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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. Just joined because I am looking for some advice on some good tires for winter driving.

I had previously a 2004 AWD Rav4 for 5 years that I absolutely LOVED. It was great in the snow and never had a problem or was never "scared" to drive it in winter conditions. I live in Rochester, NY and drive 28 miles to work. I kept Goodyear Wranglers on them I believe.

Last year unfortunately one snowy morning a kid hit black ice just as we were passing each other and he came into my lane and took me out and totaled my car on me. :( Since I loved my Rav so much I bought another. 2013 and I am having issues in snow with it. It seems nothing like my old one and I am sliding all over the place so in doing some research I am seeing lots of people saying the stock DUNLOP GRANDTREK ST30 are horrible in snow so I am gonna try getting a set of something better hopefully this will resolve the issue. There is still some life on them so it's not a matter of them being bald or anything like that in fact I just had an inspection and they passed fine.

What does everyone recommend? The store I called told me Goodyear Viva 3 are a good option but the tread looks similar to the Dunlaps and I don't want to spend the money if I am gonna end up with the same result.. I would prefer to go the Allseason's route to not have to switch every spring/Fall but I may go the winter tire option if I have to. I'd buy the same tires I had on my other RAV but they were more like truck tires and the 2013 is not like the 2004 was. My 2013 is more crossover/"wagony" compared to my 2004 was more like a little truck.

Thanks for any input. If this doesn't help I will have to trade in the vehicle because I feel THAT unsafe.


Linda
 

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I really like Blizzaks. I have a north facing driveway about 300 feet long and maybe 50 to 60 feet up, with two bends. Until recently, my main car was a 2wd Saturn, and the Blizzaks made the difference between getting up to the house or parking at the bottom. Sometimes, the snow would partially melt and then freeze hard, making it even worse. But with a careful technique, I could usually win. Many times, I could not make it to the top and had to (carefully!) back down and try again.

When I got my 2015 RAV4, I bought Blizzak DM-V2 tires with 16" wheels for my winter driving. With the AWD systems and the tires' grip, I can go up and down the snow and ice with confidence. I have gone partially down the steepest part, stopped, put it reverse, and went back up. I have tested the downhill braking. I have gone up partially, stopped, and then gave it a good kick to see if it slipped. I have gone up very slowly, just daring the snow/ice to slip. I have done every test that would have failed with my 2wd Saturn, even with Blizzaks, and the RAV4 passed every one.

So far this winter, I have not had to scrape the snow from my driveway. The RAV4 and Blizzaks just go right over the snow and ice. I like that. When we get another three or four foot snow drift, of course I will have to clear it. But it is nice to ignore a few inches of snow.
 

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I too got 215/70R16 BLIZZAK DM-V2 winter tires when stock was 18" on our Limited.

Not going to risk my accident free record / insurance premiums by not going with winter tires. I think Nokian Hakkapellas are the best but Costco doesn't carry that and I much prefer Costco's tire warranty.

Michelin's are good too but for SUV's, at least in Canada, they're still XI2's and not XI3's.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks all. In doing some calling around I am having the Blizzak ws80 installed today at 2:30. I am praying this makes a difference. I can't understand why such a difference in the 2 models. (2004 compared to 2013) I just had a remote start installed too in November so I don't want to trade it in. I'll let ya know how it goes.
 

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Regarding the X-Ice i3 Michelins, they do have them in Canada. I'm running them on my Prius Plug-in right now. However, they don't have the RAV4 XLE's 225/65R17 size.

However if you're downsizing from the 18" Limited, they do have the 225/60R17 which is a close fit.

Going from the Limited's 18" 235/55R18 all-seasons to 225/60R17 winters is considered acceptable since the size difference is mild at 1.x%.

Going from the XLE's 17" 225/65R17 all-seasons to 225/60R17 winters is not considered acceptable though since the size difference is more, at 3.x%.

Because the specs of the Limited are indeed different from the XLE I suspect the 225/60R17 is fine for the Limited but it'd be nice to just have the 225/65R17 available since then the wheels would just be interchangeable with any current model RAV4 in case you wanted to sell them later to a RAV4 owner.
 

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meow70, I have a '13 XLE and i also live in upstate NY and just got rid of my Dunlop Grandtrek tires with some tread left on them. They were decent the first winter but last winter they were horrible in the snow. I do not run snow tires on my cars so i look for all seasons with highly rated snow and ice traction. Tirerack is a great resource for tire research. After researching Tirerack and some other sites i decided on the General Altimax RT43 all seasons. They are very highly rated in Tirerack testing and by consumers and they are relatively cheap compared to most of the tires. I have only had them a week but they are WAY quieter than the Dunlops and my RAV drives like a new car. Drove through some light snow on them and they were like glue. Granted they are brand new. It even takes bumps with far less crashing now. Only other tire i did consider was the Bridgestone Dueler h/l 422 but they were $20 more per tire and were not rated any better than the General. Anyway just my .02
 

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Meow70, the OEM tires these days are configured almost exclusively for fuel economy. Our original Toyos had such poor grip that I would get lockup even on a wet road under moderate braking, and the traction control would kick in while taking off on a wet road (NO, I do not flog it!).

I've switched our tires to Michelin Defenders for all four seasons (yes, i've heard the winter tire argument) and have not looked back. Those toyos were borderline dangerous, due to being so poorly suited to inclement weather (I'm not even going to mention their snow performance!) But now at least I'm confident every time my wife drives anywhere that she has good tires. let's face it, anything other than race slicks would have been better than those toyos. i'm sure the tires on the new RAVs are no different.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks everyone for your input. I got the Blizzaks put on today and immediately went to a snow cover parking lot and tried them out and BOY WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! Just like driving my old Rav4. Now I can't wait for another storm! Hahah not really lol :)
 

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Blizzaks are a good choice. I put the Blizzak DM-V1s on my 2014 LTD, but stayed with 18". I'm real happy with their gripping performance. They got tested almost immediately traveling on I80 over the Sierras (Donner Pass) from CA to NV during a period when either chains or AWD with snow tires was mandated. I felt very secure and my trip was uneventful.
What's really crazy is that the Blizzaks are quieter on dry pavement than the OEM Bridgestone Duelers. The only marginally downside is that on dry pavement the handling is a tad squirmy with steering response somewhat sluggish.
 

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Meow70, the OEM tires these days are configured almost exclusively for fuel economy. Our original Toyos had such poor grip that I would get lockup even on a wet road under moderate braking, and the traction control would kick in while taking off on a wet road (NO, I do not flog it!).

I've switched our tires to Michelin Defenders for all four seasons (yes, i've heard the winter tire argument) and have not looked back. Those toyos were borderline dangerous, due to being so poorly suited to inclement weather (I'm not even going to mention their snow performance!) But now at least I'm confident every time my wife drives anywhere that she has good tires. let's face it, anything other than race slicks would have been better than those toyos. i'm sure the tires on the new RAVs are no different.
I was getting worried that ours came fitted with the same Toyo tires but when I was going through the various booklets and pamphlets that came with the car, it appears ours came with Bridgestone's. Not sure if they're any better since you mention they are OEM for one reason -- to boost MPG ratings.

I'd have to back up our other car so I can pick one from the stack to see what exactly the tire model was. :)
 

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I just read another post about someone getting rid of their Rav due to the ride quality. I realize this is one of the biggest issues with the 4.4 but has anyone tried new tires before getting rid of their Rav. Since i got new tires installed about 1,000 miles ago the Rav rides like a new car. I realize they are still new tires but they definitely made a world of difference. It does not crash over bumps anymore and it is much quieter. I run the same tire pressure as the old tires and drive over the same roads. No crashing over bumps anymore that it used to pound over. i realize there is alot more to the ride besides the tires but it is a difference maker. Time will tell how long this nice ride lasts as the tires wear but i am enjoying it right now.
 

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I put 215/70R16 BLIZZAK DM-V2 on my wife's 2016 Hybrid for the winter and over slight depressions (manhole / sewerage covers) of perhaps 2-4 cm deep, I can really feel the thud when I'm seated at the back. It's not too nerve-wracking an experience since I've learned to expect it. The tires are just between 32-34 PSI.

I think with non-luxury CUV's, the suspension especially in the rear is going to be stiffer perhaps because of the expected loading capacities. I don't mind it being a little harsh as long as it is more durable than sedans and coupes with lower clearances.
 

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Nokian Hakkapaliitta SUV 8 studded..awesome !!
 

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Nokian Hakkapaliitta SUV 8 studded..awesome !!
Do they allow studded tires in Calgary and Edmonton?

In Toronto (or almost anywhere else in Ontario with a signifiant population) they don't, but you can use them in Northern Ontario.

I'd consider the Hakka 8 SUV non-studded next time around, but they're expensive. The Michelin X-Ice series are also well-rated and generally cheaper and more available around here.

I put 215/70R16 BLIZZAK DM-V2 on my wife's 2016 Hybrid for the winter and over slight depressions (manhole / sewerage covers) of perhaps 2-4 cm deep, I can really feel the thud when I'm seated at the back. It's not too nerve-wracking an experience since I've learned to expect it. The tires are just between 32-34 PSI.

I think with non-luxury CUV's, the suspension especially in the rear is going to be stiffer perhaps because of the expected loading capacities. I don't mind it being a little harsh as long as it is more durable than sedans and coupes with lower clearances.
I wonder if going 32 PSI all around would help, instead of having it up to 34 PSI. I like 34 PSI though.

BTW, 215/70R16 is an OEM size for the previous generation RAV4. I'm running the non-standard 215/65R17 size, which is actually a passenger car size, meaning it's hard to find 100 load index rated tires. 99 are common though, and 99 is an OEM rating for the 2013 RAV4 (current generation).
 

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Yes studs legal in Alberta..
 

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I really like Blizzaks. I have a north facing driveway about 300 feet long and maybe 50 to 60 feet up, with two bends. Until recently, my main car was a 2wd Saturn, and the Blizzaks made the difference between getting up to the house or parking at the bottom. Sometimes, the snow would partially melt and then freeze hard, making it even worse. But with a careful technique, I could usually win. Many times, I could not make it to the top and had to (carefully!) back down and try again.

When I got my 2015 RAV4, I bought Blizzak DM-V2 tires with 16" wheels for my winter driving. With the AWD systems and the tires' grip, I can go up and down the snow and ice with confidence. I have gone partially down the steepest part, stopped, put it reverse, and went back up. I have tested the downhill braking. I have gone up partially, stopped, and then gave it a good kick to see if it slipped. I have gone up very slowly, just daring the snow/ice to slip. I have done every test that would have failed with my 2wd Saturn, even with Blizzaks, and the RAV4 passed every one.

So far this winter, I have not had to scrape the snow from my driveway. The RAV4 and Blizzaks just go right over the snow and ice. I like that. When we get another three or four foot snow drift, of course I will have to clear it. But it is nice to ignore a few inches of snow.
Hrm, that's good to hear as I'm thinking about getting some Blizzaks. It sounds like the OEM Geolanders are horrid in the snow.

You minus sized eh?

Cheers!

Six
 

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I just read another post about someone getting rid of their Rav due to the ride quality. I realize this is one of the biggest issues with the 4.4 but has anyone tried new tires before getting rid of their Rav. Since i got new tires installed about 1,000 miles ago the Rav rides like a new car. I realize they are still new tires but they definitely made a world of difference. It does not crash over bumps anymore and it is much quieter. I run the same tire pressure as the old tires and drive over the same roads. No crashing over bumps anymore that it used to pound over. i realize there is alot more to the ride besides the tires but it is a difference maker. Time will tell how long this nice ride lasts as the tires wear but i am enjoying it right now.
what tires did you get? I'm not at all happy with the Geolanders. At...all....
 
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