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I'm newly registered but have been reading the forums since I got my Ascent a couple of months ago.

I just don't understand all the complaining? I especially am freaked out by the one guy who said he is ready to trade in his new car and take the financial hit. That just amazes me.

People are talking about a brand new car during its first few months of production and sales. If you thought you were going to get a perfect vehicle you probably should hire someone to find a few options and you pick your next new car from those.

Please don't take this wrong but people who are not technologically or mechanically inclined should not be buying 1st year cars. I've read a lot of gripes and my car has had most of them. I figured out they are simple programming or mechanical quirks that you learn to understand or work around. Nothing wrong with the car but simply the way the programming was written and developed or a mechanical design that people haven't seen on their previous cars or simply don't understand.

Some examples:

1) Someone's Ascent's brakes making a grinding noise at the end of a stop. - Mine did that but i chalked up to new car and kept driving because I'm mechanical and understand how brakes work. The noise slowly went away and after about 20 miles of driving was gone. I later theorized it was probably something done during delivery detail like tire shine or soap because every time I go through the car wash and get the full wash the brakes do the same thing for about 3-5 miles. Who knows for sure but it seems to be normal due to the design of the brakes.

2) The cvt causing the car to stutter and jerk. - I read several people who said they thought it was due to not letting the car go through full warm up so I tried the auto start at 10 mins. I usually get to the car about 7 mins after the start and the jerking and stuttering hasn't happened since.

3) Engine bogging and sluggish. - After reading these forums I decided to give the Premium fuel option a try and the engine performance is now completely normal and actually feels more smooth and responsive. Fuel mileage actually went up 1 mile per gallon. I'm willing to pay the extra for the better engine response and also know this is probably better for the inside of the engine due to modern turbo engine designs.

4) Transmission craziness while driving. - This is a programming issue. There is no way around it. Subaru really needs to eliminate the programming for that stupid fake shift thing since I'm pretty sure it's affecting other transmission performance and actions.

5) Radio craziness. - Programming and development issue. Subaru will get this worked out with software updates. Please be sure you connect your car to your home wifi since it makes updating the software easier for the car. Also, keep Subaru informed please since every note from drivers helps them pinpoint and resolve issues. Please be as specific as you possibly can. I've discovered my issues are very much related to which phone is connected. Also this is normal.. why developers can't all get together and figure it out is beyond me. I say this because I own several new or newer cars with control centers, CarPlay, and Android connect and they all do the same thing.

6) Then there's the silliness of someone complaining of wind noise. I went back and read all their posts and their previous car was a bmw I think? Anyways, it's a Subaru not a luxury car and is probably going to have more wind noise then a car due its box like design. This person should probably drive a different Ascent and compare. If theirs is worse then obviously a problem and get it fixed. If not then understand it's not a bmw.

Please be sure to thoroughly read your owners manual since a lot of the small complaints I see are because people didn't read it and simply don't understand how the features and technology are supposed to work.

These are just a few things I noticed while reading these forums. Also to help with the usual questions.

I am a professional IT/Developer. I restore antique cars myself, not pay to have them done. I autocross and deal with performance issues consistently.

I have had my Ascent for almost 3 months and have 5k miles on the car.

Thanks for letting me post my 2 cents.
 

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Car, truck, motorcycle, boat, etc. forums are a magnet for such complaints. This is nothing at all exclusive to the Ascent. Go to any such forum and you'll find absolutely everything people wish to vent about, down to the most minute detail.

It's simply human nature. No vehicle is perfect and people will complain about whatever bothers them in these forms hoping to find a sympathetic ear, others in the same situation to talk to, or better yet, someone who may have a possible solution.

Complaints will usually always outweigh compliments. People tend to be more considerably more vocal about things that bother them rather than things they're content with.

So whenever you read such forums you need to fully understand that they will always present a skewed view of the product discussed. It does not necessarily indicate that the product is deficient. Always take into account the big picture. The Subaru Ascent is a superb car with many excellent virtues, but like all cars, it has its faults and these will be discussed in great detail in this forum.
 

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6) Then there's the silliness of someone complaining of wind noise. I went back and read all their posts and their previous car was a bmw I think? Anyways, it's a Subaru not a luxury car and is probably going to have more wind noise then a car due its box like design. This person should probably drive a different Ascent and compare. If theirs is worse then obviously a problem and get it fixed. If not then understand it's not a bmw.

Haha, I'll take responsibility for some of the complaining on here.



1. I really do LIKE the car, but don't LOVE it (I wish I could love it). There are a lot of positives to the Ascent. Also, it is getting really good reviews from both print and online media.


2. I'm trying to get used to such a different car (for me). You are correct - last car was a BMW X3, the car before that was a Volvo S80. So I guess I'm used to driving more "luxury" brands. Also this car is so much larger than anything I have ever driven. I'm questioning everything because I am not sure what is normal, and what is not normal.



3. I got motion sick when I first drove the car. I was able to take care of this issue by switching out the bushings thanks to @traildogck and by turning off the LKA and LDW. The car has tightened up a bit too which is fantastic.



4. Noise - have never driven a CVT before. The only thing that bothers me about the CVT is the noise at low rpm. And yes, I do think there is a lot of wind noise on the highway. I asked about it because I wasn't sure if it was normal, or if it was due to the size of the car. I also asked to see if there was some fix to what is an issue for me (may not bother other people).


5. I'm on this forum asking questions because it's fun! I have learned so much about cars, Ascent and otherwise, just by chatting with people on here.


6. I don't want to discourage anyone from purchasing this car or make anyone think it's a bad vehicle. I'm simply asking questions.


7. Where else am I going to complain? :devil: No one in real life wants to hear me complain about my new car, :D


8. I will fully admit, I am picky about things like driving dynamics, ergonomics, and noise. I'm probably a little sad because the BMW was my dream car, but I needed something else for a variety of reasons. I chose the Assent because it seamed to be the best fit for what I needed. Perhaps I should get off the forum and go make more money so I can go buy a new BMW :grin:
 

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I'm newly registered but have been reading the forums since I got my Ascent a couple of months ago.

I just don't understand all the complaining? I especially am freaked out by the one guy who said he is ready to trade in his new car and take the financial hit. That just amazes me.

Most people are happily driving their cars, only if you have a complaint, a question or something to say you'd turn to a forum. A lot of the energy needed to sit down and post comes from hate, anger and disappointment, that's just how the internet works.



People are talking about a brand new car during its first few months of production and sales. If you thought you were going to get a perfect vehicle you probably should hire someone to find a few options and you pick your next new car from those.

Please don't take this wrong but people who are not technologically or mechanically inclined should not be buying 1st year cars. I've read a lot of gripes and my car has had most of them. I figured out they are simple programming or mechanical quirks that you learn to understand or work around. Nothing wrong with the car but simply the way the programming was written and developed or a mechanical design that people haven't seen on their previous cars or simply don't understand.

Some examples:

1) Someone's Ascent's brakes making a grinding noise at the end of a stop. - Mine did that but i chalked up to new car and kept driving because I'm mechanical and understand how brakes work. The noise slowly went away and after about 20 miles of driving was gone. I later theorized it was probably something done during delivery detail like tire shine or soap because every time I go through the car wash and get the full wash the brakes do the same thing for about 3-5 miles. Who knows for sure but it seems to be normal due to the design of the brakes.

I agree. My wife immediately complained about that noise when we drove off the dealership. I dismissed it completely, it happens every time I wash my car, it's normal when there's anything between the pad and the disk that could change the friction parameters (rust, dirt, anything).





2) The cvt causing the car to stutter and jerk. - I read several people who said they thought it was due to not letting the car go through full warm up so I tried the auto start at 10 mins. I usually get to the car about 7 mins after the start and the jerking and stuttering hasn't happened since.

I felt it, it's real but doesn't bother me much, it's a calibration that can be fixed with a software update, and eventually it will.



3) Engine bogging and sluggish. - After reading these forums I decided to give the Premium fuel option a try and the engine performance is now completely normal and actually feels more smooth and responsive. Fuel mileage actually went up 1 mile per gallon. I'm willing to pay the extra for the better engine response and also know this is probably better for the inside of the engine due to modern turbo engine designs.

Never happened to me. But then I also always put premium regardless. You pay more, get less gunk in the engine and slightly improved mileage that offsets a little bit of the cost. Not to mention the torque and power figures you bought the car for were measured on premium fuel!



4) Transmission craziness while driving. - This is a programming issue. There is no way around it. Subaru really needs to eliminate the programming for that stupid fake shift thing since I'm pretty sure it's affecting other transmission performance and actions.

This one I can't reproduce at all. My rpms are pretty much locked at 2200 and off I went from 0 to 93 mph.



5) Radio craziness. - Programming and development issue. Subaru will get this worked out with software updates. Please be sure you connect your car to your home wifi since it makes updating the software easier for the car. Also, keep Subaru informed please since every note from drivers helps them pinpoint and resolve issues. Please be as specific as you possibly can. I've discovered my issues are very much related to which phone is connected. Also this is normal.. why developers can't all get together and figure it out is beyond me. I say this because I own several new or newer cars with control centers, CarPlay, and Android connect and they all do the same thing.

The infotainment wants to give the impression that it boots quickly, but only the radio is available at first, so it starts with that. USB and bluetooth devices show up several seconds later. My old Traverse would switch back to the device that was playing, but after several seconds of the radio audio (and some people might complain about that, I don't know). My other car just remains silent for a few seconds until the SD card is mounted and plays my mp3s (and some people might also complain about the delay). Subaru decided to keep the radio on I guess. Nothing that can't be fixed with an update. But then people need to complain so that Subaru knows what people want.






6) Then there's the silliness of someone complaining of wind noise. I went back and read all their posts and their previous car was a bmw I think? Anyways, it's a Subaru not a luxury car and is probably going to have more wind noise then a car due its box like design. This person should probably drive a different Ascent and compare. If theirs is worse then obviously a problem and get it fixed. If not then understand it's not a bmw.

Wind noise is way better than my old Traverse. It actually had a setting where the infotainment would raise the volume automatically proportional to the speed of the vehicle so you could still hear the radio at high speed. The Ascent on the other hand glides smoothly in the wind, I would put it as a positive point for the Ascent, actually.



Please be sure to thoroughly read your owners manual since a lot of the small complaints I see are because people didn't read it and simply don't understand how the features and technology are supposed to work.

These are just a few things I noticed while reading these forums. Also to help with the usual questions.

I am a professional IT/Developer. I restore antique cars myself, not pay to have them done. I autocross and deal with performance issues consistently.

I have had my Ascent for almost 3 months and have 5k miles on the car.

Thanks for letting me post my 2 cents.

Common sense is worth more than 2 cents, thank you for that!
 

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I was reading a 3rd gen Highlander forum for a while when I was still shopping for a new car. It's pretty similar over there with a lot of discussion from people that aren't really into cars (there are exceptions, of course). I think it's the demographic. I've made some minor complaints here, but there are some real doozies on this forum. It's sort of entertaining.
 

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For the money its a heck of a car. There are areas that could be tweaked. My car has had no radio issues. It does exhibit some strange shift patterns sometimes. I do think Subaru will have a software update soon to smooth things out
 

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We're americans! We are next level complainers, get over it!!!!1111!!!1!!11!

:) :) :)
 
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Wind noise is way better than my old Traverse. It actually had a setting where the infotainment would raise the volume automatically proportional to the speed of the vehicle so you could still hear the radio at high speed. The Ascent on the other hand glides smoothly in the wind, I would put it as a positive point for the Ascent, actually.


This is exactly why I post on these forums, to find out how the Ascent compares to different cars / suvs and to see if there are any fixes to different things.


It's also interesting to see how others modify their new cars. I never would have thought to put new tires and rims on a new car, but I saw someone post that was the first thing they modify on a new car.


I'm glad I saw the post about using premium gas. I had read it was better for the engine / performance, but others have said it's not needed.
 

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I see car issues as coming down to basically three categories:

1. An objectively bad problem occurring in most/all builds — like a design flaw or a bad part that is used across the line, that causes a safety issue, premature failure, or affects advertised performance. The problem with the Honda CR-V engines leaking gas into the oil is an example. That is a really bad design issue.
2. A one-off quality problem — like a bad part or an improper installation that causes problems, if it only affects a very small number of cars and can be fixed reasonably quickly. The missing turbo bolts is an example.
3. A subjective problem — something that is up to personal taste. Like the CVT shifting; some people don’t like it, others don’t mind it or even like it. But it doesn’t mean there is a major issue with the car that absolutely needs to be fixed.

From what I’ve seen on the forums, the issues we’re seeing fall into categories 2 and 3 above. Additonally, for number 2 (quality) I don’t think we’ve seen a large number of issues, particularly for the very first build of a vehicle.

Category 1 (objectively bad problems across all builds) is the most concerning to me, but I haven’t seen any evidence of these kinds of issues at all.
 

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Haha, I'll take responsibility for some of the complaining on here.



1. I really do LIKE the car, but don't LOVE it (I wish I could love it). There are a lot of positives to the Ascent. Also, it is getting really good reviews from both print and online media.


2. I'm trying to get used to such a different car (for me). You are correct - last car was a BMW X3, the car before that was a Volvo S80. So I guess I'm used to driving more "luxury" brands. Also this car is so much larger than anything I have ever driven. I'm questioning everything because I am not sure what is normal, and what is not normal.



3. I got motion sick when I first drove the car. I was able to take care of this issue by switching out the bushings thanks to @traildogck and by turning off the LKA and LDW. The car has tightened up a bit too which is fantastic.



4. Noise - have never driven a CVT before. The only thing that bothers me about the CVT is the noise at low rpm. And yes, I do think there is a lot of wind noise on the highway. I asked about it because I wasn't sure if it was normal, or if it was due to the size of the car. I also asked to see if there was some fix to what is an issue for me (may not bother other people).


5. I'm on this forum asking questions because it's fun! I have learned so much about cars, Ascent and otherwise, just by chatting with people on here.


6. I don't want to discourage anyone from purchasing this car or make anyone think it's a bad vehicle. I'm simply asking questions.


7. Where else am I going to complain? :devil: No one in real life wants to hear me complain about my new car, :D


8. I will fully admit, I am picky about things like driving dynamics, ergonomics, and noise. I'm probably a little sad because the BMW was my dream car, but I needed something else for a variety of reasons. I chose the Assent because it seamed to be the best fit for what I needed. Perhaps I should get off the forum and go make more money so I can go buy a new BMW :grin:
I think you should go out as test drive one currently on the lot. You could find the results different. Mine has zero wind noise and is very quiet. I find Subaru's build quality seems to differed from car to car sometimes
 

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I think you should go out as test drive one currently on the lot. You could find the results different. Mine has zero wind noise and is very quiet. I find Subaru's build quality seems to differed from car to car sometimes

Thank you!


What do I say to the dealer? I want to compare wind noise? What happens if it turns out that mine is louder? I'm assuming they are going to tell me there is nothing they can do about it.
 

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I see car issues as coming down to basically three categories:

1. An objectively bad problem occurring in most/all builds — like a design flaw or a bad part that is used across the line, that causes a safety issue, premature failure, or affects advertised performance. The problem with the Honda CR-V engines leaking gas into the oil is an example. That is a really bad design issue.
2. A one-off quality problem — like a bad part or an improper installation that causes problems, if it only affects a very small number of cars and can be fixed reasonably quickly. The missing turbo bolts is an example.
3. A subjective problem — something that is up to personal taste. Like the CVT shifting; some people don’t like it, others don’t mind it or even like it. But it doesn’t mean there is a major issue with the car that absolutely needs to be fixed.

From what I’ve seen on the forums, the issues we’re seeing fall into categories 2 and 3 above. Additonally, for number 2 (quality) I don’t think we’ve seen a large number of issues, particularly for the very first build of a vehicle.

Category 1 (objectively bad problems across all builds) is the most concerning to me, but I haven’t seen any evidence of these kinds of issues at all.
Nice breakdown and I agree with your assessment.
 

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Thank you!


What do I say to the dealer? I want to compare wind noise? What happens if it turns out that mine is louder? I'm assuming they are going to tell me there is nothing they can do about it.

Just curious and apologies if you posted this previously, but do you have the roof rack cross bars installed?



Honestly, my wife drives our new Ascent so I have not been in it much, however, I know on other vehicles with cross bars on roof racks that can make a big difference as can location of those cross bars.
 
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Thank you!


What do I say to the dealer? I want to compare wind noise? What happens if it turns out that mine is louder? I'm assuming they are going to tell me there is nothing they can do about it.
I'm sure your selling dealer would let you take one out. Most of the hype is gone and I know of a dealer in my area that has 20 for sale. As far as results- If it turns out your car is different I guess you have 3 options- Sell it privately, trade it for another Ascent or BMW or get it fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Haha, I'll take responsibility for some of the complaining on here.
Haha... way to own it.

8. I will fully admit, I am picky about things like driving dynamics, ergonomics, and noise.
I am also picky about things like driving dynamics, ergonomics, and noise. The key is to understand the vehicle, the way it was designed and what is expected of it.

I've seen people go buy a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited that they will never take off road and will only drive to the mall, then complain because of ride quality, wind noise, etc.. As long as you understand what you're buying you should be good. Proper expectations will save a lot of mis-understanding.

On another post about test driving a different Ascent off the lot.. I agree with this completely. If you do that and find that one has no wind noise you have a perfect example of how the dealer can resolve your wind noise issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just curious and apologies if you posted this previously, but do you have the roof rack cross bars installed?



Honestly, my wife drives our new Ascent so I have not been in it much, however, I know on other vehicles with cross bars on roof racks that can make a big difference as can location of those cross bars.
Agreed, I have the crossbars and they definitely create a lot of wind noise. That's exactly why I take them off unless they're needed.
 

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I drove 5 different Lexus's for 20 years, the last one being a 2010 RX450h (and my wife had a 2008 400h). I bought the Ascent in April site unseen, picked it up in July and the next day drove 550 miles to Jackson, WY. It was a total pleasure to drive. I now have almost 4000 miles on the Ascent and there is nothing I miss about the Lexus.

Dave
 

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Agree, One review described it as Lexus quiet. I'm sure the tires could be improved. I have always been amazed at why people think this car should perform or be as quiet as one costing 20k more.
 

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There's a very long winded thread about Premium vs. Regular on the forums. If you have a few minutes to kill, check it out. There are quite a few instances where people have noticed a decrease in economy when switching to Premium.

The engine is tuned for 87 or higher.

Also, in the other thread, we've established that Costco Fuel, if available near you, has the most detergents per volume for 87 (same as their 93), and Shell 93 has slightly more than it, making your best bet for Premium if you don't mind the price increase over the Costco one.
 
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