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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. My wife and I are considering an Ascent. Never owned a Subaru. We live in FL but travel to E Tennessee where there are a lot of mountains. My concern is the small engine. I have read reviews saying the Ascent lacks passing power and that it struggles with steep hills. I would appreciate any comments from anyone that owns an Ascent. Thanks.
 

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The ascent hardly lacks power, I can't imagine what that reviewer was comparing it too. That statement is seriously laughable. Best thing to do is test drive one or two of them. My wife and I drove both a premium and limited before deciding on the limited base for $2k more. Compared to the H6 it is replacing the 2.4 makes more power earlier and the torque hangs on longer. The mountains shouldn't be a problem as the turbo will happily boost in the lower air density even more so than at sea level.
 

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My 2020 Ascent is on order right now but when I test drove one at my Subaru dealer the salesman did point out the power of the 2.4 Turbo and I test drove it on hilly roads. More than enough power in the Ascent and it was very smooth. Kind of helped with my decision to trade in my 18. No regrets on getting the Ascent but can't wait until its at my dealer and I take delivery.
 

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I came from a twin turbo gls450. The ascent doesn't quite have the power of that, but it's more than sufficient for 4 adults on significant hills. The torque is available at relatively low rpms, so it feels pretty effortless in 95% of your daily driving.

But be warned, the off idle throttle response is super sensitive, so it'll tend to lurch until you get used to it.
 

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Hello all. My wife and I are considering an Ascent. Never owned a Subaru. We live in FL but travel to E Tennessee where there are a lot of mountains. My concern is the small engine. I have read reviews saying the Ascent lacks passing power and that it struggles with steep hills. I would appreciate any comments from anyone that owns an Ascent. Thanks.
As far as power, to each is own. Why not try one for yourself. It may not fit you but will others or may fit you but not others.
 

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I’m now 7000 miles on my ascent. We drove through Tennessee on our way to Florida. We had absolutely no problems with power, and loved the hill decent feature. As far as passing power I’m coming from a Excursion and still very happy with the power. I do not feel like I’m driving a suv. It feels more like a sedan to me. Love my car more and more every drive. ❤
 

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One the rare moments I stomp on the skinny pedal...my Ascent takes off like a rocket. It's no Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, but I do not feel any lack of power at all with the Ascent and honestly, it's not much different than the performance of the Hemi V8 that was in my previous, albeit 500 lbs heavier Grand Cherokee.
 
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We have 14,000 miles on ours, and it's plenty fast, even with six people onboard. In fact, I have to use cruise control, because 65mph feels like 45mph...85mph feels like 65mph, etc. The town I live in has hills with stopsigns at the bottom, and once the turbo spools up (like, 1.5 seconds) it scoots right up them. Never had a problem passing on the expressway....more like a problem not going 90 when I pass someone on the expressway.

I travel weekly for work, so compared to the cars I rent, it's faster than: Ford Explorer; Hyundai Santa Fe (like no comparison); BMW 530i (!!); Nissan Altima (and other 4-cyl midsize sedans). It's at least AS fast as a V6 Impala, and not as fast as a 300hp Nissan Maxima or Murano.
 

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I agree with noodlenoggin...I find myself going quite a bit faster than I realize. I've had my 2020 Ascent for ~2 weeks - no issues with power. Former vehicle was 2016 Highlander and I don't notice any difference in power. To be fair, I haven't attempted an "emergency" pass yet either, where i need to accelerate quickly at highway speeds--I'm still in the break-in period and have tried to avoid that. However, vehicle "feel" vs speed is quite a bit different between the two.
 

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Subaru wisely tuned this engine for more lower end torque, which is where most people will use and need it. The Mazda CX9 is also tuned this way. Unlike the CX-9, the Ascent feels like it has more power higher in the powerband as well, so highway overtaking feels more confident ( the CX-9 feels slightly out of breath at higher rpms). Actual road test numbers are pretty similar for both, but if you drive them you will see what I mean.
 

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I took mine up a large steep hill with run away truck ramps without issue while fully loaded with camping gear for a scout trip. No issues at all this was a major concern for me as I'm up in the mountains a few times a year. Now it won't have the power of the Twin Turbo Explorer or the V8 Durango but it has more than enough power to compete with the Pilot and Highlander.

For passing I do tend to hit the paddle shifter to downshift before pulling into the next lane. But I do this in a lot of cars since I used to drive stick shift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone. No hills or mountains in FL so I really appreciate the input from those who have driven the Ascent in mountainous terrain.
 

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Hello all. My wife and I are considering an Ascent. Never owned a Subaru. We live in FL but travel to E Tennessee where there are a lot of mountains. My concern is the small engine. I have read reviews saying the Ascent lacks passing power and that it struggles with steep hills. I would appreciate any comments from anyone that owns an Ascent. Thanks.
Can you link at least two "reviews" that raise your concern.
Comparing with all of the 2019 competitors of major brands, the Ascent and the most torque at low RPM (i.e. 1500rpm). In fact it has consistent 277ft-lbs of torque from 1500-4000rpm. The Mazda CX-9, utilize similar engine setup (i.e. 4cyl w/ turbo) has about 265ft-lbs of torque at 1500-2000rpm.

It's no slouch from a stop or at highway speed.
 

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I've been able to easily accelerate up a 5% grade from 60mph while towing 4,000 lbs! Power is not a problem.
 

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(We took delivery of the 2020 Ascent Limited 2-weeks ago). On the 2nd day we had it, drove NJ to Winston-Salem and did Rt. 220 from Rt. 81 to Rt 40. All winding, up-down-twisting, curving road. Handled it beautifully and we were fully loaded with 4-passengers, a Thule box up top, a bike on the back and a tray. Nimble, responsive and leaped forward without lag when power was needed. We like this car.
 

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It has more than enough power for passing. I use it on hills in Western Massachusetts, and going there from NJ, regularly without problems. I use the paddle shifters often while using entry ramps to highways because it is fun!
 

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This past winter we took our 2019 Touring up to Mammoth Lakes for skiing. Along the way were long stretches of narrow freeway, 70mph speed limit with single lane on each side. The Ascent had plenty of grunt to pass slower cars and trucks with ease - uphill, headwind, double truck trailers, whatever. And we had a large cargo box and ski rack on the load bars (weight and wind resistance), plus a hitch-mounted swing-frame cargo box (weight), four passengers, dog, and gear. With the close comparison to my dear departed Mercedes GL450 under the exact same conditions, the Ascent gave me no compromises in power or road stability, which says something since it's in a lower weight class than the GL.

Like others have said, take it for a test drive, and punch it on the freeway. It doesn't whine to get torque - it just goes, grunting at the high torque medium rpms and then delivering at the higher rpms if you keep asking for it. (I'm at the wheel thinking, this is a 4-cyl?)

Only downside (if it's a downside because other capable cars will do the same) is that when you stomp on it, lots of fuel will get sucked down. But if you don't, it won't.

F.S.
 

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Hello all. My wife and I are considering an Ascent. Never owned a Subaru. We live in FL but travel to E Tennessee where there are a lot of mountains. My concern is the small engine. I have read reviews saying the Ascent lacks passing power and that it struggles with steep hills. I would appreciate any comments from anyone that owns an Ascent. Thanks.
 
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