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My knowledge of cruise control is that it improves fuel economy.
Lessening driver fatigue is a major benefit of cruise control but for many folks it also improves fuel economy. I suspect it's largely because many folks are unable to maintain a steady speed with just their foot on the skinny pedal. That's kinda in agreement which what Robert just mentioned. Some folks do better without the cruise engaged. The tradeoff with towing is that one has to be a lot more attentive because "how things feel" can often be an indication that there may be increased risk with something related to the trailer at speed. Using cruise control "may" take away some of that immediate awareness and "feel" from the driver. I'd have no issue using cruise with a small utility trailer (and have) but I'd likely follow Robert's lead of only using cruise while towing large in very specific circumstances with the risk is less.
 
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
  • Ascent Cruise Control improves fuel economy in many (but not all) situations.
  • Ascent Adaptive Cruise Control only improves economy for those who don't/won't/can't moderate the gas pedal decently.
  • Ascent Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control (2021+) only improves economy for those who don't/won't/can't moderate the gas pedal decently.
The reasoning is simple. ACC and AACC both increase and decrease speed with traffic. Speeding up the Ascent repeatedly will eat gas.

Except for using "ECO" mode on ACC/AACC, a human who's moderating the throttle better to accomplish more fuel efficient accelerations will generally beat the computer, since all its doing is working on closing a gap in traffic at whatever "follow threshold" the user has picked. There's a lot of inertia to overcome every time the Ascent's speed is dropped 20 miles per hour and the human or car needs to speed it back up.

I have never tried beating it vs ECO mode (too slow for NYC Metro Area traffic), but I can beat its fuel economy for all other ACC/AACC modes.
I did turn it down but cannot remember until I check if I ended up leaving it on ECO mode or the next step up. Crossing the prairies with little or no traffic, it does a better job than me at maintaining speed and the adaptive part is not actually coming into play; I guess I fit in the 2nd and 3rd categories you describe above :). I also tried drafting behind transport trucks but I don't think they like that :). Years ago, I read a report that Volvo had tested a system with cars doing this and it improved fuel economy.
 

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I did turn it down but cannot remember until I check if I ended up leaving it on ECO mode or the next step up. Crossing the prairies with little or no traffic, it does a better job than me at maintaining speed and the adaptive part is not actually coming into play; I guess I fit in the 2nd and 3rd categories you describe above :). I also tried drafting behind transport trucks but I don't think they like that :). Years ago, I read a report that Volvo had tested a system with cars doing this and it improved fuel economy.
Yep, even in ACC/AACA mode, unless I am paying attention, it beats me almost all of the time when there's no traffic.
 

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. I also tried drafting behind transport trucks but I don't think they like that :). Years ago, I read a report that Volvo had tested a system with cars doing this and it improved fuel economy.
Drafting can improve mileage if done right...too close you get buffeting, too far back you're in the backwash. It takes NASCAR concentration and reflexes, and those left me 50 years ago....:confused:
 

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I've not noticed any significant engine braking unless I manually downshift the cvt myself. Am I missing some point here, acc coasting down a few mph is the same as me letting off the pedal to achieve the same result. I've yet to have acc induce a downshift to slow down, especially towing.
The first time I used ACC the engine braking was so pronounced I thought the car was applying brakes, until it actually did apply the brakes and I felt it/saw the braking indicated on the dash. IMO it's pretty noticeable.
 

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2019 Subaru Ascent Limited 2010 Subaru Legacy GT limited
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The first time I used ACC the engine braking was so pronounced I thought the car was applying brakes, until it actually did apply the brakes and I felt it/saw the braking indicated on the dash. IMO it's pretty noticeable.
It may be the huge air brake on my hitch and the fact I am usually the slowest person around me. I will pay more attention, but I definitely haven't noticed it.

@Packard8 all the auto subarus I've driven with a manual mode just automatically downshift when you've reached the lower limit for the gear you are in, but will allow you to lug the engine, maybe this could be fixed with a tow/haul mode along with the RAB and rear parking sensors. I have a 2010 Legacy GT with a 6mt and for whatever reason manual shifting is only fun in it could be the extra power and lower weight, lol. I do always forget where the e-parking brake is on the ascent as my LGT has it on the left knee panel.
 

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It may be the huge air brake on my hitch and the fact I am usually the slowest person around me. I will pay more attention, but I definitely haven't noticed it.

@Packard8 all the auto subarus I've driven with a manual mode just automatically downshift when you've reached the lower limit for the gear you are in, but will allow you to lug the engine, maybe this could be fixed with a tow/haul mode along with the RAB and rear parking sensors. I have a 2010 Legacy GT with a 6mt and for whatever reason manual shifting is only fun in it could be the extra power and lower weight, lol. I do always forget where the e-parking brake is on the ascent as my LGT has it on the left knee panel.
Agree. The Ascent's #5000 tow limit doesn't put it in the big leagues, but it sure could benefit from a tow/haul mode to tune the shift logic for towing (and also a sport mode, not that it is dragster). I saw on a Youtube review where the driver attained a 7.2 sec 0-60 time with the "stab & steer" method from a stop. He then torque loaded with the brakes and it scored a 6.0 sec time....not too bad for a car with that much weight, and the aerodynamics of a barn door.
 

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I think your trailer weight was probably correct and the "missing weight" was your hitch weight. What was the weight of the car? Axle breakdown if you have it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I think your trailer weight was probably correct and the "missing weight" was your hitch weight. What was the weight of the car? Axle breakdown if you have it.
Competing priorities so I am only getting back to this now :(. Thanks for pointing out the missing weight! That seems to be it exactly since the curb weight on the plate is 3434. The Ascent without the trailer was front 2480, rear 2240.

Front (3020)Rear (3296)Trailer (4300)TV Total (6012)Total RigFront ratioHitch
226029402920520081200.435530

These weights were before loading up for travels. I will be checking things when we load up and get going again in the spring.
 

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That tongue weight is over the limit and could be worse once loaded.
 
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