Subaru Ascent Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

This question is for folks that have towed trailers/boats with the Ascent. What has our experience been in terms of performance? Does it handle mountains and climbs well? How about passing? Performance on dirt roads? I am concerned the 4 cylinder turbo might struggle. We have a camper that might weight 2500-3500 lbs fully loaded.

Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
While I didn’t pull up many hills I did find that it had plenty of power while pulling a 14 t trailer with 2 ATVs. I didn’t have any issues keeping with traffic and maneuvering when needed. I am very happy with how it tows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Yes I have towed my 19 foot boat regularly and I find that it tows the boat very well however if you're expecting fuel economy use your pickup truck my Ascent Touring gets about 14 miles to the gallon towing my 19 foot bass boat and 24 t0 25 mpg on the highway and 27-28 on longer trips without the boat. My GMC Canyon 4cyl turbo diesel on the other hand gets 22 mpg towing the same boat and 28-30 on the highway.
I loved my 2017 Forester and it towed the boat equally as well and got about 22 miles to the gallon while towing and close to or slightly over 30 miles to the gallon on the highway.
I was hoping that the ascent would be a replacement for my Forester and my Canyon and do very well but I'm slightly disappointed and will probably get rid of the Ascent at some point.
... this being retired is not for sissies!!! what it means is that you have to manage your resources very closely.

Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
2,500lb camper is probably close to what i'm towing at 4,500lbs being a boat as you might have more wind resistance. On the highway and around town it's just fine.
Passing and in the hills it struggles for sure and wouldn't want to use my Ascent for a dedicated tow rig....but for the occasional vacation it should be fine. CVT is not the optimal trans for this type of duty and wouldn't want to subject it to too much of it. I was on close to 6 percent grade when towing. I wish i had the oil temp reading displayed just to see how much it went up.

My Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia i'd have no reservations beating on it day in and day out with towing. Although i will say the Ascent does pull the boat of the water a bit easier than the Enclave/Acadia, might be do to the turbo or gearing. The ultimate uni-body tow rig seems to be the V8 Durango as far as performance, but not a fan of dodge products in general.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
978 Posts
Yes I have towed my 19 foot boat regularly and I find that it tows the boat very well however if you're expecting fuel economy use your pickup truck my Ascent Touring gets about 14 miles to the gallon towing my 19 foot bass boat and 24 t0 25 mpg on the highway and 27-28 on longer trips without the boat. My GMC Canyon 4cyl turbo diesel on the other hand gets 22 mpg towing the same boat and 28-30 on the highway.
I loved my 2017 Forester and it towed the boat equally as well and got about 22 miles to the gallon while towing and close to or slightly over 30 miles to the gallon on the highway.
I was hoping that the ascent would be a replacement for my Forester and my Canyon and do very well but I'm slightly disappointed and will probably get rid of the Ascent at some point.
... this being retired is not for sissies!!! what it means is that you have to manage your resources very closely.

Tom

None of the small turbo gassers will beat the modern small 4cylinder diesels especially under load towing. The Canyon diesel is by far the most impressive option regarding ability and mileage. My Outback ran 16-21mpg towing the 20ft x8.5 ft wide 1800lb sailboat. 16mpg at 70mph with light head wind. 21mpg at 55-60mph no headwinds.

If I were looking for max range for long haul towing the top choice would be the Caynon Diesel no question about it.

If I lived in any of the recent evacuation areas for sure the diesel Canyon and a small 5x8 type rv/toy hauler style trailer to toss stuff in and get outa dodge asap!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The ultimate uni-body tow rig seems to be the V8 Durango as far as performance, but not a fan of dodge products in general.
Yes, in fact I looked at the V6 version but it did not have the german built transmission that the V8 has. Therefore dropped it from consideration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes I have towed my 19 foot boat regularly and I find that it tows the boat very well however if you're expecting fuel economy use your pickup truck my Ascent Touring gets about 14 miles to the gallon towing my 19 foot bass boat and 24 t0 25 mpg on the highway and 27-28 on longer trips without the boat. ....
I was hoping that the ascent would be a replacement for my Forester and my Canyon and do very well but I'm slightly disappointed and will probably get rid of the Ascent at some point.
... this being retired is not for sissies!!! what it means is that you have to manage your resources very closely.

Tom
2,500lb camper is probably close to what i'm towing at 4,500lbs being a boat as you might have more wind resistance. On the highway and around town it's just fine.
Passing and in the hills it struggles for sure and wouldn't want to use my Ascent for a dedicated tow rig....but for the occasional vacation it should be fine. CVT is not the optimal trans for this type of duty and wouldn't want to subject it to too much of it. I was on close to 6 percent grade when towing. I wish i had the oil temp reading displayed just to see how much it went up.
Bummer, we are really looking at getting the ascent as the towing rig for our camper. We will certainly do long road trips and use it every weekend during the summer. We had narrowed it down to the Ascent and the 4Runner, we might have to reconsider options.

We really loved the interior amenities and space in the Ascent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
While I didn’t pull up many hills I did find that it had plenty of power while pulling a 14 t trailer with 2 ATVs. I didn’t have any issues keeping with traffic and maneuvering when needed. I am very happy with how it tows.
Thanks for the reply. It looks like it can handle a trailer on the lighter side ( < 2000lbs). We might be able to work with this, but I want to make sure it can handle 100% of our towing needs. Currently we need a vehicle to replace our minivan which we used as the towing vehicle.

The only concern is if we have to tow something heavier (e.g. new camper) we might be back to square one .... looking for another vehicle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
Bummer, we are really looking at getting the ascent as the towing rig for our camper. We will certainly do long road trips and use it every weekend during the summer. We had narrowed it down to the Ascent and the 4Runner, we might have to reconsider options.

We really loved the interior amenities and space in the Ascent.
Just want to add that towing a big camper with these smaller SUV/Crossovers is not always the safest option....sometimes weight of a vehicle plays a large role in safety as a tow rig.

Personally if towing a 5,000lbs camper i'd get a Tundra or Sequoia or try and keep the dry weight of the camper under 3,000lbs and be sure your trailer braking system is up to par.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
978 Posts
Just want to add that towing a big camper with these smaller SUV/Crossovers is not always the safest option....sometimes weight of a vehicle plays a large role in safety as a tow rig.

Personally if towing a 5,000lbs camper i'd get a Tundra or Sequoia or try and keep the dry weight of the camper under 3,000lbs and be sure your trailer braking system is up to par.
My Sequoia is max rated at 5600lbs the newer ones are higher but I haven’t found them or my old Landcruiser to be that great over 4000lbs for anything other than short local trips.

If you target 5000lb loaded trailer its best to step up to the 7500lb rated vehicles. Tundra is pretty good but everyone I know says mileage sucks compared to the other truck options out there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
561 Posts
5,600 is low for that beast, but i'd rather overload that than these smaller crossovers especially with a camper that can be a wind sail.

I think the new are 6,800lbs and i'd take the hit on MPG than a hit on repairs or resale value.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
978 Posts
Yeah the Sequoia isn’t as high as most people would think. But the old V8 and old tech automatic no doubt can take more abuse than the 2.4 and cvt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just want to add that towing a big camper with these smaller SUV/Crossovers is not always the safest option....sometimes weight of a vehicle plays a large role in safety as a tow rig.

Personally if towing a 5,000lbs camper i'd get a Tundra or Sequoia or try and keep the dry weight of the camper under 3,000lbs and be sure your trailer braking system is up to par.
Just to clarify, we are not looking at a huge camper. The camper fully loaded for the camping trip will not exceed $2500 lbs (actually probably will most likely be less that 2000lbs).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Towing 1800 pounds travel trailer

I picked up our new travel trailer over the weekend. It is about 1800 pounds dry. Will be less than 2500 wet and loaded. I find the Ascent can tow this no problem but I am disappointed with the fuel mileage. Initially, I was going around 65 MPH and the consumption was 13 MPG. Then I reduced my speed down to 59 MPH and the consumption improved to 14 MPG. I wasn't expecting this at all and it could be because I didn't know better.

We used to have a 20-feet GM Express conversion van and I was getting significantly better with the V-6, even when carrying (not towing) my motorcycle. I may try 91/93 octane instead of 87 to see whether the difference makes sense financially.

I love the Ascent. It is a very nice car. Well executed. I may have looked at other options in addition to the Ascent if I had known. We bought a 5-year / 75000 extended warranty so I will keep it that long if nothing bad happens until then.

Maybe SUV's are not made for towing even when they are marketed that way. Nothing like a good V-6 with a real transmission!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
I picked up our new travel trailer over the weekend. It is about 1800 pounds dry. Will be less than 2500 wet and loaded. I find the Ascent can tow this no problem but I am disappointed with the fuel mileage. Initially, I was going around 65 MPH and the consumption was 13 MPG. Then I reduced my speed down to 59 MPH and the consumption improved to 14 MPG. I wasn't expecting this at all and it could be because I didn't know better.

We used to have a 20-feet GM Express conversion van and I was getting significantly better with the V-6, even when carrying (not towing) my motorcycle. I may try 91/93 octane instead of 87 to see whether the difference makes sense financially.

I love the Ascent. It is a very nice car. Well executed. I may have looked at other options in addition to the Ascent if I had known. We bought a 5-year / 75000 extended warranty so I will keep it that long if nothing bad happens until then.

Maybe SUV's are not made for towing even when they are marketed that way. Nothing like a good V-6 with a real transmission!
Towing is a lot different than carrying cargo. First you have added wind resistance and then factor in the needed power to over come the added friction.

Fuel octane won’t make a difference. It will only make your wallet even lighter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
978 Posts
I picked up our new travel trailer over the weekend. It is about 1800 pounds dry. Will be less than 2500 wet and loaded. I find the Ascent can tow this no problem but I am disappointed with the fuel mileage. Initially, I was going around 65 MPH and the consumption was 13 MPG. Then I reduced my speed down to 59 MPH and the consumption improved to 14 MPG. I wasn't expecting this at all and it could be because I didn't know better.

We used to have a 20-feet GM Express conversion van and I was getting significantly better with the V-6, even when carrying (not towing) my motorcycle. I may try 91/93 octane instead of 87 to see whether the difference makes sense financially.

I love the Ascent. It is a very nice car. Well executed. I may have looked at other options in addition to the Ascent if I had known. We bought a 5-year / 75000 extended warranty so I will keep it that long if nothing bad happens until then.

Maybe SUV's are not made for towing even when they are marketed that way. Nothing like a good V-6 with a real transmission!

The new high tech small turbo gas engines generate power via more air and fuel being burned. Todays engines have reached the maximum energy output of the fuel.

If you plan on long trips towing a draggy trailer and want mileage? The best possible option are the small 2.8-3L diesels for one a gallon of diesel contains 30% more energy than a gallon of gas. So right off the top your getting 30% more power out of each gallon than a gas engine vehicle.

The lower tech older larger engines like my small 4.7L V8 Sequoia gets between 14-16mpg even with our 1800 lb boat the trucks drag was far worse than the boat. A 6x12 uhaul box dropped it to 10-12 mpg the drag being the major negative.

If my wife would allow my top choice for a tow / road trip rig would be the 2.8L diesel GMC Canyon owners report 15-16mpg towing 4500-5000lb big boxy travel trailers. Many see 20+ with less draggy trailers. No trailer 30+ mpg is very common unless your running 70+mph.

The Ascent when not towing is going to post really competitive mileage but towing boxy draggy trailers its going to burn very similar fuel amounts as other small displacement gas engines simply given they all need to generate roughly the same power to haul the trailer regardless of brand or engine type.

The ford 2.3DIT Turbo in the new Ranger will probably post 13-15mpg towing the same trailer the Ascent tows at 15-16. The only big mileage gap will be with the small diesel offerings. Which will do 18-20mpg where the gas engines are doing mid teens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Thanks to Adx and Subiesailor for their quick reply. I guess it is what it is. The price to pay to carry you home on wheels! I should reinforced that I am otherwise very impressed with my Ascent. Very well executed for a first year car. No issues after 4000 miles, mostly highway, other than the fact that the map screen does not AUTO night and day. Must be a bug in the app.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
Thanks to Adx and Subiesailor for their quick reply. I guess it is what it is. The price to pay to carry you home on wheels! I should reinforced that I am otherwise very impressed with my Ascent. Very well executed for a first year car. No issues after 4000 miles, mostly highway, other than the fact that the map screen does not AUTO night and day. Must be a bug in the app.
Mine does, try putting your lights...headlights switch...to auto ..to further adjust screens and ambient lights, rotate the rotary switch on the dash ...I notice big change when going from daylight to dark or dark to daylight and must use the rotary switch to increase or decrease slightly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Just to clarify, we are not looking at a huge camper. The camper fully loaded for the camping trip will not exceed $2500 lbs (actually probably will most likely be less that 2000lbs).
I just can't imagine you guys having a hard time towing a 2,000 lb travel trailer with the new Ascent. If you add 300-500 lbs for stuff, you are still way under. Our trailer is 4100 lbs (dry weight) and I plan to do some camping with the Ascent when it comes in. But, we do live in Florida!!!!!! No mountains here..... How far and how often will you be going, and where???? Unless you are climbing Pike's Peak every week-end, I would not be concerned at all. I never had a tow vehicle that did not get the gas mileage cut in half while towing..

Have fun...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
978 Posts
I just can't imagine you guys having a hard time towing a 2,000 lb travel trailer with the new Ascent. If you add 300-500 lbs for stuff, you are still way under. Our trailer is 4100 lbs (dry weight) and I plan to do some camping with the Ascent when it comes in. But, we do live in Florida!!!!!! No mountains here..... How far and how often will you be going, and where???? Unless you are climbing Pike's Peak every week-end, I would not be concerned at all. I never had a tow vehicle that did not get the gas mileage cut in half while towing..

Have fun...
Its very different in pretty much the rest of the of the US. Just think about how far they were telling people to evacuate out of the low lying flat gulf states with recent storms. Elevation, speeds, outside temperature and winds all play a role in towing capability. Around here we can go from 56 degrees heavy slow traffic to 70mph speeds, 116 temps and 6+% grade climbs in a 2-3 hour trip to go camping. A tow vehicle at full capacity will be ok till about half way to your destination when you run into 20mph 115degree head wind in traffic doing 70-80mph your sweating it knowing the tow car is running warm then you have a 6+% grade to climb.. All in a 3hour time frame.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top