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I've been happily driving my 2019 Ascent since February, and now have about 2,400 miles on it. My usual driving is a mix of picking up the grandson from preschool on residential suburban roads, with occasional interstate drives of 20-30 miles to drop the dog off at doggie daycare. I've always thought the dash display was "very busy". Sometimes when people would ask what is that white line on the left for, or what does that alert mean, I'll admit I wasn't always sure. So I've read through the Eyesight guide more than once to try to become one with the tech.

Well, a couple days ago the check engine light unexpectedly came on, and the Eyesight turned off (as I think it should), and the dash display lit up like a Christmas tree, telling me everything (RAB, LKA, etc.), was OFF, and to consult my Owner's Manual. Nuts. Couldn't find anything, so planned to take it to the dealer on Monday (this was a Sunday). I thought that I would try one last thing first, which was to remove the gas cap and put it back on securely, which to my delight returned everything to normal. Hooray!

When everything came back, the Lane Keeping Assist switch (LKA) was still turned off, as was the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). The dash display was much "cleaner" (no little car, no lines on either side, no on/off beep alerts when I would drive over hills or around bends). Just my speed indicator and other essential stuff. I kind of liked it! So back to the Eyesight manual to see what I was missing, or not.

What happened, and what I hope might help others, is that I developed a "sequential" approach to how I choose to use the technology, in effect a 1-2-3 escalating method depending on where I'm driving. The key to me is to better understand the two switches on the right side of the center steering column (the Adaptive Cruise Control ((ACC)) switch on the top right, and the Lane Keeping Assist ((LKA)) switch on the bottom right. So I use it like this:

1- ACC and LKA are toggled "off" when I'm primarily driving around town on residential roads. My aha moment was when I read the note in small print at the bottom of page 2 of the Eyesight Quick Guide, to wit, "NOTE: This is a driver selectable feature and must be turned on to be functional" referring to the LKA. It's designed to work at speeds of 40 or greater anyway, so better with it turned off when driving locally. I still get Lane Departure warnings, but there is a lot less beeping and visual cues, so more like driving an older car with less tech around the neighborhood.

2- When driving the Interstate, I turn the LKA on. Speeds are faster, the cameras read the road better, and I understand the visual display and what is going on better.

3- If I feel like it and traffic is not heavy, I'll also use the ACC, just so I don't have to keep my foot on the accelerator. Let the car do the work.

So at the end of the day, what I've discovered is not to be intimidated by all of the tech going on, and take it in stages based on what I find useful, and how I wish to deploy it.

When I bought the car, the tech guy at the dealer said his preference was to have everything on all of the time, as it didn't hurt anything. That is true, but not my choice, which is to use the tech to fit my particular driving situation. And I wasn't clear on what Eyesight was doing with Lane Departure Warnings, versus corrections through the Lane Keep Assist, and the added functions of the Adaptive Cruise Control.

While I was a bit taken back when I got the Check Engine Light, and the dash lit up, I'm happy that I self-discovered a fix (gas cap) and learned more about how I want to use the tech. Hope maybe it helps others struggling to understand all that is going on. And please correct anything I got wrong here. Still loving my Subie. Our Labrador loves it too, especially the seat belts in the back. Very tasty! But then that's another story.....
 

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Thanks Rob, for the great post! Sometimes I forget how intimidating all this tech can be (I do tech stuff for a living). It's a great reminder for all!
 

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I find much of the MFD to be clutter and wish there were more options to simplify it.

For example, the green perspective drawing showing ACC status. That display is completely redundant with the more concise CMD display, yet it pops up whenever ACC is turned on, changing away from my chosen MFD display. That is annoying. It's a display that might be useful to a dealer trying to show off features but is not needed (or wanted) by the driver. To constantly shove it in driver's face and provide no Off switch is ridiculous design.

Same with the green Eyesight systems status screen that shows which safety technologies are on and a brief explanation of what they are. Again, that might be useful if trying to demonstrate the Ascent's capabilities but it is just noise to the driver who's already bought the car. Give me an Off switch and I don't care. Since they didn't I will complain.

A third example is the fuel economy screen, which is again largely redundant with the CMD. I have no problem with offering it in both locations, but once I've decided which I prefer, I want to disable it in the other to reduce clutter.

To summarize, it should be possible to remove any screen in the MFD from the rotation, leaving only the 2 or 3 that are actually of interest.
 

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To summarize, it should be possible to remove any screen in the MFD from the rotation, leaving only the 2 or 3 that are actually of interest.
I agree with your observations, but removing certain screens only saves a couple of key presses every now and then so it's no big deal.
But I'm with you, every time I activate the ACC I couldn't care less about the useless flashy graphics. I have to press the button every time to go back to what I had before, it wouldn't hurt to have an option that locks that display so it doesn't change automatically.
I typically have fuel economy being displayed on the center display or the one with the throttle percentage. On the main I keep ACC and something else (I change it all the time).
 

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the graphic for when the ACC is engaged is completely useless. At first, my teenager with his cynical sense of humor asked me where the button was to launch the missile, once the ACC graphic indicated we had locked onto the car in front of us with the green Target.

while we are nitpicking, I wish the radio volume graphic wasn't so big that the car that's a half-mile behind me could see what volume I've tuned the infotainment system to.

Given that we are looking for another car right now, I do have to say the technology in the Subaru is pretty easy to use and well integrated overall. I'd say the '19-20 Acura RDX is equally easy, and about the most intuitive one out of all the cars we've looked at so far. The new dual touchscreen in the Velar is beautiful, but such a pain to use we are most likely removing the car from consideration just because of that.
 

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I have a solution!
Downgrade your Ascents to a premium model and you won’t have to deal with the fancy MFD and all it’s extra info! ?
 

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the graphic for when the ACC is engaged is completely useless. At first, my teenager with his cynical sense of humor asked me where the button was to launch the missile, once the ACC graphic indicated we had locked onto the car in front of us with the green Target.

while we are nitpicking, I wish the radio volume graphic wasn't so big that the car that's a half-mile behind me could see what volume I've tuned the infotainment system to.

Given that we are looking for another car right now, I do have to say the technology in the Subaru is pretty easy to use and well integrated overall. I'd say the '19-20 Acura RDX is equally easy, and about the most intuitive one out of all the cars we've looked at so far. The new dual touchscreen in the Velar is beautiful, but such a pain to use we are most likely removing the car from consideration just because of that.
I tell my teen that only the Touring trim level has the missle launcher but at our Limited level we do have the passenger seat ejector.
 
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