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2021 Subaru Ascent Touring
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About a month ago, I decided it was time to step down from 11 years of Mercedes Benz maintenance costs and traded my 2015 GL450 in for a new 7-passenger 2021 Ascent Touring with Java brown interior and Magnetite Gray Metallic exterior. With used cars trading at a premium and new cars selling at sticker felt it was a good time to trade. I also thought that the touring would get me closer to the level of niceties that I have gotten use to. Not to sound snobbish, but I have degenerative disc disease with multiple spinal fusions. This has pushed me to a smoother riding SUVs and breaking my drive times into 5-6 hours maximum for the day, plus the need to good visibility with as many cameras and blind spot notifications as possible.

With the Mercedes thirst for premium gas and just having over $8K in repair costs on a vehicle with less than 80K miles in the last 9 months was too much for us to keep affording. When to the Subaru dealer offering me a 6 maintenance package for just over $300 and it being less than a single oil change on any of the last 3 MBs I have had, well that helped to make me feel as though I was back on track for auto costs.

Tire Wheel Lighthouse Sky Cloud


This is the new Subaru at St Simons Island light house in GA on the first long venture we have taken sporting our very well used Thule carrier (almost 20 years old). This was our overnight stop on our way to our timeshare in Orlando to use up this years week before it was lost.

Riding impressions was that it seemed to have more interior space in the front 2 rows where we spend most of out time than the GL450. Wind noise was a little more than I thought it would be especially when hit with heavy wind gusts and rain, but otherwise not too bad at all. Ride and handling were both pretty good, but gas mileage was not as good as I hoped for coming in at 23.5 mpg. It may be the roof carrier was part to blame or the heavy wind and rain we seemed to hit...maybe engine needs to break in some more.
Ride was really nice and back seat riders enjoyed the ride. Interior storage for the trip was not all that bad and I was able to pack everything we usually take inside the car plus a wheelchair and the puppies in their travel carrier. Radio sound was pretty nice in the Touring trim as well, but was not able to get my iPod working when plugged into front USB. Engine/transmission noise level was a little more than I would have liked, but livable. Built in WiFi worked well and my wife was happy to have it for the trip as well.

The GPS, meh, I like my Garmin. The built in Tom Tom does take some getting use to and does not seem to have as nice fine tuning as the Garmin, like avoiding toll roads, setting locations from state and city, not programmable when driving (hello Subaru, there is a 2nd seat in the front); or at least not that I have found as of yet. The Magellan in Starlink, I would have expected so much more (or anything useful) from something with an add-on premium price tag.

Another annoyance was with the built-in phone charger (for those with them), the placement does not allow for use of both the power plug and the wireless charger. And there are no other power plugs up front. That will need to be a priority mod for me. And the partial LED light upgrade leaving inconsistencies, interior mod completed with Diode Dynamics (thanks all for that recommendation) before the trip.

Overall my wife and I were really happy with the car choice. It reaffirmed my choice after the trip. Irony is that when any of our kids or grandkids asked for brand recommendations my top two have always been Toyota and Subaru, and this is our first Subaru (although I have always monitored owner satisfaction on the brand). Next to add a couple minor accessories to finish it for our needs.

On another note, I really appreciate all the information that everyone has posted to this site and have read so much out here. Like the much needed mod of putting a lift gate light in and answers I have found to some to other questions. Thanks everyone for your contributions to the forum.
 

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Glad to hear you're enjoying your new ride. One of my employees went from a GL to an Outback and loves it as well, especially when he fills up with regular unleaded!

Just a couple thoughts based on your post:
The wind noise and mpg are drastically affected by that roof box. I traveled across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel with one last weekend (return trip was within hours of implementing a wind restriction which would've cost me about 5 more hours of driving!). There were several occasions I checked if all the windows were up and doors closed because of the extra wind noise...then I remembered the box on top. I drive pretty actively (aggressively has a bad connotation so I won't use that) and my mpg hung out around 21 with the big box on top. Usually on the highway I'd expect 23-24 so you're not doing too bad. Mpg's have been known to increase as you put some miles on her as well.
 

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2021 Subaru Ascent Touring
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Glad to hear you're enjoying your new ride. One of my employees went from a GL to an Outback and loves it as well, especially when he fills up with regular unleaded!

Just a couple thoughts based on your post:
The wind noise and mpg are drastically affected by that roof box. I traveled across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel with one last weekend (return trip was within hours of implementing a wind restriction which would've cost me about 5 more hours of driving!). There were several occasions I checked if all the windows were up and doors closed because of the extra wind noise...then I remembered the box on top. I drive pretty actively (aggressively has a bad connotation so I won't use that) and my mpg hung out around 21 with the big box on top. Usually on the highway I'd expect 23-24 so you're not doing too bad. Mpg's have been known to increase as you put some miles on her as well.
Thanks for the insight. The wind noise I kept hearing was like a window was open just behind me and I kept looking left instead of up :). My other cars have either been so quiet or noisy (think 4-Runner and Jeep) that I would not have even heard it over the normal noise.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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Congrats on your new Ascent!

Make sure that the crossbars are installed property..."fat" side forward. If they are backward, they will cause elevated wind noise. And yea...a roof box is going to compromise your fuel economy for sure, especially at highway speeds.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Congrats on your new Ascent!

Make sure that the crossbars are installed property..."fat" side forward. If they are backward, they will cause elevated wind noise. And yea...a roof box is going to compromise your fuel economy for sure, especially at highway speeds.
Thank you. The Dealer installed them and said the same. Always a good reminder though. When looking at the picture when I uploaded it today I wonder if they are a little too far to the front and moving them back might also help.
 

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Thank you. The Dealer installed them and said the same. Always a good reminder though. When looking at the picture when I uploaded it today I wonder if they are a little too far to the front and moving them back might also help.
Welcome and congrats on your Ascent. I enjoyed your introductory post.
I use a roof box slightly smaller than yours and experimented with the placement to reduce wind noise. I initially found the in-cabin wind noise seemed to be coming from the sunroof, almost like it was tilted open. Pushing the roof box as far aft as possible significantly decreased the noise.
 

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I just purchased the same car - only in white with black interior. I have pretty much the same comments / observations. If I could have purchased the Touring without the Navigation I certainly would have. The inventory just isn't there right now and I didn't have time to order. I'm in the mountains of North Carolina and twice now I've been brought to the wrong location. I'm usually using my phone but trying the nav because it's there. I have a large Yakima on top and the wind noise and mileage are less than ideal. Fortunately I had some time to do interstate (higher speed) driving without the box before taking off on my trip and thing were MUCH quieter. Even with the box I very surprised at how smooth the car was traveling across the country. I'm very pleased with it. The loudness of the engine is a Subaru thing. I've gotten used to it - after coming from Hondas my whole life. I kinda of like it now :)
 

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2021 Subaru Ascent, 2015 Kia K900
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I just purchased the same car - only in white with black interior. I have pretty much the same comments / observations. If I could have purchased the Touring without the Navigation I certainly would have. The inventory just isn't there right now and I didn't have time to order. I'm in the mountains of North Carolina and twice now I've been brought to the wrong location. I'm usually using my phone but trying the nav because it's there. I have a large Yakima on top and the wind noise and mileage are less than ideal. Fortunately I had some time to do interstate (higher speed) driving without the box before taking off on my trip and thing were MUCH quieter. Even with the box I very surprised at how smooth the car was traveling across the country. I'm very pleased with it. The loudness of the engine is a Subaru thing. I've gotten used to it - after coming from Hondas my whole life. I kinda of like it now :)
When the GPS brought you to the wrong location, did you by chance enter the destination using voice input or did you manually enter it? The only times my GPS brought me to the wrong place is when I use voice input. When I suspected that voice input was a problem, I tested it. After the last time voice input brought me to the wrong location, I went back to the starting point, entered the destination manually, and it brought me to the correct location.
 

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Interesting. In my case it was entered in. I tried voice one time for a different address and it just couldn’t figure it out. Both my wife and I tried it and it wouldn’t work. Haven’t tried it since. In the cases where it brought me to the wrong place - it knew the address but brought me to a location that was ‘behind’ the house in a different part of the neighborhood. We had to backtrack to a different street to get to the house. I used my phone to get me there. They aren’t new houses. It’s the mountains of NC and the houses have been here forever.
 
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