2015 Avalon v. AWD RAV/CRV? Winter Weather Driving Safety?

Hi, I am contemplating buying a used Avalon 2015. Nice car, I had an older Avalon and loved it. The ride is great. The seats are comfortable. As I look to another car purchase, I was thinking about a CRV or RAV bc of the amount of driving I do and in colder/winter weather on occasion. I ruled out another Avalon on those assumptions (that an AWD would be better) but drove an Avalon and really liked the 2015.

  1. Weather/Traction Issue. My dilemma is that I drive a lot, sometimes in unpredictable weather. I always thought I would have to buy an AWD, but now am rethinking that idea and wondering if my love of the Avalon should prevail.
  2. Seats. I drive an Accord now and the seats are not very good for longer drives , and I am guessing the quality of the seats (at least it seems to me) on RAV or CRV are similar esp when compared to an Avalon.
    So I am curious about thoughts – esp the safety and weather question.

We have a 2017 Rav4 awd, Never had a problem. Worst was when she got plowed in at her sisters as she had to park on the street. She was like if we did not have AWD I never would have gotten out of there without shoveling. Good Michelin tires original with the car, but I did experience hydroplaning at 70mph during a thunder boomer. First hydroplaning experience ever. Not on cruise control at the time. Safety bells and whistles are nice, but it does not beep if you are going to back into something. CRV’s biggest problems I have heard of, poor heat and gas mixing in oil in cold climates.

You cannot guess how any seat will feel after 3 hrs driving. You have to drive vehicle for 3 hrs.
Get some snow tires.
Have you ever owned a suv?

Never owned an SUV. Driven my old Avalon 3 hrs, etc.
Biggest concern is safety, really, and perception that the AWD will be more secure.

An AWD helps you to go but not stop. The car will use front drive until the wheels slip then the rear activates. Fine in deep snow but if you are on icy highway roads, I’m not sure you would want to get to the point of activating AWD. I’m over a million miles in Minnesota etc., with RWD, FWD, and now have both AWD and FWD. I like FWD and have yet to have a storm bad enough to really use AWD. But AWD will help you go if you have to. All the Acura dealer in MPLS stocks is AWD for what it’s worth.

The best safety feature in any car is the driver. How old are you anyway so I can rest my case.


Any FWD car with winter tires on it will provide 90% of the traction and 100% of the braking and handling as AWD. Swap back to all seasons in the spring. A second set of wheels will ease that.


I don’t know where you are, but I would include ground clearance in the calculation. How deep is the snow you drive in?

I’m a good driver – over 40 let’s say that. No accidents. Just never owned an AWD and that seems to be the trend.

Not deep snow. It’s bad winter commuting (highway and town plowed roads) weather situation on occasion (when I have to drive).

Agree with @Mustangman and @bing . I have seen folks with AWD / 4WD get themselves in trouble because they can go but not stop. Get a set of winter tires (not all season) but something like Michelin X-ice or Blizzak, A normal FWD drive car will do just fine with good winter tires. I’ve driven a Corolla, Caravan and RAV4 with these tires and all could go and most importantly steer and stop in snow. The biggest problem is folks with all season tires getting stuck and blocking the road.


I had a 2013 Rav4 and the AWD was great. Stopping was good and I never had winter tires. I live on a hill and the roads were snowy. Never had one problem with handling. The ABS was the kind that would let the car stop but you could feel the lock/unlock. I got used to it and could stop the car well.

Plowed roads and no steep hills? You have no need at all for AWD.
I have lived 80+ years in Western NY, never stayed home because of the weather unless the roads were ordered closed due to a driving ban and sometimes not even then. I have never had to call for a tow truck for being stuck. I have never owned a 4 wheel or all wheel drive vehicle and my biggest problem in really bad weather is having to drive around all the abandoned SUVs. No drive system is a substitute for actual winter driving skills and people who are afraid of winter driving frequently buy SUVs thinking that AWD will compensate for their fear or lack of skill. They won’t.

I have driven some GM cars that were bad in the snow, but they were all rear wheel drive and no longer made.


I have 2 suvs. 1 is fwd, 1 is awd. I drive fwd. came home after 4” snow fall and wife took it to store since it was warm. She could not get up our hill. Jumped in awd and left. I got in my suv and followed her. I had no trouble. I blame driver error.
Both have good tread all season tires.

Get the car you like most. If the seats haven’t changed much, you should be fine on long drives. The times that the Avalon will be inappropriate for driving are few, and you probably shouldn’t be driving anyway.

I’ve never been stuck in snow with FWD cars in the last 40 years I’ve driven them. I once went out in a VW Rabbit in a driving snowstorm just for fun, and only turned around when I couldn’t blow through a 3 foot drift. It kept me from moving forward, but not backward. I just turned around and went home.

You need an extended test drive. Several hours

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Another vote for sticking with a FWD model. Eliminating the AWD means better fuel economy, better reliability, as well as lower maintenance and repair costs–for as long as you own the vehicle.

One of the biggest disadvantages of AWD is that all 4 tires must be identical, which means that when one tire is ruined, you must replace all four. With a FWD car, if one tire goes bad, it is recommended to replace two (and put the new tires on the rear) but if funds are tight, it is possible to just buy one, and put the two non-identical tires on the rear axle and it won’t hurt anything.

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We went with AWD vehicles, Not as much of a concern to me these days, as extended warranty 7 years 70k miles. Big downside Toyota Rav4 tire rotation every 5,000 miles. Other downside full size spare, and I do not think they are doing a 5 tire rotation, so if I have to use the spare I imagine it will out of spec after 20k miles at this point if I need it.