Subaru Ascent Forum banner
21 - 40 of 63 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
This is true for the rear wheels...they are only powered by electric motors. It was that way with my '06 Highlander Hybrid Limited, too. It's a good system and the low end torque is incredible. It also removes any space requirement for drivetrain down the middle of the vehicle so that space can be used for batteries. But yes, it's not "full time" AWD.
Thank you for confirming that. That is where the Crosstrek Hybrid version is "more" Subaru. The electric motor sends power through the AWD system so it powers all the wheels. Now if only Subaru could find room on the SGP to fit a bigger battery like the one on new RAV4 Prime.

Me, thinking out loud, since the Ascent is bigger, maybe Subaru could make us an Ascent Prime. Then geskenic could get the best of both worlds and I would also be looking up the trade-in values for a 2019 Ascent Touring!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
932 Posts
I realize that likely I will received biased answers since you all have the ascent. But I am currently debating between the highlander hybrid and the ascent.

Couple of things that matter to me:
1. MPG. I've been seeing reports of low mpg for the ascent which worries me.
2. Safety in snow. I live in Michigan and have had issues with my current FWD vehicle getting stuck and not getting into my driveway. Both vehicles I'm looking at would be AWD.
3. Safety in general. Both seem pretty similar in what they are offering safety-wise.
4. Comfort. I have settled that I likely need to get leather seats (always had cloth before) because a baby will be joining us and my greyhound only sits in bench seats so he will be moved to the third row (the reason for the upgrade). I do not want real leather at all. I believe subaru uses synthetic leather. I've heard different things from toyota with their softex vs "genuine" leather. Some dealers telling me the genuine leather is genuine as advertised, others saying it is synthetic. Either way, I think they're deceiving people and I don't like that.
5. Features. Both seem similar in features. I do want heated seats/wheel and ambient lights because that's what I'm used to.
6. Warranty. Both seem similar in warranty, but toyota has two years free maintenance with toyota care, which is nice.

Any advice would appreciated.
Nicole
Hi Nicole, welcome to the forum!

I've owned 3 Subarus so far, and my family's had at least a dozen combined. I'd like to try to answer some questions...

First, kudos to you for coming to this forum with the mindset that you'll probably get Subaru-skewed opinions. You'd be surprised what you read here!

1. Since the Subaru is a full time AWD car, and a big SUV, the MPG takes a hit in the city. If you're regularly accelerating from stops or decelerating quickly (city driving), yes, you'll have a low economy. But, it's a 4 cylinder turbo - so it should be comparable to a V6. Check out the Fuelly website where you can see actual user uploaded economy data.

2. Subaru is unparalleled in the snow. I'm an essential worker and I've driven to work in my Outback / Forester with a bunch of snow and sleet on the ground. I've watched cars spin out and wreck. I've been able to get where I've needed to - and I always felt fully in control of my car.

3. EyeSight is among the top rated driver assistance feature suites. I use a section of it (adaptive cruise, lane keep assist... newer models have lane centering) every time I am in the car.

4. I've found the Ascent bigger than the Highlander. I have a family member with a Highlander and the third row is kind of tight, and I am 6' tall and was not comfortable back there. Driving is okay, second row was not ideal. Softex is synthetic leather. Leather is a heck of a lot easier to clean than the cloth seats. I'm a big proponent of the Limited or Touring trims - I'd rather have features I don't always use but can use them if I want to.

5. Subaru is definitely more value - Toyota seems to add a lot of technology with their upgrade packages which hides the true cost and price.

6. 2 years of maintenance is essentially 4 oil changes and tire rotations. Don't let ~$300 cloud the "big picture" cost of the car.

Regarding footwell lights and heated seats/wheel, you can add the footwell lights as an accessory for a small cost (under $200 I believe). I also like the auto dimming exterior lights as well.

The thing with the Highlander Hybrid is that yes, you'll get better economy, but there will come a time when the motor generator fails or the battery pack starts to fail. This doesn't mean you'll be stranded, but it will mean you will absolutely have a significant expense around the time the car is 10-12ish years old. Some last longer, some don't. Toyota does have a good warranty on the battery parts, but do you want a $5000 repair bill when the car's only worth a little more than that at that point?

If you go with the Subaru, congrats, welcome, and change your oil regularly. I will say that these Boxer engines do not really like when you neglect them and go over on oil changes. Oil is cheap. Engines are not.
 

·
Registered
2019 Ascent Limited, 2015 WRX, 2022 OB Onyx
Joined
·
4,436 Posts
Thank you for confirming that. That is where the Crosstrek Hybrid version is "more" Subaru. The electric motor sends power through the AWD system so it powers all the wheels. Now if only Subaru could find room on the SGP to fit a bigger battery like the one on new RAV4 Prime.

Me, thinking out loud, since the Ascent is bigger, maybe Subaru could make us an Ascent Prime. Then geskenic could get the best of both worlds and I would also be looking up the trade-in values for a 2019 Ascent Touring!
Subaru"s universal platform is already set up for electric and hybrid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
Subaru"s universal platform is already set up for electric and hybrid.
Yes that is true. But the Crosstrek Hybrid's (CH) hybrid execution could be have been better.

For example, when I was at the last New York auto show, I saw how the battery pack in the Crosstrek extends into the cargo area reducing cargo space. Moments later, I went along for a ride along in a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (or was it the Prime?) and I saw the cargo area did not have the same compromises for the battery. Since the RAV4 is larger than the Crosstrek, I assume it offered more space to package the battery better. Also the CH also has less range than the standard Crosstrek due to a smaller fuel tank.

These compromises makes me wonder if the SGP was originally designed to accept Toyota's hybrid components or something else entirely.
 

·
Registered
2019 Ascent Limited, 2015 WRX, 2022 OB Onyx
Joined
·
4,436 Posts
Yes that is true. But the Crosstrek Hybrid's (CH) hybrid execution could be have been better.

For example, when I was at the last New York auto show, I saw how the battery pack in the Crosstrek extends into the cargo area reducing cargo space. Moments later, I went along for a ride along in a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (or was it the Prime?) and I saw the cargo area did not have the same compromises for the battery. Since the RAV4 is larger than the Crosstrek, I assume it offered more space to package the battery better. Also the CH also has less range than the standard Crosstrek due to a smaller fuel tank.

These compromises makes me wonder if the SGP was originally designed to accept Toyota's hybrid components or something else entirely.
Both Toyota and Subaru each have developed some technology that places them on top of the pack which is one reason they "partner".
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
Joined
·
5,242 Posts
Both Toyota and Subaru each have developed some technology that places them on top of the pack which is one reason they "partner".
Toyota is also a part owner of Subaru...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Thanks for your comments, I really appreciate it! I had almost decided to get the ascent touring and then contacted Subaru and found out there are parts of the leather that are from animals. Now I'm between the premium trim in the ascent and the XLE time in the Highlander hybrid which has the synthetic leather. I've never had leather in a car before, but I've been recommended it with kids (having one early December).
Nicole
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
Joined
·
5,242 Posts
Just a point...in most vehicles, only the actual seating surfaces are real leather. The rest is synthetic material. Most synthetic leather does not feel the same as real leather and sometimes it doesn't wear as well, either. If it's not from an animal hide, it's not leather, despite sometimes being referred to that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
377 Posts
Thanks for your comments, I really appreciate it! I had almost decided to get the ascent touring and then contacted Subaru and found out there are parts of the leather that are from animals. Now I'm between the premium trim in the ascent and the XLE time in the Highlander hybrid which has the synthetic leather. I've never had leather in a car before, but I've been recommended it with kids (having one early December).
Nicole
I consider leather a byproduct of the meat and dairy industries that will biodegrade while synthetic fabrics will not. Think indigenous people using all of an animal in respect for taking its life.

Most vegans I know won't go near leather but a high cholesterol level while vegetarian(too much dairy. I'm from a dairy farming clan) is how I ended up on a plant based diet and not animal activism.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I've never had leather in a car before, but I've been recommended it with kids
It's a good recommendation. The wipe down factor is real. You could put a seat protector down instead, I guess. I see if you can get a sample of spill resistant fabric to really test it with milk, ground up crackers, fruits, nut butter, etc.

Re. The Ascent, trim level names are all different here in Canada, but I think the one you're considering is the one we have (one below the highest level with captains chairs?). The only top-level feature I wish we had is the front camera.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Primarily:
  • CVT Cooling radiator (vital)
  • Body harness to hook up trailer lights, brakes and power
  • Brake Controller connection point
One nitpicky thing that bugs me about the Ascent is the cheesy, flimsy panel you have to remove to expose the hitch. If you drive around with the panel off it looks like you were in an accident and lost part of your bumper. I don't have a lot of faith in the longevity of the plastic retaining clips that keep the panel on... Another thing that may come into play if you're towing on gravel is that, at least in Canada, the premium versions of the Ascent which offer 5,000 lb towing only come with low profile tires on 20' rims that won't play well on rough, gravel roads. Both surmountable issues and possibly just pet peeves...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I realize that likely I will received biased answers since you all have the ascent. But I am currently debating between the highlander hybrid and the ascent.

Couple of things that matter to me:
1. MPG. I've been seeing reports of low mpg for the ascent which worries me.
2. Safety in snow. I live in Michigan and have had issues with my current FWD vehicle getting stuck and not getting into my driveway. Both vehicles I'm looking at would be AWD.
3. Safety in general. Both seem pretty similar in what they are offering safety-wise.
4. Comfort. I have settled that I likely need to get leather seats (always had cloth before) because a baby will be joining us and my greyhound only sits in bench seats so he will be moved to the third row (the reason for the upgrade). I do not want real leather at all. I believe subaru uses synthetic leather. I've heard different things from toyota with their softex vs "genuine" leather. Some dealers telling me the genuine leather is genuine as advertised, others saying it is synthetic. Either way, I think they're deceiving people and I don't like that.
5. Features. Both seem similar in features. I do want heated seats/wheel and ambient lights because that's what I'm used to.
6. Warranty. Both seem similar in warranty, but toyota has two years free maintenance with toyota care, which is nice.

Any advice would appreciated.
Nicole
I had an ascent but had an issue w blue gray smelly exhaust which started when i had the car only 4 months! They kept telling me was just condensation. If you stood behind it you would choke form the smell. An outside mechanic said there was an issue w the engine burning oil. There is a blog from many people about this smoke condition.Since Subaru would not say there was a problem I just turned the car in and now I have a Hyundai Santa Fe, too small for you, but they do have a larger model. They have an excellent warranty even better that Toyota and worth looking into.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
11,930 Posts
One nitpicky thing that bugs me about the Ascent is the cheesy, flimsy panel you have to remove to expose the hitch. If you drive around with the panel off it looks like you were in an accident and lost part of your bumper. I don't have a lot of faith in the longevity of the plastic retaining clips that keep the panel on... Another thing that may come into play if you're towing on gravel is that, at least in Canada, the premium versions of the Ascent which offer 5,000 lb towing only come with low profile tires on 20' rims that won't play well on rough, gravel roads. Both surmountable issues and possibly just pet peeves...
There's nothing flimsy about them, as the abuse mine have suffered and survived through indicate. 😉

So, I wouldn't worry about them.

Only tip is remember the clips are quarter turn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Hello from an Ascent owner in Michigan. We've had ours through two winters now, and the AWD system is a total slam-dunk. My wife (its her car) has detailed many times she's watched jeeps sliding off the road sideways while she just motors on, in her commute on I96.

We have the cloth seats, with kids and pets, and the stain protection Subaru uses actually works. Long story short, the day we took delivery one of our kids pooped on the seat and it cleaned right up.

We average 23-26 mpg in mixed town/rural/freeway driving. More like 28mpg on long trips, loaded with 5 people and a week's luggage. Third row space is comparable to the minivans we used to own -- less space behind 3rd row is the tradeoff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
We look
I realize that likely I will received biased answers since you all have the ascent. But I am currently debating between the highlander hybrid and the ascent.

Couple of things that matter to me:
1. MPG. I've been seeing reports of low mpg for the ascent which worries me.
2. Safety in snow. I live in Michigan and have had issues with my current FWD vehicle getting stuck and not getting into my driveway. Both vehicles I'm looking at would be AWD.
3. Safety in general. Both seem pretty similar in what they are offering safety-wise.
4. Comfort. I have settled that I likely need to get leather seats (always had cloth before) because a baby will be joining us and my greyhound only sits in bench seats so he will be moved to the third row (the reason for the upgrade). I do not want real leather at all. I believe subaru uses synthetic leather. I've heard different things from toyota with their softex vs "genuine" leather. Some dealers telling me the genuine leather is genuine as advertised, others saying it is synthetic. Either way, I think they're deceiving people and I don't like that.
5. Features. Both seem similar in features. I do want heated seats/wheel and ambient lights because that's what I'm used to.
6. Warranty. Both seem similar in warranty, but toyota has two years free maintenance with toyota care, which is nice.

Any advice would appreciated.
Nicole
[/QUOT
We looked at both and went with the Subaru. Most comfortable
I realize that likely I will received biased answers since you all have the ascent. But I am currently debating between the highlander hybrid and the ascent.

Couple of things that matter to me:
1. MPG. I've been seeing reports of low mpg for the ascent which worries me.
2. Safety in snow. I live in Michigan and have had issues with my current FWD vehicle getting stuck and not getting into my driveway. Both vehicles I'm looking at would be AWD.
3. Safety in general. Both seem pretty similar in what they are offering safety-wise.
4. Comfort. I have settled that I likely need to get leather seats (always had cloth before) because a baby will be joining us and my greyhound only sits in bench seats so he will be moved to the third row (the reason for the upgrade). I do not want real leather at all. I believe subaru uses synthetic leather. I've heard different things from toyota with their softex vs "genuine" leather. Some dealers telling me the genuine leather is genuine as advertised, others saying it is synthetic. Either way, I think they're deceiving people and I don't like that.
5. Features. Both seem similar in features. I do want heated seats/wheel and ambient lights because that's what I'm used to.
6. Warranty. Both seem similar in warranty, but toyota has two years free maintenance with toyota care, which is nice.

Any advice would appreciated.
Nicole
We looked at both and decided on the Ascent Touring. Mist comfortable ride we have ever had. We are averaging 26 mpg. Safety is best is business. Snow is amazing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I realize that likely I will received biased answers since you all have the ascent. But I am currently debating between the highlander hybrid and the ascent.

Couple of things that matter to me:
1. MPG. I've been seeing reports of low mpg for the ascent which worries me.
2. Safety in snow. I live in Michigan and have had issues with my current FWD vehicle getting stuck and not getting into my driveway. Both vehicles I'm looking at would be AWD.
3. Safety in general. Both seem pretty similar in what they are offering safety-wise.
4. Comfort. I have settled that I likely need to get leather seats (always had cloth before) because a baby will be joining us and my greyhound only sits in bench seats so he will be moved to the third row (the reason for the upgrade). I do not want real leather at all. I believe subaru uses synthetic leather. I've heard different things from toyota with their softex vs "genuine" leather. Some dealers telling me the genuine leather is genuine as advertised, others saying it is synthetic. Either way, I think they're deceiving people and I don't like that.
5. Features. Both seem similar in features. I do want heated seats/wheel and ambient lights because that's what I'm used to.
6. Warranty. Both seem similar in warranty, but toyota has two years free maintenance with toyota care, which is nice.

Any advice would appreciated.
Nicole
I have the Ascent limited. I will say, I drive mostly around Portland, Oregon (extremely hilly area) and am averaging about 17.5 mpgs over 5k. I had the Ascent Premium for 9 mo and traded in. You’ll def get slightly better mileage with 18” tires and no massive sunroof (Pano roof weighs hundreds of lbs). You’ll get mid/upper 20s on open flat road with either, which is great for a 4500 lb vehicle. I attained 30 mpgs a few times with Premium.
In hindsight I may have kept my Premium Ascent and just added leather. I’d recommend going for a lower trim and adding Katzkin leather aftermarket. It’s better than most factory leather- def better than Toyota’s pleather. As far as I can tell, the Subaru leather is real on surfaces you touch, maybe even seatbacks, but 3rd row seems fake.
My recommendation is if you are going more for performance (AWD, cornering, light off road) get the Ascent. If you’re mainly touring around town especially with not many hills, get the Highlander. Personally I could be happy with either. I’ve been a bit fixated on the poor mpgs of Ascent (former Prius driver), but the car is redeemed whenever I really put on miles and am getting a more reasonable 26 mpgs going 75 mph on the highway!

3rd row seems more useful in Ascent than Highlander. I think it has 2-3 inches more legroom. Another important detail is the headlights. The 2020 models only have the amazing steering LED headlights on limited and touring trims. 2021 Ascents have them on all trims apparently. One of the biggest differences between my two ascents, and a huge upgrade.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
126 Posts
I have 3 kids and I've had a Premium with the ivory cloth seats for over 2 years. The seats are water resistant and I also had the stain protection applied. Seats are easy to clean and mine still look like new. Very happy with the car.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Robert.Mauro

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Hello from an Ascent owner in Michigan. We've had ours through two winters now, and the AWD system is a total slam-dunk. My wife (its her car) has detailed many times she's watched jeeps sliding off the road sideways while she just motors on, in her commute on I96.

We have the cloth seats, with kids and pets, and the stain protection Subaru uses actually works. Long story short, the day we took delivery one of our kids pooped on the seat and it cleaned right up.

We average 23-26 mpg in mixed town/rural/freeway driving. More like 28mpg on long trips, loaded with 5 people and a week's luggage. Third row space is comparable to the minivans we used to own -- less space behind 3rd row is the tradeoff.
That is really good to know! I'm in Lansing and drive 496 to MSU. People drive insane on highways especially in terrible conditions so I def want something with a good system to begin with.

I was originally looking at the touring trim because of some of the features but then the real leather turned me off. Now looking at the premium trim.

The Toyota dealer let me borrow a Highlander to see if my dog would get in it and he had a lot of trouble getting in and out. Hopefully he will have less trouble with the ascent. The Chevy traverse has ample room getting into the backseat but I've heard mixed things about Chevy.
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
59 Posts
I realize that likely I will received biased answers since you all have the ascent. But I am currently debating between the highlander hybrid and the ascent.

Couple of things that matter to me:
1. MPG. I've been seeing reports of low mpg for the ascent which worries me.
2. Safety in snow. I live in Michigan and have had issues with my current FWD vehicle getting stuck and not getting into my driveway. Both vehicles I'm looking at would be AWD.
3. Safety in general. Both seem pretty similar in what they are offering safety-wise.
4. Comfort. I have settled that I likely need to get leather seats (always had cloth before) because a baby will be joining us and my greyhound only sits in bench seats so he will be moved to the third row (the reason for the upgrade). I do not want real leather at all. I believe subaru uses synthetic leather. I've heard different things from toyota with their softex vs "genuine" leather. Some dealers telling me the genuine leather is genuine as advertised, others saying it is synthetic. Either way, I think they're deceiving people and I don't like that.
5. Features. Both seem similar in features. I do want heated seats/wheel and ambient lights because that's what I'm used to.
6. Warranty. Both seem similar in warranty, but toyota has two years free maintenance with toyota care, which is nice.

Any advice would appreciated.
Nicole
Hi Nicole, I bought a 2019 Ascent Limited about 18 months ago. I love it. I'm 6'1" and I find the driver's seat very comfortable. The safety features are amazing. I have had 4 recall items that were relatively minor and were dealt with quickly. Recalls are common in any car during the first year of production. Toyota makes a good product as well especially with the Highlander. With the Highlander, I didn't care for the driver's seat leg room and the overall seat adjustments. A good reference would be to check Consumer Reports for car recommendations. They buy all their test vehicles. No influence from manufacturers.
By the way, when I bought my Ascent I was living in Santa Fe, NM. It came with the cold weather package. The heated seats and steering wheel were nice features to have in winter at 7,000 ft. It did very well in snow. I felt safe. Now I'm back in Southern California and all I care about is the AC. It works very well even when we hit 121* last week!
Best of luck to you!
 
21 - 40 of 63 Posts
Top