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The hood strut is necessary to provide mechanical assist when warranted, like a heavy steel hood. The Ascent has aluminum, very light, hood. I prefer a steel rod over strut simply because there's no maintenance
 

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The hood strut is necessary to provide mechanical assist when warranted, like a heavy steel hood. The Ascent has aluminum, very light, hood. I prefer a steel rod over strut simply because there's no maintenance
Also a steel rod doesn't wear out and fall on you.
 
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