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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It has been about 6 months since my last road trip in the Ascent and I thought I would post another story of how things went with the car. I try to see if I can replicate any of the recent complaints, post MPGs, make product recommendations, etc.

Background:
Many school districts here in Washington have what is called a mid-winter break. In short, the week of President's day the kids have off. For the past 5 years we have gone to Sunriver, OR to ski Mt Bachelor as a family. Before this trip, we have done the trip in my old F-150. That got traded in for the Ascent, so it was a new packing setup to make sure we get everything we need down there in a comfortable fashion.

Setup:
The occupants are myself, wife, 2 kids, and a dog. The dog and cooler and a bunch of other stuff was loaded in the back with the 3rd row folded down. The dog has a nice ~30x36" memory foam bed to lay on. For the rest of the cargo, I have the Yakima Skybox21 mounted on the roof. This was needed to transport most of the ski equipment. I found that buying a few duffel bags from ebags (Outdoor Products 2x M and L size) made packing the box a breeze. I was worried that I would need to buy a hitch mounted tray to transport the cooler, but everything fit with room to spare.
Since travelling over mt passes can be tricky, I also took the time to put Blizzaks back on the car over my aftermarket rims and AT tires. I run the Blizzaks on the stock 20" rims in the stock size of P245/50-20. I run the Blizzaks at 36psi. Before they were in the 33 range but felt sluggish.

Driving/MPG/ACC:
I decided to give the Adaptive cruise control a shot. Most of the day-to-day driving does not warrant its use, but I thought on this trip I would give it a shot. I must say that it is pretty slick and can really make you a much less aggressive driver. Any future highway trips and it will surely get used again. With the coffin on top, and using ACC going up and down passes at 5-15 over the limit, I filled/topped off after 275.3 miles and put 12.89 gallons in at the time. The computer said I was getting 22.2 MPG but the hand calc was 21.36MPG. This next tank finished my journey and did 6 trips up and down the road to Bachelor. The next tank gave me 338.4 miles and took 16.54 gallons. Again the computer was reading almost 1 MPG higher than the 20.46MPG I got. Keep in mind that I did warmups in the car every morning. The trip back, I have not filled up yet. But once things slowed down in Sandy, OR, I got a pic of my best tank to date. Computer had me at 26.8MPG, going 134.7 miles at that point with 410miles to empty. Some things to note:
-I did not see the hood shake or wobble or flex at 80MPH or below
-The coffin up top did not add much wind noise. You could only start to hear it at 70MPH and was much more noticeable at 75MPH.
-The Blizzaks were great and allowed me to do the speed limit in the snowy/icy conditions. The tires are like velcro.

Ascent Sightings:
On the trip out, I only saw 1 other Ascent in Washington. Once I hit Sandy and ventured up US26 towards the Portland ski areas, I saw 8 more. The total on the first day was 12 sightings between my house and Sunriver, OR. I saw about 1 or 2 everyday while skiing. I saw 6 on the drive back today.

Other things:
I lost my presets, again, and no I have not done the update. I only have 2 stations programmed anyway.
The temp was below 10F every morning at startup. Only once did the Ascent seem to take a sec longer to turn over.
Had the daughter put a nice scratch behind the 3rd row window with a ski. Hope it buffs out.
I now have multiple windshield dings from the rocks that are put on the road for traction. Need to go find a filler tomorrow. None are in my line of sight, though.
One morning, while walking the dog, I noticed a 3rd row light was on. It had to be on for over 14hrs but the car started just fine. I do have LEDs installed.
The OEM "mud mats" did great for the light, dry fluffy snow found on the east of the cascades. I may still upgrade to Weathertech for the heavy wet stuff we get on the west side of the mountains.
Of course the car is filthy on the outside. It got a bit cleaner on the drive home in the rain, but it still has a nice red/brown haze on it. It will be foam cannon time tomorrow and back to black rims!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
To close out the MPG discoussion, I filled up today.

363.8miles with a 15.733 gallon fill up for a true mpg of 23.12. The computer had me at 23.8mpg. In full disclosure, the last 30miles were without the coffin and the snow wheels were swapped back to the spring/fall setup.
 

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To close out the MPG discoussion, I filled up today.

363.8miles with a 15.733 gallon fill up for a true mpg of 23.12. The computer had me at 23.8mpg. In full disclosure, the last 30miles were without the coffin and the snow wheels were swapped back to the spring/fall setup.

I'm getting very similar mileage driving around the Bay Area without a box and on 20in.
 

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We made a similar trip last weekend.... Tacoma to Sunriver... loaded with cooler and 5 suitcases, 2 adults, 2teens

On the way down we took I5, US26 past Mt. Hood
On the way back we stayed north on 97 / 197 up to the Dallas then back along the 84 to I5

A few notes:
~740 miles round trip
~23.8 MPG overall trip avg (computer), 22.3 avg (fuelly, 270mi, fill up after mt. hood), 24.3 avg (fuelly, 283mi, filled up about half way home) *interesting that me and the OP had about the same mileage down, me w/o a coffin...
~roads were mostly bare accept at summits where there was compact snow
~stock tires 20" did fine for the conditions, had there been 'black ice' i would have wanted a winter tire, we took a chance and lucked out with the weather
~pure pleasure to drive
~kids were very happy each in their own "seat" with legroom
~turned off lane keep assist (was annoying)
~ACC was a dream and made the 5-6hr drives much less tiring
~Android Auto / Google Maps with my Samsung S8 was very finicky, but only while in 'navigation' mode and only after about 20mins of navigating (Android Auto seems to be a bit buggier than I had imagined. Made me rethink not purchasing the navigation option)
 

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