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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We've had the Ascent now for about 4,000 miles and one thing every driver has noticed is how affected this vehicle is by a cross wind. Anyone else have this? It's not uncommon for us to have 15-20mph crosswinds, especially in the winter. My wife was complaining the car felt like it was "skating" on dry pavement at highway speeds. I drove the car the other day and in a cross wind I felt what she was talking about---she identified it from the passenger seat. At 70mph with a 15mph crosswind the car literally moved across the centerline with no steering input--it spooked me. (also as the road turned and the wind became a headwind the hood shook so much I thought it was coming off---very scary). It was pretty unnerving. On the return trip of the same route, the car nearly moved into the center barrier, which indicated a move to the opposite direction as before, so it doesn't seem to be a directional steering issue or indicate anything wrong with the steering components. Lane assist is turned off (and has been since exactly 8 miles of ownership as we both hate it strongly). The tires are original and the PSI is set at factory 33psi. I've never had a car be so affected by wind, especially with this curb weight. It happens on all different road surfaces. I get that there is a fair amount of cross section, but come on-- We've had other SUVs of all sizes and none have ever done this. To be honest, I could see a novice driver not expecting that actually have an accident it moved so much. Without a crosswind, the car tracks straight and true and otherwise handles normally. There are a lot of quirks to this car and now 4k into it, my wife really doesn't like driving it and wants to go back to a Ford Edge, alas, we are stuck with it for 3 years (long story)....We both think unless something really changes, it will be our last...which is funny as we have multiple friends who are on their 3rd or 4th Subaru that swear by them.

Now, second question is probably user error, but going to ask. The hatch open button on the dash only seems to work if I have the car turned off and the drivers door open. If I try to open it with the door closed and engine running, it will only beep and me and not open. Is this normal? It's a PIA.

Finally, a quick update on mileage. The absolute best we have seen is 22.00 driving 90% highway at 60-65 mph. The best we have ever done is to get 372 miles out of a tank when the low fuel light comes on. Neither of us drives the car hard and and I don't every remember revving the engine over 32-3300 rpms. Apparently it's one of the ones that's simply a gas hog. One friend has an Ascent and he is an absolute lead foot and he has never gotten less than 26mph. Oh well.

Curious to hear any insights. I guess on the positive side, the car is nice to drive at less than 40mph!!!! LOL
 

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Hi! To the first question, yes, the car is big and you can feel crosswinds, but, no, it shouldn't feel like you're describing. I'd start with checking the tire inflation, and following that, check the alignment.

To the second, the hatch won't open unless the car is in park and the doors are unlocked.

And to the mpg, it will improve in the first thousand or two miles, especially if/when you get used to the twitchy gas pedal.
 

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Now, second question is probably user error, but going to ask. The hatch open button on the dash only seems to work if I have the car turned off and the drivers door open. If I try to open it with the door closed and engine running, it will only beep and me and not open. Is this normal? It's a PIA.
If the rear gate is "locked," it will not open and you get the beep. Try hitting the door unlock button first (hence why it works when your door is opened). You also need to be in Park, but I don't think that was the issue you were having.
 

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Greetings,
I've never noticed any particular vulnerability to cross winds.
I did once have the hood shake on a freeway. I believe other threads exist about it. I haven't done anything about it or seen it again. But I assume I would in just the right situation.
For mileage, I'll just throw out that I see a big difference between summer and winter. At least 4 mpg.
 

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The hood shake is actually a TSB you can have your dealer address. Apparently the two layers are not bonded together well and give an appearance like a loose hood latch. I've been meaning to have it done. Just haven't made it back to the dealer yet.

I get about 24 mpg on long highway trips with a roof box attached.
 

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The steering on this car is pretty quick, and very light. I think this contributes to the difficulty in driving with a crosswind. I, too, experience something similar in ours. I have not had the alignment on ours checked, but our tires are wearing pretty consistently and pretty evenly, so it's not grossly out of whack. It often takes just a slight tweak here or there to make a big difference, though.

Our other two vehicles are also large 4,500 pound SUVs, but their steering is slower and more heavily weighted. They feel more lethargic to drive on the road, in terms of handling, but they're also more stable. The Ascent is a tremendously nimble vehicle for weighing north of 4,500 pounds, and it takes a very light touch to drive it. I think it's something to get used to, and I've come to prefer the way the Ascent drives to our other two SUVs. But that's totally user preference, and I respect opinions on both sides of the issue.
 

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The hood shake is actually a TSB you can have your dealer address. Apparently the two layers are not bonded together well and give an appearance like a loose hood latch. I've been meaning to have it done. Just haven't made it back to the dealer yet.

I get about 24 mpg on long highway trips with a roof box attached.
Thanks. Do you happen to have the TSB number? I'll ask about it when I'm in for a regular service next month.
 

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Now, second question is probably user error, but going to ask. The hatch open button on the dash only seems to work if I have the car turned off and the drivers door open. If I try to open it with the door closed and engine running, it will only beep and me and not open. Is this normal? It's a PIA.
The button will work if you click the unlock button on the driver's door first. Opening it does the same thing...unless a passenger opens their door first. Then you MUST click the unlock button on the driver door before using the hatch open button on the dash. (which is a "long push" as you may have noticed. There is an optional TSB to resolve the "passenger door opened first" issue if it's a problem for you.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi! To the first question, yes, the car is big and you can feel crosswinds, but, no, it shouldn't feel like you're describing. I'd start with checking the tire inflation, and following that, check the alignment.

To the second, the hatch won't open unless the car is in park and the doors are unlocked.

And to the mpg, it will improve in the first thousand or two miles, especially if/when you get used to the twitchy gas pedal.
Thanks. I have driven full size SUVS as well as comparably sized SUVs for 20 years and even a few mini vans thrown in there. I have never experienced anything like this in any of those vehicles. Ever have an 18 wheeler blow by you at a much higher speed and you can feel the pressure wave? It's like that but literally 5-7 times worse. The only way I can describe it is the whole car literally shifts left or right. I can confirm tire inflation is at 33psi with 2 different digital gauges as well as the TPMS. I agree the steering is light, but my Sequoia steering is actually much lighter and I have never had it do that. I have verified the doors are unlocked for the rear hatch, but I'll try again. The car is a little over 4k and so far the gas mileage hasn't really improved.
 

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I'd definitely have the alignment checked. I'm over 70K miles all over the country, without the car ever doing anything I haven't told it to.

As for the gas mileage, what speeds do you drive at? Sadly, EPA testing is at 60 mph and less. The Ascent loses gas mileage quickly when driving over that speed, because, it's a big car that's not too aerodynamic.
 

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We've had the Ascent now for about 4,000 miles and one thing every driver has noticed is how affected this vehicle is by a cross wind. Anyone else have this? It's not uncommon for us to have 15-20mph crosswinds, especially in the winter. My wife was complaining the car felt like it was "skating" on dry pavement at highway speeds. I drove the car the other day and in a cross wind I felt what she was talking about---she identified it from the passenger seat. At 70mph with a 15mph crosswind the car literally moved across the centerline with no steering input--it spooked me. (also as the road turned and the wind became a headwind the hood shook so much I thought it was coming off---very scary). It was pretty unnerving. On the return trip of the same route, the car nearly moved into the center barrier, which indicated a move to the opposite direction as before, so it doesn't seem to be a directional steering issue or indicate anything wrong with the steering components. Lane assist is turned off (and has been since exactly 8 miles of ownership as we both hate it strongly). The tires are original and the PSI is set at factory 33psi. I've never had a car be so affected by wind, especially with this curb weight. It happens on all different road surfaces. I get that there is a fair amount of cross section, but come on-- We've had other SUVs of all sizes and none have ever done this. To be honest, I could see a novice driver not expecting that actually have an accident it moved so much. Without a crosswind, the car tracks straight and true and otherwise handles normally. There are a lot of quirks to this car and now 4k into it, my wife really doesn't like driving it and wants to go back to a Ford Edge, alas, we are stuck with it for 3 years (long story)....We both think unless something really changes, it will be our last...which is funny as we have multiple friends who are on their 3rd or 4th Subaru that swear by them.

Now, second question is probably user error, but going to ask. The hatch open button on the dash only seems to work if I have the car turned off and the drivers door open. If I try to open it with the door closed and engine running, it will only beep and me and not open. Is this normal? It's a PIA.

Finally, a quick update on mileage. The absolute best we have seen is 22.00 driving 90% highway at 60-65 mph. The best we have ever done is to get 372 miles out of a tank when the low fuel light comes on. Neither of us drives the car hard and and I don't every remember revving the engine over 32-3300 rpms. Apparently it's one of the ones that's simply a gas hog. One friend has an Ascent and he is an absolute lead foot and he has never gotten less than 26mph. Oh well.

Curious to hear any insights. I guess on the positive side, the car is nice to drive at less than 40mph!!!! LOL
You should mount a roof box, like a Thule Mountaineer and then tell us about cross wind! It's a high profile car for pete's sake.
 

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Our Ascent and Forester both are pretty terrible in the wind. I have found myself questioning if I want to really go out on to the highway on our super windy days. My previous vehicle, an Explorer, was never really that affected by wind.
 

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Unless there's a hurricane, gusty winds are kind of rare around here. Last week, we had 20mph wind with gusts to 35. I was driving on an elevated stretch of interstate and experienced quite a bit of cross wind. It was certainly noticeable but not uncontrollable. I was surprised how noticeable it was compared to the much lighter mini-vans I have owned.
 

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Do you have LKA turned on? If so, it might add to the feel of a crosswind. As the wind blows you toward a line, LKA corrects and you bounce back the other way.
 

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Do you have LKA turned on? If so, it might add to the feel of a crosswind. As the wind blows you toward a line, LKA corrects and you bounce back the other way.
I did some interesting tests with the Outback and Lane Centering in high winds, and, the car handled them easily, while I was very slightly nudged by them, as most everyone in most cars are. I learned the reaction issue was mine.

I suspect, with LKA, it can be worse, because it's a "double-react", so to speak. A wind gust hits the car and nudges it, person starts to react, LKA reacts, "boosting" the person's reaction.
 

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Ever have an 18 wheeler blow by you at a much higher speed and you can feel the pressure wave? It's like that but literally 5-7 times worse. The only way I can describe it is the whole car literally shifts left or right.
I think our car takes a little more steering concentration and correction than other vehicles, but yours sounds a little excessive. If you truly have difficulty keeping it on the road, then something may be awry. Of course, we all have different expectations of a vehicle...but I don't think most of us would say it's normal for the car to significantly shift left and right like that.

Toe that may be neutral to even slightly toe out can really create instability...because both tires are trying to steer away from center and the car will track whichever tire has the most weight on it at the time. Cross winds would probably make a condition like that more difficult to manage because it's blowing against the side of the car and shifting the weight around. I'd definitely have the alignment checked and even ask to drive a different Ascent if that's an option to see if that one drives similarly or not. If you do have the alignment checked, please post the print out here -- don't take "the alignment's good" as an answer. There's enough tolerance in the "acceptable" range to really change how the car behaves and two cars, both with alignments at opposite ends of the "acceptable" range, can drive somewhat differently.
 

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We've had the Ascent now for about 4,000 miles and one thing every driver has noticed is how affected this vehicle is by a cross wind. Anyone else have this? It's not uncommon for us to have 15-20mph crosswinds, especially in the winter. My wife was complaining the car felt like it was "skating" on dry pavement at highway speeds. I drove the car the other day and in a cross wind I felt what she was talking about---she identified it from the passenger seat. At 70mph with a 15mph crosswind the car literally moved across the centerline with no steering input--it spooked me. (also as the road turned and the wind became a headwind the hood shook so much I thought it was coming off---very scary). It was pretty unnerving. On the return trip of the same route, the car nearly moved into the center barrier, which indicated a move to the opposite direction as before, so it doesn't seem to be a directional steering issue or indicate anything wrong with the steering components. Lane assist is turned off (and has been since exactly 8 miles of ownership as we both hate it strongly). The tires are original and the PSI is set at factory 33psi. I've never had a car be so affected by wind, especially with this curb weight. It happens on all different road surfaces. I get that there is a fair amount of cross section, but come on-- We've had other SUVs of all sizes and none have ever done this. To be honest, I could see a novice driver not expecting that actually have an accident it moved so much. Without a crosswind, the car tracks straight and true and otherwise handles normally. There are a lot of quirks to this car and now 4k into it, my wife really doesn't like driving it and wants to go back to a Ford Edge, alas, we are stuck with it for 3 years (long story)....We both think unless something really changes, it will be our last...which is funny as we have multiple friends who are on their 3rd or 4th Subaru that swear by them.

Now, second question is probably user error, but going to ask. The hatch open button on the dash only seems to work if I have the car turned off and the drivers door open. If I try to open it with the door closed and engine running, it will only beep and me and not open. Is this normal? It's a PIA.

Finally, a quick update on mileage. The absolute best we have seen is 22.00 driving 90% highway at 60-65 mph. The best we have ever done is to get 372 miles out of a tank when the low fuel light comes on. Neither of us drives the car hard and and I don't every remember revving the engine over 32-3300 rpms. Apparently it's one of the ones that's simply a gas hog. One friend has an Ascent and he is an absolute lead foot and he has never gotten less than 26mph. Oh well.

Curious to hear any insights. I guess on the positive side, the car is nice to drive at less than 40mph!!!! LOL
2020 Ascent Touring. At 4000 miles or so, I achieved 27 mpg on round trip from Fayetteville, PA to Fort Lauderdale and back. All highway. You have to keep your speed down to around 60 mph and keep the cruise on to achieve these numbers. No issues with cross winds here, and we get a lot in South Central PA.

The only issue I had with this car is that I pocket launched the tailgate while the vehicle was in the garage. Did not catch the situation till morning. Battery was dead. Jumped it and it started. After reading reviews on this sight, I just went out and bought an Optima Yellowtop Battery (at my own expense). Perhaps the Odyssey is the better battery, but not sure it would fit in the 2020. No issues since, but I keep a Noco Genius jump starter in the car at all times.
 

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2020 Ascent Touring. At 4000 miles or so, I achieved 27 mpg on round trip from Fayetteville, PA to Fort Lauderdale and back. All highway. You have to keep your speed down to around 60 mph and keep the cruise on to achieve these numbers. No issues with cross winds here, and we get a lot in South Central PA.

The only issue I had with this car is that I pocket launched the tailgate while the vehicle was in the garage. Did not catch the situation till morning. Battery was dead. Jumped it and it started. After reading reviews on this sight, I just went out and bought an Optima Yellowtop Battery (at my own expense). Perhaps the Odyssey is the better battery, but not sure it would fit in the 2020. No issues since, but I keep a Noco Genius jump starter in the car at all times.

Hiya! I'd also let the dealership know about your liftgate drain problems, and see if the relevant TSB applies to your car. It does apply to some 2020's that did not get the most recent liftgate controller (because the most recent liftgate controller wasn't available when the cars were built).
 
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