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I have been reading a lot of posts in here about Ascent transmission issues. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information.

Here is what I am experiencing. When accelerating lightly up a very slight incline the car will surge / jerk. The best description is similar to someone who doesn't shift a stick-shift car at the proper moment and the car surges / jerks after the shift. This won't happen when accelerating from a dead stop. There is a place by my house where it happens pretty consistently. I turn a right hand corner where I have to slow down. There is then a slight hill where moderate acceleration is required. At about 30 to 35 miles the car physically jerks. Some drivers have reported a similar issue with a rev'ing of RPM's - I notice a small fluctuation, but not a significant change in RPM's.

I live in Minnesota and it is very cold right now. This seems to have exacerbated the issue. Today when I was driving down the road the car jerked pretty hard at a constant speed (wasn't accelerating). My first reaction was that felt like something slipping.

I have also had an intermittent issue when braking. It seems to happen when braking from a higher speed 60+ MPH. There is a whomp whomp whomp... sound. Also like a muffled flat tire. This is intermittent as well, but very noticeable when it happens. My first thought was bent rotor, but that doesn't make sense because it is intermittent. Plus, the deal looked at the rotors and they were fine.

Looks like Subaru released a TSB for the 2021 Ascent on December 29, 2020.

I am confused by reading some of the posts in these forums. It seems like at times people are acknowledging problems with the Ascent's transmission. In other posts, those same people seem to say that a inconsistent driving experience with the Ascnet's CVT is par for the course. I'm sorry, but using the manual shift paddles to get a more consistent driving experience seems insane. That being said, I would appreciate any guidance on what is normal and what is abnormal.
 

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I have been reading a lot of posts in here about Ascent transmission issues. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information.

Here is what I am experiencing. When accelerating lightly up a very slight incline the car will surge / jerk. The best description is similar to someone who doesn't shift a stick-shift car at the proper moment and the car surges / jerks after the shift. This won't happen when accelerating from a dead stop. There is a place by my house where it happens pretty consistently. I turn a right hand corner where I have to slow down. There is then a slight hill where moderate acceleration is required. At about 30 to 35 miles the car physically jerks. Some drivers have reported a similar issue with a rev'ing of RPM's - I notice a small fluctuation, but not a significant change in RPM's.

I live in Minnesota and it is very cold right now. This seems to have exacerbated the issue. Today when I was driving down the road the car jerked pretty hard at a constant speed (wasn't accelerating). My first reaction was that felt like something slipping.

I have also had an intermittent issue when braking. It seems to happen when braking from a higher speed 60+ MPH. There is a whomp whomp whomp... sound. Also like a muffled flat tire. This is intermittent as well, but very noticeable when it happens. My first thought was bent rotor, but that doesn't make sense because it is intermittent. Plus, the deal looked at the rotors and they were fine.

Looks like Subaru released a TSB for the 2021 Ascent on December 29, 2020.

I am confused by reading some of the posts in these forums. It seems like at times people are acknowledging problems with the Ascent's transmission. In other posts, those same people seem to say that a inconsistent driving experience with the Ascnet's CVT is par for the course. I'm sorry, but using the manual shift paddles to get a more consistent driving experience seems insane. That being said, I would appreciate any guidance on what is normal and what is abnormal.
You might be confusing a "problem" with not liking the way its is currently programmed. For most of the posters, the CVT is working as it is supposed to work. Many posters have expressed frustration as to how it is currently programmed and offered up a workaround with the paddle shifters. There are some owners who have CVTs that are not working properly within the programming specs, but those are the exceptions. You would need to determine which is the case for yourself. You might test drive an Ascent off a dealer lot driving in that same location to determine if there is something occurring with your vehicle that is unique.
 

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Here is what I am experiencing. When accelerating lightly up a very slight incline the car will surge / jerk. The best description is similar to someone who doesn't shift a stick-shift car at the proper moment and the car surges / jerks after the shift. This won't happen when accelerating from a dead stop. There is a place by my house where it happens pretty consistently. I turn a right hand corner where I have to slow down. There is then a slight hill where moderate acceleration is required. At about 30 to 35 miles the car physically jerks. Some drivers have reported a similar issue with a rev'ing of RPM's - I notice a small fluctuation, but not a significant change in RPM's.
Our car does this pretty repeatedly under a nearly identical scenario. On our way home from town, we turn from one road to another and that second road has a slight incline with moderate acceleration required. You can hear the engine smoothly rev up a bit and the car gains speed and then there's what feels like a brief interruption in power, as if the transmission is shifting. In fact, it feels like it "upshifts" (and then the engine speed lowers) and then it'll immediately "downshift" back to about where it was (and then the engine speed increases). It feels and seems very much like the transmission logic is just confused about what it should be doing in certain situations.

Try this: use the paddle shifters for a bit and see if what feels like a mechanical problem goes away. Downshift to 3rd or whatever is appropriate for turning that corner you speak of, and then accelerate from there. Let the engine rev up a bit and upshift to 4th (just like it would do it if was a traditional automatic). Then upshift to 5th, etc. Do you feel that same hesitation at 30-35 mph? I'm almost certain that you won't. Another thing to try is use ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control). If you can, set your cruise control to 40 or 45 mph and resume to that speed just after you turn the corner before your hill. Let ACC drive you up the hill and through that 30-35 mph range where you would feel the jerkiness. Here, again, I'm almost certain that you won't feel it with ACC controlling the car.

If you find this to be the case (discover that it's smooth and predictable when you shift it yourself or when ACC drives), please send an email to Subaru of America letting them know that you don't like the way it's programmed and request them to fix it. This topic has been discussed a lot on this forum and Subaru will be compelled to fix this if enough people write in about it.
 

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For what it’s worth I also notice this sometimes in my Outback XT. I think it has to do with the incline and throttle input. I only really notice it when I am going up a hill when I take a certain path and hold a light throttle application. More throttle (faster car speed) or less throttle (slower speed) seems to get it out of the Goldilocks zone. Maybe the boost is engaging.

Either way it’s not really much of an issue for me, just something I noticed.
 

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I have been reading a lot of posts in here about Ascent transmission issues. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information.

Here is what I am experiencing. When accelerating lightly up a very slight incline the car will surge / jerk. The best description is similar to someone who doesn't shift a stick-shift car at the proper moment and the car surges / jerks after the shift. This won't happen when accelerating from a dead stop. There is a place by my house where it happens pretty consistently. I turn a right hand corner where I have to slow down. There is then a slight hill where moderate acceleration is required. At about 30 to 35 miles the car physically jerks. Some drivers have reported a similar issue with a rev'ing of RPM's - I notice a small fluctuation, but not a significant change in RPM's.

I live in Minnesota and it is very cold right now. This seems to have exacerbated the issue. Today when I was driving down the road the car jerked pretty hard at a constant speed (wasn't accelerating). My first reaction was that felt like something slipping.

I have also had an intermittent issue when braking. It seems to happen when braking from a higher speed 60+ MPH. There is a whomp whomp whomp... sound. Also like a muffled flat tire. This is intermittent as well, but very noticeable when it happens. My first thought was bent rotor, but that doesn't make sense because it is intermittent. Plus, the deal looked at the rotors and they were fine.

Looks like Subaru released a TSB for the 2021 Ascent on December 29, 2020.

I am confused by reading some of the posts in these forums. It seems like at times people are acknowledging problems with the Ascent's transmission. In other posts, those same people seem to say that a inconsistent driving experience with the Ascnet's CVT is par for the course. I'm sorry, but using the manual shift paddles to get a more consistent driving experience seems insane. That being said, I would appreciate any guidance on what is normal and what is abnormal.
My 2020 Ascent does the exact same thing (surge) when I drive at 20mph up my steep hill (Oregon). Manual shifting helps but not the solution since need the auto to properly negotiate terrain changes.
 

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If you find this to be the case (discover that it's smooth and predictable when you shift it yourself or when ACC drives), please send an email to Subaru of America letting them know that you don't like the way it's programmed and request them to fix it. This topic has been discussed a lot on this forum and Subaru will be compelled to fix this if enough people write in about it.
All seem to be the exact "solutions" that I have tried and I just don't like the way it's programmed for up hills; it surges.
Thanks for your advice.
 
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