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I can assure you that Subaru will never take second place at IIHS for the sake of two inches. Moving the bumper closer to the engine reduces the crumple area before the main cross member and bumper.

I'd expect to see the wheelbase extended before anything else.
 

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I can assure you that Subaru will never take second place at IIHS for the sake of two inches. Moving the bumper closer to the engine reduces the crumple area before the main cross member and bumper.

I'd expect to see the wheelbase extended before anything else.
I wouldn’t want or expect them to. I just think that by the time they are looking at a refresh, they might be able to add the space without comprimise. Perhaps not, then if the demand is there they might look at extending it. Either way, I think for the most part more space would be welcome by the target audience.
I plan on driving mine for at very least ten years so who knows where they’ll be at by then?
 

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Keep in mind the engine is already forward of the wheels. It already contributes to our bad approach angle. Moving the engine extends the wheelbase by moving the front axles.

Also keep in mind that part of where others have extra space is where Subaru already engineered third row crash safety for the upcoming 2025 requirements.
I have to ask, Robert, what in the world does "our bad approach angle" mean. I'm not much of a car guy, so no clue what an approach angle is, or what makes ours (I assume Ascent owners?) bad. Would the Ascent be better if it had a good approach angle? Just curious.
 

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2020 Ascent, 2011 WRX, 2001 Forester
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Approach angle is for climbing hills from flat ground. The more forward the engine is, the less steep the hill has to be when coming from flat ground to prevent the front from hitting the hill. If the engine is more rearward, then less vehicle to hit the hill and you can take on a steeper hill.

Not really relevant for most of us. Just those who have super steep driveways, or those who off-road (Robert).
 

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As for the interior comment, the Ascent is already better than the Outback and other Subaru's. Yes, it may not be as nice as some others, but it also does not have the price tag of other vehicles.
 

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I have to ask, Robert, what in the world does "our bad approach angle" mean. I'm not much of a car guy, so no clue what an approach angle is, or what makes ours (I assume Ascent owners?) bad. Would the Ascent be better if it had a good approach angle? Just curious.
Here's a link that explains and shows diagram of what approach and departure angles are;
Approach and Departure Angles
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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Approach angle is why the most prevalent vehicles in serious off roading are short and have the axles pushed close to the front and back. Wrangler is a good example. There is very little body to interfere with the wheels getting toa sudden upward slope. The shorter wheelbase helps with this as well as sudden, steep downslopes.
 

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Me aside, inches affect approach angle tremendously, and, the thing to remember is that the Ascent is the first natively 8.7" ground clearance Subaru*. They made the 7 seater that high so it could take people camping, on trails, through the woods, etc. They then spent a bunch of time advertising that it was a 7 seater designed to take people on such adventures. Reducing approach (extend the front farther beyond the axles), departure (extend the rear farther beyond the axles), or breakover (extend the wheelbase) puts them right where almost everyone else in the class is.

Here's where the Ascent sits in the lineup...
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Point being, about the part below, the Ascent numbers are already not too impressive, because of our drivetrain design, and a few inches really hurts the angles even more, to the point that forest trail roads and game trails become difficult.

As for me... I'm lifting to accommodate my ridiculous needs. 🤣 On that note, look how much tiny changes in lift affect the angles. And, keeping our engine low is what allows it to be ejected under the car, instead of intruding into the cabin.

* For those not aware, the Outback is based on a lifted Legacy, and has a factory lift kit (and other factory mods) to gain it its 8.7" ground clearance compared to the Leggy's 5.9". The Foz is based on a lifted Impreza platform (though it shares less with it than in the early days). The Crosstrek is a factory lifted Impreza. The Ascent is built, ground up, as 8.7" ground clearance with no factory lift kit.

Here, you can see the sub-frame spacer on the 2020/2021 Outback - same as the previous ones (grey cylinder above the bushing plate, below the body's frame rail).
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Here's the Ascent, with direct-to-framerail mount.
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Pics from LP Adventure's lift kits.
 

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I found it a tad smaller than Traverse and Enclave which I found to be perfect size to haul 6 people and bags.... I still have my 2011 Buick Enclave, very tired of it. But recently found I can tuck 5 bicycles in it with lots of rooms left.
Can someone pass on a message to Subaru to make their next gen Ascent a bit bigger like mentioned in title? Say 2 inches wider and 6+ inches longer?

Thanks!
CriteriaAscent (2019+)EnclaveExplorer (2020+)4runner (2010+)
wheelbase length114"120"119"110"
wheel track width64"67"67"63"
body length197"204"199"191"

I'm all for wider, but not necessarily longer, to fit 4x8" lumber material sheets. If Subaru reconfigure the 3rd row to eliminate the cupholders and widen the hatch opening about 3", I think 4x8 sheet goods can fit well.
 

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CriteriaAscent (2019+)EnclaveExplorer (2020+)4runner (2010+)
wheelbase length114"120"119"110"
wheel track width64"67"67"63"
body length197"204"199"191"

I'm all for wider, but not necessarily longer, to fit 4x8" lumber material sheets. If Subaru reconfigure the 3rd row to eliminate the cupholders and widen the hatch opening about 3", I think 4x8 sheet goods can fit well.
Those cup holders and bump outs hide our shock towers and rear wheel wells. 😉 😞
 

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Boy, I'd love to test drive an Ascent with a 3" wider stance, same wheel base. It would be a crawler off road! Also, and excuse me for getting slightly off topic, I'd love to see a programable front overdrive or rear under drive. (This is where the front wheels are geared to turn faster by about 10% to 20% more than the rear wheels. Makes the vehicle pull up over stuff much easier instead of being pushed so much over stuff. Plus the lighter front end when going up hill tends to spin due to unweighted load. The faster rpms on the front wheel would keep traction better.)
 

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To elaborate on Robert's post, there are fixed points on a typical scalable platform. Those fixed points determine the relationship of engine motor mounts relative to the front axle and firewall. On these examples from Volvo and VAG, pretty much everything else is flexible so the engine can't simply be moved forward.




The empty space in our engine bays is probably for crash/pedestrain safety or maye a design decision? If you shorten the nose too much, you get minivan proportions. Also because of the design restrictions of symmetrical AWD, you get that front overhang. It's what makes a Subaru a Subaru.
Wow! This post is actually extremely beneficial for understanding the global platform. I was confused as to how all the vehicles could be on the global platform. Given this it makes a lot more sense. Also makes sense how they might be able to somewhat easily take an engine used on one vehicle and implement it on another relatively easily if they all use the same global platform.
 

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Thank you to all of you who answered my approach angle question, your answers were very helpful. And Robert, thanks for your info re: the Ascent being the first natively 8.7" Subaru, I found that very interesting. Until last year I had owned and loved my old '95 Outback since I bought it brand new. Being the first year of the Outback, and more of a test version than an actual Outback, it wasn't raised like all the years that came after. I was always envious of the raised ones, since I've always done a fair amount of camping and hiking and such. I knew the '96 and years immediately after had used those spacers, but had no idea that was still the case. And didn't realize the others Subarus were like that as well. I'm curious, is there some advantages to having it natively built to that height rather than using spacers? Or does it not really make any difference?
 

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I'm curious, is there some advantages to having it natively built to that height rather than using spacers? Or does it not really make any difference?
In order to visualize the advantage of "native" vs "raised" with spacers, think of some of the absurdly lifted pickups you've probably seen. Done poorly, they have stretched the suspension. When a car is at rest, the suspension is somewhere near the middle of the suspension's travel range ie, the wheel can extend outward (down into a pothole) or rebound upward roughly equal amounts. If you put longer springs, you're using some of the rebound travel. You're also altering the steering geometry as well as raising the center of gravity. In the native situation, everything is designed to accommodate the higher ground clearance.
 

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Wow! This post is actually extremely beneficial for understanding the global platform. I was confused as to how all the vehicles could be on the global platform. Given this it makes a lot more sense. Also makes sense how they might be able to somewhat easily take an engine used on one vehicle and implement it on another relatively easily if they all use the same global platform.
The key behind this is that a "platform", relative to vehicles like this, isn't a "thing". It's a design and production methodology that these days is scalable for lots of good reasons. There's consistency in how things get done and in some cases, actual parts sharing, but each vehicle using the platform can leverage it best for the intended size, weight, balance and capacities required. That "fixed" relationship between the engine and the front axle, for example, makes a lot of sense since it really can be shared easily, but the track distance can be wider or narrower no problem. This all makes manufacturing a lot easier, too, including permitting line sharing intermingled in some cases in the industry. "Bolt A" may or may not be a different size, but it goes in the same place for different models/sizes.
 
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I'm curious, is there some advantages to having it natively built to that height rather than using spacers? Or does it not really make any difference?
It makes it much easier for me to lift it, lol. Our axles are straight, meaning an inch lift barely nudges the wheel ends down, meaning no undue angles on the CV joints. It also means that when I do my new lift (2.4"), I only need 1" subframe spacers to maintain camber.

But, mostly, the point was that it was a ground up plan to make a 7/8 seater that had some off roading chops (hence no lift kit, and thus no way to "go back" to lower for another model). Thus, angles would be important to Subaru's design team.
 

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I'm curious, is there some advantages to having it natively built to that height rather than using spacers? Or does it not really make any difference?
Adding to what @Titanrx8 and @Robert.Mauro said, it should also allow a lower floor, i.e. taller interior for all of that SUV goodness.
 

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Boy, I'd love to test drive an Ascent with a 3" wider stance, same wheel base. It would be a crawler off road! Also, and excuse me for getting slightly off topic, I'd love to see a programable front overdrive or rear under drive. (This is where the front wheels are geared to turn faster by about 10% to 20% more than the rear wheels. Makes the vehicle pull up over stuff much easier instead of being pushed so much over stuff. Plus the lighter front end when going up hill tends to spin due to unweighted load. The faster rpms on the front wheel would keep traction better.)
Me too.
 

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In order to visualize the advantage of "native" vs "raised" with spacers, think of some of the absurdly lifted pickups you've probably seen. Done poorly, they have stretched the suspension. When a car is at rest, the suspension is somewhere near the middle of the suspension's travel range ie, the wheel can extend outward (down into a pothole) or rebound upward roughly equal amounts. If you put longer springs, you're using some of the rebound travel. You're also altering the steering geometry as well as raising the center of gravity. In the native situation, everything is designed to accommodate the higher ground clearance.
Something that you kind of touched on here is there's a big difference between a suspension lift and a body lift. A poorly done suspension lift will affect steering geometry, wheel alignment, and suspension travel. A body lift (as is done with spacers) doesn't do anything to the suspension.
 
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