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Driving around in Southern Ontario this morning and the weather is brutal. I tried to make the RAV4 spin out around a right-hand turn and couldn't. Man this car is great in bad weather!
 

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I didn't find the weather that bad today, at least in Toronto. Maybe we're close enough to the lake that we didn't get as much ice, because of slightly higher temperatures. (I live near the lake, and I work in mid-town Toronto, all south of the 401.)

It was much worse a couple of weeks ago when we got that several inch snowfall. Our local street is on a steep hill, and some guy in a I believe RWD pickup truck was fishtailing all the way up, only very, very slowly inching up the hill. Since there was nobody behind me, I decided to experiment and just came to a dead stop on the hill. No problem at all when I moved forward again. It was if the RAV4 Hybrid didn't even notice I was on a hill or that it was covered in slush. No tire slippage at all. BTW, in front of me was a Highlander AWD (non-Hybrid), and it was fine too.

Sure, this type of AWD may not be useful for hardcore off-roading, but it's exactly what we urbanites need for our winter driving, and it works quite well in this context.

P.S. Tires are X-Ice Xi3 215/65R17. (Technically I should be using Xi2 instead though, since the load index of these Xi3 tires is 99. Toyota recommends 100 for the 2016 Hybrid Limited, even though the 2013 RAV4 specs 99, and so does the current much heavier Sienna.)

What tires are you using? That pickup truck might have been using all-seasons. Not sure.
 
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I got the Xi2's on 17" in the same size that the base models come with. I bought just black rims but a nice set of Toyota covers.

P.S. Tires are X-Ice Xi3 215/65R17. (Technically I should be using Xi2 instead though, since the load index of these Xi3 tires is 99. Toyota recommends 100 for the 2016 Hybrid Limited, even though the 2013 RAV4 specs 99, and so does the current much heavier Sienna.)

What tires are you using? That pickup truck might have been using all-seasons. Not sure.
 

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^ So there wasn't a lot of snowfall yesterday but this morning at around eight, our street had yet to be plowed. There were a three to four tire tracks made by neighbors' vehicles on the opposite side of the street and it looked as if the 4-6 inches of snow on the street did not hinder my wife from backing up her vehicle and taking off. I'm sure the main roads would have been already plowed.

She had to drop off our little one at the daycare before heading to work (my Civic which lacks ABS and traction control will have likely been stuck on our street had I attempted) and when I called her 20-30 minutes later, she said the RAV4 Hybrid seemed sure-footed and confident on the snowy roads.
 

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We pushed our neighbour out of her side street today. However, I'm pretty sure she didn't need to be pushed out. The problem was there was a moderate pile of snow at the intersection, and she was getting bound up in that, but because of her own actions.

It's a set of quiet streets and there were a couple of us out there that could direct her, so I said to her to back up and then continue on through the intersection. She could have easily made it I think just through momentum. However, I don't think she understood. She backed up as directed, and then slowed down to the intersection, and stopped... right in the biggest snow drift... on purpose. In a way she did the right thing since she stopped at an intersection, but we were trying to get her to just drive on through, since we could see there was no oncoming traffic and were directing her.

So, we had her back up again, and this time we pushed her. We pushed her through the main part of the snowdrift, but then she stopped to thank us... while still in the tail end of the snowdrift. Arrgghh! We had to push her again.

In my Prius all I do is back up 10 feet and then drive right on through a drift like that with nobody pushing. Usually worked fine.

RAV4 was fine but my house was past that intersection on a plowed road. However, we're also on a hill so that's why i took out the RAV4 today. RAV4 was perfect going up that hill. The Prius would have struggled on the steeper parts of the hill.

This is in Toronto. Our area got around 6 inches of snow, but the snow plows had come around so there were snowbanks at the intersections. But it was soft snow still, and only about 1 foot high and not so wide, which is why I said that should not have been a big problem even for FWD cars if you used a little momentum.
 
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Michelin X-Ice 2's on a 15 RAV LE AWD upgrade px. Here in the snowbelt we must have gotten nearly 30cm in last night's storm, where we live anyway. Drove in the morning on partially plowed roads and had a good experience overall. Today' storm was the worst of the season and probably the last one of any significance. The only area that I feel I have to be very cautious in this car/with the Michelins is going around corners in crappy conditions. In snow or slush the car will have a tendency to slide laterally quite easily so you really have to slow down. Not sure if the Xices are lacking particularly in this area (the rest of their performance in winter conditions seems pretty good). So, going around corners in snow you have to really watch it. It's probably also that this is my first SUV and the sheer weight of the RAV with its higher center of gravity require more restraint when cornering on crappy roads. The Michelins I would say give me pretty good confidence generally on winter roads of varying conditions (and the AWD really saves the day irrespective of the tires) but that lateral grip on snow/slush is not the best.
 

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What car was she driving and did she have all season tires on? :)
Honda Fit. Yeah, light car, but still, you don't stop in the middle of snow drift on purpose if you don't want to get stuck.

Probably snow tires but I'm not sure. She had steel wheels, but I don't know if that car has normally has steel wheels. Still, I used to drive a Ford Escort many moons ago, and could get through those drifts in that thing using momentum even with crappy tires.

Michelin X-Ice 2's on a 15 RAV LE AWD upgrade px. Here in the snowbelt we must have gotten nearly 30cm in last night's storm, where we live anyway. Drove in the morning on partially plowed roads and had a good experience overall. Today' storm was the worst of the season and probably the last one of any significance. The only area that I feel I have to be very cautious in this car/with the Michelins is going around corners in crappy conditions. In snow or slush the car will have a tendency to slide laterally quite easily so you really have to slow down. Not sure if the Xices are lacking particularly in this area (the rest of their performance in winter conditions seems pretty good). So, going around corners in snow you have to really watch it. It's probably also that this is my first SUV and the sheer weight of the RAV with its higher center of gravity require more restraint when cornering on crappy roads. The Michelins I would say give me pretty good confidence generally on winter roads of varying conditions (and the AWD really saves the day irrespective of the tires) but that lateral grip on snow/slush is not the best.
How wide are your X-Ice 2 tires? My stock tires are 235 but I went with 215 with the X-Ice 3 tires and they seem to do well even on the soft snow. Wider tires will tend to float on snow a bit more than narrower ones.

However, I think it's not just the narrowness, but also the fact we get a lot less snow by the lake than people do further north. As mentioned, we only got about 6 inches in our area. We are just a few hundred feet from Lake Ontario. Even just in Richmond Hill they often get several more inches than we do, and the amount of snow Barrie gets would be snowpocalypse compared to what we get.
 
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Honda Fit. Yeah, light car, but still, you don't stop in the middle of snow drift on purpose if you don't want to get stuck.

Probably snow tires but I'm not sure. She had steel wheels, but I don't know if that car has normally has steel wheels. Still, I used to drive a Ford Escort many moons ago, and could get through those drifts in that thing using momentum even with crappy tires.

How wide are your X-Ice 2 tires? My stock tires are 235 but I went with 215 with the X-Ice 3 tires and they seem to do well even on the soft snow. Wider tires will tend to float on snow a bit more than narrower ones.


However, I think it's not just the narrowness, but also the fact we get a lot less snow by the lake than people do further north. As mentioned, we only got about 6 inches in our area. We are just a few hundred feet from Lake Ontario. Even just in Richmond Hill they often get several more inches than we do, and the amount of snow Barrie gets would be snowpocalypse compared to what we get.
They're just the stock 225/65R17. I'm north of Barrie. We got about 10 inches.
 
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