2009 Ford Flex: Oregon Day 6, Snow Day!
December 31, 2008
Today we said goodbye to my parents on the coast and headed inland to Bend, Oregon in our 2009 Ford Flex. Our route took us over a 5,400 foot pass where recent snows had brought the snow accumulation up to over 70 inches.
At least 100 miles of our route was in the snow zone, so as the law around here requires, we carried chains, just in case.
Much of the road had been cleared, but just after we stopped to have the Oregon Department of Transportation's 'Trip Check' road camera record our passage, the route entered an area with 5 and 6% slopes that was still coated with packed snow.
Most of the people we saw parked in the snow play areas were locals and they all had fitted studded tires on their 4x4s. Our front-wheel drive Flex Limited made do with its standard Hankook 235/55R19 all-season tires. We had no trouble, and we didn't have to chain-up.
But even though we had plenty of grip for climbing and turning, the ABS triggered easily and stopping distances were a bit long. If I lived in the white stuff full time, I'd upgrade my tires, too. But on a just-passin'-through basis, the stock rubber did just fine.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 14, 402 miles