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I know this is P101 not roadsafety101 but I value your opinions!

I have two vehicles to choose from and can't decide which is the best/safest option for my 5 month old daughter this winter.

Vehicle 1: 2010 Toyota Tacoma, 4x4, remote start, 3 year old all season tires.

Vehicle 2: 2008 Volkswagen city golf, winter tires bought new last winter.

I realize the truck with winter tires would be best but buying winter tires for it isn't possible right now. We live in Alberta Canada with snowy, cold winters.

Thanks for you opinions.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 4th, 2012 01:42 pm (UTC)
AWD and 4WD vehicles can get by with all season tires OK. Winter tires on a FWD are good, but no substitute for being able to drive all four tires when you start to slip. For winter in a snowy location, pick 4WD.
Nov. 4th, 2012 02:02 pm (UTC)
I'm a firm believer in not buying winter tires. I've been told a few times, though I'm not sure how true it is, that winter tires are not much more than regular tires with a bit more grip and are designed to hold a little less air, which is what helps them stick to the ground better. As long as you slow down and drive according to the conditions, you should be fine. (Coming from growing up in snowy Northwestern Ontario, and now living in a pretty nasty snow belt in Central Ontario).

As far as "safest car" goes, as long as your babe is in a properly fitted, properly installed, correctly fastened car seat (ie- no bulky winter suits, no bundle car seat covers that go between her back and the car seat), your daughter will be safe.
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Nov. 4th, 2012 02:37 pm (UTC)
I would go with whichever car your daughter can properly sit RF in, middle position if possible. If that is both, whichever one you are more comfortable driving.
Nov. 4th, 2012 02:52 pm (UTC)
As a fellow Albertan, I'd say your biggest concerns would be having a charged cell phone, a tank at least 1/4 full of gas, and a roadside assistance plan, because pulling yourself out of a ditch or changing a tire while you've got a baby in the car aren't going to be easily done on your own. Other than that, not sure it matters which vehicle you drive. Ice will put either of them off the road, and both should travel regular roads just fine with cautious driving.
Nov. 4th, 2012 02:56 pm (UTC)
Toyota. The upkeep for a Volvo is really expensive and they don't last as long
Nov. 4th, 2012 02:56 pm (UTC)
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Nov. 4th, 2012 03:09 pm (UTC)
Tires really depend on WHERE you drive. I live in New Brunswick and there is no way I could ever get by with all season because of the area I live (I have studded winter tires). I drive a Hyundai Elantra and I've also driven a 4WD Dodge Ram and I'll say that I feel much safer in my car, because it's closer to the road, smaller and easier to handle in big storms. Also easier on gas. I get that the truck is bigger and in a crash would probably suffer the least amount of damage, but if you're talking driving and maneuvering I'd say go for the car.
Nov. 4th, 2012 04:20 pm (UTC)
What condition are the 3 year old all seasons in? I think that's going to be a huge factor. If they're just about needing to be replaced then all the 4wd in the world isn't going to help when the tires have no traction left. If the all-seasons are nearing the end of their life then I would take the smaller vehicle with the better winter driving tires any day. If the truck's tires are still really good then I might go that way, but again it would depend on how good they were to begin with. Not all tires are created equal.
Nov. 4th, 2012 04:32 pm (UTC)
In addition to my comments above - the only vehicles we've had that have gone in accidents are trucks (thankfully). Both were write-offs - both were roll-overs. Both had all-season tires with inexperienced drivers. The first, he didn't have weight in the back-end to keep it from spinning out on the ice. The second was my brother-in-law and he had a very bad error in judgement and forgot to put it into 4x4. It also had all-season tires. After this, we ensured every vehicle had a good set of winter tires on and we haven't had an issue.

The main things - the truck, if you guys have kept it between the ditches in previous years, this year is likely not going to be too much different. You know how it handles, what do when you start to spin out, etc (hopefully), so it sounds like a viable option. The VW, definitely has the potential to get through the snow and ice with a good set of tires (I've only owned VWs myself, having a '90 Golf, '96 Jetta and latest is a getting ready to retire '02 Golf). I can get through most anything, as long as the roads are not being enforced as closed. I love my front-wheel-drive in the snow - I would take it over a rear-wheel-drive vehicle any day of the week. But, with being in a smaller vehicle, while it's still a good, safe vehicle, it's that much easier to get creamed by another bigger vehicle and have it cause considerably worse damage than that of a larger vehicle. If you feel most comfortable in it though, it's definitely a better option than the truck.

Honestly, I'd be willing to move the seat between both the truck and the car and just go with whatever feels best at that time.
Nov. 4th, 2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I'd be willing to move the seat between both the truck and the car and just go with whatever feels best at that time.

I agree.
Nov. 4th, 2012 05:08 pm (UTC)
We have a camry with winter tires and a tacoma with all wheel drive/all season tires and when the snow starts coming (we live in Utah about 20 minutes drive from 3 of the biggest ski resorts) my husband and I switch cars and I drive the tacoma around town (driving around town always seems more sketchy than getting on the freeway when it snows and is icey with all the starts and stops) and my husband takes the camry exactly for the reasons you are talking about.

If anything happens in the tacoma we have a lot more weight and size which I think helps in survivability than in my camry and so to me it seems quite a bit safer not to mention the 4 wheel drive (we add weight to the back with the cap thing (can't remember what its called) and a couple of sandbags for additional back traction).

Good luck:)

An additional note: around here its not so much falling in a ditch as much as sliding and being slid into by multiple cars/idiots that drive way faster than the conditions call for...so I assume I will be hit and thats why my son and I go in the truck during winter months. Being in a few incidents where I've been slid into (even in low speed areas) the impact is far less severe in the trucks (we've had 3 tacomas and 2 camrys) I've been in (all the accidents I've been in (and/or seen on the road while driving) are wet/snowy weather where people have slid INTO us/me/another car). I think the lessened feeling of impact has to do with the greater suspension on a truck and its ability to 'rock' a lot more than a sedan b/c its higher up.

Edited at 2012-11-04 05:15 pm (UTC)
Nov. 4th, 2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
I'd say whichever one you can drive better. Like we have a honda fit and a dodge ram. Even though the fit is "less safe" with smaller tires, etc, I feel more comfortable driving it than the large truck, so the fit is safer for me to drive.
Nov. 4th, 2012 05:43 pm (UTC)
I loved my Golf III in the snow. Just sayin'. Handled great. I live in Eastern WA which is not nearly as wintery as where you are but we do get quite a lot of snow and it sticks around until spring. My Golf was a great car... it now lives in Montana (winters!) and is a great car for someone else.

That said, I love having 4WD too.

You know, it's not like you have to put the car seat in one car and then never move it. You can use the 4WD when the snow is really bad and then for regular day-to-day crappy road but not terribly snowy driving you can use the Golf. Be flexible! Use the car that works best in the moment!
Nov. 4th, 2012 06:40 pm (UTC)
Whichever one you drive better in. If you were equally comfortable in both cars, I'd say the Golf, and save the Tacoma for days the Golf truly couldn't handle. Is your daughter in a bucket seat? Could you just get a second base to make switching easier?
Nov. 5th, 2012 01:32 am (UTC)
Whatever will survive a crash with another vehicle better. I vote truck.
Nov. 9th, 2012 01:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks everyone for your comments. We decided to put our daughter in the VW car. It has good tires and I feel most comfortable driving it. We just purchased a convertible seat because our baby hates her bucket seat. This is why I had to decide on a vehicle. We have kept the bucket seat base in the truck for days I feel the car can't handle.

( 34 comments — Leave a comment )


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