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First snow fall today and I thought I'd provide my first impressions.

The best word to describe the RL's winter performance is... well, Meh.

We had about 5-6" snow and my RL fitted with Blizzaks performed less than expected. The truck has typical Honda aggressive ABS meaning very long stops on snow and only mediocre acceleration. I have the same Blizzaks fitted on our BMW X3 and the bimmer is much more sure footed and brakes significantly better.

I really had hoped for better winter performance. :|


 

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I was disappointed in my RL on the first snow (5") here, too. It ends up that, at least for me, it was the tires. I swapped out to a new set of X-ice 2's, and the difference was amazing. It was the [email protected] OE Firestones that caused most of the issues (worst A/S I've ever driven on...). I'm still waiting for the next snow to truly evaluate the vehicle in those conditions, now that I have a decent set of winter tires on. Say tuned, as more snow this week, according to our forecast....
 

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Hmmm...That's surprising as normally a good set of winters make any vehicle whether AWD or not at least 'decent' in the snow...Driving in much the same world as you (house near Buffalo, cottage in Haliburton, ON), I've found my wife's Tiguan 4Motion with Yokohoma IceGuard IG51s is a snowmobile once the winter tires go on...I'm going to just drive my RTL-E with the stock Firestones and say 'screw it' this winter (my G1 with newer Toyo Open Country H/T All Seasons was 'good' in winter).
 

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well try driving a 16 diesel Colorado crew z71 on rain much less snow. Havent had the Colorado in snow yet but who knows may due fine. I know my older Ridgelines in my opinion handled on road weather conditions better than the 4x4 normal truck ive had and all them. Not heavy deep snow off road but hyw snow to like 6 t0 10 inches
 

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I had mine out in the snow for the first time this morning. IMHO it does as well if not better than any of the awd vehicles I have ever had which includes SUV's and sedans. That being said, I always have dedicated winter tires on all my rides. I have Blizzaks on the RL if anyone wants to know.
 

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Some cars do better than others in snow, even with snow tires. I've had Honda Odysseys with snows that were pretty bad and forget about hills. I had a 99 Taurus with snows that was really good. I had a 93 Ranger 2wd V6 with snows that was dreadful. Had a 87 Mustang gt with the Goodyear Gatorbacks that slipped all over the place but the limited slip was a savior. I had a 77 Nova Concours with a V8 and Goodyear F32-s snows that I used when going to college in Buffalo. Great tire for its time. My Accord V6 on regular tires is as bad as an Odyssey. Best so far is a CRV with Blizzzaks, unstoppable. You have to be aggressive to make traction control engage. I'll most likely keep the RL out of the snow this winter as I'm skipping snows for this season.

I was hoping that there would be better posts about the RL snow performance given it's driveline and snow mode. I thought with snows it would be better than meh.:frown:
 

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There are also differences in snow. There is standard snow, there is dry, powdery snow (common on Western ski slopes), and there is wet, slippery snow (common from Midwest to the east, especially around 32-degree temps). Then sometimes there is freezing rain or sleet mixed in. If it hasn't rained in a while, you have oil, rubber and other debris built up on the roadway that becomes ultra slick with a little moisture added.

Some snow tires may be tuned to different types of snow and/or road surfaces, or may be better tuned for ice. Even professional reviews are often too limited to really know what is the best tire for your "typical" conditions.

All this is to say....don't judge a vehicle or its tires on one outing. :)
 

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Drove 300+ kms through a blizzard today on the highway with some packed snow (10 cm snow last night and 10 more throughout the day), going about 15 km/h over the speed limit. ABS seems more sensitive. My winters are Toyo Open Country G02+ and they are not as sure-footed as the Blizzaks I had on my Santa Fe that I traded in. I may just suck it up and wait till next winter to buy get Blizzaks again. Putting it in SNOW mode definitely helped a lot confidence-wise though, as I felt like I had more traction. Just a note that SNOW mode does not allow use of cruise control, so I was switching between SNOW and NORMAL on clearer spots.
 

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Mehby Not so Bad?

Tirerack ratings for the LE are based on 25,900,000 owner miles with Light Snow rating of 7.4 and Deep Snow at 6.8.
Review aggregate to 3.8 of 5. Solid but not spectacular.
Nothing to warrant swapping them out IMO.
I may have some first hand experience soon as WV could have a three day snow event in a week.

Firestone*Destination LE
 

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Re: Mehby Not so Bad?

Nothing to warrant swapping them out IMO.
I may have some first hand experience soon as WV could have a three day snow event in a week.

Firestone*Destination LE
I have to be honest with you...the Firestone's did the worst job in mildly icy roads (which we get a lot) than almost any other tire I've ever driven on. I hope your luck is better than mine; however, now that I'm running my snowies, it is smoother and quieter on dry roads, too, so I'm not sure I want to put the Firestones back on...as I didn't like them much before the snow...now I find them horrid.

The funny thing is, I'm not used to getting a better ride on snow tires....first time for everything....
 

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Your position on the LEs does not seem to be supported by the hundreds of drivers feedback on TR and their ratings based on 29 million miles on-the-road.
Not wasting my money on a useless tire swap.
BTW, I worked for a ski resort in WV (that averages 180" a year) for 25 years and my experience proves that the driver is the most important variable in winter conditions, not the tires (provided they are at least all-season with legal tread depth).

Someone was touting the Blizzak snow tire which Consumer Reports doesn't recommend.
We owners should trust the Tirerack ratings and discard these unsupported OPINIONs.
 
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Your position on the LEs does not seem to be supported by the hundreds of drivers feedback on TR and their ratings based on 29 million miles on-the-road.
Not wasting my money on a useless tire swap.
BTW, I worked for a ski resort in WV (that averages 180" a year) for 25 years and my experience proves that the driver is the most important variable in winter conditions, not the tires (provided they are at least all-season with legal tread depth).

Someone was touting the Blizzak snow tire which Consumer Reports doesn't recommend.
We owners should trust the Tirerack ratings and discard these unsupported OPINIONs.
What tires would you recommend?
 

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Re: Mehby Not so Bad?

Tirerack ratings for the LE are based on 25,900,000 owner miles with Light Snow rating of 7.4 and Deep Snow at 6.8.
Review aggregate to 3.8 of 5. Solid but not spectacular.
Nothing to warrant swapping them out IMO.
I may have some first hand experience soon as WV could have a three day snow event in a week.

Firestone*Destination LE
The OEM tire is Firestone Destination LE2s - reported better snow performance than the Firestone Destination LE. They are not snow tires but I was out yesterday on about an inch of snow and ice and had a very hard time getting them to spin - which was a surprise - I'm considering the new Continental Terraincontact A/T as soon as I see a few reviews on snow performance.
 

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Your position on the LEs does not seem to be supported by the hundreds of drivers feedback on TR and their ratings based on 29 million miles on-the-road.
Not wasting my money on a useless tire swap.
BTW, I worked for a ski resort in WV (that averages 180" a year) for 25 years and my experience proves that the driver is the most important variable in winter conditions, not the tires (provided they are at least all-season with legal tread depth).

Someone was touting the Blizzak snow tire which Consumer Reports doesn't recommend.
We owners should trust the Tirerack ratings and discard these unsupported OPINIONs.
I've seen excellent businesses destroyed by Yelp reviews that weren't valid.....just sayin' that Tirerack ratings, like anything else, should be taken with a grain of salt...as they actually, in many cases, are unsupported opinions, themselves. My experience is what I am sharing, not an opinion; however, you are free to disagree. To say that my comment is unsupported is the same as me throwing back at you that your comment about trusting TireRack is unsupported and, as such, is an opinion. I use TireRack and CR as data points only.

As a retired accident reconstructionist, with thousands of investigative hours behind me (and plenty of time on the track under various 're-created' conditions to simulate conditions at the time of collisions, etc.), I agree that the driver is an important variable. MY EXPERIENCE with the LE's was what it was. I drove the same roads, same conditions within 30 minutes of driving on the LE's in another vehicle with Michelin MXV4's and didn't experience any of the slippage that I did on the LE's. I personally wasn't happy with them from the get-go. The only time, for me, that they rode smoothly was on a few very new roads in the Phoenix area. Other roads that are smooth as glass in other vehicles (with other tires) were not so in the RL...and guess what, they are now, with a set of X-ice2's. Maybe a bad lot of LE's? Can't say; however, I certainly am not apt to put the LE's back on at the end of winter, when our snow goes away (which, for the record, averages about 100+ inches a year), and is heavier not far out of town due to elevation climb.
 

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Re: Mehby Not so Bad?

The OEM tire is Firestone Destination LE2s - reported better snow performance than the Firestone Destination LE. They are not snow tires but I was out yesterday on about an inch of snow and ice and had a very hard time getting them to spin - which was a surprise - I'm considering the new Continental Terraincontact A/T as soon as I see a few reviews on snow performance.
Thanks.
Got too much going on but your update further solidifies my position.
 
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Not to turn this into a tire thread but just an opinion on a really good all season if you don't need or want to do winters...BUT need decent snow and ice ability at certain times.

Toyo Open Country H/T. My wife's past 2008 Highlander, my previous 2010 G1 RL and my daughter's current 2014 Kia Sportage were/are all shod with this rubber. I have thousands of miles behind the wheel in tons of crazy conditions with these. They are, IMO, the best all seasons I've driven in both good and bad conditions. Pricing is weird on them, however, they can be super cheap in some sizes (like my daughter's Kia with 235/55R18s) and expensive in others...

Just an opinion based on experience with them...
 
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