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Mechanical AWD will give you the possibility of less initial front wheel slippage, especially with the gas model's 50/50 split button that some models have. However, it's a case of "is eAWD good enough?" rather than "is one better than the other?" in my opinion. In over 80,000 miles in snowy New England, I never found the AWD-i on my Rav4 hybrid to be inadequate in climbing the hill I live on in the snow. It's not an off-road vehicle though and neither is the Highlander. I have my doubts about the 2020 HiHy being as good in the snow as the 2019 (considerably less rear wheel horsepower) but neither one is good off-road if that's what you're worried about. The suspension is too stiff and limited in anti-roll compliance so unweighting one wheel instantly creates slip with the open differentials. If you want Jeep performance - get a Jeep. But for simply climbing a snow and ice-covered paved hill, the electric AWD system seems to be more than adequate from my experience with both the Rav4 hybrid and now the 2019 Highlander hybrid.
 

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I have my doubts about the 2020 HiHy being as good in the snow as the 2019 (considerably less rear wheel horsepower) but neither one is good off-road if that's what you're worried about.
Even though the 2020 Highlander Hybrid has a less powerful MG3 rear electric motor I have seen reports that claim it can provide more power/torque to the rear than the previous generation. Of course this remains to be seen in real world conditions. Supposedly the rear motor can also help with cornering at speed whereas the previous generation would only kick in when first starring up or when it detected front wheel slippage.
 

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Mechanical AWD will give you the possibility of less initial front wheel slippage, especially with the gas model's 50/50 split button that some models have. However, it's a case of "is eAWD good enough?" rather than "is one better than the other?" in my opinion. In over 80,000 miles in snowy New England, I never found the AWD-i on my Rav4 hybrid to be inadequate in climbing the hill I live on in the snow. It's not an off-road vehicle though and neither is the Highlander. I have my doubts about the 2020 HiHy being as good in the snow as the 2019 (considerably less rear wheel horsepower) but neither one is good off-road if that's what you're worried about. The suspension is too stiff and limited in anti-roll compliance so unweighting one wheel instantly creates slip with the open differentials. If you want Jeep performance - get a Jeep. But for simply climbing a snow and ice-covered paved hill, the electric AWD system seems to be more than adequate from my experience with both the Rav4 hybrid and now the 2019 Highlander hybrid.
Alright. Not really worried about off road, just regular road. I also only want to know if eAWD enough for me rather than what's better (I may have just phrased my question wrong in my previous post).

My local street may not be plowed in time for me and there is a slight slope of maybe 30* degree climb on the way to my home. In the main busy roads, I only need to be concerned about wetness and rarely about snow build up.

It looks like the eAWD in 2020 may be enough. I am hoping for more reviews from Utah using Highlander Hybrid. I am also going to do research on differences between 2019 and 2020 Highlander Hybrid.

Are the winter tires worth it?
 

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The hybrids have low rolling-resistance tires. At this time I'm only aware of a few brands which offer a true 4-season tire in low rolling-resistance types. I have owned a set of Nokian WRG-3 and a set of WRG-3 SUV tires. Both sets were very good in the snow and rode well in the dry with little to no affect on MPG; but they didn't last that long and wore really fast near the end of their lives.

I also had a set of Toyo Celsius 4-season tires on my Rav4 hybrid and they were NOT low rolling-resistance tires, reducing my mileage by 1-2 MPG. But they were great tires.
 

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I also had a set of Toyo Celsius 4-season tires on my Rav4 hybrid and they were NOT low rolling-resistance tires, reducing my mileage by 1-2 MPG. But they were great tires.
I think Mr Peloguin hit the nail on the head. The tires are what really determine how good your traction will be in the snow. A good 4WD system can apply power to the wheel(s) with the best traction but if all four tires are on snow (or ice) then none will be better than the others so what will matter is how well the tires themselves can gain the traction to move the vehicle. Just my opinion so subject to reality.

Last summer I bought a set of Goodyear Assurance Weather Ready all weather tires - this class of tire is more aggressive than all season but can be used year round and still deliver 60,000+ miles. My experience so far this winter in slippery conditions have been positive but, like Bob, have lost an additional 1 or 2 mpg.
 

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I was watching a video from Weber Auto on the Q211 MG3 rear electric motor for the Gen 3 Highlander Hybrid and think I discovered why it's possible for the smaller Gen 4 MG3 rear motor to produce more torque to the rear wheels than the Gen 3. It has to do with the gearing which can multiply the torque that's delivered to the wheels. Here's an edited excerpt:


Here's the complete video which you might find interesting if you're into these technical things. I don't claim to understand the physics but enjoy anyway.

 

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It looks like the eAWD in 2020 may be enough. I am hoping for more reviews from Utah using Highlander Hybrid. I am also going to do research on differences between 2019 and 2020 Highlander Hybrid.
Not a comparison of the Highlander Hybrid but the RAV4 Hybrid AWD system instead. But this should show the same difference between the 2019 Gen 3 Highlander Hybrid - similar to 2017 RAV4 - and the new 2020 Gen 4 Highlander Hybrid e-four system - similar to the 2019 RAV4..

 
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