Subaru Ascent Forum banner
1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any one else have several minor issues with the instruments and controls on the Ascent that cause you to take your eye off the road, but a correct design would prevent this? I have had previous cars that did this very well, but my previous 2017 Forester and now 2019 Ascent Premium have easily correctable issues that force a driver to take eyes off the road.

If we get tons of issues that everyone agrees on (not just an issue with me, for instance), is there any hope Subaru will apply "total quality management" and correct these issues to make the cars safer to drive?

Of course, in the old days, we had simple analog heater controls and fan knobs, simple pushbutton radios, and all we had to do was point the car, press the gas pedal, and hit the brakes. Oh yes, check the mirrors as warranted. Now? Too much of the instrument panel demands our attention.

Here is my list:

ISSUE: cruise control increases/decreases speed in increments of 5mph. To nudge it up 1 or 2 mph requires you to take eyes off road to see if you toggled the control long enough to get a 1 mph increase.
SOLUTION: one toggle of the switch increases/decreases 1 mph.

ISSUE: no mute button for radio on steering wheel
SOLUTION: put mute button on steering wheel

ISSUE: bottom row of heating/cooling controls on center stack not easily seen
SOLUTION: make labels with large font WHITE on black background, make switch larger, and/or illuminate them at night

Your safety concerns in this area?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
411 Posts
Issue 1 - Could be solved with a software update in theory.
Issue 2 - OK, this one is odd, and I agree should have a mute button.
Issue 3 - Muscle memory mostly solve this one.

I don't find myself taking my eyes off the road that often to make changes to climate, I set it when I get in (I rarely have to change modes) and when I do, I wait till a stop light/sign. Or if I'm with the wife, I ask her to make the change so I can focus on the road.

Just how I handle it. I don't see the need for a change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
253 Posts
ISSUE: cruise control increases/decreases speed in increments of 5mph. To nudge it up 1 or 2 mph requires you to take eyes off road to see if you toggled the control long enough to get a 1 mph increase.
SOLUTION: one toggle of the switch increases/decreases 1 mph.
I agree, this should be the opposite: 1MPH by default and long press for 5MPH increments.

ISSUE: no mute button for radio on steering wheel
SOLUTION: put mute button on steering wheel
A fair point. Never really thought about this one until you mentioned it.

ISSUE: bottom row of heating/cooling controls on center stack not easily seen
SOLUTION: make labels with large font WHITE on black background, make switch larger, and/or illuminate them at night
There is a lot going on in that bottom row. I would also add that they've split some of the functions for EyeSight between the left lower panel and the headliner control panels, which is odd. They should all be logically grouped together.

I would also add:
* Make the high-beam assist feature something you can disable while still keeping the auto headlight feature turned on. I found the algorithm that determines when to turn them on and off fails on dark back country roads where a light from a nearby farm or other building is interpreted to be oncoming headlights, thus turning them off when they can be on perfectly safely. As it stands now, only the dealer can make this change (my Ascent is in for this change and some other work). Looking forward to having full manual control over the high beams again.

* For Touring model, have full intermittent wiper capability. The only thing you can do is change the sensitivity of the rain sensor, but the system determines the wiper frequency. It can become distracting if the wiper is being used more often than is necessary depending on conditions. It may be that the sensitivity adjustment of the rain sensor will accomplish a similar goal -- I will need to drive in more rain to know for sure.

Perhaps these ideas are less of a distraction by design issue and more about feature requests. :grin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
Issue 1 - I disagree, I actually prefer the 5 increment now (at first I wasn't sure) and don't find myself distracted when I want to adjust it by one by holding. I have muscle memory already for how long to hold it for 1.
Issue 2 - This isn't a big issue to me, either push the big knob to the right of the steering wheel, or hold down the volume control on the steering wheel, or spin the knob to the left (muscle memory often helps here too)
Issue 3 - Muscle memory and fairly simple layout (for 3 different zones and several defrosters) makes this one easy for me as well.

The problem with simple design is when you get overly simple it becomes a nuisance, it is really hard. UI/UX design is tough in finding that balance. I don't find anything severely objectionable yet, some things I'm waiting to make a decision on, and some things I plan on sending in as feedback that are annoying, but I'm waiting to make my decision on all of it after more time using it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
Any one else have several minor issues with the instruments and controls on the Ascent that cause you to take your eye off the road, but a correct design would prevent this? I have had previous cars that did this very well, but my previous 2017 Forester and now 2019 Ascent Premium have easily correctable issues that force a driver to take eyes off the road.

If we get tons of issues that everyone agrees on (not just an issue with me, for instance), is there any hope Subaru will apply "total quality management" and correct these issues to make the cars safer to drive?
part of the price you pay for being an early adopter, you don't benefit from changes due to feedback.

Subaru has been known to re-design certain controls to better suit their customers. One of the 2018 subaru models (i don't remember which one, maybe the WRX?) had the steering wheel controls changed up for ease of use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
253 Posts
part of the price you pay for being an early adopter, you don't benefit from changes due to feedback.

Subaru has been known to re-design certain controls to better suit their customers. One of the 2018 subaru models (i don't remember which one, maybe the WRX?) had the steering wheel controls changed up for ease of use.
Disagree in this case. Subaru has plenty of experience from their other models, from which the Ascent shares many parts, for things like a mute button on the steering wheel. Sure, there are going to be specific differences between models, but there's usually a governing philosophy in how things should be laid out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
646 Posts
1. disagree, love the 5. plus you want to set it to 1,2,3,4 over etc just get to that speed then set your cruise. Roads are set in increments of 5 and I like just setting the speed limit and get in the right lane. Let everyone pass you and you don't have to deal with speeding up, slowing down etc.

2. I haven't noticed a need. When a call comes in it mutes the radio etc. the volume is easily accessable and if you set up the gain for the inputs everything is easily heard under 10, so just hitting volume down makes it quiet.

3. As mentioned muscle memory. Plus once it's set I haven't had a need to mess with the AC/heat other than fan which is easy.

It's hard to make everyone happy with things like this. I don't see them as distractions but others can and obviously do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
764 Posts
ISSUE: cruise control increases/decreases speed in increments of 5mph. To nudge it up 1 or 2 mph requires you to take eyes off road to see if you toggled the control long enough to get a 1 mph increase.
SOLUTION: one toggle of the switch increases/decreases 1 mph.
I disagree. There are no speed limit signs that say 72 mph. They are all divisible by 5. There is no reason you should ever set cruise at 62 mph instead of 60 or 64 instead of 65...

ISSUE: no mute button for radio on steering wheel
SOLUTION: put mute button on steering wheel
I had it on my 2015 Legacy. I don't ever remember using it. But its pretty easy to hold the volume down button until its silent (5 seconds longer) or just simply hit the button on the actual radio knob like people have been doing for 40 years now.

ISSUE: bottom row of heating/cooling controls on center stack not easily seen
SOLUTION: make labels with large font WHITE on black background, make switch larger, and/or illuminate them at night
I think its perfect how it is :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
Any one else have several minor issues with the instruments and controls on the Ascent that cause you to take your eye off the road, but a correct design would prevent this? I have had previous cars that did this very well, but my previous 2017 Forester and now 2019 Ascent Premium have easily correctable issues that force a driver to take eyes off the road.

If we get tons of issues that everyone agrees on (not just an issue with me, for instance), is there any hope Subaru will apply "total quality management" and correct these issues to make the cars safer to drive?

Of course, in the old days, we had simple analog heater controls and fan knobs, simple pushbutton radios, and all we had to do was point the car, press the gas pedal, and hit the brakes. Oh yes, check the mirrors as warranted. Now? Too much of the instrument panel demands our attention.

Here is my list:

ISSUE: cruise control increases/decreases speed in increments of 5mph. To nudge it up 1 or 2 mph requires you to take eyes off road to see if you toggled the control long enough to get a 1 mph increase.
SOLUTION: one toggle of the switch increases/decreases 1 mph.

ISSUE: no mute button for radio on steering wheel
SOLUTION: put mute button on steering wheel

ISSUE: bottom row of heating/cooling controls on center stack not easily seen
SOLUTION: make labels with large font WHITE on black background, make switch larger, and/or illuminate them at night

Your safety concerns in this area?

The '15 Outback had both 1mph and 5mph bumps. Quick toggle for 1mph or click for 5 mph. It was my first disappointment with the Ascent. The Outback also had a mute button on the steering wheel. Both of these features have been dropped and both were favorites of mine. I set my speed at 72 or 82 or whatever because I find that I consistently show 1 mph off on all radar detected mph displays. Also, I like to pass certain cars and would just inch up the speed a mph or two to pass a little faster. I liked having both options - one for subtle changes, the other makes sense when the speed limit itself changes.


The volume nob does act as a mute button / pause button. I'm getting to where I can find that by touch because it is something I use all the time.



I have noticed the temperature controls issue. I was trying to find the recirc air button and had to wait to stop because my quick glances could not locate it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
I disagree. There are no speed limit signs that say 72 mph. They are all divisible by 5. There is no reason you should ever set cruise at 62 mph instead of 60 or 64 instead of 65.
I often set my speed at half-way between 0 and 5 to stay out of packs of cars. Cars can get clumped together at the speed limit or 5 mph over, jostling for position as they go around curves or gain/lose speed on hills. Staying out of those groupings is a huge help in preventing tension during long stretches of highway.

Although auto-spacing in cruise will help, in my current car I often tap the up or down buttons to make slight adjustments to cope with cars around me, and adjusting 5mph would be a much heavier hand than needed in those cases.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sigmonster

·
Registered
Joined
·
932 Posts
The newer Leg & OB have the temperature of the heating/cooling on the dial itself. Interesting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
COMING from honda crv

You see the things you like on the CRV, then see they aren't on the Ascent. Or going from the 2017 forester, I appreciate a few improvements the Ascent made over that vehicle. But since so much is in software, making some things like cruise control user customizable would make me (some people) happier!

We all want a perfect car. I wonder how much time goes into development and getting feedback from typical consumers, rather than letting the engineers do what they think is best.

How would these concerns ever make it to a design change? Does subaru monitor some of these forums?
Just wondering. I love my Ascent, just find it difficult to get used to it. It should improve with time.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,948 Posts
I disagree. There are no speed limit signs that say 72 mph. They are all divisible by 5. There is no reason you should ever set cruise at 62 mph instead of 60 or 64 instead of 65...
There is. It's 45mph. I suspect someone is seeing kph on the speed limit signs on the center cluster. :tango_face_wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
I often set my speed at half-way between 0 and 5 to stay out of packs of cars. Cars can get clumped together at the speed limit or 5 mph over, jostling for position as they go around curves or gain/lose speed on hills. Staying out of those groupings is a huge help in preventing tension during long stretches of highway.

Although auto-spacing in cruise will help, in my current car I often tap the up or down buttons to make slight adjustments to cope with cars around me, and adjusting 5mph would be a much heavier hand than needed in those cases.
You can change this with the ACC distance control now. The 5 MPH changes make sense when you pair them with ACC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
We all want a perfect car. I wonder how much time goes into development and getting feedback from typical consumers, rather than letting the engineers do what they think is best.
OEMs gather a lot of information from a lot of places for product planning. There are focus groups, surveys, feedback collected from people emailing/calling, previous models, forums, pre production testing, simulations and mockups, and numerous other methods. Rarely when it is a user interface do engineers just get to decide what to do (settings and options menus are often exceptions, but those by nature are more complicated and restricted to not moving). There are design teams, product management, marketing, etc. that have the most say on the user interface portions (from all those sources, and analyzing and tearing down the competitors vehicles).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Any one else have several minor issues with the instruments and controls on the Ascent that cause you to take your eye off the road, but a correct design would prevent this? I have had previous cars that did this very well, but my previous 2017 Forester and now 2019 Ascent Premium have easily correctable issues that force a driver to take eyes off the road.

If we get tons of issues that everyone agrees on (not just an issue with me, for instance), is there any hope Subaru will apply "total quality management" and correct these issues to make the cars safer to drive?

Of course, in the old days, we had simple analog heater controls and fan knobs, simple pushbutton radios, and all we had to do was point the car, press the gas pedal, and hit the brakes. Oh yes, check the mirrors as warranted. Now? Too much of the instrument panel demands our attention.

Here is my list:

ISSUE: cruise control increases/decreases speed in increments of 5mph. To nudge it up 1 or 2 mph requires you to take eyes off road to see if you toggled the control long enough to get a 1 mph increase.
SOLUTION: one toggle of the switch increases/decreases 1 mph.

ISSUE: no mute button for radio on steering wheel
SOLUTION: put mute button on steering wheel

ISSUE: bottom row of heating/cooling controls on center stack not easily seen
SOLUTION: make labels with large font WHITE on black background, make switch larger, and/or illuminate them at night

Your safety concerns in this area?
1. I mean it does sort of make sense doing 5's first. Speed limit signs are in 0's or 5's so being able to quickly adjust your set speed to the speed limit makes sense and you would technically spend less time looking down. Plus with adaptive cruise it doesn't need fine tuning since it will do it for you.
2. I've never had mute on the steering wheel of any car I've had or driven. It's always been the big button on the radio. I find myself looking at the steering controls the more buttons I have on it.
3. This one I agree with on some level, but it seems more cars are moving them lower because they have auto adjust functions and most brands assume that is all you will need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
You know what I have found to be a bit of a distraction! Trying to scroll through radio stations one by one. I hate how the wheel controls go through your presets when you press them and cycle through stations individually when you press and hold! I feel this should be In reverse when you press the button you cycle through stations sequentially and when you hold cycle presets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
I disagree. There are no speed limit signs that say 72 mph. They are all divisible by 5. There is no reason you should ever set cruise at 62 mph instead of 60 or 64 instead of 65...
Jason, CA drivers might disagree with you on this! :grin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
cruise control 5mph increments

The whole deal with me is I like to go 5 to 8 mph over the limit, adjusting as you come up on traffic and want to pass faster, or to slow down and travel behind. It becomes difficult to adjust in 1 mph increments because you are never sure unless you look.

The issue with the A/C controls is I like to control things manually. Setting the system to "Auto" goes against my grain. I like to adjust as conditions change, and not run the A/C unless necessary to cool or dry out the air.

Discovered yesterday these controls are at the perfect distance that they are out of focus with my distance driving glasses, but I can't take glasses off while driving to look without further distraction.

Subaru DID redesign the interface of the radio from the 2017 Forester version by making the channel buttons larger so easier to hit the right spot while driving, so they are listening to SOMEONE to make improvements on the fly ...
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top