B.C. has experienced a wetter than normal spring so far in 2017. However, we all barely pay attention to such statistics. We're used to it. What we do pay attention to, is what we drive given the unique climate of this neck of the west coast of Canada.
While we are afforded fewer climatic mood swings as our friends out east, we do need to choose our cars with just as much care.
Choosing a vehicle that can perform in harsh sleet and snow is one thing, but what exactly are you supposed to look for when it comes to rain? Today, we provide those answers by recommending new cars that address the concerns that come from driving in, and living with, frequent downpour.
3 Toyota Vehicles That Perform Best in Wet Climates
2017 Toyota Sienna
The Sienna has all sorts of features that recognize the driver conveniences needed for residing in a wet climate.
Simple pleasures such as dual power sliding doors with a power lift gate let you push a button on your key fob and slide in gear and passengers alike without getting soaked. The interior keeps everyone cozy with three-zone automatic climate control. Backseat passengers need not slip into rainy day doldrums on road trips as the available Dual-View Entertainment System with Blu-ray capability and a 16.4-inch color display will keep them enthralled until you reach your destination. Additional high-tech features such as Integrated Navigation may even help you plot an alternative route to avoid rain altogether on weekend excursions.
On the outside, there are available rain-sensing windshield wipers, which will spring into action before you take note of the impending downpour. Rain brings mud, which is where the Sienna's Traction Control (TRAC) feature comes in handy, preventing wheel slippage when you apply pressure to the accelerator. The Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) modulates
brake pressure on a rain-soaked and slippery surface, which helps keep wheels from locking up and affords you better steering control. The Sienna is the only minivan in North America with AWD so if you're in the market for a family vehicle that can manage your climate, the Sienna is it. View more on the 2017 Toyota Sienna.
2017 Toyota Highlander
An SUV doesn't earn the label as the country's best family vehicle unless it performs in all climatic conditions. The new Highlander continues its legacy, no matter the precipitation.
Like the Sienna, this SUV has rain-sensing windshield wipers. But there's more. Unique features such as the available puddle lights (on the Limited) ignite the ground as you approach the driver side and ensure that you take a sure footed step from the wet curb into your cabin. Automatic High Beam Lights work effectively to guide your path when the rain hits heavy at night and the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection will help detect a vehicle or pedestrian via a camera enabled wave radar that is capable of shape recognition. Even if your eyes can't spot them in the rain, the system will provide an audible warning and a display notification to alert you. If you don't react in time, the automatic braking support helps mitigate the chance of a collision.
Other features have a less direct but no less important impact on driving in persistently wet climates. Cloudy skies and a lack adequate natural light can throw off your circadian rhythm, which can contribute to drowsiness at the wheel, opening you up to accidents. But if you opt for the Highlander's available panoramic moonroof, you provide yourself with a healthy dose of natural light that will keep you functioning on the road. Just don't forget to keep the moonroof window closed during the rain. View more on the 2017 Toyota Highlander.
2017 Toyota Avalon
A luxury car may not come to mind when you imagine the best cars for driving in the rain. However, the new Avalon is a dream for metropolitan drivers in wet climates.
The available LED headlights cut through the rain and mist, drawing a clear line for you to follow through to your destination. The beautifully ignited dashboard, heated leather-trimmed seats, warm glowing ambient lighting calm the nerves when navigating a torrential downpour.
The Avalon has been engineered with two unique suspensions; one of which offers a more dynamic and responsive driving experience that will serve you well on especially wet days and nights. Aerodynamic efficiency is found underneath the chassis, with uniquely shaped diffuser panels that reduce turbulence and equate enhanced control and reduced wind noise that often accompanies rain storms. Every single 2017 Avalon is equipped with ten airbags in addition to Toyota's renowned Star Safety System and Toyota Safety Sense P for extra confidence on slippery roads. View more on the 2017 Toyota Avalon.
Concluding Note on Driving in the Rain: You may be familiar with the term hydroplaning. Hydroplaning is a concern for many living in a region with persistent precipitation. It occurs when your tires encounter more rainwater than it can scatter. Water pressure in the front of your wheels pushes water under the tires, separating them from the road surface and resulting in a loss traction. The vehicle then hydroplanes (surfs, essentially) across the road and results in a loss of steering, braking and power control. Hydroplaning is prevented not from vehicle selection, but tire selection. Please visit our tire store and/or contact us directly to make sure that we match your new Toyota with a set of tires that can reduce the risk of hydroplaning.
Test drive one of the above new vehicles by scheduling an appointment at our Greater Vancouver dealership today.