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2021 Ascent Limited Abyss Blue Pearl
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just completed 3,600 mile round trip from Arizona to Minnesota, our third for the year. My wife is a teacher and we visit Minnesota on her breaks. With local driving while we are there, the trip usually puts on about 4K miles.

We're currently about 16,500 trouble free miles on our 2021 Ascent after purchasing about a year ago. I had the car in to the dealer to change the oil and do a safety check right before we left. Tires are doing well (still in the green) and the tech said that the brakes were "like new". I'm a pretty conservative driver I guess.

On this trip we averaged 27MPG on the way up and 26 on the way back. It was really windy in New Mexico on the way home probably accounting for the small difference. I think it's fair assessment that the Ascent is not a particularly aerodynamic 4,500 lbs. My average for the last 6K miles (the trip odometer clicks over at the 10K mark since it's only 5 digits, I've never actually reset B) is 25MPG.

I've come to truly appreciate Eyesight on long stretches of highway. It really allows me to relax my shoulders and focus on the road ahead without a lot of mid course corrections. We disable it in windy conditions and weather, mountains, heavy traffic, etc. But, in 3,600 miles there are lots of opportunities to use Eyesight. My wife doesn't like it as much because she prefers to lean left or right when passing a truck or being passed. Eyesight wants to track in the middle so they argue with each other a bit :) She doesn't use Eyesight as much as I do.

We've been making this trip for 10 years, 3-4 times a year. This is the first car we've had with Adaptive Cruise Control. I won't be without it again. It's helpful on the interstates when the semis engage in Elephant Races by pulling into the passing lane to pass another elephant going .3 MPH slower. The ACC adjusts, follows and passes safely allowing me to concentrate on the rest of the surrounding traffic or count the rivets on the box of the slower elephant.

Traditional cruise control that I've experienced in the past is pretty useless in the mountains but Subaru's ACC works well for me in these conditions. ACC holds speed on downhill slopes where it will use a combination of gear selection and light breaking to keep me at a safe speed on long downhill stretches. My experience with other, traditional cruise controls did not slow the car, making it not very useful in the same conditions. ACC also does fine on uphill slopes but I sometimes disable it momentarily if I feel like manual control of the accelerator is more appropriate.

I also find that tapping the speed toggle on the steering wheel, combined with the five MPH adjustment intervals makes it easy for me to adjust speed around curves. Tapping down once or twice, then again on straight sections was very convenient, allowing me to keep my attention focused on the road and turns, and less on speed, gear and braking.

My personal opinion is that the CVT is also very helpful in mountainous terrain. My Acura RDX seemed to spend a lot of time searching for the right gear unless I just used the paddle shifter. I feel like the CVT hums along and the engine seems quite relaxed even on steep uphill grades. Fair disclosure, we don't usually pull a trailer in the mountains.

Technology doesn't solve everything but coming down from the Mogollon Rim into Phoenix yesterday (8,000 feet to 1,200), I felt a lot more relaxed and safe than I have in the past, and largely because of the Subaru Ascent and ACC. I'm very pleased with this car and the ACC.
 

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I’ve had cars with an automatic transmission and traditional cruise control that will downshift to keep from going too fast downhill. 2012 Honda Odyssey is the first one to come to mind. I like how the Ascent will downshift and/or use the brakes to control speed since engine braking can only do so much. My Bimmer is very much traditional cruise control. It has a manual transmission so any shifting or braking cancels cruising.
 

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2021 Ascent Limited Black/Black
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370 Posts
Nice write up, tempecarlson! Thanks for sharing your experience. Makes me want to head out on a road trip soon!
 

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2020 CWP Touring
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Our Hondas will downshift the transmission to maintain speed on downhill courses, but it's not nearly as smooth as how the CVT does it.

Great write-up, @tempecarlson ! I enjoy ours for many of the same reasons as you do yours.
 

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My ACC will drop/raise 1 mph increments when I hold the toggle switch in the direction I need vs tap and go...
 

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My ACC will drop/raise 1 mph increments when I hold the toggle switch in the direction I need vs tap and go...
thats how the Ascent's works too...you should get one ;)

I use it all the time that way to set my speed just below the threshold for which I can afford the ticket if caught.
 

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Not purchasing a new house so it will fit in the garage... ;)

Although when the time come for the Gen5 to go...Keeping my options open. :geek:

But I only have 18.5k miles on mine... Not even broken in yet.
 
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