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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Ascent Touring is almost 2 weeks old and I love the vehicle. So far, my only complaint is that when I drive around 20mph or lower (through my neighborhood), the Ascent rides like it keeps popping into a lower gear or like I'm manually downshifting the transmission. You can feel a slight hesitation in the forward movement of the vehicle. It's like the transmission is searching for the right gear and when it searches downward it feels a little like the brakes are being slightly applied. I can really feel it when my wife is driving and I'm a passenger. Once I get over 20mph the issue goes away. It's obviously something within the CVT and I'm not sure it can be corrected. Has anyone else noticed a less than smooth shifting at low speeds?
 

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I have this same problem. It seems to go away when the transmission is warmed up, but that's not acceptable to me. Dealer duplicated the problem, but said the typical "That's normal" response. This issue needs to be escalated to Subaru... assuming they even give a **** about fixing it.

For what it's worth, it doesn't seem to do it if you use manual mode of the transmission. Not a solution, but definitely proves it is related to the fake shifting.
 

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Does it only do it in when you 1st start driving?
I had same issue on my Legacy and I think this is related to the torque converter and how the fluid is moving through it.
 
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Does it only do it in when you 1st start driving?
I had same issue on my Legacy and I think this is related to the torque converter and how the fluid is moving through it.
For me, the jerkiness happens at low speed when cold. For about the first 2-3 miles driving it. The 2018 Outback and Forester I have driving in the same scenarios didn't have this issue. This is something Subaru needs to address before too long... otherwise I may consider moving to a different vehicle and brand and never looking at Subaru again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Does it only do it in when you 1st start driving?
I had same issue on my Legacy and I think this is related to the torque converter and how the fluid is moving through it.
It happens to me with both a warm and cold transmission. For example, when returning to my neighborhood (20mph) after running errands, the problem is the same as when I first got in the car to leave and everything was cold. It seems to be triggered by low speed, not whether the engine and/or transmission is warm or cold.
 

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It happens to me with both a warm and cold transmission. For example, when returning to my neighborhood (20mph) after running errands, the problem is the same as when I first got in the car to leave and everything was cold. It seems to be triggered by low speed, not whether the engine and/or transmission is warm or cold.
I would say that mine behaves the same way. It's most obvious when I want to come from a stop but want to top out under 35mph or so. If I use the Accel gauge on the multi-information display, it's usually at about 25% to get the car moving at that speed. The car seems to end up getting confused in a zone where there's not quite enough power to keep moving and the response is to increase RPMs. That gets the boost going, which might be a little too much power for the desired low speed. The result is jerkiness at low speed like the car is juggling RPM, "gear" ratio, and boost. Maybe eliminating the fake shift points could smooth this out?

I could be completely wrong, but that's what it feels like to me. Things are fine at parking lot speeds and higher speeds, but a little indecisive at "residential" speeds.
 

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I actually experience the same, to be honest. I am going to have the dealership look into it, along with others that I have on my list, when I take it in for its first maintenance check. It happens more often during a cold start though (which by the way, does anyone feel like the engine is stalling, before it returns to normal?)



Anyhow, I feel a bit of a jolt and hesitation when accelerating the car, and it appears that it stalls around the 2000 RPM mark but once you hit a certain speed, it's pretty smooth going forward. The engine tends rev much louder at low speed as if it's working extra hard to accelerate.


I hope there's a fix for it eventually. This is my first CVT transmission engine vehicle and definitely takes time to get used to.
 

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I actually experience the same, to be honest. I am going to have the dealership look into it, along with others that I have on my list, when I take it in for its first maintenance check. It happens more often during a cold start though (which by the way, does anyone feel like the engine is stalling, before it returns to normal?)
I have the same problem and so do ALL Ascents. It's a deliberate misfire that is doing something to reset the turbo wastegate -- at least that is one theory I have been told. Seems unnecessary and certainly not a clean, quality implementation of whatever they were trying to achieve. It definitely gives you the impression there's a problem. Here's a link to a video I took demonstrating what I believe is the same problem you're referencing.


Anyhow, I feel a bit of a jolt and hesitation when accelerating the car, and it appears that it stalls around the 2000 RPM mark but once you hit a certain speed, it's pretty smooth going forward. The engine tends rev much louder at low speed as if it's working extra hard to accelerate.

I hope there's a fix for it eventually. This is my first CVT transmission engine vehicle and definitely takes time to get used to.
I think the high engine RPM is designed to do a few things: 1) warm up the engine faster and 2) warm up the CVT faster. It feels like a slip, but it isn't.
 

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Mine does it too. I only notice it when leaving my neighborhood in the morning, so I presume it is only happening when the engine is cold and I am driving ~20 mph. It has always done this. I chalked it up to the CVT complaints that people have and it sounds like this is a pretty typical behavior for the car. It is annoying but I can deal with it.
 

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I really don't have this issue if I feather the acceleration. If I don't, I can sometimes get the jerky simulated shift feel
 

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I really don't have this issue if I feather the acceleration. If I don't, I can sometimes get the jerky simulated shift feel
As I mentioned in another thread, mine has gone into simulated shifts maybe 3 times since I bought it. I'll admit they are nowhere near as smooth as the faux shifts in our '18 Outback but they're not horrible either. I'm not the world's most conservative driver so I'm really surprised to see all the feedback. I do notice the stall at lower speeds but it doesn't really bother me. To be honest, I think the Ascent transmission is quite good.
 

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I noticed the same thing with my Ascent, but its just the programmed shifts. You just have to learn how to accelerate the way the car wants to.
 

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Does it feel like a rubber band stretching and letting go? My old 16 Legacy did the same thing, especially at speeds below 40 mph and going on a slight decline. I made it go away by shifting the transmission lever to "M", so that the transmission would lock into a single ratio. This "ratio-hunting" can get a bit annoying.
 

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I think the high engine RPM is designed to do a few things: 1) warm up the engine faster and 2) warm up the CVT faster. It feels like a slip, but it isn't.
Even my old 16 Legacy did the same thing. In the winter time, the engine would rev high, and the torque converter would stay unlocked until the engine and transmission warmed up sufficiently then the torque converter would lock up. Normally, it would lock up around 15-18 mph.
 

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I have the same problem and so do ALL Ascents. It's a deliberate misfire that is doing something to reset the turbo wastegate -- at least that is one theory I have been told. Seems unnecessary and certainly not a clean, quality implementation of whatever they were trying to achieve. It definitely gives you the impression there's a problem. Here's a link to a video I took demonstrating what I believe is the same problem you're referencing.

I think the high engine RPM is designed to do a few things: 1) warm up the engine faster and 2) warm up the CVT faster. It feels like a slip, but it isn't.
I have experienced this misfire on several occasions. Another forum member posted they were told it was to warm up the cats faster. They went to back to the dealership and started several Ascents and were able to replicate it. I would be curious to know what the real reason of this is.
 

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I have experienced this misfire on several occasions. Another forum member posted they were told it was to warm up the cats faster. They went to back to the dealership and started several Ascents and were able to replicate it. I would be curious to know what the real reason of this is.
That forum member was me. :grin: It is true that all of the other Ascents I tested exhibited the same behavior. And the reason I was given by the service advisor was due to the warming up the cats faster. I have also been told it is to reset the wastegate. I haven't received an official explanation for the behavior.
 

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I notice this mostly in the morning when I go up a slight hill at 20 to 25 and the transmission which tries to always be at 1,000 rpm is basically in 4th gear. Take any car and gear down to fourth or fifth and 1k and go up hill I think it is about the same thing. BTW I get lousy gas mileage. With 10 minute remote starts and a 5 mile city then 5 mile highway commute we are at 16 mpg. Better than the 12 my Touareg gets but not the 23 to 25 I was hoping for. I probably should have know better when I saw the size of this thing it is huge.
 

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I notice this mostly in the morning when I go up a slight hill at 20 to 25 and the transmission which tries to always be at 1,000 rpm is basically in 4th gear. Take any car and gear down to fourth or fifth and 1k and go up hill I think it is about the same thing. BTW I get lousy gas mileage. With 10 minute remote starts and a 5 mile city then 5 mile highway commute we are at 16 mpg. Better than the 12 my Touareg gets but not the 23 to 25 I was hoping for. I probably should have know better when I saw the size of this thing it is huge.
I think those remote starts are costing you. Engines use a lot more fuel when they're cold and since it's only idling, it's going to take longer to warm up. Don't get me wrong, I'm a 'warm it up first' person myself. Just stating the fuel economy impact.

The Ascent is rated "up to" 27mpg highway which I think it might do if you exclusively drove 60mph on flat highway, unloaded, with no headwind (the Ascent has a large wind profile after all).

Fuelly will give you a better idea of what real-world numbers to expect.

Link: Ascent on Fuelly

At the time of this post, I am averaging 21.8mpg with about 25% of my drive being stop-and-go. I also do 5 minute warm ups each morning now that the temp has dropped here in MN. According to fuelly, this seems about what I can expect.

If I'm completely honest, it's a bit disappointing. My Durango, with a 5.7L V8 and about 1000lbs extra dry weight did right around 19mph with cylinder deactivation disabled. Power-wise, the Dodge would handily outdo the Ascent.
 
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