cduluk

Rx400h In Snow- Beware!

Recommended Posts

I was considering an AWD 400h as well as an AWD350; but this topic has changed my mind about AWD hybrids. I had an 01LC that I traded in on an 04 Sienna AWD for better mileage on our many family travels at the time. The Sienna was capable in the snow, but the TRAC/VSC was quite noisy, kicking in frequently. It also engaged anoyingly at low speeds prevently steering as desired. The Sienna, Highlander, and RX have the same AWD base; operating as 2wd and auto engaging to AWD when slippage is detected. I quickly started looking for an LC/LX and found an 01LX. The extra cost in gas was well worth the smooth reliability of an excellent AWD system in the LX. I also owned a mid-engine 95 Previa Alltrac that was excellent in snow and ice - pre-VSC/TRAC. It was good in light snow but did not have the clearance to handle heavier snow (>6") well.

Tires do not fix inherent vehicle capabilities, but they do improve the capability of a particular vehicle. I found all season tires lost significant traction below half tread; whether 2wd or 4wd, I would replace tires before winter if they were getting close to half tread; especially when we had regular trips on I-70 between KC and Denver. Winter tires have improved, so I may consider a set in the future, especially for my FWD RX300.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What do tires have anything to do with this topic?

Lots! Consumer Reports has stated, many times that there is often no comparison between all-season and dedicated Winter tires when it comes to snow traction. The following tires have EXCELLENT traction capabilities and are rated much better than average in that regard:

Starting with the best:

Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Michelin X-Ice Xi2

Uniroyal Tiger Paw Ice & Snow II

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

Nokian Hakkapeliitta R

Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT

BFGoodrich Winter Slalom KSI

Continental Extreme Winter Contact

General Altimax Artic

Hankook Winter I*Pike

Falken Espia EPZ

The best all-season tires are slightly better than average when it comes to snow traction. None perform as well as ANY of the above tires on snow-covered roads.

Not all of these tires are available in our tire sizes, so check www.tirerack.com for those that are available.

And before anyone asks, "How would a guy in San Diego know about winter driving?", I will reveal that I drove in heavy snow in CT for over 10 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate tires, I really do. But the RX400H doesn't compare to the RX300 (I owned 2) in the snow. With bald tires on compact snow/ice driving on Hwy 2 Stevens Pass during a snowstorm, I had NO problems. Was like a tank. I'm trading- in my RX400H in today on a new RAV-4. They have a button to disable the computer. Yeah!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...quite the downgrade:

0-60 MPG: RAV4: 8.2 sec RX400h: 6.6 sec

Average MPG: RAV4: 19 RX400h: 25

Of course, if you want the best low-end all wheel drive vehicle, you might want to read this comparison test:

http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/2013-toyota-rav4-xle-awd-vs-2014-subaru-forester-25i-touring-2014-mazda-cx-5-grand-touring-awd-final-scoring-performance-data-and-complete-specs-page-5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...