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Hi,

I've been looking at an Ascent for a while and lurking this forum for a bit. I'm looking for people's thoughts on the power of the Ascent when its fully loaded. What are your impressions when the car is loaded with 4-5 people and carrying cargo in the back? Is there enough power to transport that kind of load? I've test driven the Ascent and I like its power, but that's only two people in the car.
 

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No problems with 4-5 people.

Hi,

I've been looking at an Ascent for a while and lurking this forum for a bit. I'm looking for people's thoughts on the power of the Ascent when its fully loaded. What are your impressions when the car is loaded with 4-5 people and carrying cargo in the back? Is there enough power to transport that kind of load? I've test driven the Ascent and I like its power, but that's only two people in the car.
Yes, easily. A few weeks ago, I did a round trip to Vermont (5.5-6 hours each way). On the way back, I had 500 pounds of gear, four people (including myself) and a small dog. We blasted through the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Taconic Mountains in New York with ease. We took the high speed passing lanes up the mountains and blasted past other cars struggling up them, and let adaptive cruise control handle it up and down the mountains.

In early August, we did up and down the Adirondack Mountains with (including me) 4 above average to big adults (850+ pounds) and 350 pounds of gear, and I had the passengers hanging on the grab handles as I showed off what the Ascent can do (one of them is a Honda salesman, so, I felt obligated to show off what the Ascent could do).

In late August, I did a trip through the Adirondack High Peaks area with one other adult and 600 pounds of gear - also a breeze for the Ascent.

I haven't done it yet, but others have pointed out that if you load 6-8 people in the Ascent, you can start to feel it.

This picture is from up in the Adirondack High Peaks area.

 

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we have loaded the roof top carrier and back with camping gear and four people plus dog, driven around the olympic peninsula and never felt a lack of power. impressive when i think about it. we did not feel the extra weight at all. i am sure there is some measurable decrease in get up and handling, but not anything we felt.

the beauty of the Ascent was experienced when we put up the third row on the second day of camping (after setting up camp) and we were able to fit our friends who met us there into our car to drive around exploring various spots together for a day instead of taking two cars around. for a day of getting in and out, with 4 kids, three adults (with captain chairs) no one complained of being cramped. Also it felt the same as when i drive it alone.

the incredible beauty of the Ascent was apparent recently, after a major surgery for our son, we figured out that we could get him out of his wheelchair into the rear door with the seats down. He can scoot to the side, we put one seat up in the third row, he scoots over into the one seat and then puts his leg up on the put down second row seat in front of him. Then his large wheel chair fits in the cargo space in the back with the third row up, if we lift the lid of the hidden under the floor cargo space. The lid has velcro to keep it in the upright open position.

So we can get him in and out of a car, carry his wheelchair and drive him around with five other people.

Sure, there are other cars that could fit in him with similar configurations, but those cars are not subarus. We have a large car to haul camping gear and people, can handle a wheelchair plus 5 people, and has all of the things we love about Subarus as well. we could not be happier.

The reason we got the ascent was for him to put his leg up when sitting in the third row and it has worked beautifully.
 

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You can feel it as you load up with more weight but that's true for every car. There has been plenty of power for our use so far.
 

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I felt like something was weighing her down when accelerating but at speed could almost forget anything was back there.
How was visibility? One of the things I liked about other vehicles was that there were easy to find aftermarket extended mirrors.

Oh, and how much was its total weight?
 

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I felt like something was weighing her down when accelerating but at speed could almost forget anything was back there.
What's in the box trailer, that thing is pretty big. Is it empty? I would tow that with one of my past Ram trucks. I could never tow it with my XJ/Cherokee. And my solid axle (350) Suburbans would do it, but they were slugs as is. I surprised the size of things some people are towing. You really didn't notice it back there?

Does the trailer have brakes? You must already have my sway bar bushings, that's why she so stable. lol.
 

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I didn’t install the brake control module, but otherwise the trailer did have brakes. It was empty but the tongue weight was 400 with a trailer weight ~4000lb. I never actually got a chance to break 50mph so that’s probably why it felt fairly stable. I wouldn’t take it on a potentially windy bridge or anything long distance with that setup. Visibility past the trailer was zero and the blind spot monitors were going crazy the whole time.
Learned a lot about towing with the Ascent though and that was my entire reason for even hooking it up. Towing mirrors will be a must-have!
It’s not a truck but I was very happy with the Ascent’s power.
 

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For many years folks loaded up their minivan (myself included) with people and stuff and did ok with 180hp, or less. All of the current crop of people haulers have more than enough power for most circumstances.
 

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I didn’t install the brake control module, but otherwise the trailer did have brakes. It was empty but the tongue weight was 400 with a trailer weight ~4000lb. I never actually got a chance to break 50mph so that’s probably why it felt fairly stable. I wouldn’t take it on a potentially windy bridge or anything long distance with that setup. Visibility past the trailer was zero and the blind spot monitors were going crazy the whole time.
Learned a lot about towing with the Ascent though and that was my entire reason for even hooking it up. Towing mirrors will be a must-have!
It’s not a truck but I was very happy with the Ascent’s power.
Now I see what you are saying....power vs weight.
 

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The power is terrific. I spent 2 days in upper Vermont and New Hampshire on a foliage trip last week. We drove to Franconia Notch up in the mountains and had no problem driving up those elevations and passing. Even more impressive, if you want more power, is to use the manual mode to shift. You can get up to speed quite nicely. We had 4 people and lots of weight in the cargo area. At speeds about 68-80, we averaged 24.7 mpg. I was impressed.
 

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After three weeks and just over 600 miles of both city and highway miles, I find the talk about the engine and CVT worries to be meaningless talk. People hear CVT and complain, but they shouldn't talk until they drive the Ascent for a sufficient period. In real world driving experience the Ascent has had plenty of power to merge, maneuver, pass, and drive with no worries. I have a lead foot and I think this engine/ CVT combo are just fine. My city mileage is a little low compared to the EPA estimate, but I expected that given my driving style. My first two cars were little sports cars which had to go when the family began to grow. This is no sports car, but it feels good as it gets the job done nicely.
 

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This is no sports car, but it feels good as it gets the job done nicely.
I used to have a 2009 WRX which was a blast. Obviously the Ascent is nowhere near as fast, but when I punch the throttle and that low end turbo torque kicks in, I still have a big smile on my face!

And even on a twisty mountain road it was pretty nimble and planted given its size. More smiles all around!
:grin:
 

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