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Gen 4 Snow Experience

2711 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  jbsjbs
Just checking to see how is everyone feeling about their new Sienna after first major Nor'easter, or pretty much the cost to cost storm? This by no means is meant to pit AWD vs. FWD. One or the other is a personal choice that works best for individual needs.

I know there are some youtubers who have done this. I am thinking may be average Joe/Jane feedback might be more useful to other average Joe/Jane like me? (Do I sound like a Fanboy already? ;) )

Here are my thoughts on our AWD. ( We have another 4Matic 2011 C300 as something to compare to, along with 2006 rear wheel Colorado.)

I had mostly two drives so far in last couple of days.

One was a 70Miles roundtrip with wife and two girls on mostly clean but all wet with some patchy snow along the way on a super-slab and turnpike. I went from Alexandria, VA to Ashburn, VA via 495 Inner loop->66 West -> 28N -> 625W. It was mostly uneventful. I was extra careful to avoid anything remotely scare. I say I didn't have to try too hard as Sienna made it seem like it was a routine drive otherwise. One thing did pucker me a little was the Cruise control with Lane correction. I am sure the owners manual says don't do it with snowy roads so this might be a non-issue. However, a few yards I had it on for the heck of it, what made me a tiny bit over-conscious was that "Lane Correction" had many tiny corrections. When you're trying to avoid any sudden movements that might cause you to go sideways, these constant corrections, if deemed safe, might need a lot of getting used to. The 2nd minor issue was the front two Parking sensors got iced over during low snowfall along the way. You don't need parking sensors while driving, and it is easy to clean once you are in the parking. However, the warning that parking sensors have been iced up kept popping up. It was an annoyance that I had to get used to.

The 2nd trip was when I made an excuse to drive it by myself to fill up gas. I took it to a near by all empty parking lot for a few spins on my way back. It had some patches of 1 inch or so snow. Not as much as I hoped for, but enough to cause cars without traction control or other safety features to spin out easily. While I pushed the gas and brake very hard in straight lines, I didn't make any serious attempts at making doughnuts. I don't know how easy it is to topple a heavy vehicle like this. I say I was extremely pleased how it handled my attempts to push it in straight line and some small low speed U Turns. I would say the AWD and other features worked as expected. It stayed on its line with tires moving along without losing traction or locking up. It didn't make me feel like it was deviating much, if any, from the intended line. I think I am liking what I think I have paid for so far.

I hope I never need to use or rely on these safety features but it is nice to know about the wonderful technology that now exists!

p.s. More of my Pet Peeves below. These don't count against it though.

1. Sunroof will empty inside if enough water drops are on it. I learned it the hard way :(
2. Gas Tank Lid could be a little delicate. Today was my first time trying to fill it. I didn't know if it hinged on left or right. It had sort of frozen over so didn't popup at the first push of the button. While trying to open it meanwhile, If I had pushed it just a little hard in any position, it might have lost its shape.
3. Some snow snuck in between rear top hatch when opened. It made some squishing noises when closing. I can't tell if that snow would fall or drip inside, but it sure made me think it might.
4. Our little one opened up Moonroof with little bit of snow around it. I kept getting "Moonroof" open indicatory in Toyota Connect app. I must have opened and closed the sun and moonroof at least 10-15 times to finally make it go away. They didn't feel open per say, so may the sensor got stuck.
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Great idea to post this, thanks! We're also in the DMV area (DC, Maryland, Virginia for the non-locals) and I drove our 2021 Sienna AWD in the snow for the first time yesterday. We live in a hilly area and this is our first AWD (both our other cars predated our move to this neighborhood). I didn't need to go anywhere yesterday but I wanted to test the van out to see if we'd be OK when we needed it. I'm VERY pleased thus far.

I took the van up several steep hills with an inch of snow and some ice on them and the car felt solid. Never lost traction, never felt unsure. Our long steep cul-de-sac street, which our previous 2005 Honda Odyssey couldn't handle with anything more than a dusting, the Sienna handled perfectly.

Though snow's been infrequent here the last few years it's an enormous relief to not feel trapped by it anymore.
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