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I am still very surprised at posts like this. We have a 2020 touring purchased in May. It has very slight surging when cold, especially going up a slight hill, but it is due to the programming trying to keep it above 2500 RPM, but not letting it get too high for a cold engine. It is not even an aggravation. Just slightly higher RPM than I would normally like to see. After it is warmed up, it is smooth as silk. I do find the fake shifts completely unnecessary, but even that is not more than a minor annoyance. When we test drove one we did not notice any surging at all. We were down to an Outback with the Turbo or an Ascent. The only difference we noticed was the Outback was quicker and handled a little better, both probably due to it being lighter. We came from a 2015 Outback 2.5 Limited. The Ascent seems more refined, and we love the huge power increase.
 

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There are at least two variables at play: the car and the driver. Some cars are probably better than others, especially considering we're usually talking about new models here that are not broken in. I'm sure break-in "feels" different depending on the particular unit. And then the driver: some drivers are going to be more sensitive to these kinds of things than others. My wife doesn't even notice the odd things about the Ascent. I'm extremely sensitive to drivetrain smoothness.

Motor Trend complained about this issue in their long term review of the 2020 Outback XT. Many YouTube reviews of the Ascent noted the strange throttle mapping. Some will find it acceptable, some not.
 

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There are at least two variables at play: the car and the driver. Some cars are probably better than others, especially considering we're usually talking about new models here that are not broken in. I'm sure break-in "feels" different depending on the particular unit. And then the driver: some drivers are going to be more sensitive to these kinds of things than others. My wife doesn't even notice the odd things about the Ascent. I'm extremely sensitive to drivetrain smoothness.

Motor Trend complained about this issue in their long term review of the 2020 Outback XT. Many YouTube reviews of the Ascent noted the strange throttle mapping. Some will find it acceptable, some not.
It is definitely taking some time to get used to the CVT. It's slowly starting to ride more smoothly as I get used to it, but damn it can be herky jerky sometimes.

(can I say "damn"?)
 

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Hey guys,

I just test drove a ‘21 Ascent Premium and felt the transmission was pretty jerky. Is this normal and I just need to spend more time getting used to how to drive it or could this be a car with transmission issues? I know that was a problem with the ‘19’s but I thought Subaru had taken care of that.

Thank you!
the 19' did not have a jerky transmission problem or any transmission problem. the only associated issue was the wiring harness which impacted the very early build dates. In the vast majority of situations the owners simply had to get used to it. some owners, even the ones who are used to it, have stated preferences for different programming of the cvt.
 

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The transmission programming refinement issues don't exist only in the Ascent (it seems to afflict all FA24-powered models). I ran across this article this morning:

2020 Subaru Outback Engine Options: 2.5 or 2.4 XT—Which Engine Is Best? (motortrend.com)

They said: "On the road, we called the engine "unrefined," and the power delivery proved uneven. For a few MotorTrend editors, the engine-transmission interaction is rough enough that we'd select the 2.5-liter engine to avoid it."

An automotive rag stating that they'd choose the lower-horsepower engine option to avoid the inconsistent programming in the CVT is notable! I do tend to agree with them, though. I've had several FB25-powered loaners now (two Outbacks and a Forester) and I find those cars to be just dead-smooth all the time. If I were buying a new Outback today, I can't say that I'd opt for the turbo model. The naturally-aspirated car just drives that good, at least comparatively.

I do hope Subaru releases a software update for us.
 

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Oh the delicious and horrible irony that the media is literally one of the largest causes of that programming in the TR690 (which never had faux shifting until THEY complained), that they then both love or hate, depending on the day. One of the biggest contributing factors is literally reviews from the auto mags.

Heck Motortrend LOVED the original TR690 without faux shifting (but with paddle shifters to allow the users to "shift"), then started to dislike it over time.

Better question is, is it a software update, or a valve body change with software update?
 
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