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  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I had a Versa rental for a trip through Northern California a couple years ago, and while I didn't use the same route you're talking about, I still did plenty of mountain driving. It does ok. You're not going to fool anyone into thinking you're a high powered sports car, but you're not going to actually struggle to move around either. I actually thought the transmission (CVT instead of an actual gearbox) was more problematic than the actual engine.

    However, also keep in mind, you're certainly not guaranteed to get a Versa. You're renting a Versa "or similar," and that means you could get anything that your rental company considers to be a compact car.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default And a word about Ebbets

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    All 3 of those routes are very scenic. 88 (Carson Pass) is the most traveled and least extreme, 4 (Ebbetts Pass) is very lightly traveled and can be scary as it's not a full 2 lanes wide.
    Just a word about Ebbetts -- it is probably my favorite cross-Sierra route of the six highways. Beautiful country. It's not really all that scary, it's all paved -- just have to pay attention!


  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Driving east is not as steep a climb as driving west on any of the passes. I'd be more worried about overheating the brakes going down than having insufficient power going up. At the top, lock the transmission in its lowest gear to go down.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    You will be fine with that class of vehicle, it will climb any paved road you put in front of it, eventually ! ;-) just don't 'ride' the brakes for to long during downhill runs and as mentioned, use lower gears when necessary.

  5. #15


    Great and I had forgotten its a CVT. Lets hope I get one of those famous rental "Upgrades" that only costs you another few thousand dollars !

  6. #16


    Thanks - I don't know why but I had thought the climbs would be the issue but it seems not. I'm a confident driver and we are not in a hurry and looking forward to stopping whenever we can to see the sights.

  7. #17


    If it were just me I think I would opt for Ebbetts but I have a nervous traveler with me - the wife - and I really don't want ear-ache right across this wonderful pass ! I just might get away with it on the Sonora Pass ...

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