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How is Model 3 RWD in the snow?

docboy

Member
May 28, 2020
41
7
Washington
I completely understand not wanting a second set of wheels/tires, so as recommended above, I went with the CrossClimate+. Almost all the benefits of summer tires, but also keep their traction in the cold, and are snow rated for occasional snowfalls. They really are the perfect tire for the West (Wet) Coast.

How was the CrossClimate+ in the snow for you? Does Burnaby have hilly terrain?
 

EmOne

Member
Mar 28, 2020
214
157
Chicago
I completely understand not wanting a second set of wheels/tires, so as recommended above, I went with the CrossClimate+. Almost all the benefits of summer tires, but also keep their traction in the cold, and are snow rated for occasional snowfalls. They really are the perfect tire for the West (Wet) Coast.
These seem to be really good tires, highest ever rating by CR for one source; only problem for many, largest diameter on offer is 18.
 

bbell

Member
Sep 14, 2018
123
209
Niagara
My first car many many years ago was an RWD with all season tires, and as a teenager winter tires were the last thing on my mind (and really weren't advertised as being important), and I had very few issues with it back then. I did have to be careful with acceleration to avoid fishtailing, but it was quite natural to adjust to the change of season.

After that car all my other cars were FWD.

But now the Tesla is RWD, and even with all season tires it is quite sure footed, and it will not let you fishtail. I purposely took it into an empty parking lot covered in snow and tried to torture it, and could not get it to let go.

With winter tires I am sure it will do even better stopping distance and general grip.
 

camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,098
Vernon, BC, Canada
I don't think others mentioned it, but winters are good anyways even without snow. Below 45F, they're recommended for grip on even dry surfaces over all seasons since the compound is much softer at those temperatures. Something to be more concerned about is because the Model 3 is so low, if side streets get snow plowed into them so that there's a snow ledge, you're likely pushing snow with your bumper. I've pushed fresh light snow for something like 40km before in our AWD, but heavy plowed berms of snow would be a different story.

There's a misconception that the mostly even weight distribution of the Model 3 makes it behave much better. In truth, the weight distribution of most modern vehicles is actually pretty even already (if it does matter that much). My Honda Crosstour 4WD was 56/44. An Escalade is 52/48. Model 3 is 48/52. Something like a Honda Accord might be worse at 62/38, but it's also FWD. And if you think about it, there's plenty of rear-engined RWD sporty cars that would bias the weight on the rear, yet almost no one would claim that makes them good winter vehicles.

The Model 3 AWD versions barely use the front motor at all, so honestly you're not missing much. The rare front motor engagement in slippery situations is delayed and weak, barely helping at all. In truly bad conditions, the Model 3 AWD behaves badly, and like any other RWD car IMO. In better "grippy snow" situations with the correct tires, it's one of the best cars I've driven.

All that said, in something like Seattle for slow moving on uphills and tight streets, the AWD might offer some help on a particularly nasty day since that's just about the only situation where the front motor will engage in Winter.

Model 3, AWD or RWD, is a primarily RWD vehicle. I'd say you need to be comfortable driving a RWD vehicle in the snow to best handle the Model 3. That said, my wife who does not enjoy snow driving at all (and has no experience with RWD) was happy with the Model 3 AWD's behaviour this last Winter when she was driving.
 

skygraff

Member
May 15, 2018
195
171
Chicago
From Chicago as well an our last two winter were very light and not even normal

True but there were still enough snow events to judge. Alleys don’t get plowed so accumulation and rutting happened both years.

Lot of talk about the Model 3 being low but my last was an Acura Integra so I’ve gained clearance with the Tesla but still had enough alley snow to lip a little. In fact, it was funny to look behind me and see such a smooth surface thanks to flat battery-belly compared to the little ruts my Acura’s underside would leave.
 

Beardley

Member
Sep 17, 2019
39
38
Upstate NY
I swapped to my snow tires before we saw any, so I've only experienced the RWD w/snows. Have to say it was as good as any other 2wd car I've driven in the snow. The only downfall is deep snow as its so low. I had a blast driving it though, the traction control is very responsive and you have to try and get it kick the rear out.

Although it was preface that you don't want a 2nd set of snows, the way I look at it is if you plan on owning the car 3 plus years, you're likely going to replace that first set of tires anyway. I just bite the bullet and get them up front, and then your summers last twice as long.
 

birdsquared

Fan-man (too old to be a fanboi)
May 15, 2020
69
76
Burnaby, BC
How was the CrossClimate+ in the snow for you? Does Burnaby have hilly terrain?

There are a number of hills in Burnaby, and the local ski hill is a drive up the mountain. I only drove up to the ski hill once before the mountain closed from the pandemic, but there were zero issues with starting or stopping (the road had been mostly cleared, so it was just the parking lot that had some snow/ice.

No snow in the city since I've had the tires, but I had Nokian all-weathers before on my Prius, so I am absolutely confident that the CrossClimate+ will be just as effective, and AWD with Acceleration Boost will be a definite improvement on the Prius when next winter rolls around.
 

Coxwain

Member
Aug 28, 2020
65
19
Etobicoke, ON, Canada
I live in Toronto and most of my driving will be 5-15km one way from my home inside the city on city streets. I find the roads get cleared up pretty quickly and if I can avoid the road for 6-12 hours then they are pretty clear.
And really, we get 1-4 heavy dumps a season. I just don't see the need for the winter tires.

Now keep in mind, we own a ford expedition which is rear-wheel unless you put into 4 wheels, and a Volvo AWD.
The ford has been worse in the winters but I think that is a function of poor tires. I just changed into a new set of all seasons and hope this winter will be better.
The Volvo had the factory all season and no real issue.

I am looking at a 2018 AWD or RWD and would prefer the RWD b/c of the range advantage.

I do have teenagers that will be driving and want them to be safe as well.

Anyone from Toronto or similar has any thoughts?
 

camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,098
Vernon, BC, Canada
I live in Toronto and most of my driving will be 5-15km one way from my home inside the city on city streets. I find the roads get cleared up pretty quickly and if I can avoid the road for 6-12 hours then they are pretty clear.
And really, we get 1-4 heavy dumps a season. I just don't see the need for the winter tires.

Now keep in mind, we own a ford expedition which is rear-wheel unless you put into 4 wheels, and a Volvo AWD.
The ford has been worse in the winters but I think that is a function of poor tires. I just changed into a new set of all seasons and hope this winter will be better.
The Volvo had the factory all season and no real issue.

I am looking at a 2018 AWD or RWD and would prefer the RWD b/c of the range advantage.

I do have teenagers that will be driving and want them to be safe as well.

Anyone from Toronto or similar has any thoughts?

Not from Toronto, but I can tell you any issues with traction would be much, much better solved with winter tires instead of those all seasons. AWD vs. RWD can be considered after that. I know you said you don't see the need, but it's the thing that makes the biggest difference. AWD just gives you 1-4 tires to break loose under acceleration instead of 1-2. Turning, braking, etc. are identical.

The Model 3 is basically a RWD car even in the AWD configuration. See my post above, #24: How is Model 3 RWD in the snow?

My context is the Okanagan valley. To describe, that's...
  • Wet & heavy snow, when it does snow.
  • Salted roads, light on the sanding (and if it gets too cold at night, as it often does, the salty water just freezes into an ice rink instead - amazing).
  • For primary commute purposes, there's usually 1-4 days out of the winter where you'd have a terrible time with all-season tires.
  • All highways around here technically require winter tires, even between towns. This is for very good reasons.
That sounds similar to what you described, but I hear Toronto gets way more snow (and is way colder) than here.

Keep in mind getting snow tires is mostly up-front costs. If you can afford them, you're also putting less wear on each tire you own because you're swapping them out twice/year. Kinda like having a closet full of clothes instead of only a few items - the few items would wear out much faster.
 
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apples23

Member
Dec 13, 2016
63
18
Toronto, Canada
I’m in Toronto and have owned a MS Rwd, and MS Awd, a Model 3 Rwd, and just bought the P3d and have driven all through winter.

Good snow tires are a game changer obviously. I ran my M3 Rwd with Nokian Hakkas. Overall the car did very well. It always felt very under control especially w the traction control

There was rarely a time that I wasn’t confident. In the city it seemed to do the trick. On unplowed residential streets post snow fall they’d require a little more attention but you get used to it pretty quickly. I never really worried about getting stuck. The only exception would be uphill post snowfall you’ll get a bit of spin (namely mount pleasant north of Bloor and that avenue hill north of DuPont) but that being said it was doable. I also had the luxury of being able to work from home if it was an insane snow day

I just switched to the awd as we’re planning to do a bit of skiing this year and will be making the trek to blue mountain often and anticipate some deep snow.
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,396
15,334
New Mexico
Preference is to stick with all seasons and not have dedicated snows.
This is not a great idea.

If you want a middle ground between smart and risky behavior you can consider so called 'all - weather' tyres. These are distinct from 'all seasons' and have the 3mp logo (and testing to back it up.) I put dedicated snow tyres on our Tesla so that it is ready for Colorado driving and snowstorms, but make do with GoodYear 'Assurance Weather Ready' on our LEAF for the light snow in Albuquerque. Here is a review of 4 different 'all - weather' (3MP) rated tyres: How do All-Season Tires Perform in Snow?

Choosing appropriate winter tyres has two facets:
Safety: stopping distance
Convenience: will the car go up the hill

AWD helps solve the convenience aspect but does nothing for safety.

Screen Shot 2020-09-13 at 9.38.22 AM.png
 
Last edited:

TheRFMan

Member
Dec 15, 2019
552
420
Ottawa, Canada
doable. I also had the luxury of being able to work from home if it was an insane snow day

As a long-time resident of Ottawa, I had a bit of a chuckle when I read that. I don’t think Toronto ever gets insane snow days like Ottawa does (like over 50cm in 24 hours we’ve gotten a few time the last couple of years).

100% agree about the Nokians, I’ve never found a tire that can beat it in tough winter conditions.
 

Beardley

Member
Sep 17, 2019
39
38
Upstate NY
I live near Syracuse NY, which is no stranger to snow, we avg 122" per year. Last year was a bit of a down year, but had zero complaints with the 3 from a driving perspective.
 

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