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I bought a Prius a couple months ago, now thinking I made the wrong choice, due to my crappy neighborhood with snow removal and slick roads. I have a 20 yr old 95 tacoma with 221K miles, 4wd. This has been my winter vehicle, mostly just driven 50 miles a day for 4 months in winter. I'm starting to lose faith in this truck, as it will eventually start nickle and diming me, at the worst possible times, like when I need it to get to work. I'm left with either trading in Prius for RAV4, or both Prius and Tacoma on new Tacoma access cab. Really liked the prius for it's mileage. I know the rav4 would do a little better on mileage, but really unsure how it will do in snow and slick roads in my hood, and just in general road ways in winter (Indiana) Any advice? I need to make a decision soon. I know I'll lose 3K off the bat getting rid of Prius. Not wanting to get another set of snow tires for rav4 either. Just want something ready to go.
 

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I had a 2013 RAV4 AWD and it does a good job in snow. But I didn't like it for many other reasons and sold it after one year.

Now, soon there will be a 2016 RAV4 hybrid available. It will be AWD (only version available). Maybe you should wait a couple of months and see if it meets your needs and expectations.
 

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05 Tacoma 4x4 DC LB
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If you travel through deep snow or unplowed roads with lots of traffic, I can see the need for clearance. Prius wouldn't work around my neck of the mountains. My advice is first figure out the clearance you need and if you're traveling through deep snow (or deep ruts like over a foot deep). Then go from there. With good tires, a RAV4 will do okay.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you travel through deep snow or unplowed roads with lots of traffic, I can see the need for clearance. Prius wouldn't work around my neck of the mountains. My advice is first figure out the clearance you need and if you're traveling through deep snow (or deep ruts like over a foot deep). Then go from there. With good tires, a RAV4 will do okay.
If I don't want to worry anymore, I'd just trade both in on new tacoma and put this behind me. Hate like hell of the payments, but also gotta have a piece of mind. No telling what kind of ruts I'll be getting into. Or keep what I have, and have faith the 95 will keep plugging along. Sounds like it may need an injector. Had one replaced a couple yrs ago and wasn't cheap. The thing will prolly nickel and dime me to death and konk out when I need it most.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
just learned the rav4 awd kicks out over 25 mph? doesnt sound like anything I'd want.
 

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I bought a Prius a couple months ago, now thinking I made the wrong choice, due to my crappy neighborhood with snow removal and slick roads. I have a 20 yr old 95 tacoma with 221K miles, 4wd. This has been my winter vehicle, mostly just driven 50 miles a day for 4 months in winter. I'm starting to lose faith in this truck, as it will eventually start nickle and diming me, at the worst possible times, like when I need it to get to work. I'm left with either trading in Prius for RAV4, or both Prius and Tacoma on new Tacoma access cab. Really liked the prius for it's mileage. I know the rav4 would do a little better on mileage, but really unsure how it will do in snow and slick roads in my hood, and just in general road ways in winter (Indiana) Any advice? I need to make a decision soon. I know I'll lose 3K off the bat getting rid of Prius. Not wanting to get another set of snow tires for rav4 either. Just want something ready to go.


As long as the engine and transmission are solid on the Tacoma there's nothing wrong with putting in some money to maintain the Tacoma to keep it running another 100k. It's a lot to ask of a vehicle to last 20 years/221k and not expect to put a little money into it. Keep it solely for winter use.

Use the Prius the rest of the year to save on wear/tear on the Tacoma and gas mileage.

Take the $3k you would lose on the trade and put it towards an account for the Tacoma maintenance.
 

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just learned the rav4 awd kicks out over 25 mph? doesnt sound like anything I'd want.
There are several threads about how the AWD RAV4 (2013-) works.


In lock mode yes it will kick out above 25 mph.


The automatic mode is there all the time.


I guess my question is: Why would I want it locked into 4wd above 25. I can see using locked mode to dig out but not to drive continuously.
 

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Traction at highway speed
the rav4 is in front wheel drive mode "til" the front wheels start to spin.....once the system detects the front wheels moving at different speeds than the rear wheels the computer engages the rear wheels giving you more traction....these things are great in the snow and winter weather in general.....now one thing to remember is that winter traction depends on tires.....so so tires will get you so so traction and great tires will get you great traction.....i have some great tires on mine and snow doesn't slow me down at all......i would take the rav over the taco any day of the week......do some research and read as much as you can.....knowledge is where it's at.....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
the rav4 is in front wheel drive mode "til" the front wheels start to spin.....once the system detects the front wheels moving at different speeds than the rear wheels the computer engages the rear wheels giving you more traction....these things are great in the snow and winter weather in general.....now one thing to remember is that winter traction depends on tires.....so so tires will get you so so traction and great tires will get you great traction.....i have some great tires on mine and snow doesn't slow me down at all......i would take the rav over the taco any day of the week......do some research and read as much as you can.....knowledge is where it's at.....
yeah, been reading so much I can't make a flippin decision. Like the mileage from the prius, and our snow fall isn't always that much, it's just that I like flying down the road in 4wd in my taco. Unsure if can do that in Rav4. Dunno what I'll do yet. Go a couple hills in neighbor hood that you really can't get a run at. Curve and then you go up them. If it's icy, I gotta have a machine to overcome that. Taco never has problem. I recon Rav wouldn't either.
 

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Stick with Prius, get a set of great winter tires. Its flat in Indy. it can handle the flats. Rare event you have such deep unplowed snow that a couple more inches of ground clearance gonna make a difference. On that day, stay home. Heck, I see Prius all the time on ski resort hills around here. You bought it, give it a chance with winter wheels. Enjoy the great MPG all year long.

FYI, understand the RAV4 AWD system doesn't just 'kick out' at 25 mph and stop working. It engages at any speed when it detects any wheel slipping. Better than a 2WD Prius, but not worth breaking your bank to change.
 
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