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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a new member to this forum ... have been active on the Outback forum for a few years. We have had a bunch of Subies over the years for our family, pretty sure we are over 10 now. Anyway, I just gave my 2017 Outback Touring to my MIL who needed a car and she like mine. Since she let me marry her daughter, almost 40 years ago, I gave her my Outback. Truth be told, I wanted something a little bigger and giving my Outback to her was a legit way to shop for new wheels. So now I am in the market for a new SUV, and I am considering either an Ascent or a Traverse. I was wondering if anyone has any first hand experience with either vehicle and can shed insight into my decision. As a final note, I will use the car for long road trips, for very light towing, fishing, and other honey-do projects as they arise. Thanks in advance.
 

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2020 Ascent, 2011 WRX, 2009 Outback
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Traverse is just garbage. My sister had one and it's meh, not to mention a 2 hour ride in the back was plain awful.

I went from a 2015 Yukon to our Ascent. Other than a few little things I prefer about the Yukon, the Ascent is far more bang for buck and competes on almost all aspects.

If you liked your Outback then you should love the Ascent. Many of us here are current/former Outback owners.
 

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My brother has one (traverse), one of his power windows doesn't work anymore not sure why. Lol
 

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I test drove both, the traverse was definitely bigger, but I liked the ascent a little better. I test drove the high country, which I believe was the top level, and it had more features, although it was slightly more expensive too, although that wasn't the deciding factor. Ascent feels like it has more low end grunt, although the Chevy certainly didn't feel slow, or lacking in this area like the vw V6 does.

Really, the bottom line is you should test drive both of the models in the trim you're interested in, and see how you like them. You should be able to do extended test drive with either model at this point.

There are a lot of great options in this class, I would suggest looking other makes and models as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The issue that concerns me about Hyundai or Kia is repair if a breakdown occurs in the west or in Canada. Had a very bad experience a few years ago with a blown water pump on a BMW X5 while fishing in Montana. Zero dealerships in MT, WY, ND, SD. Had to drive at 40mph from an hour east of Bozeman to Minneappolis. So I am ok w Ford, GM, Subaru, Toyota. But would be concerned about Hyundai and Kia.
 

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Hyndai and Kia are far more mainstream than BMW ever will be. Repairs wouldn't concern me on them as much as on the traverse, lol. That said I prefer the Ascent.
 

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Why change if you’ve had 10 Subies. We are on #6 (Crosstrek) and #7 (Ascent ) over the past 26 years and I think the Ascent is the best handling one we have had thus far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to all for your feedback ... pretty sure I will opt for an Ascent. Now have to decide which color. Considering brilliant bronze or white and will probably go with a Limited. Does anyone have experience with the ivory leather and whether it holds up to daily use without getting stained?
 

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No experience, but my wife was very clear that we have no white interior....lol. And neither of us liked the poopy brown.

We have white exterior and it's nice. :)
 

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I can offer some observations, since we were considering a Buick Enclave along with the Ascent. The Traverse didn't interest us as much only due to styling. As is often the case with GM brands, the trim levels and safety features are pretty similar between brands as you go up the trim level in "sister" vehicles.

The Enclave definitely drove very nicely. The Traverse has the same powertrain -- the very strong 310-hp 3.6L V-6 mated to a legit 9-speed transmission (not the ZF 9-speed offered by many others). The ride is very isolated and refined. The Lambda SUVs are larger inside than the Ascent, quieter, will feel more solid, etc. We had two main problems with the Enclave...one of which definitely applies to the Traverse as well and one that may or may not. The first is the selection of safety equipment. Subaru packages everything together with its EyeSight system and if you get one thing, you get it all. Adaptive cruise, pre-collision braking, lane keep assist or lane centering (depending on the model year), high beam assist, etc. It's a great deal. GM makes you option many of these things separately and some of these things aren't available on some trims. For example, adaptive cruise control is not offered on the Enclave at all except for the top Avenier model...and even then it's an option. I suspect Traverse is similar. The second thing we didn't like is the Enclave packages most of the dashboard controls into a single 7 or 8 inch screen (similar to how the Outback and Legacy now have...but on a much smaller screen than they offer). I prefer actual buttons to a user interface in a car.

Those two factors combined to nudge the Enclave out of serious contention for us. And we sat in every other competitior to the Ascent at an auto show and didn't care for anything else.

If you're looking at a 2021 Ascent, the good news is you get the very excellent steering-responsive LED headlamps standard on every trim...and you get lane keep assist with lane centering standard on every trim. The Ascent is a great deal.
 

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I do like how Subaru includes all the safety equipment on all trims, I hope as costs come down this becomes standard for all manufacturers, but I guess, economically, it makes sense to roll out these new,expensive technologies as either standard or optional on higher end models, where, theoretically at least, people have more discretionary income to spend on such things. And I guess as the cost comes down it's more easily amortised across lesser expensive models. But conversely, Ford made the not to implement judgement with a $0.10 piece on the Pinto, so unless we are in the corner office at one of the manufacturers, we'll never know.
 

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Thanks to all for your feedback ... pretty sure I will opt for an Ascent. Now have to decide which color. Considering brilliant bronze or white and will probably go with a Limited. Does anyone have experience with the ivory leather and whether it holds up to daily use without getting stained?
Some just buy because it seems safe. Go test drive. I had owned three Subarus before my Ascent but still went out and test drove a few different makes and models. Each had things I liked and disliked. At the end of the day it came down to bang for buck. The Ascent Limited had the best options (for me) compared to the price. But not everyone's lifestyle and income is identical. Some make more, less, etc.

TL : DR go test drive other options. It's your right
 

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Thanks to all for your feedback ... pretty sure I will opt for an Ascent. Now have to decide which color. Considering brilliant bronze or white and will probably go with a Limited. Does anyone have experience with the ivory leather and whether it holds up to daily use without getting stained?
No personal experience as I'm still shopping, but in dealing with the guys at the dealership he specifically said if we have kids we should get the black as he sees a lot of stains and dirt on the other colors.

If you are concerned about heat, do yourself a favor and get ceramic tint on the windows. It blocks the non-visible wavelengths of light that cause the large majority of heat transfer into cars. Watch some videos on youtube. The effect is pretty amazing. I plan to do it regardless of what I get because I hate the heat SOOOO much...

 

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Great movie, Clue.

I think colors will usually be personal preference. I think black can hide certain types of debris/dirt/stains but can also make other types more apparent. White goes the other way -- it'll hide some things and make other things more apparent. The java brown sort of seems to be in the middle, but I wouldn't say they "hide" dirt.

The most important part for kids, at least in my opinion, is getting non-cloth of any color. Whether it's real leather, fake leather, StarTex, Katskinz, etc. We've had cloth in the past and, unless you have REALLY strong stain protection on the material (and sometimes even if you do), liquid and dirt is absorbed by the material so much quicker than it is by leather.
 

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I've got the Ivory leather going on 30k miles now. It looks brand new. It's been muddy from slushy boots rubbing on them and everything wiped off clean. I've had to clean blue jean dye transfer a couple of times, but that also cleaned up with leather soap. I tend to clean things within a day or so of getting dirty, but if that can't be done then black leaher would be better. You'll be able to accumulate more dirt before noticing.
 

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We don't have kids at home any more but we travel with dogs and are going on 2.5 years in our Limited with Ivory interior. No doubt the accumulation of dirt and blue jean stains are easier to see, but maybe easier to clean also just because you can see when it gets clean.

I prefer lighter interior colors over black, and the Ivory together with the panoramic moon roof really make the interior bright during the day. I added LED interior light bulbs, so at night it's also much brighter than a black interior would be if that makes a difference to you.

Have fun picking out your new Ascent!
 

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So we had narrowed our choices for the family hauler to the following:
Chevy Traverse
Ford Explorer
Ford Flex
Subaru Ascent

We test drove them back to back to back to back. At the end, we chose the Ascent. All of the other cars had things we liked, and dislike. The Ascent just did everything well. Were it not for the craptacular 3rd row seat, we would have likely ended up with the Explorer, but that was a deal breaker for me. Traverse was bigger, but was very uninspiring to drive. Flex (I have an unhealthy obsession with wagons) was just dated. At the end, I'm happy with my choice.
 
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