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Greetings, and thanks to everyone on this forum for some great insights that I've seen.

I'm in the market for a new vehicle, and after driving the Ascent, it is at the top of my list. However, I have a few questions and was hoping some of you fine folk might help me with my final decision:

I live in New England, working with a forestry company. As such, I spend a decent amount of my time on woods roads. As a colleague told me - woods roads aren't what they were 10 years ago, and our roads are in much better shape than they used to be - I think I can get by without an actual truck/SUV, but wanted to see if anyone had any experience one way or another? I feel like ground clearance appears to be just enough, but am not quite sure about the approach angles on large water bars?

Every year I end up pulling 2 or 3 cars out of snowbanks and ditches - any reason to think that with the lack of 4WD I won't have the power to do so (or worse, will be one of those guys)?

Big question here - One of the sites that I drive weekly is about 5 miles of blasted rock (think a road made entirely of early human rock knives) - regular car tires can and do pop on a regular basis. Has anyone had any luck installing all terrain tires?

The biggest shocker to me as I've looked at the car is the apparent lack of a front tie down for boats? I see a tow hook on the body under the passenger side, but beyond that see nowhere to hook on a front tie down strap? Thule makes some great straps that can bolt under the hoods of a vehicle, but I don't even see anywhere to attach them on this car. What am I missing?
 

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I expect Robert M will be in a better position to answer your inquiries because of how he has used his Ascent. I do not think you will have a problem with the Ascent other than possibly the approach angles which depends on the bank steepness. The Ascent approach angle is 17.6 and the departure angle is 21.8. Owners regularly tow and pull stuck vehicles out as long as you have appropriate tires on the Ascent for traction and you ordered the trim with 5000 lb towing capacity and the Subaru hitch.

In one of Robert's posts he talks about off road tires.
 

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Every year I end up pulling 2 or 3 cars out of snowbanks and ditches - any reason to think that with the lack of 4WD I won't have the power to do so (or worse, will be one of those guys)?
So far, I've pulled cars out of mud, easily. The Ascent didn't even notice.



I've taken crazy inclines (30° and more) that were rutted and rocky. The Ascent clawed its way up those too. Spin the video to look sideways to get an idea of how crazy this incline was. Spin it down to see the rocky ruts. I could have just half floored it and made it, but, too many people around, and I knew it had the power. As it is, even going easy on the gas, you can hear one of the guys say he was pegged with a rock my Ascent kicked (35s mark) - fortunately a small one.

Spin it to rear view to see how steep the climb was.

Has anyone had any luck installing all terrain tires?
There are three 17" rims that fit over our massive front calipers (some of the biggest in the class).
  • Liquid Metal Shadow 17x7.5 5/114.3
  • TSW Sebring* 17x8 40OFF
  • Method MR502 17"

The best thing about the 17", and the reason I suggest them, is because it gives you 31% more sidewall than the stock 20", at the same exact wheel width and circumference. Use 245/65R17 tires.

And, even better, you can then get 3PMSF rated BFGoodrich All Terrain KO2's, which have 8 ply rated equivalent sidewalls, knobby sidewall lugs, and a lot of tread to climb your way up anything.

I am currently running the Kumho Road Venture AT51's, which I really like, but, you may prefer the better sidewall protection of the KO2's.

I feel like ground clearance appears to be just enough, but am not quite sure about the approach angles on large water bars?
I haven't found approach or departure angles to be too much of an issue. Breakover angle would be the first issue, so, if the ground clearance is enough, then you shouldn't have approach or departure angle issue. But, carry your full sized spare on the roof in a basket to free up the trailer hitch for towing duty.

GET THE OEM HITCH.
Do not get anything else for what you're talking about doing. Then, get a hitch shackle and either yank strap or tow strap depending on what is best suited for your extraction needs (I use something in between).

The biggest shocker to me as I've looked at the car is the apparent lack of a front tie down for boats? I see a tow hook on the body under the passenger side, but beyond that see nowhere to hook on a front tie down strap? Thule makes some great straps that can bolt under the hoods of a vehicle, but I don't even see anywhere to attach them on this car. What am I missing?
Most people using the Ascent for boats, are entirely rear pulling and strapping. But, there are locations underneath that may work for bolt-ons. It's where the aftermarket pushbars and skid plates attach.

I won't have the power to do so
This trailer behind me in this vid is fully loaded to its 4,395 pound GVWR, and the Ascent is loaded with hundreds of pounds of gear... 0-60 in 15.968 seconds. Plenty of power.


This is a 19.2 mile switchback that climbs 3,116 feet. Total ease. Everything else we saw were big lifted Jeeps and other lifted 4x4's.



This is a harsh set of rock shelves...
 

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Thanks so much for the responses and info.

I don't know if you get a commission, but I just made the plunge and have joined this clan!
LMAO!!! That would be cool, but sadly, no. I do get cool t-shirts to wear, though.

2654
 

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I hunt grouse each year in the Superior National Forest in Northern Minnesota. I'm sure the roads are very similar to areas you frequent in your work. Fire service and logging roads that don't see much traffic. Check out the X-mode feature, I found it perfect for crawling thru some pretty nasty areas, especially steep inclines and down slopes.
 

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I hunt grouse each year in the Superior National Forest in Northern Minnesota. I'm sure the roads are very similar to areas you frequent in your work. Fire service and logging roads that don't see much traffic. Check out the X-mode feature, I found it perfect for crawling thru some pretty nasty areas, especially steep inclines and down slopes.
Hey I do that too! Did I write this? No, I don't think so. ;-) We hunt Grouse just south of Voyageur's Nat'l Park.
 

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OK, We very seldom get west of Isabella, so probably won't cross paths with you. We do make occasional stops in FInland and at the Trestle Inn. Usually up there the first week of October and again a few days before Halloween depending on where it falls in the week.
 

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DO NOT BUY AN ASCENT. Electronic steering issues just coming out which make Lane-keep assist and steering unsafe. Wait until they get it fixed!
So aside from your personal vehicle's problem, can you point to anything that documents your assertion that "electronic steering issues just coming out" is actually real and widespread? And I don't mean folks dislike for how LKA works, etc. I mean actual, real problems across a large number of Subaru Ascents.
 
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