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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got my ascent limited about 2 weeks ago and below are my first impressions.
I am moving from a Land Rover Discovery Sport to Subaru Ascent and I am still trying to get used to the new Subaru. A lot of my feedback is based on comparison between the two.
I absolutely like a few things in the ascent, however there are a few things that still make me love my discovery better.

Likes:
Eye sight technology - oh boy! why didn't I have this earlier. Driving in the bay area freeways is not what you look forward to everyday, but with eye sight adaptive cruise, lane assist and blind spot monitor, driving just got so much better! I must admit, it took me sometime to start believing on the machine to brake when necessary and not to react. Its hard to not do something when your impulse tells you to act. Something I am still getting used to.
Steering responsive LED Headlights My current discovery has Xenon headlights and LED fog lights which are great. But the Subaru LED headlights are much brighter and better.
Auto dimming rear view mirrors - both interior and exterior - bye bye glare
Heated seats,Heated steering wheel - Not something I see I will use throughout the year, but those few months its a luxury and why not.

Many more dislikes for now, but I hope the Likes list grows as I use the car more.

Dislikes:
Keyless Entry only through the front doors - By far my biggest disappointment so far. Come on Subaru, what were you thinking when you were making a family car with 7/8 seats! Those rear doors are getting used very often and most ppl have car seats with a sleeping baby or a toddler in the arms along with diaper bags to haul in to the car through the rear doors. Squeezing in through the tiny gaps in parking spaces to get to the front door first unlock and then come back to the back door while carrying all those, loses the whole purpose of keyless entry. Similarly when I am getting off the car, the last door to close is the back door after picking up my kid. No sensors on the back doors to lock/unlock. The cost saving should have been done elsewhere but not with the keyless entry not available on all four doors.
Steering response - Driving the discovery feels rock solid road grip partially due to the strong/sporty steering wheel response. I was expecting it to be different in Subaru but thought the 20" wheels would provide enough grip and feel to the steering to counter the 18" inch wheels on my discovery. I was disappointed to see they are not even close. Land rover wins big time here. I am yet to take the Subaru into snow to test the all wheel drive to compare it with my exp. with the LR. (May be for a later post)


Scope for Improvement
Interior lights not LED - something I can easily live with, but would have been good to have.
Infotainment screen - Few things that would have been good to have
  1. Bluetooth device name - Show the name of the bluetooth device that is connected. When the car is paired with multiple devices, I need to know which bluetooth device is connected, is it mine or my wifes. No information is available on the screen to show the device name or at least I haven't found it so far.
  2. Back Camera - No option to manually switch on the back camera - My Discovery has a button to activate the rear camera wherever I want, even when I am driving forward. Not something I use day to day, but I admit have used it at times just to see how close or who is driving behind so close to me. Again a good to have.
  3. Touch screen not well calibrated - Most icons on the home screen are big and not an issue, but while typing something the keys are small. The display button on the screen and the touch seem to be disoriented. Every time I press a key, the key above seems to get selected.
    The other issue I have seen with the screen is while trying to swipe to the next screen. It just isn't easy, I end up swiping too less or too much that I feel I have to swipe the whole length of screen for it to work. May be I will get used to it.
Automatic climate control - Is too harsh/hot. My comfort temperature is between 69-71 degrees and that is what my discovery is set to most of the time. When I set the same on the ascent, the ascent tries to blast hot air into the cabin to reach that temperature. And I haven't seen it reduce the temperature of the air after the cabin get warm. I have to manually reduce the temperature for it to stop blasting hot air on to me. Discovery did it so gracefully and it doesn't even take too long to get the cabin to the desired temperature. On the Subaru I feel the auto climate control is probably not just on, am I missing anything?

Others that I would love to have or miss in my Discovery:
Parking brake - I never had to apply or release the park brake in my discovery and I am so used to it. Subaru does have electronic parking brake but has to be applied manually. Simple logic of engaging/disengaging the parking brake when I shift into/out of P makes it so easy. I do know the parking brake automatically disengages when I hit the gas, but that just propelled the car like a rocket, which wasn't very comfortable, esp. if you are in parking lot.
Auto folding exterior rear view mirrors - Ascent not the biggest but is a big SUV. Those exterior mirrors folding automatically would have been great. Helps those nasty blows to the mirrors in the parking lot. On my discovery it also told me just by looking at the car if its locked or no. For the ascent I have to remove the key out of my pocket and double confirm by pressing the lock button to see the flashing lights.
Rain sensing wipers - Call me lazy but when you get used to it, they are absolutely wonderful. I am not sure if my limited has the rain sensing wipers. Saw someone mention ascent has the rain sensing wipers, but may be only the touring has it. Subaru site model comparison didn't give me the answer either.
 

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The Touring trim version does have the rain sensing wipers.
I have to agree with you, the the LED headlights are nothing short of spectacular. To go back to the old versions of headlights is like putting sunglasses on when you drive at night.


The climate control should not default to have the fan ON in the heat mode in a cold car. The last thing you need in a freezing car is a continuous blast of freezing air in your face. They should default the fan into OFF until the engine is warm enough to give heat. I believe that my wife's Forester did have that option. It is a funky sort of heating system; the HI setting doesn't pump out really hot air as in most cars... it's not too hot, not too much of a blower but it eventually catches up. The center vertical air vents limit the direction of the airflow, especially down, when compared to conventional vents. Just taking some time to work around the limitations.

Having use of the rear camera (or the option for recordable front and rear dashcams) would be great.
I am surprised how "floaty" the steering is. All of our other Subarus (there have been 8 others) seemed to have tighter steering. (The heated steering wheel is like a heated floor in the winter... a wonderful experience.)

Engine noise IS a bit louder than one would expect at this level of trim. OTOH, the sound system more than covers engine noise with super crisp sound. (A QUIETER passenger compartment would have been nice.)
 

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I too moved from a Land Rover Discovery Sport and have to say I am much happier with the Subaru. I do have a touring edition, so a bit spoiled, and I do have the rain sensing wipers... But the rear wiper is not as it is on the Disco Sport.

I do not miss the folding mirrors as the Ascent's mirrors are really well positioned and do not stick out further than the Disco Sport in the folded position. I can tell this because I garage my vehicle and it fits well.

I think the lag is a lot less in the Subaru and it just feels as capable to me. In my opinion it is also more relaxing to drive than the Disco Sport, but still very capable (off-road and speed).
 

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There is a way to change the keyless entry from just opening the front doors to opening all 4 doors. It is in the settings section of the infotainment system. You can look it up in the manual or go to YouTube and watch some keyless entry Ascent tutorials there. I have found them very helpful.
 

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There is a way to change the keyless entry from just opening the front doors to opening all 4 doors. It is in the settings section of the infotainment system. You can look it up in the manual or go to YouTube and watch some keyless entry Ascent tutorials there. I have found them very helpful.
Yes, but that still requires the fob. It would be nice if the rear door handles had sensors like the front doors so you could just grab the handle - super helpful if you’re carrying a small child and in a tight parking spot.
 

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You can Change the keyless system to open all doors by grabbing the front drivers door Handel. No fob needed
You are correct that you can change the setting so if one door unlocks they all do and it is a setting I really like in this vehicle so I don't have to hit buttons once I get in so my kids can get in as well.

I think he is saying he would like to have the sensor on the front handles on the rear as well so he could leave his key in the pocket and grab the rear door handle. My kids can open their own doors so to me I wouldn't use this often but I could see it being much easier for babies with the car seats.

I wonder if other cars have this feature because all the ones I have seen you need to touch the front door handles to open the car.
 

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Would be nice if the rear lock button on the lift gate would unlock the doors as well.
 

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There is a way to change the keyless entry from just opening the front doors to opening all 4 doors. It is in the settings section of the infotainment system. You can look it up in the manual or go to YouTube and watch some keyless entry Ascent tutorials there. I have found them very helpful.
Good post. I'm sometimes amazed at some of the complaints are often settings the folks are not aware of. The think the biggest surprise from moving from LR is going to be the lack of dealer visits- Congrats all!
 

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Interior LED Bulbs. These can easily be replaced. There was even an option when you ordered to have LED interiors and I'm sure the dealer can do it to. It was $110 IIRC. I just ordered 2 packs of bulbs from Amazon for $20 total and replaced them myself in about 15 mins.
 
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Good post. I'm sometimes amazed at some of the complaints are often settings the folks are not aware of. The think the biggest surprise from moving from LR is going to be the lack of dealer visits- Congrats all!
I think the original poster is aware of that feature, but would like sensors in the rear door handles in addition to the front handles.

I think right-handed people with a car seat on the passenger side is probably the most common setup if you have one kid in a safety seat. Consider the scenario below:

Imagine that you're holding a child with your right arm (the stronger more dominant side). The car seat is on the passenger side. You walk up to the car to put the child into the seat. If there was a sensor on the rear door handle, no problem. But since the sensor is only on the front doors the move is a little awkward to pivot your body and take an extra step to get your left hand to touch the front handle, then you have to pivot back and take a step back to open the rear door. This is less than ideal in tight spots. If there were sensors in the rear doors, then that whole thing would be done in one motion (grab the rear handle > car unlocks > you open the door).
 

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@tkp
I would just comment on your comparison of streering and handling.
I have 2015 Forester XT and my best friend has both 2018 Discovery and 2018 Discovery Sport. I have 3 kids and he has 2 of the similar age and we switch vehicles sometimes.
Appropriate comparison should be Discovery vs Ascent and Discovery Sport vs Forester XT.
I am generally not happy with my XT steering (previously driving 1st generation BMW X1 with almost perfect steering and handling).

Discovery Sport has noticeably better steering than XT, but it is also significantly heavier, slower and has bigger lag. Interior dimensions are comparable, LR Sport being wider and Forester having better shaped cargo area.

Top trim LR Discovery (comparable in size with Ascent) has worse steering than both LR Sport and XT. It is just very heavy and tall, with solid straight line acceleration from stop, but very slow to react on streering and throttle input (dispite being supercharged).
I would expect that someone going from LR Discovery to Ascent would have very comparable experience.
 

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I think the original poster is aware of that feature, but would like sensors in the rear door handles in addition to the front handles.

I think right-handed people with a car seat on the passenger side is probably the most common setup if you have one kid in a safety seat. Consider the scenario below:

Imagine that you're holding a child with your right arm (the stronger more dominant side). The car seat is on the passenger side. You walk up to the car to put the child into the seat. If there was a sensor on the rear door handle, no problem. But since the sensor is only on the front doors the move is a little awkward to pivot your body and take an extra step to get your left hand to touch the front handle, then you have to pivot back and take a step back to open the rear door. This is less than ideal in tight spots. If there were sensors in the rear doors, then that whole thing would be done in one motion (grab the rear handle > car unlocks > you open the door).
I thought there was a option to open all doors at once with the fob
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, seems quite a few of you have misunderstood my point about the key less entry.
The point I was making is that Subaru provided the keyless entry sensors for locking and unlocking only on the front doors for a family car, which was disappointing. As some of you have already pointed out, its very inconvenient for people with small kids to always go first up to the front door to unlock (all four doors) and then come back to the rear doors to put your infant/toddler in to the car seat. Probably one more thing I miss from my Discovery Sport. Not sure if other cars have sensors on all four doors or just the front. My vote goes for sensors on all four doors.

Some other things I noticed on my recent long drive to Tahoe and yes did some driving on the snow(wasn't too heavy though so will save the snow driving exp. for another day)

Mileage - wasn't very great, I got overall around ~18-19 miles a gallon :(. However I admit the car was idling many times while parked as well, with the kids in the car and outside being too cold.

Interior Lights - There isn't a button to switch on all the lights of the cabin. I can only switch on the front two lights by pressing them individually. The only way to switch on all the lights is to open the door (with the master switch set to door position). Anybody aware of another way around it ?

USB Media vs Apple Car Play - I had a USB thumb drive with all the songs loaded for the trip. Plugged it into one of the front two USB ports that support media play. Tested it the morning before the drive and all was fine. But realized while driving that if the other USB is plugged into my iPhone for Apple Car Play, the system doesn't load the media from my thumb drive :(. Not sure if the system is able to support both USBs at the same time.
 

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It is quite odd there is no way to turn on all the cabin lights without opening a door. Maybe we are all missing something. : )
 

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For the parking brake instead of hitting the gas press the brake and then let off of it and normally the parking brake will release and idle along instead of zooming out by pressing the gas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
For the parking brake instead of hitting the gas press the brake and then let off of it and normally the parking brake will release and idle along instead of zooming out by pressing the gas.
When I start the car the brake is already applied, do you mean I let it go, then apply and let go again?
Any I will try to experiment this.
 

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...

Interior Lights - There isn't a button to switch on all the lights of the cabin. I can only switch on the front two lights by pressing them individually. The only way to switch on all the lights is to open the door (with the master switch set to door position). Anybody aware of another way around it ?

USB Media vs Apple Car Play - I had a USB thumb drive with all the songs loaded for the trip. Plugged it into one of the front two USB ports that support media play. Tested it the morning before the drive and all was fine. But realized while driving that if the other USB is plugged into my iPhone for Apple Car Play, the system doesn't load the media from my thumb drive :(. Not sure if the system is able to support both USBs at the same time.
You're thinking of "dome light", a single light that's traditionally placed at the headliner. Our Ascent doesnt have dome light - that's the confusion. That should be pretty self-explanatory with the different design concept.

Would you trade the existing lights setup for a dome light setup?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
For the parking brake instead of hitting the gas press the brake and then let off of it and normally the parking brake will release and idle along instead of zooming out by pressing the gas.

@bearcatman: this doesn't seem to be working. Just releasing the brake after ignition doesn't release the parking brake, I tried pressing the brake and releasing it again, but to no avail.


You're thinking of "dome light", a single light that's traditionally placed at the headliner. Our Ascent doesnt have dome light - that's the confusion. That should be pretty self-explanatory with the different design concept.

Would you trade the existing lights setup for a dome light setup?
Nah, not the dome light. Most cars have the 'Off - Door - On' switch. Off and Door position controls the behavior of all lights when doors are opened. The On position is to switch on all the lights. In the ascent we have the switch but it has only two positions 'Off - Door', there is no 'On'. Going back to my original issue, there is no way for the driver to switch on all the cabin lights, which is pretty lame. Not sure if all Subaru's have the same issue or is it just the ascent.
 
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