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How does everyone find the hybrid handles in snow. Also do you put on snow tires for the winter? Here in western NC we do not get lots of prolonged snow, but do get 2 to 3 inches from time to time and the occasionally big one ( for that one I would use the FJ ). It seems that the smooth power of the hybrid would be much better than the up and down shifting of the regular gas models.
 

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2021 RAV4 XLE Premium Hybrid
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The hybrid comes standard with AWD. That is all you need for occasional snow. You will also have traction control, and stability control which also helps. You will also likely have M+S (mud and snow) tires (look for the stamp in the side walls), which should be fine for light snow. Don't need dedicated snow tires for the conditions you are most likely to encounter.
 

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2020 RAV4 hybrid XLE, Magnetic Grey metallic, cold weather package.
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I live in north NJ for the last 15 years
Lived in NY for 15 years.
On my 8th car total. Previous was Subaru Forester AWD. Now 2020 RAV4 XLE hybrid AWD.
Never used winter tires on any of my cars.
 

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The most secure vehicle that I've ever driven in the winter conditions in the upper Midwest was the Lexus GX that I traded in 2020, with its full time 4 wheel drive or other safety features.

Last winter was my first winter with the AWD RAV4 Hybrid, and, while it may not be quite as capable in winter conditions as the GX was, the RAV4 still did quite well. At this point in my life, I have no need to drive in deep snow, but the RAV4 did very well in several inches of snow and on slick pavement. It seemed to react well to the conditions, and I never experienced any scary times where I was worried about getting stuck or sliding off the road.

I haven't felt the need for winter tires. I've just used the same Michelin all-season tires that came on the car from the factory.
 

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On the Subaru or ski forums I visit, a thread like this invariably devolves into all-out war about the need for snow tires. They WILL give you better traction and stopping power, that‘s well established. But I’d agree the OP doesn’t need them for the situations they encounter.

Also, I’ve lived in New Hampshire for 20 years, often chasing storms to get fresh powder in ski country, and I’ve never had snow tires on the Subarus I mostly drive. No accidents. It helps a lot to know how to drive in snow. When I move to a bigger place with more storage, I’ll reconsider winter tires.
 

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We have a RV Hybrid LE "on order". Supposedly being built on Nov 2nd in Georgetown, Kentucky..
Living here in Vermont, up by the Canadian border, and skiing a lot; we need real snow tires. We will be ordering 4 Blizzak DM-V2 snow tires in OEM size, once we are sure car is ready for pickup.
Think about it, you go off the road into the ditch, just once, with $500 damage deductible, and you have paid for a set of snow tires. I pass 4x4s all the time off the road, driving up to Jay Peak and with 4 snows, on my Tribeca, no worries.
Last few years all our cars have been Subarus; Foresters and Tribecas, and all have Blizzaks in the winter. A great tire.
 

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I had those Blizzaks (DM-V2) on a CRV and it was unstoppable. As I get older don't always have to out no matter what so now I just make sure that one of our cars has dedicated snows. It's a PITA doing the changeovers. These new 3 peak tires may be the answer for those that get occasional big storms and have to be out.

I love when folks say I know how to drive in the snow been doing that for decades and never needed snow tires. All true just like you could run the 100 yard dash in high heels if you had to.
 

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Have you ever had snows? I would think in NH you are missing out but up to you of course. There's the other side too, snow tires are terrible in the wet which no one talks about but IMO that's easier to manage than snow.
Yeah, man. In my post you’re referencing I said I’d consider them with more storage space. I have zero argument about the usefulness of snows, I was just acknowledging the inevitability of someone from the snow tire brigade posting on these threads.

On a sidenote, yeah, a driver that knows snow driving and one that doesn’t are light years apart in the risk category. That’s a fact.
 

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For 15 years, I had a 2nd home that was out in the country and about 150 miles from the home that I had in town. Regardless of the weather, I went out to the country home every weekend. Every winter, there were at least a few times when I had to make that trip during a heavy snow or ice storm.

When driving in such a storm, I reduced my speed to a level that felt appropriate for the conditions. While I was driving at a reduced speed in the right lane, one vehicle after another sped past me in the left lane. I was always amazed, however, how much traffic slowed down after we passed that first car in the ditch (and it was amazing how often that first venicle in the ditch was an all-wheel drive or a 4 wheel drive vehicle, and, usually, it was a BMW, Audi, or similar vehicle with a ski rack on top).

My point is that, while I don't question for a moment that snow tires can be useful and enhance safety, driving in a manner that is appropriate for the conditions is the most important "safety feature" available.
 

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Spent 60 years in a hilly city that averages 14 feet of snowfall each winter. The only advantage of AWD or 4WD vehicles driven in winter is ascending a snow covered slippery hill. They give a false sense of security to those unfamiliar with winter driving and this is evident when traveling on the highway during the first few snowfalls, the majority of vehicles you see out in the ditch are 4wd and awd. While all season tires are OK their rubber compound hardens significantly at lower temperatures and negatively affects their ice and snow performance. Snow tires are recommended when average temperature falls below 5 C. Have winter driven many 4wd and awd vehicles over the years and the top all around winter performer for me was an 09 Subaru Forester equipped with Dunlop Graspics. Only drove our rav4 one winter but it is very close to the Subaru for winter performance.
 

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Not to beat this to death, but I believe (35 years in Vermont winters) that snow tires help while descending and cornering too.
My Blizzak DM-V2s provide better controlled braking, especially when it is icy under the snow. The rubber compound on these Blizzaks really grips on ice, so I have never bothered with studded tires.
My Subaru Tribeca is a heavy car, so descending any icy, steep hill can get "interesting" but the lighter Foresters we had braked even better with the DMvs.

Incidentally, Winter tires (with the mountain logo, not M&S ) are required in the Province of Quebec, Dec 1st to March 15th. Fines range from $200 to $300 for non compliance..
 

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I have snow tires with steelies from my previous ride that just so happens to be the same size as my Rav.
You guys use your factory rims or steelies? Because they sure are heavier
 

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I have snow tires with steelies from my previous ride that just so happens to be the same size as my Rav.
You guys use your factory rims or steelies? Because they sure are heavier
I use the OEM alloy wheels. By the time you buy aftermarket steel rims, then 4 Tire Pressure Sensors for the wheels, it is almost cheaper just to switch the Winter tires and Summer tires back and forth on the OEM rims. Keep using the TPS sensors in the OEM wheels.
 

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Fair enough, i kind of want to install my winters on my oem rims but have steelies. But they are so heavy and ugly, lol
Then again least i would not damage the factory rims. (never know in winter)
Out here we do not get tire sensors because of climates.
 

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I have snow tires mounted of aftermarket rims. No TPS on our XLE, but on our other vehicle, i just ignore the little yellow light. Rims are six years old and paid for themselves in winter three.
 

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Here in Vermont, we have annual , mandatory vehicle inspections. Beside checking suspension, steering for too much play, and checking OBD 2 for emission compliance, you have to have all warning lights extinguished. TPS amber light on, your car doesn't pass inspection.
So if you keep your winter tires off your car, until it passes inspection, you can get by running without TPS sensors in the winter.
 
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