The Vue in Vermont

Left for vacation the other day for the mountains of Vermont. Normally get about 30 mpg highway on flat ground. With the rooftop carrier and a kayak,
mpg went down to about 26 which isn't as bad as I had anticipated. What really surprised me though is when we unloaded and went up a few steep grades, it seemed darned under-powered. Tried both automatic and manually shifting, trying to find the best control strategy. It's got the 2.5L EcoTec and base model 4-spd auto trans. Granted I'm accustomed to the LW300's power.
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