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How does Tesla compare with an AWD car in snow

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Jeffruby, Apr 19, 2014.

  1. Jeffruby

    Jeffruby Member

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    Hey guys,


    So I went from a 4wd truck to a model s. And live it. Live in NY in burbs, and have a job where I do need to leave the house to drive even if bad snow storm.

    Winter should be done , but when I got the model s I initially planned on getting a used clunker truck or awd car for snow.

    Any of you Tesla guys who endured this winter in snow able to comment on how it is in the snow compared to an awd car? I notice it has great traction control and some videos suggest it's great in the snow.
     
  2. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    There are a lot of people here with actual winter driving experience in the Model S but from what I've read the Model S does very well as long as you have real winter tires (much like any car I guess) but maybe not as well as an AWD car with winter tires in deep snow.
    The Nokian R2s get a lot of positive reviews for true winter tires.
     
  3. MacLeodMX

    MacLeodMX Member

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    With the Michelin Xice3 winter tires - and in an area with a much harsher winter than yours - my car performed better than my Hummer H3T 4 wheel drive (with all season radials). Really impressed me. And the electric traction control is beyond amazing! If you like doing donuts in parking lots, sorry but you just cannot have any fun in snow with the Tesla unless you turn the traction control off.
     
  4. Denarius

    Denarius Active Member

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    Model S performs excellent, except in scenarios where heavy snow is deeper than the clearance under the car. In lighter snow this isn't an issue. With heavy snow I couldn't plow through like I typically could in my AWD vehicles. In uphill scenarios my Model S would "ramp" up the snow until the rear wheels lost contact with the ground then I'd slide back down. I never got stuck though. Beyond that even in the worst conditions I had no issues (with Michelin XICE xi3 tires).
     
  5. Odenator

    Odenator P2607

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    And the regenerative braking provided me surprisingly smooth and controlled braking on ice and snow, better than using the regular brakes.
     
  6. Alysashley79

    Alysashley79 Member

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    If you outfit the car with proper winter tires it does fantastic. I went from a 4x4 to model s and it did better and I drove it through 2 feet of fresh pow!
    I used nokian haakas R7 studded tyres. They were fantastic! Loud loud loud! But best tyres I've ever used in the snow.
     
  7. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    The Pirelli tires that Tesla provides are barely adequate for "real" winter conditions. With those tires, in extremely slippery conditions the TC will bite so hard that the wheels won't turn, and you have to turn it off.

    Nokian R2 or Michelin XIce3 tires are definitely recommended.
     
  8. AlMc

    AlMc 'Senior Moments' member

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    The only 21" snows available last winter were the Pirelli, Sotos....I came from a Range Rover Sport. The car handled well in all situations except when it started to 'plow'. That was only one occasion... and to be expected. I had no issues with control loss...great traction control. As others have posted...having snow tires is the key.
     
  9. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Performs great in the snow as long as you have good tires (don't go with 21s either). One big advantage is the 50/50 weight distribution. Another is that you have raise the suspension to very high. You have to realize tesla designed this car to handle great in the snow because they knew one of their biggest markets was Norway.
     
  10. MassX1317

    MassX1317 Addicted to TMC

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    I live in Massachusetts and have an F150. I put it in 4wd for winter driving maybe 5-10 times a year. Sometimes I forget to switch it, other times I only use the 4wd on non-highway roads. I haven't gotten to drive the S in the snow yet (my wife drove in a coating of snow a couple days ago with no issue), but I figured for 5-10 times a year of needing 4wd it wasn't a huge deal. If it snows more than a couple inches we have the truck, or we stay home. We will be getting winter tires in any case, it's a minor cost in the grand scheme of things.
     
  11. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I'll echo the others here. It does decent as long as you get snow tires. It caught me off guard because none of our other (AWD) cars needed snow tires, but once you get them on the S, things are far better.
     
  12. andydoty

    andydoty Member

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    I have yet to go through the winter with the Tesla. My issue isn't necessarily how well the car does in the snow or my ability to drive in the snow. It's all the other wingnuts out there who don't know how to drive in the snow. We'll have to see....
     
  13. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    MS was my daily driver in CT this year and snow never kept me home (have snow tires). Clearance is the only issue. If you're on a route where the streets stay plowed then you shouldn't have any problems.
     
  14. kota23

    kota23 Member

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    Went through a rough Chicago winter and drove everyday. Never had an issue and did not put on snow tires, kept the 19" Primacy's.
     
  15. Ville70S

    Ville70S Member

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    We live in a house with a very steep driveway (about a 10% grade). Have ordered a Model S 70D. Am wondering how the users anticipate it will perform in winter heading up this kind of driveway and out into snow packed roads. Winter here in Kentucky isn't so bad, but we get 8-10 snowfalls each year with accumulation of 2-14 inches. Bottom line: what's the consensus on the need for winter/snow tires?
     
  16. MileHighMotoring

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    My 85D arrived just as a nasty snowstorm struck Colorado. The car did fantastically. There was snowpack on the roads for a week and it never faltered. This includes raked driveways, curbs, etc. All with the stock A/S tires.
     
  17. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forums.

    There are lots of threads on snow tires. You happened to pick an old one that was pretty much dead. I'd suggest checking some of the other threads.

    Personally, with that steep a driveway and those kind of snow falls, I'd say go ahead and get some snow tires. The tire of choice here seems to be the Hakka R2s.
     
  18. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    #18 Cottonwood, Sep 4, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    I like the Nokian Hakka R2's

    Here is a video of me going up my driveway with worst case grades of 16% last winter in my P85D with Hakka R2's:

     
  19. Kandiru

    Kandiru Member

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    Awesome place to live on, do you ever get avalanches?
     
  20. lucy

    lucy bluehair

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    Drove my MS 90D with all weather tires on snow for the first time today. The last time it snowed, the snow on the roads had melted by the time I was out and about.

    WOO! :biggrin:

    I was beaming by the time I got to work, wanted to keep going... Elwood drove just like buttah!
    I thought my Audi Quadros had been good in the snow, but this is another level of traction.
    The regen was not a problem at all.
    I didn't think I could love my Elwood more, but now I do.
    If not for the reduced range, this would be the perfect winter trip car.
     

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