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My wife has 6300 miles on her Ascent and is still getting as low as 13mpg in very short trips around our home Highway mpg is around 25mpg. Anyone else encountering this?
 

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There are a number of threads relative to fuel economy here in the forums, including a dedicated fuel economy sub-forum, which should be helpful to you. While there are a few vehicles that likely have an actual problem, most of the time it's either "how" the driver uses the skinny pedal with this turbo equipped ride or heavy urban driving which doesn't in any way represent how the EPA "City" testing is designed.
 

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If you are doing short trips with the engine cold it revs up during the first 5-10 minutes to warm up faster. I found my trips to and from work which is 9 miles and takes 30-40 minutes gets around 16 MPG total but at the beginning I'm getting around 10MPG. If you are doing a lot of sub 10 minute trips I could see the MPG being really low.

On the Highway I can get over 25MPG with a fully loaded vehicle and close to 30MPG when driving without luggage.
 

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I've never encountered a vehicle where it was so up to the driver as to what gas mileage they can get. I was getting very good gas mileage with my Ascent and was perplexed as to why others weren't, so I decided to experiment.

First, some background. My 2010 Forester didn't get great mileage so I got into the habit of driving it very gently. This improved the mileage by about 2-3 mpg and I could get about 22mpg overall with mixed driving. I live in a hilly area with urban, suburban, rural, and highway driving. I drive mostly urban and suburban, with less highway driving except for long trips. To get decent mileage, I had to drive lightly.

So when I got my Ascent, I carried over this driving method and was amazed to see I could get a steady 25-26 mpg with a much larger/heavier car and engine. Then I read here that people were complaining about lousy mileage with their Ascents. So, instead of driving it gently, I drove it much more conventionally. I was shocked to see the mileage drop like a rock, down to around 17-20 mpg. I wasn't driving it hard, just normally. I was expecting to lose a couple of mpg, but not nearly so much.

So I went back to driving it gently and the mileage went right back up to 26mpg. The bottom line is that you can't let that turbo do its thing, it devours gas. If you want great mileage with the Ascent, you have to have a very light foot. Unlike other cars, there isn't much middle ground. Fortunately, the Ascent is one of the best cars for driving lightly, it does this with ease and surprisingly is still very drivable. Unless you really like driving cars hard, you won't notice the difference much from conventional driving.

You need to train yourself to use as little throttle as possible. This is tricky at first, but you'll soon get the hang of it. You need to develop a feel for the car to know how to do this without driving too slow. The Ascent coasts nicely and can really get around quite effectively with very little throttle. The recent ECM/TCM updates somehow improved this even more. You can use the mpg dash display to help train yourself, but after a while, you won't need it anymore. You can still hit the throttle when you need to, such as for accelerating onto a highway, pulling out into traffic, or climbing hills. The trick is to use a light throttle all other times rather than driving it normally. As a bonus, this will also have the side effect of very light wear and tear on your engine and transmission.

Now, I fully realize that everyone is not going to want to do this, I understand that, I used to like to drive hard and fast. But I mellowed out as I got older and I'm not so much in a big hurry anymore. This whole thing about driving lightly only happened when I got into a contest with my son as to who could get the best mileage, but I was amazed at how effectively you can drive many modern cars with such little throttle, the Ascent being among the best for this.

Give it a try if you're so inclined, but it takes a couple of months to get really good at it without affecting your normal driving too much. Once you get good at it, it becomes natural and you don't even think about it anymore.
 

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I bought a turbo for a reason. I‘ma use and enjoy that turbo. :)
I did the same. In fact, I specifically sought out an AWD turbocharged station wagon. I live in a dense urban area. A typical mix of my driving, a cross section of my gas tank usage would be is 30% short trips under 15min each way. 40% work commute driving in heavy traffic, slower speeds mostly. But in 15 miles I can be cruising 3 of those at 65 mph. 20% heavy urban grind, downtown, jambs ... many, many traffic light. 10% open road.

My car was rated at 17/24 ... these are the 2005/2006 old-days cafe standard. I struggle to get 17 mpg. 14-16 is often the case. My built car can struggle to break 13. But at mile high, I enjoy them.

I wonder what something like a Volvo XC90 gets per gallon. Granted, that is a much differrnt rig, but the buyers of each are looking to move a family around. I wonder what a Tahoe or Suburban gets?
 

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I've never encountered a vehicle where it was so up to the driver as to what gas mileage they can get. I was getting very good gas mileage with my Ascent and was perplexed as to why others weren't, so I decided to experiment.

First, some background. My 2010 Forester didn't get great mileage so I got into the habit of driving it very gently. This improved the mileage by about 2-3 mpg and I could get about 22mpg overall with mixed driving. I live in a hilly area with urban, suburban, rural, and highway driving. I drive mostly urban and suburban, with less highway driving except for long trips. To get decent mileage, I had to drive lightly.

So when I got my Ascent, I carried over this driving method and was amazed to see I could get a steady 25-26 mpg with a much larger/heavier car and engine. Then I read here that people were complaining about lousy mileage with their Ascents. So, instead of driving it gently, I drove it much more conventionally. I was shocked to see the mileage drop like a rock, down to around 17-20 mpg. I wasn't driving it hard, just normally. I was expecting to lose a couple of mpg, but not nearly so much.

So I went back to driving it gently and the mileage went right back up to 26mpg. The bottom line is that you can't let that turbo do its thing, it devours gas. If you want great mileage with the Ascent, you have to have a very light foot. Unlike other cars, there isn't much middle ground. Fortunately, the Ascent is one of the best cars for driving lightly, it does this with ease and surprisingly is still very drivable. Unless you really like driving cars hard, you won't notice the difference much from conventional driving.

You need to train yourself to use as little throttle as possible. This is tricky at first, but you'll soon get the hang of it. You need to develop a feel for the car to know how to do this without driving too slow. The Ascent coasts nicely and can really get around quite effectively with very little throttle. The recent ECM/TCM updates somehow improved this even more. You can use the mpg dash display to help train yourself, but after a while, you won't need it anymore. You can still hit the throttle when you need to, such as for accelerating onto a highway, pulling out into traffic, or climbing hills. The trick is to use a light throttle all other times rather than driving it normally. As a bonus, this will also have the side effect of very light wear and tear on your engine and transmission.

Now, I fully realize that everyone is not going to want to do this, I understand that, I used to like to drive hard and fast. But I mellowed out as I got older and I'm not so much in a big hurry anymore. This whole thing about driving lightly only happened when I got into a contest with my son as to who could get the best mileage, but I was amazed at how effectively you can drive many modern cars with such little throttle, the Ascent being among the best for this.

Give it a try if you're so inclined, but it takes a couple of months to get really good at it without affecting your normal driving too much. Once you get good at it, it becomes natural and you don't even think about it anymore.
Thank you for the above. Unfortunately, I've tried all those things, and more, it just doesn't seem to improve for me personally. (although I did have that one recent road trip at 25 MPG, I posted about it elsewhere. That happened immediately after the CVT recall was performed, I'm not sure if the chain slip issue impacts mileage).

I don't drive it too enthusiastically because it's not that kind of car to me. It's a nice cruising car, and while I like driving it, it's definitely not a fun or enthusiast car to me. My MKZ and f Pace get driven normal to enthusiastically, and they usually exceed their respective mpg ratings on the same roads I drive the Ascent, and if I drive them easy like the Ascent, I can do significantly better. I can get 26 MPG in the F Pace (while I'm at ~18 now overall with the ascent) around town if I drive it like the Ascent. I get 26-29 on the highway in the Jag. My GLS 450 twin turbo V8 averaged better than 18, and that did not get driven easy.

I wonder if I just have an oddball car, or if the terrain where I live impacts the Ascent more than my other cars. Any of these are possibilities after all.
 

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My Ascent seems to have a wide range of MPG. It can range from the high teens to as much as 34 MPG. On a recent 140 mile round trip that was 75% highway and 20% city and 5% stop and go, I got a combined 28.5 MPG with 32 on the way to the destination. The funny thing is that most of the time, my BRZ gets the same mileage under the same conditions, however I have recorded 36MPG in the BRZ using cruise control. That being said, on both cars when you put your foot in it, you are going to be stopping for fuel sooner than later. My RV weighs about six tons and is powered by a 3.0 L turbo diesel V6 (Sprinter). It gets 14 to 17 MPG no matter where I drive and how fast. Some engines are just better at extracting more MPG out of a gallon of fuel. One way to get better fuel economy on the Ascent is to fit a different engine, but no one will buy it because instead of measuring the 1/4 mile time with a stop watch you would be using a calendar. Prior to the 2014 Forester and the 2019 Ascent, we had a 1989 Mazda MPV and then a 1998 Mazda MPV (4WD). The Mazdas I would compare in utility to the Ascent especially the 1998 as it was a 7 passenger and the Ascent is 8 passenger. The MPV cars with the same 3.0 L V6 would never get more than 22MPG no matter what. But, they did the job for more than 250,000 combined miles. I believe that the Mazda could do 0 to 60 in 11.2 seconds and a quarter mile in 18. On the other hand, the Ascent might do 0 to 60 just under 7 seconds and the quarter in 15.3 seconds. I estimate that the Ascent is averaging about 7 to 8 MPG more that we got with the MPV cars and just about par with our Forester. Like most people, I wish it was cheaper to fill the tank, but all in all, I don't lose any sleep over it.
 

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I average 20ish with mixed driving and have hit 30 highway when keeping it at 65 or so. driving faster dropped it to 26 or so. wife had and accident and we rented a f150 crew cab with a 5.0. I was getting 18 average with that. didn’t care for the f150.
 
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I’m getting pretty lousy mileage on my Ascent as well. I’m averaging 13.3 mpg city and 21 hwy. My 6 speed manual Forester averaged 19 mpg and I didn't think that was very good but it sure beats this new car. Luckily the ascent is a beautiful car so ill just deal with it.
 

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I’m getting pretty lousy mileage on my Ascent as well. I’m averaging 13.3 mpg city and 21 hwy. My 6 speed manual Forester averaged 19 mpg and I didn't think that was very good but it sure beats this new car. Luckily the ascent is a beautiful car so ill just deal with it.
Don't deal with it. You can probably improve it. I too had this problem early on.

Watch the MPG meter in the center cluster, and work on throttle control to not spool up that big turbo. There's a few consistent causes of bad gas mileage in the Ascent, and none of them are the Ascent.
  1. Living in an area with lousy terrain (or with lousy terrain in a commute) such as having to travel up and down mountains every day.
  2. Idling a lot, including using the remote start feature and letting the car warm up (that obliterates gas mileage).
  3. Throttle control that's not suitable for a 2.5 ton turbocharged car with a quick spooling turbo.
If it's not #1 or #2, then addressing #3 will help tremendously. When I care to get rated EPA MPG, I can. Easily. But that takes me making an effort to not spool up that turbo except where necessary. For instance, I did a trip from my house to the STPR Rally in Pennsylvania (up and down mountains), and, drove like normal on the way there. I got 20 mpg. On the way back, I went for gas mileage, and, even driving in the mountains, and not hypermiling it, I got almost 26 mpg, even packed full of heavy gear. When I got the car, I started out at 12 mpg, until I learned better. My gas mileage didn't improve much until I took the time to learn why it was so bad, and decided to do something about it.

Unlike smaller turbocharged cars with turbos that don't spool up so easily, and unlike naturally aspirated cars (cars without turbos), the Ascent does have a MPG learning curve that's entirely based on the driver's right foot. Fortunately, Subaru included a rather simple and easy to use tool/gauge to help people improve their gas mileage.

2999


Note the MPG gauge in the center. When you hit the gas pedal, see how it responds to your foot input.
  • Work on keeping it in the green (gaining MPG) or mid point (maintaining MPG).
  • On accelerations, work on it only slightly dipping yellow (losing MPG). If it's spiking low, or dipping all the way left, you're eating gas.
Hope that helps.
 

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My wife has 6300 miles on her Ascent and is still getting as low as 13mpg in very short trips around our home Highway mpg is around 25mpg. Anyone else encountering this?
I am only getting between 13-14 miles a gallon. I only have 1000 miles on the Ascent and quite frankly am not happy with it at all. Low power, transmission sucks....you can feel every gear it goes into, and horrible mileage. I have always gotten more miles per gallon on any other vehicle I have owned, so the way I drive should not be an issue. Quite frankly, I don't like it at all. I am going to sell it or possibly ask Subaru to buy it back. Very disappointed.
 

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I am only getting between 13-14 miles a gallon. I only have 1000 miles on the Ascent and quite frankly am not happy with it at all. Low power, transmission sucks....you can feel every gear it goes into, and horrible mileage. I have always gotten more miles per gallon on any other vehicle I have owned, so the way I drive should not be an issue. Quite frankly, I don't like it at all. I am going to sell it or possibly ask Subaru to buy it back. Very disappointed.
We bought ours Jan 31 2019. almost 41k miles. My gas mileage has been in that area too. 14.5ish. It's not much different than a suburban I used to own. The problem with the power is delivery. The TbW isn't linear or it's bad turbo lag. I can hit it and nothing and then a second later it goes. Especially on turns. I hate the CVT too, but not because I feel every shift, but because there isn't really any. It's like a loose centrifugal clutch on a mini bike. The system won't connect to WiFi, not even if I try to tether my phone in the car. I have to wonder how much real testing goes into cars today. Either they don't do a realistic test or maybe they do it in such a way that suits the results they want. IDK. I've seen this with other brands. True believers put up with stuff the non-tribal wouldn't. The car is really a conundrum of sorts. It's not a truck and it's not a passenger car in the traditional sense. Harsh suspension over certain condition yet lots of body roll. It's like they tried to scale up an outback without taking some things into consideration.
 
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