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Winter is coming. While we are currently in the thick of it, the statement is always true, no matter the time of the year. Winter driving remains at the top of the minds of any household in Canada when making a vehicle purchase decision. While determining which winter tires best suit your climate and usage, the most important consideration is the automobile itself. Today we look at the top Toyotas (new or used) for winter driving, allowing you to deduce which best suits the unique needs of your family unit.
The Toyota Highlander is consistently ranked as the best family vehicle in North America. The SUV's performance in harsh winter conditions is a big part of this. New or used (2013 pictured above) your household will gain full confidence when driving in snow. The towing power of the Highlander (up to 4000 lbs) makes it great for long winter road trips and available Dynamic Torque Control All Wheel Drive can handle slippery snow, slush, and ice alike. The Highlander comes with Toyota's renowned Star Safety SystemT and is backed by this year's 5-star rating with the NHTSA and 2015 TopSafety Pick+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Highlander is powerful, safe, and efficient in winter driving conditions.
View more on the 2016 Highlander here.
When it comes to traction it's hard to match the Sequoia. Black ice doesn't stand a chance. The Sequoia's available multi-mode four-wheel drive system allows you the ability to engage the traction assistance of four-wheel drive at the turn of a dial. The SUV's cutting-edge automatic limited-slip differential minimizes potential for wheel-spin and ultimately enhances your traction on snow covered roads. Factor in mud and snow-rated radials and you're set for slippery winter driving conditions. View more on the 2016 Sequoia here.
Not all families demand SUVs. For households that look to their vehicle for work, play, and day to day runs the Tacoma allows it all, even when the snow falls.
The Tacoma has always been a strong performer in harsh winter conditions but the exciting 2016 redesign has taken its ability to another level. Toyota's Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) is now standard in the Tacoma, and will help you navigate tough climbs in tough climates. The enhanced TRD Off-Road's Crawl Control (CRAWL) balances the throttle and brakes on five low-speed settings to help you manage the powdered terrain while the available Multi-terrain Select better controls wheel-spin and provides improved traction.
Some may assume that interior comfort may be a concern when considering a pickup for a family winter vehicle but with an enhanced interior and upgraded front dual zone automatic climate control your passengers remain safe and cozy outside, and in.
View more on the 2016 Tacoma here.
The 4Runner is backed by a 4L V6, 270 hp / 278 lb-ft of torque, a 5-speed automatic transmission and maximum towing capacity of 4,700 lbs.
The end-product, is a vehicle that will not only keep your family safe on snow-caked city roads and highways it also packs enough power and towing capability to haul ATVs and snowmobiles to the mountain.
This four-wheel drive is perfect for families with a penchant to outdoor adventure in the winter.
View more on the 2016 4Runner here.
2015-16 RAV4 models offer Dynamic Torque Control All-Wheel Drive. This system uses a high-speed interactive management interface that works together with Vehicle Stability Control to provide superior traction over ice and snow. Consumer tests have the Toyota RAV4 accelerating well at 0-50 mph and braking on ice from 30 mph while evidencing superior evasive action and cornering performance. The RAV4 allows you to maintain a sporty drive even in cautious snow-coated conditions. Given that the RAV4 is a crossover SUV the vehicle is best suited for families that spend most of their winter road time in city limits while taking weekend excursions here and there.
View more on the 2016 RAV4 here.
North America's ultimate minivan is also the only minivan in the local market with All Wheel Drive (AWD). And Sienna's AWD is no novelty. What's most telling, is found in recent testing reported by TorqueNews, which shows the Sienna outperforming the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Town and Country in winter driving. This may not surprise current Toyota owners, but what really caught the attention of the industry was the fact that the Sienna dealt a defeating blow to the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4X4! The Sienna and its AWD system with a powerful V6 engine were simply too much for competition.
View more on Sienna specifications here and enjoy this video on Sienna's winter driving performance below.