I purchased a used Toyota Rav4 at the end of December to use as a second utility vehicle. It is perfect for my needs and I liked it a lot with one exception. The day after I bought it I drove it to the park to test out the four-wheel drive system in winter conditions. The park roads were still icy and snow-covered, so it was a perfect time to give it a go. Well I was able to drive around the parks hills but only with considerable spinning and effort. At one point while I was sitting there spinning, a family in a mini-van cruised right past me and up a hill. It was a little annoying and I knew that the Rav was more capable than that.
So I did a little research and I found out the Michelin tires that were on the vehicle got pretty low scores for winter traction. Ah-ha! That was the culprit! With a little more research I proceeded to find a good all-season tire (Firestone Destination LE2) that got high marks for snow and ice traction (and everything else to boot) and decided that it was worth the purchase for peace of mind when driving around this winter. I didn’t want to spring for all out snow tires because this is a part-time vehicle and I didn’t want the hassle of changing them around every season. Besides, it doesn’t snow that much around here.
Well I had the tires mounted last night and, with perfect timing, we got a few inches of snow today. A good day to re-test the Rav4 in similar conditions and I am happy to say that it breezed through the park with ease. And through the slushy city streets also. Uphill, downhill, steering, and braking manuevers were all perfectly executed. I’m good.
Oh, since this is a photography and not a car facts blog ;-), I did take a few photos in the park while I was there.
Please click on pic for best view