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Hi everyone,
We are new here. My husband and I are debating between a Honda Odyssey or a awd sienna. We are leaning towards the Honda. We have a very steep long drive and live in Wisconsin. Our Honda Pilot gets up no problem, even in 6 inches of snow. My husband's accord can't even get up in an inch of snow. If we get the 2011 Honda Odyssey and throw blizzaks on it, do you think it'll get up? Do you think we need to lean towards the awd sienna?
 

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I suppose it depends on how steep....we switched to Blizzaks the 2nd winter with our '05 because it was impossible on the hills with all-seasons. It was marginal with the Blizzaks....we managed but it wasn't as good as other FWD's I've owned. The tires are fairly wide...vehicle is very heavy...throttle is jumpy off the line...not good combinations. I don't see anything about the 4th gen that's different enough to make it significantly better. If you can get a bit of a run and turn off the traction control you might make it. The TC would stop us dead in our tracks.

We were sure if we went with the Sienna we would get the AWD...but in the end I changed my mind as the run-flats are too much of a pain. Plus the AWD is just a re-active system so it's at the bottom of the barrel in terms of AWD systems. But it would be an improvement so if you don't mind the run-flats...that might be the better choice.
 

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skinny, I'm with you on the run flats, those are a massive pain in the ... My mom's benz has them, and to me the ruin the ride a bit (stiff sidewalls). However, if you have a flat (and my mom was not very lucky recently 4 flats, so that's $375 per tire to replace. Also, it's never in stock, so they have to keep the car overnight till a tire arrives. If you're on a road trip, good luck!

Also, it's difficult to gauge the slope of the hill from your post, but I think the odyssey will be about on par with the accord. Your best hope to conquer the hill is momentum and smooth throttle operation.
 

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we have a short, but very steep driveway.

During the most recent significant snow we got (about 4"), we had no problem getting the odyssey into the garage with the stock low rolling conti's, going up backwards.

My driveway is approx 40' long, but elevation change from street to garage is about 10'; about an 11 degree gradient.

It was a difficult task in my '08 Civics during the winter, but our CR-V had no problem, even in 2' of snow.

As always in snow, ability is determined by the driver, and not the vehicle (I had a 400hp STi for several years, and even with summer tires on it for most of the year living outside boston, I had no problem driving in snow storms that were close to blizzards)
 

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As always in snow, ability is determined by the driver, and not the vehicle (I had a 400hp STi for several years, and even with summer tires on it for most of the year living outside boston, I had no problem driving in snow storms that were close to blizzards)
Uh huh. I'll give you that the driver makes a big part of it. But it sounds like you're ok with the Ody as long as you don't mind driving backwards:DD That's something I've never had to do in a FWD over the years...but did consider it once when the Ody couldn't make it up the hill here the first year. These are quite possibly the biggest and heaviest FWD vehicles ever built so that may explain a lot of it. I can get around better in a RWD.
 

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Seeing how long WI winters are and the amount of snow y'all get I'd look at a SUV type vehicle with 4wd, unless you really need the minivan sort of thing. There are so many near-minivan vehicles now with 3 rows. Hyundai Veracruz for instance I is very nice just smaller in 3rd row - but way nicer inside, chock full of features and great warranty, and you can get awd version. And yes, being able to drive in snow helps a lot (I grew up with snow and went to a school with a ski team 30 min from slopes)....but once I had a car that was horrible in snow despite being Fwd - no amount of skill could get you out of some situations with too much torque, light weight and wide tires. One time I had my future wife get on the hood for a ride up a hill I could not get up w/o some weight over the front, even in reverse. That she married me after some things like that says a lot : ~)

Hyundai Veracruz Trim: Luxury Crossover Vehicles/CUVs - Beats Lexus RX 350 | Hyundai

We almost got a used one but it was more $, it was TOO nice inside (limited version) for hauling kids and camping and I thought fuel mileage was worse. However now after owning Ody, I think fuel mileage is probably about in same ball park except better on hwy.

You can sometimes score a used one pretty good price as Hyundai has not yet go as popular resale. Come to Texas and get one that has not seen salt and snow! LOL I got a Intrigue in Ohio and am replacing the rear suspension due to rust, that after replacing brake lines and PS lines due to rust, and rear struts. Never buy a car that's been up north again...
 

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If you can tollerate the noise, these will resolve any snow/ice
concerns you have. I have 3 kids that are ski racers and we
are trekking all over MA, NH, VT when the road conditions
are pretty bad. I never have a problem with my Gen2 Ody:

Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5 Review
 

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An Ody with good snows will go through a lot but I get the feeling your environment really calls for something AWD or 4WD (as proven by your existing Pilot).

Happy Hunting.
 

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I live in WI and have a 2007 now with Blizzacks. the one storm we got this winter was 11+ inches, streets were not plowed and we got thru just fine. Last winter got about 10 inches tried the same street and didn't make it. No comparison. I would not hesitate going anywhere with the blizzacks on as long as your not lifting the vehicle up off the pavement that the snow is so deep.
Suggest a good snowblower and chicken grit for steep driveways.
 

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AWD vehicles wearing all seasons tires are only marginally better than FWD vehicles wearing the same all season tires. When it comes to winter traction, dedicated snow/ice tires are the way to go. AWD vehicles may help to get you going but has no advantage for stopping or turning. Everybody has 4 wheel brakes and a steering wheel. Only snow/ice tires will make that difference. Haven't you seen those news video clips of AWD SUV sliding down sideways on some icy hill? Over confidence by those AWD SUV drivers and not knowing the traction limits of their tires are to blame. That same AWD SUV wearing snow/ice tires would have made all the difference in the world. If you ask me to choose between an AWD vehicle with all season tires vs. a FWD vehicle with dedicated snow/ice tires, I'll take the FWD vehicle any day of the week and twice on Sunday. There's just no substitute. Considering that you live in Wisconsin, I would invest in a set of snow tires. If those snow tires prevent you from getting into one accident or sliding into one ditch, they have paid for themselves several times over.

We've all heard of "white knuckle driving". It's not because you couldn't get out of a parking lot with 4" of snow. It's because you couldn't stop in time or nearly missed a turn because the steering wheel had no effect on the direction of the vehicle.
 

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Uh huh. I'll give you that the driver makes a big part of it. But it sounds like you're ok with the Ody as long as you don't mind driving backwards:DD That's something I've never had to do in a FWD over the years...but did consider it once when the Ody couldn't make it up the hill here the first year. These are quite possibly the biggest and heaviest FWD vehicles ever built so that may explain a lot of it. I can get around better in a RWD.
Actually, I just never attempted it going forward. We always back the van into our garage but pull the Civic in.

Has to do with the width of our garage and most commonly used doors and amount of stuff in our garage.

I can't imagine it'd be worse going forward, as going backward it has a tendency to plow the snow pretty bad at the bottom.
 
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