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A Problem With Subaru Ascent Fuel Mileage? Owners Say EPA Isn’t Even Close

Is there a problem with the new Subaru Ascent fuel mileage? Owners report the gas mileage is significantly less than what's reported by the EPA. Check out the report here.


Several Subaru Ascent owners say the 3-Row SUV is underperforming in fuel mileage. What does Subaru of America (SOA) say the Ascent should get? SOA says the 2023 Ascent family hauler gets up to 26 MPG. But with an asterisk that says, "EPA-estimated fuel economy. Actual mileage may vary."

What does the EPA say the fuel mileage of the 2022 Ascent is rated?

The 2022 Subaru Ascent base and Premium trim levels get an EPA-estimated 21/27 city/highway mpg and 23 combined mpg. Because they are slightly heavier, the Ascent Limited and Touring trim levels get an EPA-estimated 20/26 city/highway mpg and 22 combined mpg.

2022 Subaru Ascent

The EPA drops the 2023 Ascent fuel mileage

The 2023 Subaru Ascent base and Premium trim levels get an EPA-estimated 20/26 city/highway mpg and 22 combined mpg. The 2023 Ascent Limited, Touring, Onyx Edition, and new Onyx Edition Limited trim levels get an EPA-estimated 19/25 city/highway mpg and 21 combined mpg.

Why do all 2023 Ascent trims get lower fuel mileage?

We asked a Subaru spokesman why the lower fuel mileage ratings, and here is the reply. "There are a few reasons, including power consumption due to enhanced features and emission regulation changes."

2022 Subaru Ascent

The emission regulation changes affected Ascent's 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine. The 2023 Subaru Ascent also comes with added weight due to the interior upgrades and new EyeSight driver-assist safety technology.

What do owners say about the 2022 Ascent fuel mileage?

We talked to one 2022 Subaru Ascent owner who is extremely unhappy with the Ascent fuel mileage. Sam Williams says he gets 11 to 13 mpg in city driving and never over 19 mpg when highway traveling. He has over 3500 miles on the new vehicle.

Williams says, "There are plenty of other folks in my position. Subaru's response has been to instruct that I perpetually take the car in for unspecified tests. They know they have a problem and a history of cheating on these things. I've also let the EPA know, but they could care less. Fuel economy ratings are a farce."

"Regardless, Subaru is in denial, and their response has been to send me back to dealers for unspecified test after test. So far, they've told me the mpg is normal, and they even wrote as much on Yelp," says Williams.

Another Subaru Ascent owner, Richard Torres, writes, "Our Subaru Ascent is terrible on gas mileage. No better than 16 to 19 mpg. I had an Outback before, and the mileage was great. 32+. I'm very disappointed with the Ascent. I've talked to other Ascent owners, and they say the same. The mileage sucks!!"

If you own a newer Subaru Ascent family hauler (2020-2023 model year), what fuel mileage are you getting? We are guessing the poor and less than the EPA advertised fuel mileage is not an isolated incident with a few Ascent owners. Let us know in the comments below, and we will pass them on to Subaru of America.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


Michele Dewey (not verified)    January 23, 2023 - 11:42AM

The best I can get on my new 2022 Subaru Ascent is 19 to 19.4 both Highway and around Town. This is not at all what I would have expected.

john E kennedy (not verified)    January 23, 2023 - 1:50PM

The Subaru TURBO engine used previously in the Forester XT, The Outback XT and the Ascent (All trims) Plus the WRX uses Regular Gas (most manufactures require Premium for their Turbo's) Subaru's Turbo engine drinks gas excessively compared to the normal boxer engines. Horse Power goes from the 180's to the 270's = 50% more HP, so the gas required goes from 32 MPG to 16/18 MPG in the Turbo = close to 50%. Buy the Outback (non turbo) and stay away from all Subaru Turbo's if money is a concern.

James Seabolt (not verified)    January 25, 2023 - 4:51AM

I don't know where that guy got 11 to 13 mpg's? I got 22 on my 2019 Ascent. This story has me smh.

M. Soto (not verified)    July 17, 2023 - 3:55PM

In reply to by James Seabolt (not verified)

I got 13mpg on 07/17/2023 on my 23 Ascent Onyx. I actually saw the needle start to move at around 5 miles. My average speed is very low. I drive slow. Even drove my Outback Premium slow. Very few people are getting okay gas mileage on the Ascents.

thdpr (not verified)    January 27, 2023 - 2:42PM

11-19 in town. 22-26 on the highway... it's awful and I talk about it with the other moms in the pick up line driving their Ascents. We are all annoyed by this.

My Outback had much better mileage.

Janet Bryson (not verified)    January 30, 2023 - 6:21AM

I am so disappointed in my 2022 limited ascent. I’ve always been a Honda prior to getting this one - and did I made a HUGE mistake !!!!!! So many things that I am very upset about.

Neal Cunningham (not verified)    January 31, 2023 - 1:45PM

2021 Subaru Ascent Touring, (33,000 miles on the Ascent) I have not reset my trip mileage now for over 1,000 miles and over all average is 19mpg (per computer). This is better than what we would have been getting in our 2008 Honda Touring Odyssey.

Isaac Dye (not verified)    February 6, 2023 - 3:07PM

I have had a 2022 Ascent touring for about 4 months now, and I can’t seem to get more than an average of 18.5 MPG, which is about 50/50 city and freeway. I’ve tried not using the remote start feature, carefully managing accelerating/braking, and even tried more expensive gas, but it always settles out to about 18.5 MPG after a couple hundred miles.

For comparison, I’ve always been within 1mpg of Subaru’s estimated COMBINED mileage, and I’ve had three other Subarus before the ascent.

Mark Grant (not verified)    February 6, 2023 - 7:45PM

Our 2023 Ascent Touring (2800 miles) is getting 20mpg in town, and 27 highway.

We drive the speed limit and use top tier fuel. We monitor our fuel mileage, and in our case, have not had any problems.

Andrew M (not verified)    February 8, 2023 - 7:07PM

I concur with 11-13 MPG on city driving. That's what I get on Subaru Ascent 2023 Premium edition (not the heaviest). And that's in So Cal, so no heating, no snow, and no A/C at the moment. Just driving.

That's interesting that other better numbers are posted above. Gives me some confidence that it's possible to resolve in some way.

Sam Williams (not verified)    February 11, 2023 - 10:54PM

In reply to by Andrew M (not verified)

It's possible to resolve but the first step is admitting there's a problem. Subaru will not do that. I've even offered for them to take the car from me for a few weeks and drive it around to see the low mpg for themselves, but they refuse to even do that!

Gael (not verified)    February 8, 2023 - 11:22PM

I came to this article looking for info about the poor mileage. I have the 2022 Ascent onyx, i get about 15 city and have had about 17 hwy. so sad

Kap (not verified)    February 17, 2023 - 5:16PM

I have a 2022 Subaru Ascent with 17,500 miles on. I bought it used with 16,000 miles. Over the last 1,500 miles, I've averaged 14.5 MPG. TERRIBLE. I'm taking it in for service on Monday (Feb 19) and will report back what I'm told.

Hilary (not verified)    February 24, 2023 - 3:52PM

Came here to say the same thing. I’m only getting 18 mpg on my 2022 Ascent Limited. I chose this car over other 3 row SUVs in part because of the promised mileage. My previous Subarus (Forester, Crosstrek) did much much better. Realize they’re smaller models but the difference is shocking.

Matthew (not verified)    March 10, 2023 - 11:04AM

We just bought our 2021 Ascent this winter. We had awful mileage (AVG of about 18mpg or less) to start with. We had all the fluids changed (oil, CVT, both diffs) which helped a little. Especially the rear diff pouring out black material. When our dealer did that they noted an exhaust manifold gasket leak they said was VERY common. When that was replaced I've noticed MPG climbing towards 22mpg.

I also noticed the oil temperature would finally start to climb towards its usual 190 degrees faster than usual. It used to never top 170 even going 75 on the interstate. Seems to me it was running rich. We also did some deep snow driving (deeper than the intercooler), don't do what we did, that got the temps up over 210 and it has ran nice since then lol

Charlie B (not verified)    March 10, 2023 - 5:07PM

I’ve got a 2022 Subaru Ascent 8 Passenger Premium. I went with Subaru over Volkswagen because the estimated fuel economy and 5-year cost to own was lower than the Atlas. But I feel like I would’ve been getting the same gas mileage with the V6 option that comes with the Atlas. My 2006 Acura TL gets better gas mileage than my Subaru. At 2,621 miles, I’ve got a combined total MPG of 21.1 and it’s ticking down every day. I almost exclusively drive it on highways for he first 1000 miles and was averaging 23 MPG.

Very disappointing in the gas mileage. It would’ve have been better that Subaru was upfront with the EPA. It’s so much worse when you have a bad experience after the fact instead of just knowing up front.

Tim (not verified)    March 13, 2023 - 10:48AM

I have a new 2023 Ascent, and getting 15,3 MPG at best thus far only have 560mi thus far but no where the advertized MPG. If I would have had these numbers I would not have purchased this vehicles. Is there any legal recourse to this issue?

kriscynda (not verified)    March 13, 2023 - 7:49PM

Same, I've had 2022 Subaru Ascent for 7 months. It now has 12,400 mi. I was getting up to 22 miles per gallon highway within the last month. It is dropped to 19 to 20. I owned a 2021 outback prior to and I was able to get double the gas mileage. When I read the specs on this car I was expecting the same. This is ridiculous.

Christopher Davila (not verified)    April 27, 2023 - 1:19PM

I just recently got a 2020 Subaru ascent and it is horrible in gas mileage I'm only getting about 17 mpg combined.

Milton Harrison (not verified)    May 6, 2023 - 3:52PM

My Wife and I had a 2019 Subaru legacy however it was hit in the back and it never operated quite the same.My wife is a Home care nurse and we decided to get something a little bigger because of the fact that the legacy was stuffed with medical equipment but got such terrific gas Is mileage.
The legacy often would go all week without a fill up and we were thrilled with that. However when we got the subaru Ascent the gas mileage plummeted from approximately thirty two miles a gallon to less than nineteen miles per gallon with the Ascent. We unfortunately assumed that All Subaru's got great gas mileage. We were wrong.
First off we noticed that the Ascent did not turn off at red lights and stops which we thought all Subaru's did.We figured Subaru knew what it was doing. We also noticed that the Subaru Came in only all wheel drive which is unfortunate and unneeded. With full time All Wheel drive and no way to turn the feature off you're completely wasting gas.
We actually have a Chevy Suburban 2015 with the option to turn off full time 4 wheel drive and it gets way better gas mileage than the. Subaru .We were stunned.
In my wife's travels she ran into a couple that had a 2023 forester and they both spoke of how they like the car but when they came to fuel economy they both complained that it was horrible. The couple that had the Forester actually had a 2019 Forester and complained about how much betterthe gas mileage was on the twenty nineteen than the twenty twenty three that they now owned.
Another thing I would like to talk about is the eyesight feature on the Subaru . I thought that this feature would be a really good idea especially if it were raining or foggy or something like that outside . However, Eyesight does not work in conditions where you cannot see things clearly with human eyes. What actual good is Eyesight if you are not distracted and looking away from the road.
I am very disappointed in Subaru, and will NOT be buying another, since Subaru has decided to be deceptive in their adds and not admit that they have duped the public, relying on their old reputation for having thrifty, intelligently designed, quality vehicles, they can have their vehicles and keep selling them on deceptive reputation.

Craig (not verified)    May 11, 2023 - 11:47AM

I am getting rid of my 2021 Ascent Touring next week. I got a combined 18mpg but only 15 in town. I also can't tolerate to drive the thing with the cvt. It's the worst car to drive I have ever owned. Its almost impossible to drive it smoothly. I took it to the dealer and they told me there is no fix for the cvt, actually said "some people love it and some people hate it". They tried to tell me this is a powerful engine so the mpg is lower, LOL. I will never buy another Subaru product after this one. Hopefully in the future there's a class action lawsuit over the misrepresented MPG claims.

Andrew Ransom (not verified)    May 15, 2023 - 3:07PM

Have had my 2022 Ascent for 8 months. I'm getting a combined 18.2 MPG. 75% of my driving is on toll highways with very light traffic. I love everything about my Ascent besides the mileage. Subaru continues to say that the mileage seems fine, but any drops are due to the fact that the EPA suggested mileage is for sea-level, not Colorado, but can't explain why no other models are seeing a 20-30% mileage drop-off with the elevation change in Colorado. They want me to bring it in for unspecified tests, but I just have no confidence that they're doing anything here.

Sarah M (not verified)    June 14, 2023 - 12:09PM

I have a 2023 Ascent Onyx. I have about 6k miles on it. I average about 16mpg (50/50 city/hwy). I have taken it to the dealer once and am about to take it again. Curious if anyone successfully got refunded under lemon law?

M. Soto (not verified)    July 17, 2023 - 2:41PM

In reply to by Sarah M (not verified)

I'm about to take mine in. I filled up yesterday 07/15/2023 and actually saw the needle dropping at about 5 miles. I was averaging 13mpg. Mpgs fluctuate, but it is never close to what its supposed to be.

Richard Ryan (not verified)    November 16, 2023 - 8:21AM

In reply to by Sarah M (not verified)

I have a 2023 limited ascent with 3 K on car my mpg is 16.5 combined i am in florida and the road s are smooth and traffic moves along. i stop buy the dealer asked about gas miliage his reply was thats about what your going to get i am takeing in to have it scoped and docoumented I would have not bought this vehicle knowing its mpg history .I will also file under the lemon law .this is not a good car knowing that soa has aware of this problem for years

Steve Perry (not verified)    June 22, 2023 - 7:03PM

I have a 2022 Ascent Limited, since 3/22. Initially it got 20-22.5 combined mpg, and up to 27 mpg with pure highway driving, even in the Rocky Mountains. I took it to the dealer for a recall and oil leak in 3/22. On the 3rd time in they managed to find the oil leak.During the disassembly / reassembly to replace the leaking oil level sensor, the service technician broke a bolt, cross threaded the bolts that mount the turbocharger, requiring replacement of the turbo. Since that time it now gets 16-17.5 combined and 22.5-23 highway mpg from Denver to Kansas City, on cruise control. I liked the car initially. I still like the size, interior, features, ride comfort, etc. But the dealer service has been deplorable. After they messed up and replaced so many parts, I got back a different car. Not matter what I like about it, I am turning it in at the end of my lease. I think this is likely my first and last Subaru. Not feeling the love they like to advertise. BTW, my son in law has a 2019 ascent limited and his parents have a touring model. They both get the mileage that I did before my car was molested by the dealer service.