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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here's a suggestion list for Subaru to improve the Ascent. Feel free to add to the list.


  • KEY FOB - For keyless systems, program setting to automatically AUTOLOCK when FOB is out of range.
  • For keyless systems, program setting to automatically shut off car if not in range (if driver forgets to shut off car).
  • RADIO - There are 18 presets (3 banks of 6 presets) built in to the radio. Add a programmable choice in SETUP for more banks, such as 36 presets (6 banks of 6 presets). In SETUP, make the number of active banks user programmable. For Sirius users, there are hundreds of stations available. We need more presets.
  • Add variable relative volume adjustments between AM, FM, Sirius Radio and Aux. Currently, if FM is set to a comfortable volume, AM comes in at about 60% of that volume and Sirius comes blasting through at about 200% volume. It's a shockingly unbalanced and frightening event.
  • LOCK/UNLOCK BUTTONS - are not illuminated on the door armrest, unlike all of the other controls. Almost impossible to use in the dark. Illuminate them!
  • POWER SEAT ADJUSTMENT - would be nicer if it could be an inch or so higher.
  • TELESCOPING STEERING WHEEL - would be nicer if it came forward a few inches more.
  • CUP HOLDERS - There are 19 cupholders that are great for kid's tippie cups, but are unusable for a larger water bottle, mug, Yeti, or oversized coffee cups...essentially anything other than a standard water bottle, soda can or tippie cup. Some companies have square bottles or larger bases to their bottles that do not fit. There is plenty of room in the doors and consoles for the bigger bottles, except for the molded pieces to define the edges of the cupholders. Why not have a large open space where the cupholders go and have several different inserts that are specific for larger containers? The smaller fixed cupholders renders most of them unusable in many instances.
  • CONSOLE ARMREST - Unlike the second row Captain's Chairs, there are no armrests on the front seats. The center console cover doubles as an armrest. In my previous vehicles, an armrest allowed me to easily hold the steering wheel on long trips without having to physically elevate my arms to grasp the wheel. (That gets tired over many hours.) The center console cover is too low to comfortably reach the steering wheel, which doesn't telescope out far enough. By having the open end of the center console cover elevated by 3-5", it is at the precise height to easily and effortlessly hold the steering wheel for hours on end. I put a 4" spacer between the cover and the console base latch and it works quite nicely. A built-in console cover height adjuster would be even better.
  • "CARWASH" BUTTON - that disables all of the safety features in one step for 5 -10 minutes.
  • WIRELESS PHONE CHARGING in phone well.
  • RETRACTABLE HOOK under passenger dash area on the right wall of the front console, next to the passenger's left leg. Firmly attached, it could hold a plastic bag of Chinese food from tipping over while driving or could anchor a waste bag.
  • FRONT and REAR CAMERAS - Could they be recorded on a continuous loop for 30 minutes? 1 hour? An integrated dashcam option would be great. The Touring already has 2 built-in rear-facing cameras. Why not have the ability to record even one of them?
  • TAILGATE LIGHT - Install that bright tailgate light (seen on other posts here) in the opening already there. Or make the rear light twice as bright. It really is dark back there.
  • SIDE MIRRORS - Include their adjustments in the preset profiles used for seats.
  • PLUSH CARPET OPTION - the available carpets are more like basic industrial mats. Why not have an over-the-top, plush luxury carpet available to go over the stock flooring? Perhaps an aftermarket company like WeatherTech, which already has laser measured dimensions for the floors, will have to offer one.
 

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The camera suggestion is very cool. Do you know if the cameras offered currently can run continuously for at least 30min?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here's a suggestion list for Subaru to improve the Ascent. Feel free to add to the list.

  • LOCK/UNLOCK BUTTONS - are not illuminated on the door armrest, unlike all of the other controls. Almost impossible to use in the dark. Illuminate them!
I noticed today that the LOCK/UNLOCK buttons ARE illuminated! For some reason, when I tried to use them one evening (perhaps I was still in Drive), they did not illuminate. I will try to recreate the situation where those buttons do not light up. I have no idea why they were off when I needed them.
 

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The camera suggestion is very cool. Do you know if the cameras offered currently can run continuously for at least 30min?
I'm working on an aftermarket solution for this which will work on all trims. I'm currently following two promising leads and waiting for parts. One dashcam developer, Z-Edge, has been very helpful and has supplied key parts.

I'm hoping to incorporate a front/rear dashcam, a rearview camera, and a frontview camera (as in the Touring) all into one touchscreen unit.

The parts are coming from China (all dashcams are made in China) so delivery times are a bit long.
 

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USB power socket in the eye glasses holder and gopro style mounting bracket molded into a dash or headliner part so owners can easily mount a dash cam without doing questionable mods or really poor window placement.

USB plug drivers door/side for device charging in driver dash shelf area.

Bench 2nd row seat in the Touring or full tech and cooled seats option in the Limited.

18 or 17 inch wheel option for all models!
 

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I'm working on an aftermarket solution for this which will work on all trims. I'm currently following two promising leads and waiting for parts. One dashcam developer, Z-Edge, has been very helpful and has supplied key parts.

I'm hoping to incorporate a front/rear dashcam, a rearview camera, and a frontview camera (as in the Touring) all into one touchscreen unit.

The parts are coming from China (all dashcams are made in China) so delivery times are a bit long.
I am very interested in adding a front camera to my Limited. Keep us posted!
 

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This is the e-mail I just sent in with my thoughts:


I currently have a 2016 Outback, but am interested in getting something a little bigger (to carry more large dogs and tow a trailer), so have been looking at the Ascent. In this first model year it looks promising, but not quite what I want, so I just wanted to share my thoughts on what would make me buy a future version of it.

First, some things are just simple matters of shuffling around options and could be easily done:
* Offer a grey leather interior with red exterior. (The ivory would get too dirty, the black too hot, and brown is just weird, but grey would be perfect - not to mention match the dog fur...)
* Offer an option to get the ventilated seats, smart rearview mirror, bench 2nd row, and moonroof but without the redundant navigation system (those are dumb and expensive - I'm just going to use Google on my phone) or keyless entry (I hate fobs - I want a normal sidecut key). On a related note, the prices of the first three trims seem about right, but the jump up to the Touring is a bit steep - being able to drop unwanted features or having the wanted ones as options on the Limited would make this a lot more attractive.

Second, some relatively minor design and programming things:
* Allow the climate controls to be set to lower temperatures. I haven't actually checked this in the Ascent, but in my Outback the lowest temperature you can set it to is 61. In Minnesota winters when you're all bundled up for the outside temps, that's uncomfortably warm, but you don't want to just set it to "LO" either. I'd like to see it controllable down to at least 50 degrees instead. (You could make that adjustable through the head unit for people who want to hit the LO setting earlier.)
* Make sure the bottle holders in the door pockets are large enough for a 1-liter Nalgene. The regular cup holders should be cup-sized, but those low door pockets are a good spot for larger bottles, not just 20oz stuff.
* Try to make the hitch cover opening a bit more compact and easier to put on and off. It's a lot bigger than it really needs to be and looks a bit funny.
* Having the side mirrors support both driver memory positions and power folding would be great.
* Add more lighting to the cargo and third row areas and include a button to turn those on from the driver's seat. That's where my dog rides, and sometimes I'd like to be able to check on him while driving at night. All interior lighting should obviously be LED these days.
* Offer a 17" wheel option, for off-road tire selection (e.g. BFG KO2s). Heck, if there could be a package with that and a 2" factory lift that'd be awesome.

Third, some bigger engineering challenges:
* Half the reason I'm looking at something larger is for carrying dogs, not people. I like that the Ascent is a bit larger and that the rear space is designed to protect third-row occupants in a crash unlike the crumple zone of my Outback, since that's where dogs ride. But, I don't actually need seating there, so an option to remove the third row entirely for more volume while retaining that crash design would be great.
* The improved towing capacity over the Outback is nice (and the other half), but it's still really tight for some things. Just a little bit more would *vastly* increase the options for trailers that could be towed. If there's any way to get the towing capacity up to 6,000 and the hitch weight rating up to 700 instead of the current 5,000 and 500 that would help enormously.

If you can manage those things in the 2020 or 2021 you'll definitely have another sale. Let me know if you think that may be possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I'd forgot to mention that real PLUSH CARPETS would be a nice touch on the high end trims. Even aftermarket plush carpets with a sold rubber backing would make the passenger compartment look nice and would make it quieter too. The original flooring seems more like felt underlayment than a real floor.
 

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I'd like to see them offer an Ascent that can be trimmed out like the new Forester Sport. We have the Touring. I didn't like the wheels when I first saw it and they haven't grown on me at all. Too much chrome as well. Would look so much better with black wheels and chrome delete, but it's a lease, so just going to live with the aesthetics as they are.
 

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Simple issue, but I would like to be able to quickly turn off the infotainment screen without having to go into settings. Easier on the eyes when it is off and driving along rural roads.
 

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How about some entertainment options that drop down from overhead for the Kiddo's in back, Headset option too, (driver has probably seen "home alone" many times).I dislike the "over the seat" aftermarket ones.
 

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How about some entertainment options that drop down from overhead for the Kiddo's in back, Headset option too, (driver has probably seen "home alone" many times).I dislike the "over the seat" aftermarket ones.
Beneficial for many parents that take kids on long road trip. However, I predict that Limited and Touring buyers, likely more critical of wanted options (vs necessity), will complain that they can't have it as an option because of the sunroof.
 

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How about some entertainment options that drop down from overhead for the Kiddo's in back, Headset option too, (driver has probably seen "home alone" many times).I dislike the "over the seat" aftermarket ones.
I know some people like this option but I've always felt it dated a car.
 

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Take the driver seat and recreate it on the passenger side. No reason that a passenger seat shouldn’t have lumbar and adjustable thigh support if the driver does.

One button for interior lights (I know it has been mentioned, but seriously...)

Memory mirrors (again, I know mentioned as well, but seriously....)

Heat the entire steering wheel. I don’t get why you wouldn’t (my Mazda doesn’t either, but I think it is equally stupid there). It actually almost cost Subaru a sale, because I was dead set against the Ascent for that reason alone (and the lack of passenger lumbar) but compared to other offerings in the same price range it was just too compelling to pass up (my wife love it).
 

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How about some entertainment options that drop down from overhead for the Kiddo's in back, Headset option too, (driver has probably seen "home alone" many times).I dislike the "over the seat" aftermarket ones.
If this is something you truly want, find a good Audio Video shop that has a Car Audio/Security side of the business and go there. I have a buddy that installs entertainment into the factory headrests all the time, looks as good if not better than factory and can be had for considerably less money. Factory A/V has always been overpriced and available for less installed aftermarket. You can probably get better quality gear as well and will have more options to choose from.
 

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I would like to have the drivers door handle to be touched twice to open all doors, once to open just the drivers. Perhaps this could be done w programming. Also would like the third row latch system be moved closer the left side of the seat so you can use the car seatbelt for booster seat.
 

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I would like to have the drivers door handle to be touched twice to open all doors, once to open just the drivers. Perhaps this could be done w programming. Also would like the third row latch system be moved closer the left side of the seat so you can use the car seatbelt for booster seat.
I would like the driver's door to allow all doors to unlock with just one touch. I think you can only do that with the passenger side(?).

The third row is a compromise like most 3-row SUVs. The LATCH anchors need to be 11 inches apart and are in a adequate location for seats that absolutely require it (5-point harness forward facing), where the seatbelt isn't necessary. It's technically OK for the anchors to be blocked by a booster because those don't require use of LATCH, but do need the seatbelt. It seems like a reasonable design to accomodate the majority of users.
 

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This issue with the third row is there are only one set of LATCH anchors and they are on the driver’s side. The inboard LATCH anchor obscurs the seatbelt anchor for both the driver’s side and middle passenger when engaged.

The probably cause is the vehicle and the immure row are just too narrow. Nevertheless Subaru should have at least installed a set of LATCH anchors in the passenger side of the third tow as well.

I would like the driver's door to allow all doors to unlock with just one touch. I think you can only do that with the passenger side(?).

The third row is a compromise like most 3-row SUVs. The LATCH anchors need to be 11 inches apart and are in a adequate location for seats that absolutely require it (5-point harness forward facing), where the seatbelt isn't necessary. It's technically OK for the anchors to be blocked by a booster because those don't require use of LATCH, but do need the seatbelt. It seems like a reasonable design to accomodate the majority of users.
 

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