Questions about drivability in the snow - Mercedes GLA Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 12-11-2016, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Questions about drivability in the snow

Hey all,

I'm going to be taking a trip from WA to Lake Tahoe in Jan. I thought I would take the opportunity to hit some places I've never been such as Crater Lake. At this time of year there will be a lot of snow throughout the areas and backcountry I'll be driving. I've had the GLA in some snow before but it was nothing like I anticipate I will face near Crater Lake or Lake Tahoe. I've got a Jeep Wrangler that I was originally going to take down there but after driving it 14hrs to Banff last Dec, I'm not super keen to repeat the uncomfortable ride. For those of you who have driven quite a bit in the snow, what are your thoughts on making the trip in the GLA?

Note, I'll buy some good chains for the drive but only have the factory tires for the remainder of the drive.

Thoughts?


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post #2 of 25 Old 12-12-2016, 08:34 PM
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A group of us drove our Porsches up to Crater Lake a couple of Mays ago. The road to the Lodge was open, but the Rim Road was closed. You may want to check that out before assuming access.

Also, I don't know your age, but if you are near Senior, the National Park service has a lifetime pass that is less than a single admission. You only find out by asking for it.
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post #3 of 25 Old 12-12-2016, 08:39 PM
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Excellent vehicle in the snow. Today we got 20 cm and it was easy as anything to get through the fresh snow (my street is usually not plowed until late in the day). Once on the main roads, the packed and wet snow was also nothing for the car. Now this is with a Winter Tire set up though. I've never used chains so can't comment on that.

Good luck!
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post #4 of 25 Old 12-13-2016, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Wayne/hrosenberg33.

I'm pretty sure the rim is going to be closed but there were some other areas I thought I might be able park and hike a bit too. Depending on the weather I may even give snow camping a try. My biggest concern was that since I hadn't been in the area before I wasn't sure what the driving conditions might be like and the closest experience I have is the Banff trip last Dec. The passes were white outs and a bit of a mess to drive due to the low visibility and all the ice/snow but the GLA could have handled it. The only place that might have been a bit sketchy was Revelstoke which had about 8" of fresh snow and cars were stuck and being towed out by trucks, etc. With chains I think that would even have been something that could have been done in the GLA.

Thanks for the info. I've just about convinced myself that the GLA is going to be what I'll drive for the road trip. If I do, I'll post a trip report.

Thanks.


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post #5 of 25 Old 12-13-2016, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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For those folks that are following this thread or read it later...

I drove about 50mi today with my dog to a local ski area to drive in the snow and let my dog play around a bit. I tested the vehicle quite a bit for about an hour of snow driving under different conditions. In the end I came away pretty amazed with what this little 4Matic can do.

1) I first tested this on the roads near the ski area and had zero issues. I was able to maintain the speed limit on compact snow/ice and didn't have any problems changing lanes.

2) I then transitioned to some of the back roads near the resort. These were still groomed and had sand. Again no issues whatsoever. I drove to a number of lift areas, turnouts and loose snow parking lots.

3) Next I went to some closed ski areas and traversed the roads, lots and turn outs. I found a loose pile of snow in a lot from one of the plows and wanted to do some testing. I hit one (expected) issue. In about 8" of loose snow I went too slow and lost forward momentum and had to reverse out and go a bit faster. Amazingly, driving in a bit more normal manner, I easily went through the snow. In the attached pic you can see to the left where the tire came to a stop and to the immediate left where I was able to drive through with a tad more speed. This test was to see how the vehicle would fare at low speed and deep snow. I recommend a bit more speed to push through. I can't speak to how it would do in long stretches of 8" snow but don't think I would try it without chains.

4) I then took the car off the main roads and up into the back areas where there are cabins. This area is not plowed regularly and has a little deeper snow. The car was, quite simply, amazing. I drove as far up the roads I could and never once had an issue. I even had to stop on an incline to let another car by and did not have any issues getting back my momentum from a stop.

For those that are interested theses were the stats.

Snoqualmie Pass: 102 base / 12" new
GLA: Stock tires (not Winter tires), off-road button on, DSR off
Temp: 24F

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post #6 of 25 Old 12-13-2016, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Just a few more pics...

More backroads driving. The avalanche sign was on my way back from the end of the roads I could drive. The last pic is of Dru Bru a local micro-brewery at the top of the mountain pass. A nice way to wrap up a fun day in the snow.




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post #7 of 25 Old 12-13-2016, 06:07 PM
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Nice. I take it you have the OEM run flats.
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post #8 of 25 Old 12-13-2016, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
Nice. I take it you have the OEM run flats.


I do...and they are very noisy on cement. Running on asphalt is nice and quiet. Likely when it's time to change them out I'll go for non-run flats and something a little more aggressive since I like to run trails/dirt roads in the summer and snow in the winter. Usually that's what I use the Jeep for but this handled really well today. I'll give it a few more snow runs before I commit to it in the Winter but right now I wouldn't hesitate to take it out in the snow.


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post #9 of 25 Old 12-14-2016, 12:13 AM
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Glad to hear the car worked out well on the snow! Any recommendations on snow chains or cables? Never used them before... The wife and I recently moved to the area and will be driving up to Leavenworth next week. I'm seeing chains are required through Stevens pass for 2WD vehicles. I've got AWD, so may not need them, but I think they'd be good to have just in case!

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post #10 of 25 Old 12-14-2016, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Glad to hear the car worked out well on the snow! Any recommendations on snow chains or cables? Never used them before... The wife and I recently moved to the area and will be driving up to Leavenworth next week. I'm seeing chains are required through Stevens pass for 2WD vehicles. I've got AWD, so may not need them, but I think they'd be good to have just in case!
@bordeauxcomet - Welcome to the NW! Leavenworth is really great this time of year. The pass can take some time as it is mainly a 2-lane road and backups happen.

As for chain recommendations, sorry I don't have anything solid just yet. I'm still in the research phase. I'll post back once I have found some that I like. If others have any recommendations please add them.

Also, even if you don't use them make sure you have them in the car. You can get turned back or fined if you try to cross a pass that states that chains are required. My wife was turned back on Snoqualmie last year in her 4WD Sequoia and I was stopped in my Wrangler (but I had chains in the back).

If you head to Leavenworth post some pics. It's a great drive (and camping) in the summer and really beautiful in the Winter.


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