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I’m thinking about getting an Ascent, upgrading from an outback 2017.
However I’m not totally sold with the poor gas mileage the Ascent gets.
I am thinking about Toyota Highlander hybrid gets nearly 10 gallons per mile better gas mileage.
Has anyone found anything that works to significantly improve gas mileage of the Ascent?
 

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Best way to improve mileage is to stick to highway driving on either flat or ideally downhill terrain. If you can manage a tailwind even better!

Seriously though it will vary based on the type of driving and terrain. I have been averaging 19-20 with a mix of highway and local trips. Terrain around here has lots of ups and downs as well but nothing too crazy. I’ve seen 30+ if I fill up then head downtown (21 miles mostly highway). Coming back though it drops a bit as it’s more uphill. If your number one priority is MPG then take a good look at the hybrid highlander as nothing else will touch it at the moment. Or look at an EV though there aren’t many with a 3rd row (if any?)

the Ascent is a large suv and none are known for getting great miles per gallon but the alAscent is near the top of the pack for what is available now. Just keep a light touch on the throttle and let it coast a bit and you’ll be good.(Also give the engine time to break in as mine has been going up since I first got mine)
 

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I’m thinking about getting an Ascent, upgrading from an outback 2017.
However I’m not totally sold with the poor gas mileage the Ascent gets.
I am thinking about Toyota Highlander hybrid gets nearly 10 gallons per mile better gas mileage.
Has anyone found anything that works to significantly improve gas mileage of the Ascent?
There's no way you'll match the efficiency of the Highlander Hybrid. The regular V6 Highlander with AWD is a fair comparison to the Ascent and those two should be very close in MPG.
 

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Yea, comparing the Ascent to a hybrid of similar size isn't a fair bout relative to fuel economy. Many of us get good fuel economy with our Ascents...I average about 20-21 mpg in general rural driving and about 27 mpg on the highway while traveling. What kills fuel economy in the Ascent and most other vehicles is short trips..."very urban" settings. For those, the hybrid is the better choice simply because of the nature of driving. Hitting the skinny pedal hard all the time also makes the Ascent hungry...that's the nature of a turbo.
 

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I’m thinking about getting an Ascent, upgrading from an outback 2017.
However I’m not totally sold with the poor gas mileage the Ascent gets.
I am thinking about Toyota Highlander hybrid gets nearly 10 gallons per mile better gas mileage.
Has anyone found anything that works to significantly improve gas mileage of the Ascent?
My only advice is to do your numbers. If you expect to drive 10000 miles a year, on the Ascent on average mpg of 22 you'll drink 455 gallons. On the Highlander hybrid at 35 mpg you'll use 286 gallons, so your savings is 169 gallons per year. Depending on where you live, but let's say at $2.40 per gallon you'll save a whooping $400 per year!
Let's say you intend to keep your car for 5 years, that's $2000 in savings. Just make sure you don't pay more than $2k extra for that hybrid!!
 

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Yea, comparing the Ascent to a hybrid of similar size isn't a fair bout relative to fuel economy. Many of us get good fuel economy with our Ascents...I average about 20-21 mpg in general rural driving and about 27 mpg on the highway while traveling. What kills fuel economy in the Ascent and most other vehicles is short trips..."very urban" settings. For those, the hybrid is the better choice simply because of the nature of driving. Hitting the skinny pedal hard all the time also makes the Ascent hungry...that's the nature of a turbo.
Greetings,
This nails it. It totally depends on the type of driving. I've a short commute (3.5 miles) to work (with a few hills and lights), and in the winter I see ~14 mpg. In the summer it's a little better at 17 or so. On the other hand, I routinely see 26 mpg or so when taking trips with a cargo box on top, and I've seen it top 30 at times without the box.
 

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It just is what it is.
My lifetime average = 20.2
Average around the suburbs = 13-15
Road trip into the moutains = 22-24
I filled up this morning and the computer was reading 31.1 during light traffic. I'll be back down in the 20s by this afternoon.
 

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Has anyone found anything that works to significantly improve gas mileage of the Ascent?
Yes. Let the car drive. Sounds funny, but I'm serious. Somewhat ;)

I've learned 2 things since I had mine (9 month now and almost at 12k):

1. Everyone that says here to give it some time for gas mileage to improve is right! I've seen big improvements in the last months!
2. The car drives itself more efficiently than me. Even though I consider myself a very mild driver, I can not beat the adaptive cruise control (and obviously it's only something for longer drives with mild or no traffic). Even if I feel the braking and accelerating the ACC does is more aggressive than I would do, it gets better mileage.

What blew me away the most was my gas mileage towing. I have a 4000lb pop-up trailer with a high tongue weight, 470lb so it's close to the Ascents limit. Everybody said it'll cut your MPG in half. Not for me, quite the opposite. At that time I was still only getting 19.5 mpg mixed urban and short fwy trips. On our first tow, I set the ACC to 57mph and cruised along. 19.5mpg on a 500m roundtrip! And it tows great!

Since you are looking at a Hybrid I assume towing is of no interest to you.

Since then it's only gotten better. We've gotten 26mpg on Family trips (2 small kids and full car). I even reached 31mpg during a recent solo trip coming back from the Eastern Sierra with driving through LA! What remains bad and I can echo what others have said here. The really, really SOCal urban driving sucks and we still only get around 16mpg.
I doubt the regular Highlander would do any better though. The Hybrid Highlander on the other hand is probably hard to beat, like the others have said as well.
 

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It's shocking how different it is compared to my 2015 Outback. Which I was expecting. But I guess I thought it would have a bigger gas tank (I haven't actually checked TBH), but my range is pretty horrible now. Barely making 300 miles.

Stop and go, definitely takes a toll, and it seems like you really need to keep it 65 and below on the highway to start seeing some good numbers.
 

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What blew me away the most was my gas mileage towing. I have a 4000lb pop-up trailer with a high tongue weight, 470lb so it's close to the Ascents limit. Everybody said it'll cut your MPG in half. Not for me, quite the opposite. At that time I was still only getting 19.5 mpg mixed urban and short fwy trips. On our first tow, I set the ACC to 57mph and cruised along. 19.5mpg on a 500m roundtrip! And it tows great!
Do take into account that despite your trailer's weight, it's low profile while towing is what's giving you the better fuel economy than you expected. The biggest "fuel suck" when towing is wind resistance and you have a lot less of that than taller trailers exhibit. ;) I got almost 24 mpg with a small UHaul behind me last fall. My Ascent got in the way of the wind. :) :D
 

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Best way to improve mileage is to stick to highway driving on either flat or ideally downhill terrain. If you can manage a tailwind even better!

Seriously though it will vary based on the type of driving and terrain. I have been averaging 19-20 with a mix of highway and local trips. Terrain around here has lots of ups and downs as well but nothing too crazy. I’ve seen 30+ if I fill up then head downtown (21 miles mostly highway). Coming back though it drops a bit as it’s more uphill. If your number one priority is MPG then take a good look at the hybrid highlander as nothing else will touch it at the moment. Or look at an EV though there aren’t many with a 3rd row (if any?)

the Ascent is a large suv and none are known for getting great miles per gallon but the alAscent is near the top of the pack for what is available now. Just keep a light touch on the throttle and let it coast a bit and you’ll be good.(Also give the engine time to break in as mine has been going up since I first got mine)
In addition, keeping a steady speed is important, either through setting the speed control or having an immobile right foot once you reach the speed you want. I have been ion cars with many drivers who cannot maintain a steady speed. I get, if I recall correctly, up to 27 MPG or so on long highway drives. Also, wind resistance goes up with the square of your speed, so you will do much better at 65 than 75 in any car, but probably more so in cars the shape of the Ascent.

Tesla makes a 3 row SUV, the Model X-but be sitting down when you check the prices, as some are north of 100K.

Their new Model Y is supposed to have a third row in 2021, and is considerable less expensive (but not cheap!).
 

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I’m thinking about getting an Ascent, upgrading from an outback 2017.
However I’m not totally sold with the poor gas mileage the Ascent gets.
I am thinking about Toyota Highlander hybrid gets nearly 10 gallons per mile better gas mileage.
Has anyone found anything that works to significantly improve gas mileage of the Ascent?
Filled up with 100%gas ( no ethanol) in Tennessee
I’m thinking about getting an Ascent, upgrading from an outback 2017.
However I’m not totally sold with the poor gas mileage the Ascent gets.
I am thinking about Toyota Highlander hybrid gets nearly 10 gallons per mile better gas mileage.
Has anyone found anything that works to significantly improve gas mileage of the Ascent?
Filled up with 100% gas ( no ethanol) in Tennessee with a outdoor temp in the 60’s and got 30 mpg on the ups and downs of TN and Ky at interstate speed , filled up again near Louisville with 10% ethanol gas and it dropped to 28.5 on the flat of Indiana up to Michigan . The metric measure of tire pressure was 270 when I started the trip and dropped to 250 as the temps dropped into the 30’s , so tire pressure is a factor . My experience with the CVT is tire pressure and low rolling resistance tires allows the CVT to drop down to a taller range with engine rpm below 2000 at highway speed . I placed a more aggressive winter tire on my previously owned Forester and mpg dropped from mid 30’s to mid 20’s , with engine rpms at 2300 or so . Good Highway mileage can be achieved , however city mileage is very poor . . 2020 Ascent , 16,000 miles .
 

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I’m thinking about getting an Ascent, upgrading from an outback 2017.
However I’m not totally sold with the poor gas mileage the Ascent gets.
I am thinking about Toyota Highlander hybrid gets nearly 10 gallons per mile better gas mileage.
Has anyone found anything that works to significantly improve gas mileage of the Ascent?
I just test drove an Ascent this weekend and found the gas pedal is very sensitive to the touch. I am not a driver that steps on the gas from a stop to accelerate with zip. I tend to accelerate slowly to get to the speed I want. With the Ascent I could do that fine, but if I put a little more pressure on the pedal, the Ascent would jump out. When I accelerated from a stop light onto an intersecting street, about halfway through the turn, as a little force shifted my weight to the right leg, my foot pushed the pedal slightly, again the car jumped out some. Nothing extreme, but noticeable. I'm thinking that if the pedal is this sensitive this could be occurring while people are driving and not realize it. I noticed on the highway that the tachometer would ride at 1800 rpm and jump to 2000/2100 rpm for a few seconds and drop back to 1800. I didn't feel like I pushed any harder on the pedal.

To me it's like getting into another car with a sensitive brake pedal. I feel with a little practice I can adapt to the pedal so the car reacts as my present car does. This could be why we are reading about a wide difference in gas mileage with the different driving habits.
 

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I’m thinking about getting an Ascent, upgrading from an outback 2017.
However I’m not totally sold with the poor gas mileage the Ascent gets.
I am thinking about Toyota Highlander hybrid gets nearly 10 gallons per mile better gas mileage.
Has anyone found anything that works to significantly improve gas mileage of the Ascent?
One thing to remember about a hybrid. If you plan to drive over 30 mph a lot, the electric motor isn't doing you any service. The electric motor only saves you gas mileage while you are driving under 30 mph. So once you are over the 30 mph mark, you are getting the same gas mileage as a regular Highlander.
 

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My only advice is to do your numbers. If you expect to drive 10000 miles a year, on the Ascent on average mpg of 22 you'll drink 455 gallons. On the Highlander hybrid at 35 mpg you'll use 286 gallons, so your savings is 169 gallons per year. Depending on where you live, but let's say at $2.40 per gallon you'll save a whooping $400 per year!
Let's say you intend to keep your car for 5 years, that's $2000 in savings. Just make sure you don't pay more than $2k extra for that hybrid!!
Seen a lot of people make this mistake. Early prius owners were saving a lot on gas, but paying $10k more for the car. It didn't make financial sense.

You can calculate up the numbers here and see what your savings will be and decide if that makes it worth the extra for the hybrid or not.

Another choice is the Tesla Model Y if you really want efficient. Can seat 7 and is much much cheaper to run. Plus Telsas are just awesome! We have a Model 3 in our garage along with my Subaru Ascent. We use the model 3 around town all the time so now my Ascent doesn't get many miles.

When I ran it through the calculator above (before I moved closer to work) I found I would save $17k in fuel over 10 years running a Tesla 3 vs my Ascent!
 

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Do take into account that despite your trailer's weight, it's low profile while towing is what's giving you the better fuel economy than you expected. The biggest "fuel suck" when towing is wind resistance and you have a lot less of that than taller trailers exhibit. ;) I got almost 24 mpg with a small UHaul behind me last fall. My Ascent got in the way of the wind. :) :D
Yes absolutely!
 

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I just test drove an Ascent this weekend and found the gas pedal is very sensitive to the touch. I am not a driver that steps on the gas from a stop to accelerate with zip. I tend to accelerate slowly to get to the speed I want. With the Ascent I could do that fine, but if I put a little more pressure on the pedal, the Ascent would jump out. When I accelerated from a stop light onto an intersecting street, about halfway through the turn, as a little force shifted my weight to the right leg, my foot pushed the pedal slightly, again the car jumped out some. Nothing extreme, but noticeable. I'm thinking that if the pedal is this sensitive this could be occurring while people are driving and not realize it. I noticed on the highway that the tachometer would ride at 1800 rpm and jump to 2000/2100 rpm for a few seconds and drop back to 1800. I didn't feel like I pushed any harder on the pedal.

To me it's like getting into another car with a sensitive brake pedal. I feel with a little practice I can adapt to the pedal so the car reacts as my present car does. This could be why we are reading about a wide difference in gas mileage with the different driving habits.
Don’t forget that the CVT will dial in a lower ratio with small changes in incline and wind accounting for a upward change in engine rpm , and also a small amount of sudden pedal pressure. The turbo four has plenty of torgue and will accelerate well with minimal pedal and low 1500-2300 rpm
 

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Where and how you're driving matters a LOT. My long-term average is 20.7mpg. This weekend I got my worst tank in 16 months of ownership, 16.13mpg (actual calculation, not what the car tells you). That was 100% short trips driving around suburban Charlotte, probably 95% of those trips 3 miles or less with terribly timed stoplights for traffic flow. My best tank was 24.26mpg with all long distance miles and filled to the brim with people and stuff. On those long trips I will generally be 8-9 mph over the speed limit, so typically 74-79mph. I use ACC but not in eco mode and override fairly frequently to get around slowpokes. If I really tried I could probably gain a few more mpg on those long trips. But if you're in city traffic it's never going to get appreciably better.
 

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...decide if that makes it worth the extra for the hybrid or not.
We didn't buy the three hybrids we had (2001 and 2008 Prius and 2006 Highlander Hybrid Limited) for the reason of saving money. We just plain liked the idea. The Highlander did work out for me that way, however, as I was putting a ton of miles on for business (sales) and having the space I wanted plus good highway mileage ( I routinely gleaned 27-30) was a plus. The price difference wasn't "huge" that I can remember between the "regular" Limited and the Hybrid Limited at that time...at least not enough to make me blink as it was the vehicle I wanted and I factory ordered it to get it.

I do agree that the biggest benefit with most hybrids currently is for folks who do a lot more stop and go and urban driving.
 
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