Google Maps goes soft? No problem!

We are up north near Gaylord, MI and Google Maps decided to send us some “seasonal roads”. I’m posting this not so much to brag about an extreme off-road adventure a-la @Robert.Mauro, but more to reinforce that the Ascent is more than a suburban mom-mobile, and you shouldn’t skimp on condition immediately if your chosen ship decides to send you to the forest. (As always, let common sense be your guide, of course.)

I didn’t take pictures while driving because I was too busy enjoying the scenery, but here’s a photo of the road:

Map Land plant Screenshot Hinterland Urban design

It doesn’t seem like much, but “seasonal road” in Michigan means it’s somewhat better than a two-track road, but not really a road — think a single-lane, unmaintained road with zero change in alignment natural land. In this case we had a couple of nice sand washes and sand hills with an elevation change of about 200′, according to the terrain map. I would call it a textbook example of the easy way.

The ’19 Premium was perfect for it — we’re rich, probably in half-worn Goodyear all-seasons. I used the X mode, but really didn’t have to, just so my wife could hear/feel it working on some downhill classes. I heard us scraping sand right down a downhill with deeper sand, otherwise our eight POINTS-seven inches of ground clearance (which Subaru never misses a chance to brag about :D ) was completely sufficient. We never came close to losing traction.

I’d say a leased Altima + zero @ucks given the condition of the car would have been maybe was able to capture him through this route. A Jeep would be an absolute overload. The Ascent or any AWD crossover is almost perfectly matched.

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