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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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A hair over two months have passed since I took delivery on my 2019 Ascent Touring and posted my original "first thoughts" thread here. Overall, I'm extremely pleased with my vehicle in almost every way, especially now that I have had the opportunity to put in a serious road trip to/from Florida for family business relative to my 89 year young mother and to visit some friends and other relatives.

Highlights:

  • Comfort is excellent for me as a driver and no passenger has had anything but plaudits for seating comfort. The second row captain's chairs are supportive and better contoured than the bench and adult passengers (which is primarily what I ever have) really like the support they provide. The third row, which gets little use with me, was still comfortable for both an adult and a tween/teen passenger when it was necessary for group meals
  • Quiet is the word...this is the absolutely quietest vehicle I have ever owned and is on-par with the late model Caddies my dad favored
  • Audio system is very pleasing to me. I know that's subjective and that some audiophiles will not agree, but for me, it sounds good and the surround mode seems to provide some things to my right ear that don't happen in other vehicles I own or have owned. (I have a hearing issue in that ear that blanks out some frequencies in inconsistant ways)
  • Eyesight is very intelligent and works extremely well. It makes long distance diving a lot less fatiguing and is a bit better than the radar-based ACC I had in my previous vehicle. Some of that is because it's "tunable" for how aggressive it can be. For my style of light-food driving, the least aggressive ECO mode works very nicely. Yes, there were a few times while traveling that I would have preferred to be able to have a bit more control over following distance, but the accelerator pedal took care of that no problem
  • The amount of space in this vehicle is exactly what I like and wanted over my previous "two row", but similar sized Grand Cherokee
  • My fuel economy has settled into what I expected and is equal to or better than the rated figures. Prior to my travel, the fuel economy for general, local rural driving inched up to and settled at about 19.6 for the first 1300 miles of use. On my 2800 mile round trip to/from Florida, the combined overall mileage was 26.7 which included local and shorter trips while in Florida as well as the Interstate. My best tank was 30 mpg heading south with most tanks showing as 26-28 mpg. Please note that I am very much a "light foot" driver and typically get good results in most vehicles I drive, including our other Subarus, and as compared to other family members. My highway speeds were 65-70 mph (whatever the posted limit was in general) and I only exceed that a few times when it was required to safely pass or keep from getting run over
  • The engine power is surprising...stomping on the "skinny pedal" provides acceleration not unlike the 5.7 Hemi I had in my Grand Cherokee. (That vehicle was about 500 lbs heavier, however)
  • The handling is good. It's different than my Grand Cherokee was, but not in an earth-shattering way. Slow speed steering is noticeably soft, but I got used to that pretty quickly. At highway speeds, there's very little difference
  • The HVAC system works great in my Ascent and the second row sun screens undoubtedly helped it work easier during my travels. Speaking of those, they are nicely designed and do not materially impact side view
  • The Ascent is an attractive vehicle to me...it looks good to my eyes and that's what counts to me
Tiny Gripes

* Heated steering wheel doesn't heat the top one quarter. I've been told this is by design to discourage placing one's hands up there which can be physically harmful if the air bag deploys, and that somewhat makes sense. However...I frequently change my hand position and also use the steering wheel heating throughout the year to aid in pain relief within my hand joints. That means, in the winter in particular, my hands will come in contact with a "cold spot" while turning and otherwise moving my hands around for comfort. Little thing, but I'm allowed to complain about it!

* The ventilated seats work fine, but I much preferred the same on the Grand Cherokee which blew "up" and directed presumably cooler floor air toward "the affected body area" rather than in the downward direction that the Ascent fans seem to blow

* The driver's seat is very, very comfortable for me, but I do miss the greater control over the lumbar region that I had with the Grand Cherokee. The Ascent lumbar support is fine and "very close" to "my spot" but isn't as fine tunable

* The side mirrors are much smaller than those that were on my Grand Cherokee. This isn't horrible during normal driving but is very inconvenient when I have my 6' x 8' utility trailer hooked up because I can no longer see it quite as well when backing up. The contours of the Ascent hide it a little more without that extra mirror area view

* The center console cup holders didn't have enough thought put into them by the designers and has been well documented in the forum, folks including me have had to come up with creative ways to insure that "normal" sized beverages do not go flying out of the console during a turn or quick stop. That's both inconvenient and potentially a safety issue, depending on which way the hot beverage takes flight. ;)

* The turn signal auto shut-off is way too insensitive and requires nearly a 90º sharp turn to disengage by itself. Pretty much most of the time, I have to turn off a turn signal manually or it will just keep on flashing after a turn. Minor annoyance, but still it could have been a better design

* I'm not sure why Subaru opted for mixed LED and incandescent lamps at the back. At this point for a "new to the market vehicle, it would have made more sense to me to just be all LED. I changed the reverse lamps to much brighter LED the day after I brought it home. I'm still deciding if I want to change out the turns because of potential errors that are quite common on turn signal lamps in vehicles that were not designed for them up-front and I don't like the idea of hot resistors which some solutions require

* I could do without the roof rack. I'll never use it...just like every other vehicle I've owned that had one. A delete option would have been nice, but certainly would also have been "un-Subaru" :)

IE...the Ascent Touring is an absolutely winner for me and I look forward to driving it for many years.
 

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2019 Ascent Limited
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Nice write up Jim!
 
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Nice review. I agree with you about the size of the side mirrors. Coming from the "Dumbo" sized mirrors on the Tribeca, the Ascent's mirrors are tiny.
 

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Nice writeup! I can agree with pretty much all of that, though I don't have that fancy heated steering wheel or ventilated seats ?
As far as quiet goes, its almost too quiet most of the time. My wife was pulled over once for speeding in my Ascent because shes used to her Sorento being significantly louder at speed. Only when towing uphill this boxer engine can make a little noise, but that's not unexpected.
I picked up some VLRpro resistors from vleds.com for the turn signals last January. They stick onto the vehicle and are fairly wide so they dissipate heat well. 6 months in and no issues. I love how the LED turn signals are brigher and are instant on/off rather than fade on/off like incandescent bulbs.
 
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