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Moving North in December

We’re moving from Kentucky to Wisconsin in December, but orignially we’re from Florida. We have a Corolla and a Jetta, do we need to get a vehicle with a higher profile? Or can we just get ‘winter’ tires?

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You should be fine on true winter tires such as Blizzaks.

You can get good deals on 4 tires and wheel packages from places like The Tire Rack;

Now if you are on a hill and need to get out no matter the snow depth…

I live in WI, I do not know anyone with snow tires. I have had a myriad of vehicles over the years, and think if you have never driven in snow you will learn, but all vehicle cars and makes make it through very well, as the plows do a good job of keeping the roads passable. The only ones I see stuck are people who imho have no common sense. If there is a 3’ drift or windrow, don’t go there.

There are lots of Jetta’s and Corolla’s on the road in WI all winter long. As for snow tires, I prefer them but some folks swear they aren’t needed.

Traction is the name of the game in winter so if you don’t get snows you need to make sure your all season tires are in good shape with plenty of tread depth.

When you say “higher profile” I believe you’re talking about ground clearance and not awd/4wd. Technically speaking, a smaller car with the same ground clearance as a larger vehicle will do better in snow and rough road conditions…so in my experiences, my Corollas, Prisms etc, have been demonstratively better than my Accords with the same ground clearance in snow. Of course the tires were narrower with greater point loading, another deciding factor.
So don’t worry…stock up on polypropylene underwear and corduroys, you’ll need them more than a new car.
Kentucky body fluids will take a while for the viscosity to change.

Just move and work it out when you get there. Unless you have a special situation – e.g. steep driveway, long unplowed access road, etc, the Corolla and Jetta will probably be fine. After sizing up the situation, you may choose to get snow tires, but lots of folks in Vermont don’t bother.

I am going to guess you are going to move into a city. They have things up there called snow plows and they use them in the city to remove most of the snow off the roads. I would not worry about it until you get there and see what kind of problems you get.

They drive lots of Corollas and Jettas in Wisconsin.

I am going to guess you will want a set of FOUR real winter tyres (not all season), but it would be better to wait until you are there to buy as they are likely to have better selection and choice.

The winter tires are a great idea. They’ll give you added margin for error while you learn to drive on slippery roads.

Added clearance is completely unnecessary. Corollas and Jettas are common up here in NH, and I’m sure they are in Wisconson too. They probably even have more clearance than my current car, a Scion tC, and I have absolutely no problems in the winter with the Scion.

Oh, and since you’re moving there in December, let me suggest that you also fill the windshield washer system with “winter mix” formula (squirt some to move it through the tubes) so it doesn;t freeze up and replace the wiper blades with rubber booted winter blades so they don’t ice up. You’ll likely need to wait until you get here to get these items, but don’t delay in doing these chores once you arrive.

“steep driveway”

in Wisconsin?

Thank you everyone for the advice. I am taking good notes and looking forward to cheese & beer.

Well, I don’t know about wisconsin, but I’m guessing Eastern Ontario is just as cold if not colder.
Both my neighbours swear they don’t need winter tires. Baloney I say, I got my set of winter tires at walmart, for like $300 and let me tell you, on icy hills the difference is night and day.

Typically FWD cars do better than RWD, but driving in the snow is ALL about discretion. If you don;t use it, you will either crash or get stuck.
Tons of corolla’s and Jetta’s ply ontario’s roads all year long. Corvettes, Mustangs and Camaro’s on the otherhand are better save for summer.

Watch out the first time it snows when some drivers will slide right through an intersection. Try not to drive when the roads are slippery, like when the temperature will get down to 31 degrees at night. Slide all over the place if the roads are wet.