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Talking Cars with Consumer Reports #169 posted a discussion (link below) that included comments on the Ascents "loose steering". I have experienced the same issue. The first time I drove at highway speeds it felt like I was driving on ice. I needed to hold the wheel with both hands and was uncomfortable with the experience. Has any else had this experience? Is there a fix from Subaru?

 

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Ascent discussion during 6:20-11:15
 

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After reading any reviews I though I'd hate driving the Ascent. My Outback had great steering and so does our Mazda. I've had rentals with over-assisted power steering (Nissan Rogue) that were truly loose. When I actually drove the Ascent I noticed what the journalists would talk about but it's nowhere near as bad as they tend to say. Sure, it's a tad numb on-center, but it tightens up when you turn. I heard one reviewer say that the "loose" on-center feel helps to minimize twitchiness on the highway.

My Ascent is actually really poised on the highway. It helps to keep tire pressure at the recommended level and it also helps to drive with two hands on the wheel.
 

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The first time I drove at highway speeds it felt like I was driving on ice. I needed to hold the wheel with both hands
So should anyone operating a vehicle producing 720,000 ft-lbs of energy. (4400lbs @ 70mph)

It just takes getting used to. I feel like cars with hydraulic racks are loose because my daily doesn't have power steering. It's just the feel of an electric rack. After you drive it a while you won't notice it unless you make a point to focus on it forever. Muscle memory will take over and you'll adapt to the different steering feel.
 

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Talking Cars with Consumer Reports #169 posted a discussion (link below) that included comments on the Ascents "loose steering". I have experienced the same issue. The first time I drove at highway speeds it felt like I was driving on ice. I needed to hold the wheel with both hands and was uncomfortable with the experience. Has any else had this experience? Is there a fix from Subaru?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iymqsaQ2z8
There's nothing wrong with it. It takes a little getting used to if coming from an heavier steering (like my 2010 Outback that feels close to a manual non-powered steering), but it's actually very precise steering, and, after a few weeks, I no longer felt like I had to grip the steering harshly.

It will be indispensable for towing, as well as tight parking spots that need the light-touch precision it provides.

And, it's designed so that people of any age and size can steer the beast easily. Grandparents, men, women, etc.

Now, at a gazillion miles on my Ascent (7,340 miles, really), I appreciate the steering very much, I can ride a line on the windy Long Island parkways with total ease at any speed, and, you'll eventually notice that the steering gets tighter at faster speeds. I didn't notice that at first.

Of course, your feelings in a couple thousand miles may be entirely different. I grew up driving a 1963 Chevy Biscayne with the full super-power-steering assembly, where the pitman arm on the power steering pump didn't steer the car, but instead activated the valve in the massive hydraulic piston that actually steered the car. That power steering setup was ridiculously "precise" and the wheel was just about 7 turns lock to lock.

Again though, YMMV.
 

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I'll just leave this right here. I'm sure I drive one-handed at least once every time I drive, but it's not my default position.

https://www.wheels.ca/news/attentio...-the-proper-way-to-hold-a-steering-wheel-901/
That'll change again in a few years. It always does. Sigh.

One day, someone will build a robot that they program muscle fatigue into and test.

What I believe is that driving circumstances and vehicle dictate the best position, especially on a car like ours that takes no effort to turn. If I am going long distances, I want my arms low and using as little effort to keep them in the air as possible.

Not saying I'm right...

...just saying that this debate will probably not end for another decade or two. :grin:
 

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What greatly helps with fatigue is proper seat position. Ask any driver for a race team. It also makes sure you're not lifting your shoulder off the seat to make tighter turns. Your elbows should be bent at 70-90ish degrees while holding the steering wheel. Your delts/shoulders won't be as strained and it's a much more relaxed position.

3/9 or 10/2 is fine IMO, but 10/2 allows me to turn the wheel more before I have to move my hands...which is important for SCCA/NASA stuff...but 9/3 would be fine for city/highway driving.

Most people, in my experience, sit further back from the wheel than I do, and I'm 6'2"...a lot of times I end up pulling the wheel closer still.

Before I hear it, no, I'm not like a granny up on the wheel.
 

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I don't understand the steering complaints. I get that it definitely feels different from a hydraulic steering rack but it's still tight and solid for a frickin family SUV. I mean come on, with just bushings this thing is tighter than my 08 Impreza and probably has 2000lbs on it!
It's no BRZ, Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche, etc but come on it's a SAFE family SU fricking V
 
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Agree with Robert, my 2011's hydraulic steering feels pretty heavy. Don't know, I came from a 2000 Honda Civic and then a 2001 Nissan Sentra (my wife drove the 2008 Legacy... miss that car...) so I think it was pretty nice in comparison.

My closeby family has a 2016 Outback, 2017 Outback, 2018 Outback, 2018 Forester, and I'm working on my mom to get into a 2019 or 2020 Crosstrek... one of us.... one of us....
 

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I'll just leave this right here. I'm sure I drive one-handed at least once every time I drive, but it's not my default position.

https://www.wheels.ca/news/attentio...-the-proper-way-to-hold-a-steering-wheel-901/
I solo'd an airplane before I got my driver's license. I can never recall driving with more than one hand on the wheel other than making u-turns and the like. The only person I can even think of using the 9-3 two hand hold is my wife, and I call her Indy Driver! :)
 

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I happen to think the steering is great. My wife describes as a airy feel. Also, I prefer the soft quiet ride vs euro stiff. I hope Subaru does not mess with setup. I remember they did that with the 13 outback and I thought the ride was harsh compared to my 10
 

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I don't understand the steering complaints. I get that it definitely feels different from a hydraulic steering rack but it's still tight and solid for a frickin family SUV. I mean come on, with just bushings this thing is tighter than my 08 Impreza and probably has 2000lbs on it!
It's no BRZ, Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche, etc but come on it's a SAFE family SU fricking V
Much like people that complain about CVTs it’s just different than what they’re used to. It still makes me sad that cars need to have fake shift points to make people happy.

On a couple test drives I thought the steering was “loose”, for a lack of a better term, but i knew it was due to the electronic assist. I’m sure I’ll get used to it.
 

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Much like people that complain about CVTs it’s just different than what they’re used to. It still makes me sad that cars need to have fake shift points to make people happy.

On a couple test drives I thought the steering was “loose”, for a lack of a better term, but i knew it was due to the electronic assist. I’m sure I’ll get used to it.
#love

I'm sure you'll get used to it.
 

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I solo'd an airplane before I got my driver's license. I can never recall driving with more than one hand on the wheel other than making u-turns and the like. The only person I can even think of using the 9-3 two hand hold is my wife, and I call her Indy Driver! :)
You are my people. Excellent. I had my driver's license at 17 I think, but I did my solo a few months after that. I think I had to be 18 for my private pilot? And did my instrument at 18!
 

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Much like people that complain about CVTs it’s just different than what they’re used to. It still makes me sad that cars need to have fake shift points to make people happy.

On a couple test drives I thought the steering was “loose”, for a lack of a better term, but i knew it was due to the electronic assist. I’m sure I’ll get used to it.
Again, write or call Subaru corporate and tell them this. If enough people make a stink about an issue, they are more likely to have the engineers make an ECU/TCU build to get rid of them and make it more of a traditional CVT.

I might have missed something, but the pre-production Tungsten Limited I drove and the Black Touring I drove didn't seem to have this, unless it's only under heavier throttle inputs? I'm used to my 2011 CVT, so I have a very, very light tip-in, even when I need to accelerate quickly, the tip-in is still pretty gentle before I increase the pressure.
 

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I solo'd an airplane before I got my driver's license. I can never recall driving with more than one hand on the wheel other than making u-turns and the like. The only person I can even think of using the 9-3 two hand hold is my wife, and I call her Indy Driver! :)
In case anybody here thinks I'm trying to be some steering wheel nazi, I'm not. I use a variety of hand positions, but if I want the most feel and control I'll go ahead and hold the wheel properly. If I'm feeling lazy or fatigued I'll do "7" and "5" for a minute. Add more cars and more curves, I start to naturally use a better technique. It's not really a conscious thing. :smile:
 

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What happened to the other customer reports guy. He had glasses also and seemed to be more in- tuned with the Subaru product?
 
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