 2" lift so now it's more around the 16mpg. And I just love the turbo, so I just pay for the smiles-per-mile rather than worrying about my mpg.
Certainly there us a learning curve with any vehicle but there is usually a break in period too. It is not always a significant change, my Ridgeline was minimal but my motorcycle was drastic. It was my first and it was a Honda CBR600f4i so my riding got WAY more aggressive as time went on yet mileage got better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
220 Posts
Honestly, I’m in the same boat and I’m afraid this is normal. I’m approaching 10,000 miles on my 2020 Ltd and that’s about my average also. My window sticker very clearly says “city 20” which I very clearly find misleading. Subaru bleeders will make excuses all day long on here but nothing is wrong with your car. We were just mislead. It is a big heavy car and conditions do vary, early oil changes etc. but I have babied and coasted and can only approach 17.3 at very best. I have managed about 26.6 on the highway. If I had known this going in I would definitely have looked elsewhere or Outback-ish. I asked my dealer about possible software updates etc but imy car is totally updated and my dealership is unconcerned. How Subaru got that “20” is like … a downhill conversation.
gTony,

No one was mislead - there are standards for the testing done by the EPA.

Everyone’s mileage will vary … mine is consistently around 20 in town.
 

·
Premium Member
2021 Subaru Ascent Touring
Joined
·
32 Posts
Just figured I'd add me own little anecdotal experience to the pile. I had to drive about 940 miles round trip from central Kentucky to the northern Illinois. Across that drive I averaged about 28 mpg, with an average speed of around 65.5 since we hit lots of construction areas. I generally sat around 5 over the speed limit for areas posted as below 70, and for areas where the limit was 70 I had cruise around 72. I drove both in areas that were very hilly (Kentucky) as well as some that were exceedingly flat (most of Illinois). Based solely on the data I got from my drive it is very obvious that the Ascent absolutely gets better mileage the closer you are to the speeds the EPA tests for mileage at. I put the 4 different legs of the drive I did into an excel spreadsheet and did the math for averages you'll see below. This drive was with approximately 500 lbs worth of people, and somewhere around 500 pounds worth of luggage/other random things we brought with us, including over 100 lbs worth of bottles of soda that my mother found for cheap and just couldn't pass up for the family event we were going to.
% of tripDistanceMileageAverage Speed
35.0568%​
330.2​
27.7​
67​
13.1755%​
124.1​
29.4​
64​
Drive there totals/averages
454.3​
28.16438​
66.18049747​
32.8803%​
309.7​
27.7​
66​
18.8874%​
177.9​
28.4​
63​
Return totals/averages
487.6​
27.95539​
64.90545529​
Whole Trip totals/averages
941.9​
28.05619​
65.52043741​

Obviously this is completely anecdotal but I've generally had very good experiences with my mileage thus far. I work downtown in my city and even then with downtown city driving to get to and from work I generally don't have much issue keeping my city mileage at 19-20. On the highway I also have generally seen my mileage sit right between 26-27 for my longer drives which is right where my Touring is rated for or slightly above. This trip was pretty interesting to see the mileage for since this is the first time I've exceeded the mileage ratings for a trip this long rather than just on short legs of a trip where I was basically driving downhill.

While there are certainly some people out there that are just having bad luck with their Ascents and truly not getting good mileage, I feel as though a large proportion of people just live with a lead foot and the Ascent is definitely one of those vehicles where once you starting breaking past 70 mileage starts to drop off pretty quickly it seems. I usually cruise somewhere around 5 over, but for this drive I really wanted to see what kind of mileage I would get if I sat right around 70 and surprise surprise I got better mileage than usual.

Side note: I have always liked driving so long drives have never bothered me, but man does having a vehicle with adaptive cruise control make them so, so much better. Adaptive cruise has to be one of my favorite features on my Ascent.

Pictures attached for validation/proof
13380

13382
13383
13384
13385
13386
13387
13388
 
61 - 80 of 101 Posts
Top