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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We’ve had our 2022 Ascent (Touring model) for a couple of months now, and there are many things I really love about it. But apparently my back does not agree. I have never had upper back pain like this before, or back pain that radiates from my neck all the way down to my legs like this. And the only thing that has changed is the car I drive. I drove my husband‘s car for about a week, and the back pain subsided. Then went back to driving my ascent and it returned. Bummer. I’m so uncomfortable that I’m seriously considering trading the car in. But before I do that, I’m wondering if anyone else has experienced similar pain and found a cushion or support that helped.
 

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Have you played with the lumbar support? I find less is better, and more can be uncomfortable.
 

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2019 Ascent Limited
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The Ascent drivers seat is the best ever for me, if it had arms I would move into the house....lol
Please try adjusting the steering wheel, not only up and down, but in and out, along with tilting, if you need head support the head rest adjusts also. And if all that fails, then maybe a nice guy at the dealership could help.
 

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if you need head support the head rest adjusts also.
Oh, wow, I forgot about that. Yes, please check that too. The headrests ratchet forward, and make things horribly uncomfortable for most of us. Pull the top edge all the way forward, then let go, and it will ratchet as far back as it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah…I’ve tried pretty much every combination of settings possible (close, far, high, low, lots of lumbar support to none) and nothing works. And we have several other cars in our family (Forester, Hyundai Tuscon, Toyota Sienna, etc.), and I don’t have issues with any other seats. Just something about the Ascent that my back isn’t fond of. :(
 

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2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2010 Subaru Legacy GT limited
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You didn't mention the thigh support cushion, maybe that adjustment has been overlooked. I usually set it up higher for long trips, my daily is a legacy though so it sits pretty low compared to the ascent and the seats aren't nearly as firm anymore.
 

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2019 Ascent Limited
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Sorry to hear about your neck and back pain problem. In addition to the other suggestion you could try different tilt angles for the base and the seat back. Neck pain suggests to me you may be trying to compensate for the seat being out of alignment with your natural posture.

Maybe look at the seat alignment in the cars that work for you compared to the Ascent seat.

Just a couple of ideas, I'm no stranger to back pain, my spine is completely destroyed by arthritis, no discs and fused in crazy kinks and angles from too many wilderness backpacking miles. However, I don't have back pain on long trips in our Ascent Limited, which doesn't have the cooling option so maybe there is a difference in seat firmness.

I'm fussy about the seat adjustment and use the seat heater pretty much year round.

Hope that you can find some relief!
 
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I didn't mention this in my review, but the Ascent seat isn't good for my upper left back either........yet

I would have preferred a rolling lumbar, but so saying after about 300 miles that part of my back gets pretty sore. I think playing with the seat adjustments may be the key and I'm not giving up on that yet. Nor are we on 300 plus miles trips more than a couple times a year in this car. Less than that, no issues. Our other cars work quite well in the back comfort dep't. Everyone's back is different and what works for me may not for another. It's the luck of the draw when buying a car. No way to know until you take the first long trip. Something that worked for me on occasion long ago was a rolled up sock placed at the pressure point of the soreness...normally my lower back. This is a first for my left upper middle back getting sore
 

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Same here. My solution? Remove the lumbar completely. I will dig up the thread but this is a common DIY in the outback world I came from.
In my case, even with lumbar at lowest setting, it was still pushing my back out and causing all sorts of upper and lower issues. By physically removing the hard plastic pieces within the seat which push out when you use the lumbar, I was able to finally get REALLY comfortable. It took 5 minutes per seat - you just unzip the seat backs (you’ll see the zippers), push the plastic pieces out and rezip. Worth a shot given the large investment. Otherwise just sell it, carvana is giving my $1,100 more than I paid for mine next week 😂
 

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In 2018, an Ascent Touring model was demonstrated at our local dealer. We ordered the Premium, as it had the ability to use regular unleaded and had the 18" rims. When it arrived, I was disappointed that this model didn't have the lumbar seat adjustments that the Touring had. Almost immediately I began having thoracic pain. I discovered that placing a vinyl coated foam garden kneeling pad behind me did the trick. My problem was the Premium's seat is too concave in the thoracic area, putting that section of my spine in too much flexion. The foam pad behind me pushes me just forward enough to keep my thoracic segments in neutral. Now the Ascent is just as comfortable to drive as our Outback. The reason the Outback is comfortable is that the seat's spine support isn't just lumbar, but inflates up into the T spine area too. I was thankful that I was able to get the Premium to be comfortable, as we've always liked our Subarus, and wanted it for towing our Casita.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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We ordered the Premium, as it had the ability to use regular unleaded
As an aside all Ascents, regardless of trim, use 87 octane fuel.
 
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Ah, not what the dealer told us.
Did the dealer offer any explanation? All Ascents have the same engine, turbo, CVT (sans cooler for base model) so as Jim said, contrary to the misinformed or maybe misspoken dealer, they do all use the same fuel.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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Ah, not what the dealer told us.
The dealer failed to RTFM apparently...there is zero difference with the engine in Base, Premium, Limited and Touring trims.
 
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I tried taking the plastic lumbar grid out of my ‘21 ascent touring (like I did on my ‘17 Outback touring) and it wouldn’t come out without potential damage to the seat ventilation system. Has anyone figured out how to take it out and not mess up the vent system? I hate the lumbar system in my Ascent as won’t retract enough. It was such a relief to take it out of my Outback. Thx
 

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our touring has the thigh support such a great comfort now a mandatory on any of our cars
i use in all my cars swim noodles i use the large one, cut to about 8-10 inches then lengthwise like a hoagy bun trim with a knife to fit each seat and car. so each of my cars have these my ascent has two. one for my wife and one in case back seat needs it. rarely do i need one in my driver seat
$6 at walmart. can make 6-8 of them. i even carry them when i travel. Firm without being stiff. for some reason the additional pic of this swim noodle was tagged as 18+
Comfort Gesture Car seat cover Finger Automotive design
Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18
Show Content
Hand Car Automotive design Car seat cover Fixture
 

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The lumbar support can be a literal pain in the neck on some subies. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I took the plastic support out of my 2017 Outback touring and it was great improvement. I am going to try again to get the plastic support out of my ‘21 Ascent Touring without messing up the seat cooler system.

This said, one way to try to mitigate upper back pain in an Ascent is to bring the seat to a more upright position. I have found this provides more support on my upper back and lessens the stress of having only my lower back contacting the seat. My wife sits in a very upright position in her 2018 Forester Ltd with good results. Anyway, sorry for your trouble and hope you find a way to be comfortable in your new Ascent. They are great cars but do have some quirks!
 

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I made a breakthrough tonight ... was able to get the plastic lumbar support out from the inside of the drivers seatback in my '21 Touring. Wow! What an immediate difference it made ... instead of the seat back pushing in on my lower spine, it fell away and was so comfortable it was amazing. We just finished a 2,500 mile road trip and I came back with Sciatica due to this constant pressure I know that some people love lumbar support and some hate it ... I am in the latter camp, and am now very happy ... was about ready to trade my Ascent over the issue.
 
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