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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2019, 22k miles now. It seems like when I get on it, there is a delay in response. Is that built in with TbW or is it turbo lag? Once it goes, it goes ok.
 

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Yes, there is a bit of turbo lag, but not much. It's gentle until 2,000 climbs pretty quickly and at around 3,000 really pulls.

For a turbo, the power comes on pretty quick. My 2009 WRX had more boost, but took longer to get there, so you'd get a huge kick in the pants at 4,000 RPM.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, there is a bit of turbo lag, but not much. It's gentle until 2,000 climbs pretty quickly and at around 3,000 really pulls.

For a turbo, the power comes on pretty quick. My 2009 WRX had more boost, but took longer to get there, so you'd get a huge kick in the pants at 4,000 RPM.
I am wondering if it might be nanny stating on me. Seems to be more so coming out of turns. I wonder if the computer is delaying the throttle for safety as it were.
 

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In both spirited mountain driving and spirited off road driving where I was trying to induce a power slide in the mud I haven't had the throttle response seem slow or delayed.

My other car is a 1988 Mustang race car. I've never felt that my Ascent was sluggish or unresponsive when driving near the limit.
 

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Is this new behavior, or has it been there all along?

When turning a corner in our 2020 model, application of light throttle will cause the engine to initially flash up to about 2,000 RPM and then either the torque converter will engage completely, or the CVT will dramatically change ratios, and the engine RPM will fall to about 1,400 RPM. If you don't increase throttle at the same time, it feels like a real bog...like the engine just lost half of its power. When, in reality, it was just the transmission "tightening down" for better economy. The way I've figured to overcome this is to give it light throttle initially (to keep the engine from flashing WAY up) and progressively increase throttle as the CVT attempts to "tighten down" on the engine. With enough throttle input, it'll generally let it stay at about 1,800-2,000 RPM and it won't bog down nearly as much. With some practice, I've gotten pretty good at this "dance" and it'll be pretty smooth to passengers. It's taken some time, though.

This is rather annoying to me, but I guess it's better than the traditional complaint about CVTs, where the engine surges and just sort or stays there and drones away.
 

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It used to be much more noticable before I had the recent ECU/TCM recalls done. Still have to accelerate through the upshifts but less than before. Much improved.
 

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It used to be much more noticable before I had the recent ECU/TCM recalls done. Still have to accelerate through the upshifts but less than before. Much improved.
Gary, that recall was from a number of months ago, right? Our 2020 was built in February 2020, so I imagine all that stuff is part of the build process now.

I almost never feel the actual stepped upshifts in ours (unless I'm using the manual mode). I think I need to be at 50-60% throttle or more to actually get it to fake the shifts (in automatic mode).
 

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Is this new behavior, or has it been there all along?

When turning a corner in our 2020 model, application of light throttle will cause the engine to initially flash up to about 2,000 RPM and then either the torque converter will engage completely, or the CVT will dramatically change ratios, and the engine RPM will fall to about 1,400 RPM. If you don't increase throttle at the same time, it feels like a real bog...like the engine just lost half of its power. When, in reality, it was just the transmission "tightening down" for better economy. The way I've figured to overcome this is to give it light throttle initially (to keep the engine from flashing WAY up) and progressively increase throttle as the CVT attempts to "tighten down" on the engine. With enough throttle input, it'll generally let it stay at about 1,800-2,000 RPM and it won't bog down nearly as much. With some practice, I've gotten pretty good at this "dance" and it'll be pretty smooth to passengers. It's taken some time, though.

This is rather annoying to me, but I guess it's better than the traditional complaint about CVTs, where the engine surges and just sort or stays there and drones away.
This is what I found out to that issue because my car has been doing it since day 1. Applying light throttle will exhibit stuttering issues and variable rpm changes. What I found out was to depress the gas pedal at above 2k taper it down until you reach a certain speed ~45mph . At that speed the car accelerates linearly with any throttle application that you put in.
 

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It is also possible/likely that I just adjusted to the throttle quickly. I've been steering race cars by throttle for 2 decades, so it comes naturally to just adjust the throttle quickly as needed. Also, I've been driving Subarus since 2009, so used to their throttle response too.
 

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Gary, that recall was from a number of months ago, right? Our 2020 was built in February 2020, so I imagine all that stuff is part of the build process now.

I almost never feel the actual stepped upshifts in ours (unless I'm using the manual mode). I think I need to be at 50-60% throttle or more to actually get it to fake the shifts (in automatic mode).
Yes, I had the recalls done on my '19 Limited in January. I don't know for sure if any 2020s built this year had these recalls, but it seems like they would already be covered.

I never feel the fake shifts even under spirited acceleration at up to 50% throttle. You can't just mash the throttle down to 50% though, have to be more subtle at first.
 

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And this is very new to me, with this being the first Subaru I've owned. We've had Hondas and Toyotas for a few years, in addition to Chrysler minivans. All of those other vehicles had a pretty linear throttle response. Some were mechanical throttles and some were electronic throttles. The two Hondas we still own today have electronic throttles. With these cars, you give it some gas and you can more or less keep the gas pedal stationary and the vehicle will accelerate at more or less a consistent rate until you start letting off.

Our Ascent is very different. And maybe this is how other Subarus are, I don't know. I disliked it at first, but I'm getting used to it. What I love is the CVT -- it's such a smooth driving experience.
 

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And this is very new to me, with this being the first Subaru I've owned. We've had Hondas and Toyotas for a few years, in addition to Chrysler minivans. All of those other vehicles had a pretty linear throttle response. Some were mechanical throttles and some were electronic throttles. The two Hondas we still own today have electronic throttles. With these cars, you give it some gas and you can more or less keep the gas pedal stationary and the vehicle will accelerate at more or less a consistent rate until you start letting off.

Our Ascent is very different. And maybe this is how other Subarus are, I don't know. I disliked it at first, but I'm getting used to it. What I love is the CVT -- it's such a smooth driving experience.
My previous car was a 2012 naturally aspirated Outback with a CVT. It was smooth. In the Ascent, I think the turbo FA24 engine making all its torque at around 2k RPM combined with the CVT is what makes low speed driveability kind of wonky. If you accelerate slowly under 2k RPM the upshift and resulting lower RPM really feels like the car is bogged down (like you mentioned). But if you cross the 2k threshold the boost kicks in like a switch was flipped. It's kind of a pain to manage, but I tend to keep the RPMs low when I'm not trying to reach a high speed. I go ahead and let the RPM drop and just ride it out, as boring as it is. I'm keeping pace with most traffic if I do that. I do have to let 'er rip every once in a while just for fun though.
 

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My previous car was a 2012 naturally aspirated Outback with a CVT. It was smooth. In the Ascent, I think the turbo FA24 engine making all its torque at around 2k RPM combined with the CVT is what makes low speed driveability kind of wonky. If you accelerate slowly under 2k RPM the upshift and resulting lower RPM really feels like the car is bogged down (like you mentioned). But if you cross the 2k threshold the boost kicks in like a switch was flipped. It's kind of a pain to manage, but I tend to keep the RPMs low when I'm not trying to reach a high speed. I go ahead and let the RPM drop and just ride it out, as boring as it is. I'm keeping pace with most traffic if I do that. I do have to let 'er rip every once in a while just for fun though.
I recently decided I would try to maximize mpg, especially in the city. I have done this by trying to keep the tach around 2k or lower in normal driving and trying to conserve momentum and accelerate with gravity (hills). MPG has increased nicely but the CVT and the engine tend to feel unsure at times in that rpm range! Not surprising given the mechanics of both. With aggressive driving I did not see any of this behavior. I’ll likely return to my normal driving patterns once I get bored with trying to maximize MPG.

just my thoughts FWIW
 

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Is this new behavior, or has it been there all along?

When turning a corner in our 2020 model, application of light throttle will cause the engine to initially flash up to about 2,000 RPM and then either the torque converter will engage completely, or the CVT will dramatically change ratios, and the engine RPM will fall to about 1,400 RPM. If you don't increase throttle at the same time, it feels like a real bog...like the engine just lost half of its power. When, in reality, it was just the transmission "tightening down" for better economy. The way I've figured to overcome this is to give it light throttle initially (to keep the engine from flashing WAY up) and progressively increase throttle as the CVT attempts to "tighten down" on the engine. With enough throttle input, it'll generally let it stay at about 1,800-2,000 RPM and it won't bog down nearly as much. With some practice, I've gotten pretty good at this "dance" and it'll be pretty smooth to passengers. It's taken some time, though.

This is rather annoying to me, but I guess it's better than the traditional complaint about CVTs, where the engine surges and just sort or stays there and drones away.
I had have had this problem too. My dealer installed software upgrades and this helped initially. It is once again starting to do this again and it will need to go back to the dealer to see what they can do.

Basically this is a safety hazard and issue and Subaru needs to solve it once and for all.
 

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It is once again starting to do this again and it will need to go back to the dealer to see what they can do.
There probably isn't much they can do now because it's inherent to the "strategy" programmed into the software. I do think two points are noteworthy:
  1. I quickly learned to "drive around" this with my right foot. That is, adapt to what I perceived as a significant bog in power with more throttle.
  2. My perception of a significant bog was changed by riding in the right seat. I observe the tachometer when my wife drives it lightly and the car will do the same thing, but I don't feel near the same "bog" as a passenger. I think that, as a driver, our brain is telling us that there's a huge hesitation in the engine because the RPM fell and we didn't let up on the gas. In fact, sometimes the opposite -- you can be increasing throttle and the torque converter will still engage and really "clamp down" on the engine. But there's not really an impact on the actual rate of acceleration of the vehicle. Or, if there is, it's not nearly as significant as a passenger as it feels to a driver.
I think Subaru programmed the torque converter engagement pretty aggressive but, due to the CVT and the torque of the engine, the car powers through it anyway. It feels non-intuitive to me as a driver, but it's still keeping up with traffic and not actually falling on its face (like it seems it is).
 

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Is this new behavior, or has it been there all along?

When turning a corner in our 2020 model, application of light throttle will cause the engine to initially flash up to about 2,000 RPM and then either the torque converter will engage completely, or the CVT will dramatically change ratios, and the engine RPM will fall to about 1,400 RPM. If you don't increase throttle at the same time, it feels like a real bog...like the engine just lost half of its power. When, in reality, it was just the transmission "tightening down" for better economy. The way I've figured to overcome this is to give it light throttle initially (to keep the engine from flashing WAY up) and progressively increase throttle as the CVT attempts to "tighten down" on the engine. With enough throttle input, it'll generally let it stay at about 1,800-2,000 RPM and it won't bog down nearly as much. With some practice, I've gotten pretty good at this "dance" and it'll be pretty smooth to passengers. It's taken some time, though.

This is rather annoying to me, but I guess it's better than the traditional complaint about CVTs, where the engine surges and just sort or stays there and drones away.
My stock 2020 did this since the day I bought it. Yes, it is/was annoying. And yes it IS a real thing as occupants and items in the car actually move forward as the car slows down.
Easily repeatable. Yes, I learned to "drive around it" as the above poster mentioned. Not a big deal anymore, but it IS there and it's real.
Fast forward post-COBB AP and this is no longer an issue, fars I can tell. I don't believe I have experienced this in their Stg1 87+ map. I'll try to verify. The problem has kind of just "gone away" which I can only attribute to the new tune/throttle mapping.
 
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