My wife has a 2002 Camry with only 35,000 miles but cannot get out of our driveway through large amounts of snow. There is a small hill and she loses traction about half way up. The last few winters in WV have been harsher than usual. She is leaning toward buying a new four wheel drive but does not want an SUV. What are her options in 4-wheel drive 4-door sedans? She wants a four wheel drive car somewhat like the Camry.
Subaru, check out their web site, lots of options.
Also, if you choose to do this, it’ll be an ‘all-wheel-drive’ (AWD) car. 4-wheel drive is what some trucks and truck-based SUVs have.
The Subaru Legacy is the direct competitor to the Camry, pretty much same price, too.
4WD will help you get up the hills, but consider this. Once she gets up the hill and starts down the other side, she will find that 4DW does not help you stop nor does it help you stay on the road.
I suggest if she is having a difficult time getting out of the driveway, maybe she would be better served and a lot safer, staying home.
I would suggest a set of four WINTER tyres. They are newer and better technology than the old snow tyres. They will help get up the hill and help stop going down the hill.
You have winter tires with good tread already, I assume? If not, that’s going to make a big difference.
Try winter tires first. If still no good, then look at Ford Fusion, I think they have an AWD version. I think you can get an AWD Ford Taurus too.
AWD is a VERY expensive solution for having to walk up your driveway for a few days a year…Perhaps a big snow-blower is the answer…
A great car is 2010 Subaru Legacy, MPG and size like camry with excellent AWD. Otherwise the smaller Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan. A nice car is current Taurus too.
However I would simply get a set of 4 winter tires/rims for the vehicle. Makes winter driving a pleasure and likely will get up. Check tirerack.com for pricing. They ship tires mounted/balanced so a local garage only needs to bolt them on (they have recommended installers too).
I agree that the awd subaru is a great alternative to a Camry for increased traction. But I also agree that substituting awd in place of using winter tire change over is NOT the safest thing to do.
AWD does not replace snow tires…it adds to their effectiveness. Go the winter tire route first. As you found out FWD is terrible on hills too going up. Backing up the hill helps in a pinch with FWD on those few occasions if safety done.
BTW, the newer Camrys and others have traction control which works really well and is a good compromise instead of AWD. I would try one out in snow…you’ll be impressed enough I feel to look for that feature instead of awd as it adds little to the price of a car. Your car will be safer with the new stability control, all standard features on most new intermediates.
If the Camry has problems getting through large amounts of snow, then getting more ground clearance should help some. Though, since she doesn’t want an SUV, it’ll be a tough thing to shop for.