2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
I took delivery of my new 2019 Ascent Touring yesterday evening and today, thanks to something already on my calendar, I was able to take it from 6 miles on the odometer at delivery to 176 miles on the odometer at the end of today over a combination of rural, urban and highway routing. It was a great opportunity to "find my comfort spot" and test a lot of the features that just were not going to come into play over the 6 or so miles between the dealership and my home last night. There was a LOT to like and very little to be concerned about.
Negatives first since they are so few:
* Dealer prep team must have forgotten to have their coffee before they did the state inspection early yesterday morning. The required PA inspection stickers are on way crooked and even with the seat up all the way, the corner of one sticker actually blocks (an admittedly tiny) view of the road. But beyond that...I'm anal and it's maddening! I'm going to insist they fix that, especially because of the first point
* I can appreciate what folks have said about the center console cup holders being a bit oversized. Normal beverage containers from places like Starbucks are at great risk of flying should some idiot cause me to have to, um...suddenly adjust my speed or direction. I'm going to have to try that "ash tray holder" thingie to see if that helps.
* I tested the heated steering wheel. (it's something I use in winter for sure and sometimes in warmer weather to sooth pain in my hands) While it's not a major ding, not heating that area between 10 and 2 is disappointing to me as I sometimes like to shift a hand to the top of the wheel on long trips for a few minutes just to change muscle position. My Grand Cherokee's wheel heated all around (and quite toasty, too) so I'm kinda used to more coverage.
* I'm not overly enamored with the wheels. It's a minor thing, however. I may consider doing something aftermarket at some point, although that's not something I normally would do. I'm not a "mod-er".
The positive...almost too much to like:
* Driver's seat and steering wheel is very comfortable for me. The wheel telescopes enough so it's appropriate for where I like my body to be relative to the pedals. The thigh support is a nice feature...I moved mine forward just a little bit and that sealed the deal. I do wish the lumbar support was more multi-directional...very useful to zero in on "the spot".
* The various safety features worked nicely and were not obtrusive. I like the "heads-up" lamps up at the bottom of the windshield since they notify without making the driver look away from the road. While I'm not going to use the cruise control a lot during a reasonable break-in period, I did have opportunity to test it and was very pleased. It's not terribly different than in our MY16 Outback Limited with Eyesight, but I suspect there's some generational refinement.
* While initial fuel economy on a new vehicle looks depressing and the tank did visibly get more empty, by the end of my 170 miles, I had broached 20. Yes, the onboard computers are not necessarily accurate like hand measuring, but for now, it's a baseline. Relative to this, I'm extremely impressed with how the cruise control managed the dance between engine RPM and CVT, keeping the economy meter very neutral no matter what the terrain the highway was following. I'm a light-foot, "natural hyper-miler" anyway, but no way could I keep things that steady with my foot. It's been mentioned here in the forum multiple times that the system with ACC engaged is pretty efficient and it sure was today over the maybe 20-30 miles I tested it.
* Handling was outstanding. Steering assist at slow speeds seems to be more than my JGC had, but it's very smooth...I'm already used to it. Rough pavement was negotiated comfortably, too.
* I really, really like the rear-view via camera setup that the Touring features. The field of view is really nice and I'm considering using it full time. I guess the front camera is nice to have, but I doubt I'll use it much.
* It was great having CarPlay available so I could use my preferred mapping software (GoogleMaps) and some other features. This is our first vehicle with CarPlay capability and it's instantly a "must have". I do have some things to learn relative to interface differences with some apps and I need to become more proactive about using voice commands, too...they work very well, IMHO. I know that there are a few folks that don't prefer the HK system's sound, but I honestly was very happy with it today and expect that to continue. I don't think it hurts, however, that I've been driving my better half's Outback Limited with Eyesight for the past month since I do a lot of running around now being the "retired from full time work house husband" and it made more sense for her to us our borrowed vehicle to go to and from the train station. So while the HK system on that is a little different than the one on the Ascent, there is some similarity in speaker placement and configuration.
* Quiet. My Grand Cherokee was very quiet, but the Ascent takes it to another level, IMHO. When I returned the RDX this morning that I borrowed from a friend for the last month so we had enough vehicles while I waited for the Ascent, I felt like I was in a Mac truck. And old one, too, after having spent a good part of yesterday in the new Ascent!
* At the end of the day, I got all my "stuff" "stuffed" into the new Ascent. That under-floor storage area in the back is bigger than one might think at first. No complaints about that. The cargo tray and seat-back protectors are more "meh"...I wish it was flatter back there...but they are adequate relative to protection. Which was good because I picked up some very nice hardwood on my little journey before heading home. I doubt that the third row will ever see the light of day for us, but I guess it's nice that it's there just in case.
* I was pleasantly surprised that the factory hitch receiver actually came with a ball mount...and a really well designed and built one. I already have a high quality ball mount...actually, two of them...but I may very well consider converting to the Subaru mount for my 2" ball setup.
At any rate, those are my first impressions. I'm glad that the "vehicle factory order pregnancy" is over and I have my Ascent now. Hopefully, things will continue to be positive over time.