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Lack of 360 camera is the biggest reason it's not selling.
Actually 360 isn't that impressive. A friend backed into my concrete bunker style mailbox with their GMC. They were astounded that a large, dense immovable object adjacent to their right rear quarter never showed on screen. The 360 is a synthesized, stitched together view. A quick glance in the side view mirror would have made the mailbox clearly avoidable. At least in the case of the GMC's 360, there are blind spots.

My issue with the Ascent Touring's front camera is that it is poorly implemented. Other brands tie front proximity sensors to their front cameras and activate the cameras automatically when maneuvering in tight places. The Ascent front camera times out too quickly when activated.

The only things so far I’m not thrilled with are how long the Tom Tom navi takes to calculate a route (Garmin rules!)
I had a standalone TomTom 20 years ago and it seems like they haven't updated their software very much in that time. The TomTom in my Ascent wanted to send me west to my Subaru dealer instead of east despite entering the actual address. Every Subaru dealer within 40 miles of here is east of my house, not West. I only use the built in nav for entertainment when I already know where I'm going.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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The Ascent is an up-sized Outback
I would modify that to where the Ascent is an up-sized combination of Outback and Forester. When I'm in Professor Dr. SWMBO's MY20 Forester Limited, It really does feel like a smaller Ascent in most ways.
 

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The only things so far I’m not thrilled with are how long the Tom Tom navi takes to calculate a route (Garmin rules!)...
I actually thought that Tom Tom had gone out of business a long time ago until I saw it in the Ascent the first time we looked at one! Sort of wish they did at times now...

The higher trims of the Ascent can be a tough sell for some because they're nudging up into Acura MDX and Lexus RX territory, where you do start to get things like the 360 degree cameras.
That was very true in our case, albeit neither the MDX or RX were in consideration. If I wasn't going to be able to get much of a discount on our Limited, we probably would have gone another direction as we had room at the top end of our budget for an SUV. The 360* cameras are nice when done well/right, but I've heard some of them are not so good. They seemed to work well in the BMW and MBs we were looking at. I don't think it's that necessary but my wife really liked the system in a Panamera loaner we had for about a month.
 

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I'll throw my .02 into the question of why the Ascent doesn't sell itself--and I'll probably get burned for it but it's my opinion. I don't think it's the best car in the class. What it does have is very affordable AWD and a fair amount of room. When I purchased, I had a very defined budget. My goals were SUV, AWD (for snow), minimum of 25mpg combined and a less than anemic engine. I looked at and drove the Tiguan, MX5 and MX9, Volvo xc-40, Atlas, Telluride and it's twin, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Edge. Honda was never considered due to bad previous experiences and wasn't really interested in the Highlander, plus I think the mileage was prohibitive. I found things about all of them I didn't like. Any car that got less than 25mpg highway is automatically ruled out due to guidelines of a car reimbursement program by my employer---that knocks out the Atlas and Kia/Hyundai. The MX9 killed my knee on a 5 mile test drive, that was out. I thought the Tiguan was a little underpowered and unrefined. Grand Cherokee was right at the limits of the budget and would have resulted in a lower grade interior. Not a fan of the Edge. The Volvo was only FWD at the pricepoint. I also travel a lot and rent at least 15-20 cars annually for business, so I have driven much of the other competition and really used that as a reason to not consider the others (chevy, dodge, nissan, etc). That really left the Ascent. I drove it, it seemed decent and I had recommendations from a few friends so we went for it. 6,000mi later, I can tell you the mileage has never been above 23.1 MPG hand calculated at posted speed limits. My Mustang with a 5.0 routinely gets within 1 mpg on the same route. It is twitchy to drive (I recently rented a Mazda on a trip and after 200m, I wish I had bought the Mazda) and no, it's not tire pressure. The interior quality is ok, but not great--I start squirming after about 50 miles due to numbness in the legs from lack of support. It stinks like raw gas when I drive it and after I park it---dealer "can't verify". I was never a fan of CVT's in rental cars, and after driving this for 6k, I can tell you I hate them---it's a very personal thing and I just don't like them, not just this one, but CVT's in general--they bug me. I like seeing and hearing the rpm and shift points---the cvt rpm drone doesn't do it for me. The engine is ok, but seems unrefined if pushed. It does ok in the snow (MN driving), but by no means is it the best driving snow car I've had--an AWD Volvo and AWD Edge, and 4wd SUV take those honors easily). it's hard to explain...in perfect driving conditions (smooth road, no wind, flat, 68-72 mph) the car drives nicely, but ruffle any one of those factors and it becomes a much less nice driving experience. So overall, it hasn't really lived up to the hopes and expectations. It probably checks a lot of boxes for a lot of people, but knowing what I know now, I don't think I would have bought it. The reason I think it doesn't sell itself is because it's a decent car, but not necessarily the best in class...there is a reason that multiple sites always rank it 2, 3, 4, etc., in it's class. It's a solid basic, uninspiring people mover with not a lot of flash which fits a lot of peoples needs.

Simply put, we have 2 drivers and 3 available vehicles---the Ascent is the newest car and the last set of keys we reach for. Unless the car really changes character in the next 2.5 years, it will likely be the last Subaru.
 

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2020 Ascent, 2011 WRX, 2009 Outback
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If you look at the entire Subaru fleet, the top trim Ascent and top trim WRX STI are the most expensive options. If you look at the top trims for competitors they are WAAAAY more expensive. The price deltas are quite large with the feature deltas being (IMO) far less.

Subaru may not have the premium trim, features, etc, that others might have. But holy cow is the price point much lower for their top trim. You get a ton of value and performance for so much less cost. Sure, the interior isn't UH-MAZING....but neither is the Corvette I sat in one time. I loved our 2015 Yukon we had just before the Ascent, but I'd never pay full price for one at the what, $80k range? Give me an Ascent and STI for the price of a single premium GM/Ford/German ;)
 

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I think the Ascent is the definitive 3-row crossover for people who want/like Subaru. The way it looks and is built is 100% Subaru. They did not try to make a better Highlander/Pathfinder/Exlplorer/Pilot, etc. I'm sure they've had a few conquest sales, but people coming from other brands should know that Subarus are a little different and they're still a bit quirky even if they're more mainstream than ever.
 

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I think the Ascent is the definitive 3-row crossover for people who want/like Subaru. The way it looks and is built is 100% Subaru. They did not try to make a better Highlander/Pathfinder/Exlplorer/Pilot, etc. I'm sure they've had a few conquest sales, but people coming from other brands should know that Subarus are a little different and they're still a bit quirky even if they're more mainstream than ever.
I honestly think this is a fair assessment. I think the main goal of the Ascent was to continue to capture Subaru fans that were forced to go elsewhere, but they also made the car very competitive in most ways ( yes, this is Percy Garris, nobody hijacked my account) that it is extremely competitive in class, even after 3 model years. And because of that it has provided conquest sales as well..The Tribeca was neither a good Subaru nor a good SUV, and they learned from that and got it right this time.

I do personally think there are currently a few better choices in the $45k+ range, where many may want a little more luxury feel to the interior, but you are in no way purchasing a compromised car if you buy an Ascent touring vs top end pilot, Highlander, cx9, etc, whereas I think the entry level Ascent trims are more competitive with the entry level trims of other models.

I also think 1. there are people who will never consider a Subaru, 2. a large % of the pool of existing Subaru owners who wanted an Ascent may have already purchased one, and 3. the brand night have more of an issue selling in certain regions, where AWD might be considered superfluous ( like Florida) due to warm weather and flat terrain. .
So those could be limiting factors as well

We also have to remember the car has been a sales success so far, and It hasn't had its significant mid cycle refresh yet.

It's good to have choices because it drives up the level of competence for each new model that's released in the segment.
 

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I honestly think this is a fair assessment. I think the main goal of the Ascent was to continue to capture Subaru fans that were forced to go elsewhere, but they also made the car very competitive in most ways ( yes, this is Percy Garris, nobody hijacked my account) that it is extremely competitive in class, even after 3 model years. And because of that it has provided conquest sales as well..The Tribeca was neither a good Subaru nor a good SUV, and they learned from that and got it right this time.

I do personally think there are currently a few better choices in the $45k+ range, where many may want a little more luxury feel to the interior, but you are in no way purchasing a compromised car if you buy an Ascent touring vs top end pilot, Highlander, cx9, etc, whereas I think the entry level Ascent trims are more competitive with the entry level trims of other models.

I also think 1. there are people who will never consider a Subaru, 2. a large % of the pool of existing Subaru owners who wanted an Ascent may have already purchased one, and 3. the brand night have more of an issue selling in certain regions, where AWD might be considered superfluous ( like Florida) due to warm weather and flat terrain. .
So those could be limiting factors as well

We also have to remember the car has been a sales success so far, and It hasn't had its significant mid cycle refresh yet.

It's good to have choices because it drives up the level of competence for each new model that's released in the segment.

Some disagree



Why All Wheel Drive?

Why Subaru?
Subaru has some of the most fuel-efficient AWD vehicles in America.

But did you know? Subaru Symmetrical AWD is perfect for Florida's wet and rainy roads.

Most people think AWD is just for the snow, but the vast majority (75%) of weather-related crashes happen on wet pavement either during or right after a rain storm.** Making Subaru the perfect car for Florida!


 

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Some disagree



Why All Wheel Drive?

Why Subaru?
Subaru has some of the most fuel-efficient AWD vehicles in America.

But did you know? Subaru Symmetrical AWD is perfect for Florida's wet and rainy roads.

Most people think AWD is just for the snow, but the vast majority (75%) of weather-related crashes happen on wet pavement either during or right after a rain storm.** Making Subaru the perfect car for Florida!


In Florida, mildew on lake boat ramps and algae on salt water ramps is as slippery as ice. My '96 awd Grand Cherokee had more trouble getting up the ramps than my awd Lexus for some reason. Probably because the Jeep was rear biased and the rear wheels were already spinning before the fronts started to pull. Haven't used the Ascent on any challenging ramps yet but don't expect any issues.
 

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AWD can be of big benefit in all driving conditions on all surfaces in all climates. And unlike "back in the day", there's very little fuel economy hit, which was about the only remaining "downside", IMHO.
 

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One reason we got rid of the mazda 3 and kept our outback when we got the ascent was awd. In the south when it rains we have lots of hills that are 4 way or stop signs. On a FWD car even with traction control you will sit and spin through intersections.
 

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I don't think AWD is irrelevant in Florida. Have you been there and seen the number of raised 4x4 trucks driving on those flat roads 😆
I drove through the Florida panhandle yesterday in a storm and was rather glad to be in my Ascent with AWD. It does make a big difference in the pouring rain with big wind gusts.
 

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it's hard to explain...in perfect driving conditions (smooth road, no wind, flat, 68-72 mph) the car drives nicely, but ruffle any one of those factors and it becomes a much less nice driving experience.
I think that's a very apt description and one I'd back 100%. In perfect conditions like you describe, the Ascent is brilliant on the road. But in less than perfect conditions, it does become a bit of a handful, at least compared with other options out there. We do like ours, but this is definitely one of the things that I wish was different about it.
 

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I drove through the Florida panhandle yesterday in a storm and was rather glad to be in my Ascent with AWD. It does make a big difference in the pouring rain with big wind gusts.
I"m curious, how did the Ascent handle the wind, compared to other vehicles ofvthe same size?
 

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If it's what I think it is, I'd think that The Hyundai Palisade and the Ascent do worse, due to really massive grillwork that allows winds from certain angles to yank the cars via the engine compartments (kinda like a parachute or bag in the wind).



Ascent, dual grilles...


I'd think the Telluride does something in between


I'd think the CX-9 does marginally better?
 

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I"m curious, how did the Ascent handle the wind, compared to other vehicles ofvthe same size?
Sorry, I mainly paid a tension to the 18-wheelers that were all over the place. When big things that can easily squish you are swerving about you don’t really notice how the other cars are doing.
 

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We test drove 3 different Ascents back to back. The first two had the whistling noise at 50+ just like you mentioned. The third did not... what was the difference? The third didnt have the crossbars installed yet... thats why i asked to test drive it... to prove to myself that it was "just" the installation of the crossbars causing that noise. As others have said, it seems to be a far too common mistake for the dealer to make when they install the crossbars.
I bought my crossbars after getting my Ascent. I know that the "fat" side of the bars face the front but it didn't seem like the right orientation and I can understand why some may install them backwards. Of course, reading the instructions would clear up that problem.
 

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I bought my crossbars af tree getting my Ascent. I know that the "fat" side of the bars face the front but it didn't seem like the right orientation and I can understand why some may install them backwards. Of course, reading the instructions would clear up that problem.
While I can understand the mistake occuring once at a dealership, I think it is shameful that no staff or tech notices and it continues. Doesn't the service department have daily or weekly meetings? It is hard to think this issue has not been brought to the dealerships' attention. If we know about it here, then Subaru should know itvis a common install error. If Subaru knows the dealerships should know.
 

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If we know about it here, then Subaru should know itvis a common install error. If Subaru knows the dealerships should know.
I soooo wish it was that easy. Alas, unless it's reported to Subaru, it's not known by them. If enough people complain to the dealerships, (and I don't know whether that's one or ten or one hundred, or where each dealership fits in that range), they'll probably make sure their techs follow the PDI checklist more closely, but, I doubt it's something they'll report back to Subaru of America... "hey, just so you know, we weren't properly deflating the tires on the cars that came in for sale". So, that means each of you it happens to, would need to report it to SoA. If they notice a pattern or a problem, they'll address it. If one person contacts them out of the 700,000 cars sold in the past year, they're probably not going to do anything.

Some of you may recall that I did send a little note to SoA a while back about some of the initial handling issues that were caused by Ascents coming overinflated, and, we really haven't seen that much of it in a while - so, I expect something was passed down to the dealerships.

I do expect there to always be some mistakes, sadly. A truckload of cars come in, and the preppers are running around between cars, some of which look identical, going through a checklist. Humans are humans...
 
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