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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been researching, almost bought the Ascent, but the dealer is out of it. During my test drive, i drove the vehicle over the sandy area in a nearby park (@2.5-3" sandy). it was performing fine (but it is only <200ft so can't really tell)

If i buy, it would be the Limited, with additional 4x18" wheel+tire for All-Terrain when i need to go into the backcountry, this leads to my following questions (technical).

I understand Subaru has a good ground clearance, however, with the Ascent, its wheelbase is over 114". Based on what i read, it may limit the ability for its backcountry/off-road.

For the technical or anyone has taking the car to backcountry:
1. How does the car handle driving in "off-road" condition or backcountry?
a. Sandy? beach or sand (how deep the sand? there is a video they test drive on Canon Beach, OR)
b. Muddy?
c. Rocky? like in Death Valley trail

2. Any educated calculation on impact of longer wheelbase and the "break-over angle" on the ascent in comparison to Outback and Forester?

I have seen this video:
 

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I've also seen that video, that's not really OFF-ROAD.. lol

Funny they called that off roading (no mud pits, no snow/dirt mix, etc). Any case, I still am waiting on videos that show real climbing capability and off-road, no one's made one yet.
 

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Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to take it on the beach in NC when I was down there but it was fine in 8-10" of water on a very loose gravel road. Due to the length you will probably have issues with break over angles. I think it has 8.7" of ground clearance which is pretty decent especially compared to the competitors
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've also seen that video, that's not really OFF-ROAD.. lol

Funny they called that off roading (no mud pits, no snow/dirt mix, etc). Any case, I still am waiting on videos that show real climbing capability and off-road, no one's made one yet.

Yup.. that exactly why i don't really want to quote that video. :) i heard of a dealer in OR looking into provide additional customization such as raise 2" (w/o impact overall performance), under-body protection.

I want to know how real world test or some technical calc off the impact for this new design to the off-road capability from OB or Forester. YOu can search for some crazy off-road video from the Outback or Forester. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to take it on the beach in NC when I was down there but it was fine in 8-10" of water on a very loose gravel road. Due to the length you will probably have issues with break over angles. I think it has 8.7" of ground clearance which is pretty decent especially compared to the competitors
That is good to hear when it can pass thru puddle with loose gravel. So far, i believe Subaru has designed their car very well to handle those conditions. since i look into 4x4 vs AWD and all other cars, i've been checking under any AWD car, Subaru seems to cover or protect much better. This helps a lot when you take the car in the backcountry on photo trip or exploration.

I'm not looking to be a rock crawler like those Jeep :), but i would like to get thru obstacle like in the Death Valley trail or some medium Moab. It advertises with 18" approach angle, so that is good.. However, the wheelbase at 113.8" vs Outback of 108.1" may give me some concern.

Tks for any suggestion/explaination.
 

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Basically - not without some beefy tires and possibly a lift.

Watch this video instead:

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Basically - not without some beefy tires and possibly a lift.

Watch this video instead:
Wow, this is nice and show case how it handle obstacle. It looks like I should be fine with back country or some minor off-road. However, his video did not tag with Ascent so i did not see in google search. Great video.

the acceleration was about 8s from 0-60mph. someone has done a video on it with all the engine sound.
.

One question: so the front camera is not useful unless you are parking? I was hoping i can use it to view the front when i climb-up the steep hill and "see what's in-front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Who is the lift manufacturer the are using? Or is it totally custom? Some food for thought here. I have been pretty active trying to help solve ... "the wobble"

https://www.subaruoutback.org/forum...nstalled-lift-rims-tires-have-wobble-now.html
I saw this on web and had called in: https://www.wilsonvillesubaru.com/. Not sure which lift part they use from, but after called in, they are not ready to custom the Ascent yet. (They do have some nice custom from OB).

LP Adventure is the company currently says having the lift kit or near to complete. I did some research and it is better to buy the kit and DIY with my mechanic friend.

Edited: ADF seems to have it ready to sale: https://andersondesign-fab.com/product-category/suspension/ascent/ (however, the dealer does not have a custom Ascent available.)

My plan is to get the Limited (8-seat as more practical if you plan to stay in back-country - photog here), lift. Keep the 20" for city drive, get the 18" and swap when i am ready for road trip. What do you think?
 

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The beach was a breeze, and we have fine, soft ocean sand here. It was like driving on the road, albeit a very bumpy road. I have no lift, but I do have same-circumference all terrain tires. I think it would do fine even without beefier tires. My Outback did, and it too didn't have a lift.
 

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The beach was a breeze, and we have fine, soft ocean sand here. It was like driving on the road, albeit a very bumpy road. I have no lift, but I do have same-circumference all terrain tires. I think it would do fine even without beefier tires. My Outback did, and it too didn't have a lift.
Did you air down at all, or not a concern with the new meats?
 

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Did you air down at all, or not a concern with the new meats?
Always a concern on this type of sand. On my first attempt a week ago, I just wanted a quick sunset shot, so I took the trail head a bit and was going to stop for the pic, but saw a nice opening with really soft ocean sand. I plowed right into it and got stuck. I aired down and the Ascent clawed right out of it.

On the north shore sand (rockier, wetter, denser), I don't need to (though airing down requires less power).

On the NYS beaches, it's required that we air down, and for good reason, because of the sand. I've seen massive lifted 4x4s get stuck with twice the horsepower and twice the tires, all because they didn't air down and instead dug themselves in.
 

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Basically - not without some beefy tires and possibly a lift.

Watch this video instead:
I liked that spot where they ended up with one wheel up in the air and just kept on trucking.

I've not taken an Ascent on our 'good' road yet - the one where we show how X-Mode really works. For some reason, they don't want me to show that off yet. (It's about a 35 degree dirt incline that washes out frequently, and if you take it wrong, an Outback will bottom out when you breakover at the top. Which means an Ascent will definitely bottom out.)
 

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I liked that spot where they ended up with one wheel up in the air and just kept on trucking.
Well the uni-body is so rigid and the wheel travel has a limit. Delivering power to the wheels that have traction, that's Subaru's selling point, right. I find it un-remarkable, honestly. I have watched Subarus lift front or rear wheels off-road for many years. Un-markable in the sense it does exactly what it is designed to do. Albeit with more nannies now than in the past. I liked my '87 XT (turbo) sedan with air suspension and H/L differential. I like the rear bias my '05/'06 OBXT have and the rear LSD ... Both Nannie free.

The Ascent will be a fine fire-road and camping machine. It will do better on-road in snow. Where let's face it, it will get far more use. The break over angle of a stock Ascent is not really usable in the real off-road world.
 

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Well the uni-body is so rigid and the wheel travel has a limit. Delivering power to the wheels that have traction, that's Subaru's selling point, right. I find it un-remarkable, honestly. I have watched Subarus lift front or rear wheels off-road for many years.
I know it does that. YOU know it does that. We've DONE that ourselves.

But how many of the people who are now on this forum have never had a Subaru and done some fun stuff with them?

That's why I enjoy having videos like that posted, to show the capabilities of the car. That's another reason I keep Brucyyyyy's video from his Off Roading on Election day as a bookmark on my computer, to SHOW what these cars can do. (With the disclaimer that if you're going to DO that, make sure and put on a different skid plate.)
 

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Yep, I see "AWD" vehicle owners who often think I'm joking about the things I've done with my Outback.

I was talking to my Hyundai Santa Fe neighbor and he kept asking where the AWD button was.

I kept trying to explain that it's always AWD. "yeah, but you have to turn it on, right? How do you turn it on?"

Sigh, I literally gave up.

Funnily, but probably expectedly, if you think about it, people who own other AWD vehicles are the ones least likely to understand or believe what a Subaru can do. I've laughed at some brutal arguments where some poor Niss... Other AWD owner keeps saying certain feats/things are impossible and a Subie owner is insisting they're wrong.
 

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The off road aspect I basically put all Subarus in the same category. Rough dirt road capability yes, trail capable not really. I do lots of Tahoe, PNW, coastal stuff where we have lots of rutted out rough roads to trailheads, gravel bars on rivers ie canoe trips etc. My two Subarus have all done this sort of stuff easily zero issues. My 01 Legacy GT 5spd mt even did the drive into Usal Beach Lost Coast Northern CA in early June during a wet winter. Wet muddy slog. Was fine zero problems a VW van was there 2wd and they had a tough go getting back up the hill and to 1. Not sure we even slipped a tire on that trip.

My OB has been better mainly due to the cvt and being better at moving power to the wheels with grip before any major spinning ever happens the added ground clearance is nice but you still need to drive like your back side is just inches from being raked across rock. Funny enough my J80 LC dragged its arse more on 34inch BFG’s than my stock OB on stock sized tires. Only place my trucks are just better suited for is hot really steep stuff like Sonora Pass and loaded with gear. Not sure the Ascent is up for that 23% grade 8000-9000ft altitude 80-90 degree slog with 5people and camping gear?? The OB we crawled past at 15mph only had two guys and two back packs they were sweating the climb at 8mph and no AC. LoL

Did Subaru run Sonora Pass with 4-5 passengers and camping gear for a 6 day trip? Kinda doubt it. But I did see BMW doing testing on a X5 all in cammo wrap on my last trip.
 

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I know it does that. YOU know it does that. We've DONE that ourselves.

But how many of the people who are now on this forum have never had a Subaru and done some fun stuff with them?
I forget, I also think the new breed have seen all the web-food.

I do like the fact the band has stayed very true to symmetrical-drive. Even with the head-unit-glitches plaguing the OB, the safety advances with eyesight are as unique and exclusive to the boxter motor. I am now considering selling cars in my stable to keep my OBXTs. Some cars I have had since '84, Classics.

1966 Corvair Corsa w/ factory AC

and possibly my ...1969 MGC GT.

My homestead has many, many cars. Dad is nut. Liquidation happens from time to time. In additon to my 2, there are others. If anyone is in to '50s Studebakers, I can help.
 

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Much like any other Subaru crossover, the Subaru Ascent is going to be the 2nd-best off-road capable crossover in its category. The only one that will have off-road capabilities that exceed the Subaru Ascent's in the category is the Jeep Grand Cherokee, especially the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk.


In terms of minimum-running ground clearance, the Ascent is 2nd best-in-class with its confident 8.7 inches. Though lower-level Grand Cherokees in 4WD form have 8.6 inches of ground clearance, upper level trims like the Trailhawk trim level feature a monsterous 10.8 inches of ground clearance when the off-road suspension is set to Off-Road II. Unlike the Subaru Ascent, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is designed to take on truly-rocky trails, as there are optional rock rails designed to take on such severe off-road abuse.

When taking into consideration which vehicle is most versatile, I'm certain the Subaru will do better. The only Jeep Grand Cherokee that will have any praise for its handling will be the SRT variants, including the regular Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk. Even worse, the current platform of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the WK platform (though the post-facelift version out right now is the WK2, older one with the straight rear axle is the WK1) has a bad history of rollovers and bad emergency handling:

The sad reality is that the chance of a rollover in a Jeep is relatively high. Their class-leading off-road capability comes at a price, higher rollover risk and subpar emergency handling.


In comparison, the Subaru Ascent in its current variants, riding on the Subaru Global Platform (SGP), has already been praised for its handling, ride, and composure. With the SGP and Subaru BOXER engine, I don't think there will be much worry of a Subaru Ascent's rollover risk.
 
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