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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wanted to post my impressions of how my new 2017 RAV4 handled today's Nor-easter. We got about 6-8 inches of very heavy wet snow today and it gave me a good opportunity to see the capabilities of my new car. I drove around my neighborhood when there was absolutely no plowing done and it handled the snow beautifully.

The performance in the deep snow was MUCH MUCH better when I selected the lock differentials button on the dash. I experimented with it on and off and the difference was huge. I even went up some very steep hills that were unplowed and with the diffs locked the car went through fine - with it unlocked (the default mode) it felt much less secure and the car slowed to a crawl.

--Paul
 

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Glad to hear it. I just picked-up my 2017 SE yesterday. I got to try it out in a little snow (about an inch) today and was very impressed... well, except for the really crappy Toyo A20 Open Country tires. It's a good thing I normally use winter tires.
It's much better than my 2013 Venza which never really felt like an AWD but always acted like FWD.
 

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Happy with mine as well (SE Hybrid). The AWD-i system is quite decent, handles snow very well. The only disappointment is the rain sensing wipers that don't work in snow. I want my intermittent wipers back.
 

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Happy with mine as well (SE Hybrid). The AWD-i system is quite decent, handles snow very well.
Same here!
My little Rav4 does a wonderful job in the snow & slush.
I'm VERY happy with the performance. :thumbs_up:
 

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Yep!! My 2016 SE plowed through 10" of snow, then later ice with all season tires effortlessly!

 

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Now THAT is a gorgeous car.
I must be getting old or something because I totally agree!

I bought my 2017 Rav4 XLE as an 'extra' kick-around vehicle and jokingly referred to it as my "old lady goes to church car".
I never thought I would grow so attached to it. I love it. :thumbs_up:

I also have a 2017 4Runner Limited and the Rav's mid grade Entune Plus radio completely blows away the 15 speaker JBL premium system in the 4Runner.
The safety & electronics package in the Rav is better than in the 4Runner Limited, (actually, there is no package in the Limited <go figure>).
The lil' Rav4 is fast & nimble,
I'm 6'3" and 195 Lb and I fit comfortably,
All the controls are in exactly the right spot,
At the pump my Dodge/Ram costs $86 to fill, the Rav costs $27 and is way more fun to drive! :cheers:
Sorry for the long off-topic post but although I've owned eight Toyota's previously this is my first Rav4 and I had no idea that it would be the best.
Thanks,
-Ej-
 

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Just wanted to post my impressions of how my new 2017 RAV4 handled today's Nor-easter. We got about 6-8 inches of very heavy wet snow today and it gave me a good opportunity to see the capabilities of my new car. I drove around my neighborhood when there was absolutely no plowing done and it handled the snow beautifully.

The performance in the deep snow was MUCH MUCH better when I selected the lock differentials button on the dash. I experimented with it on and off and the difference was huge. I even went up some very steep hills that were unplowed and with the diffs locked the car went through fine - with it unlocked (the default mode) it felt much less secure and the car slowed to a crawl.

--Paul
Out of curiosity why would you use lock differential in snow?
 

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...The performance in the deep snow was MUCH MUCH better when I selected the lock differentials button on the dash. I experimented with it on and off and the difference was huge. I even went up some very steep hills that were unplowed and with the diffs locked the car went through fine - with it unlocked (the default mode) it felt much less secure and the car slowed to a crawl...
Not sure if the new models have the TRAC button like my gen 4.3, but if losing power in hill climb and stuck situations, you need to temporarily disengage the TRAC and VSC by pushing and holding the TRAC button for 5 seconds. If losing power like that, the ECM is detecting some wheel slipping or sliding and responds by reducing power. To have real fun in the snow, disengage those nannies when temporarily needed.

Of course, your AWD-i system may be different than mine--if so would be interested to know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Out of curiosity why would you use lock differential in snow?
Its made to be used to allow wheel slippage and send power to all four wheels. I didn't disable the VSC (I should try that next time) but I can say 100% that the car was great in deep snow with the diffs locked and crap without. It may be that the VSC is automatically disabled when locking the differentials (manual doesn't say this) but I can say for sure going up unplowed steep grades in ~ 6 inches of snow that the car made it through the tough stuff great with the diffs locked.
 

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Its made to be used to allow wheel slippage and send power to all four wheels. I didn't disable the VSC (I should try that next time) but I can say 100% that the car was great in deep snow with the diffs locked and crap without. It may be that the VSC is automatically disabled when locking the differentials (manual doesn't say this) but I can say for sure going up unplowed steep grades in ~ 6 inches of snow that the car made it through the tough stuff great with the diffs locked.
I keep seeing the phrase "locking the differentials", but do these vehicles really have the ability to do that? That requires some relatively expensive hardware to do so. I'm thinking the dashboard switch simply locks the front to rear coupling preemptively. Most AWD systems do that anyway once slip is detected. This just manually activates the otherwise automated coupling to help prevent getting to the point of slip. Am I missing something?
 

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I keep seeing the phrase "locking the differentials", but do these vehicles really have the ability to do that? That requires some relatively expensive hardware to do so. I'm thinking the dashboard switch simply locks the front to rear coupling preemptively. Most AWD systems do that anyway once slip is detected. This just manually activates the otherwise automated coupling to help prevent getting to the point of slip. Am I missing something?
There is no diff lock on AWD 4.4s, the lock button just engages a coupler on the rear drive shaft which keeps the rear drive shaft engaged up to 25mph, front and rear differentials are open as opposed to being locking or limited slip diffs. FWD 4.4s do have a limited slip front diff tho.
 

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Tires?

Need to put new tires on my 2017SE and am looking for recommendations. I live in Maine and have a long winter and do a lot of driving, but not highway miles. Steep hills sometimes and dirt roads. I am a capable driver in snow and never have had AWD or 4WD in the past so last year was great with this Rav4 but the tires are shot and were not quality in the first place. Any suggestionsare greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Just purchased Michelin Defender LTX MS tires (I'm in the metro NY area). If you're looking for a snow tire I'd recommend the Blizzac's by Bridgestone, from what I've read they have good reviews.
 

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My research a while back concluded that the Blizzaks mentioned above are probably the best choice for snow tires on our vehicles. There were a couple of others that rated higher, but the price was considerably higher than the Bridgestones. BTW, Discount Tire, one of the advertisers on this forum, matched the best price I found elsewhere. I found some steel rims for $75 each that do the trick. They just don't look as pretty as the oem alloy wheels.
 

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Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
I am a firm believer in Yokohama Geolander A/T G015 tires. This is what TireRack has to say about them, (in part):

The Geolandar A/T G015 is Yokohama's On-/Off-Road All-Terrain tire developed for drivers of light trucks and SUVs looking for a tough and durable tire capable of withstanding off-road duty while providing long treadlife and year-round traction, even in snow...

Note: Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015 tires meet the industry's severe snow service requirements and are branded with the three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol.

Note: While non-winter tires featuring the three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol provide additional longitudinal snow traction beyond what all-season (M+S) tires not bearing the symbol can deliver, they do not match the capability of a true winter tire in all adverse weather conditions.
My set now has 93,000 miles on them and got me through the last North Idaho winter just fine. There are less expensive tires out there, but with the mileage I've gotten, it's a wash. (Disclaimer: a bulk of those miles were highway miles, and I'm not a very aggressive driver compared to most.)

- - -

Oops. Just remembered . . . the Geolander tires might not be available in 18" size. I scored a set of RAV XLE 17" wheels and ran them on my old Limited, and now my new Adventure.
 

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For winter tires I’m running Yokohama Ice Guard in 225/65/17. I think they are great from my experience in our Canadian winters so far. I have run studded Nokians before but they are overkill especially for your needs. I would recommend dedicated winter tires as opposed to running all seasons / all terrains
 
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