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Winter Driving in Toronto

Discussion in 'Canada' started by AndrewKo, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. AndrewKo

    AndrewKo Member

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    Hey guys,

    I just put a deposit down for a Model S and i'm super excited!!!! :) The Car's ETA is December this year.

    I noticed that they released a AWD version, but I really don't want to wait until Feb for a AWD.... so i'm wondering how the winter driving is with a RWD Model S in Toronto?

    Do I need to just get winter tires? Or would it be better to simply wait it out and buy the AWD?

    Let me know your thoughts and experience driving in Toronto during winter
     
  2. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Having driven through two Ottawa winters I would definitely appreciate the AWD. In Toronto you would find it useful occasionally, but not absolutely essential.

    Without AWD you definitely need winter tires. With it, well, I always recommend proper winter tires anyway... but I expect you could get away with all seasons.

    Personally, as hard as it sounds to wait... I would wait.
     
  3. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Wait til Feb, or wait/resist the urge to get AWD?
     
  4. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I said "wait", not "resist". And in the context of the question the intent was clear.
     
  5. AndrewKo

    AndrewKo Member

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    Thanks for the opinions so far!
    Does anyone else have any feedback on their winter driving in Toronto?
     
  6. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I had come from two previous AWD cars, the latest being a Cadillac CTS AWD when I traded in on my Model S in March of 2013. I was VERY nervous about going "back" to a RWD car. I went through the remnants of the 2012/2013 winter and all of last year's (2013/2014) brutal winter with the Model S. I did install Nokian Hakka R2 winter tires last November which I believe helped a lot.

    I drive daily from the GTA to the Waterloo Region where I work and occasionally to a rental property I own in Bruce county (where they get the most snow I think I've ever seen anywhere).

    My impression is that the RWD Model S is pretty good. I never got stuck or felt that there was a control situation that AWD would have made a whole lot better. The only thing I can't do is scoot away from a stop sign or red light on snow covered roads like I used to in my AWD cars.

    I'm sure AWD is better, but am not at all disappointed with the RWD car. I do think proper winter tires are critical, AWD or not. You need to be able to stop, not just go in wintery conditions!
     
  7. dj905

    dj905 Member

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    Andrew,
    I live north of Milton at the edge of the escarpment, and have had my car since Feb, 2013. I'm using Michelin X-ICE tires, which have been very good. No problems getting around the GTA with these tires, and occasionally raising the suspension to get over deeper snow. Previously, I was using the Pirelli tires from Tesla, but they did not perform well in our wet, heavy snow which is typical.

    Good luck with your decision.

    David
    Of course, having AWD would be great, but I don't have any issue with the Model S as it is.
     
  8. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Just a quick note that AWD is never a valid substitute for proper winter tires. I have yet to meet any RWD car that can't safely navigate a Canadian winter when properly equipped with decent tires and the Tesla is supposed to be far better than average at it (though some people recommend turning down the regen setting in really slick conditions)

    A RWD with good winter tires will outperform an AWD car on all seasons pretty much every time on winter roads. That said, AWD with good winter tires is an awesome combination and pretty much unstoppable.
     
  9. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    All cars stop better with winter tires. In most aspects tires matter more than AWD.

    That said, if the car is stuck or on the verge of getting stuck, then RWD cars tend to have the back kick out instead of moving forwards. That is one area where AWD is clearly superior, even without proper tires.
     
  10. KdotB

    KdotB Member

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    I say why wait at all. I'll sell you my 2 month slightly used P85 for what you're gonna pay for your S....maybe I'll toss in the winters to sweeten the deal :smile:

    But yes, winters make a massive difference! I love seeing AWD SUVs in ditches (well as long as everyone is safe!) simply cuz their "get 'er done" truck is 4x4 and immune to weather...not true. Good rubber and good sense is what you really need
     
  11. Lex

    Lex Member

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    That time of the year again :) And I'm in my new 70D thinking this same thing, one year later...

    The (one ;) problem with Toronto is the winter is unpredictable. A couple of decades ago it was rare to get a big dump of snow, or dangerous ice. Then we had a few years of almost no snow. But these last few have been snow on snow on snow with an ice storm in the mix just for frightening fun.

    From a financial standpoint it seems like the duration of the ROI is so minimal, but these last years are enough for me to want nothing less than being as prepared as can be possible. I've seen some scary stuff out there.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And, the car fanatic in me wants to see how my 70D performs with the big gummy shoes on :cool:
     

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