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Congrats on your new Ascent.

The fuel economy reading from the vehicle's computer is a running average, so what you observed is expected. 20 mpg for general driving is not atypical for many of us, but the mix of stop/go and highway/no-stop rural will affect what "your" general average it. Terrain and weather also come into play.
 

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Super Moderator
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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You will ALWAYS get a lower indication for short distance/time because again, it's a running average. At the very least, it's best to calculate actual mileage manually as you refill the tank to full with the miles since the last fill to full. The onboard system is good for a general indication, especially over time. For example, my Ascent is currently showing 19.3 as the running average. That's lower than it used to be when we lived farther out of town, but trips are not shorter. "Most folks" are going to have a general overall average of about 19-20 mpg on the Ascent. Heavy urban drivers will get lower. Folks who spend a lot more time driving "uninterrupted" and at steady speeds either on regular local roads or on the Interstate will get more. For highway travel, the range (in general) seems to be 24-27 mpg, depending on the driver, terraine /weather and the speed they choose to drive. I typically get not quite 27 on the highway when traveling...not heavily loaded with one or two people in the vehicle and with speeds of 65-70 mph. I rarely drive at speeds above 70 mph unless I'm actively passing someone and need to do so for time/safety reasons.

Remember, the Ascent is a nearly two and a half ton vehicle in the shape of a brick. It's not going to be as efficient as a small sedan that sits low to the ground and weighs almost a half ton less.
 
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Super Moderator
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Average speed is between 70-95 mph.
That right there...is why you only got 19. When you get in those speeds well above 72-75, a vehicle will get very thirsty just trying to move the brick through the air.
 
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The Ascent uses turbo charging to provide the level of power necessary to move it with good performance with its 2.4 litre four cylinder engine. When you spool RPM above the 2000-2500 mark, it starts to eat fuel (like any turbo would) at a much more rapid rate. Driving conservatively and not exercising the skinny pedal a lot to the point it's at 2k or below is a good habit. As many of us have found, it will accelerate surprisingly well, even with that more conservative approach because of how it develops torque better than a non-turbo vehicle. Setting the cruise control system to the "Eco" setting provides similar benefits when using ACC on the highway, too. Less aggressive acceleration is your friend when it comes to fuel economy. A lot of folks coming from other vehicles really struggle with this.
 
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Super Moderator
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