Well, winter wanted to give us one more snow to remember it by. I live in the north/west burbs of Philly and we got around 4-6 inches (it's changing to sleet now). I drove the Durango home from work and it, of course, had no problems with the snow. There was one spot where I got sideways because they had just plowed and a thin layer was on the road. I corrected the slide and brought it back in without to much trouble. When I got home I had to take the RX 330 out to play in the fresh snow.
I wasn't expecting it to do that well. I figured it would be able to get around ok, but was really surprized at how well it did. I never felt out of control or like I could get stuck. I took it through un plowed road, plowed roads, and snow banks. It handle everything as well, if not better, than the Durango! I tried to get it sideways and the VSC would beep on and fix any situation I put in. I tried the same curve that I got the Durango sideways on. The back started to slide out and the VSC kicked in. Beep Beep and was under control again. It corrected before I could correct it myself.
Needless to say, I'm very surprised and happy by the performance of the 330 in the snow. I thought the 18" wheels might be a problem, but they performed great. I don't know how it would perform in 8"+ of snow, but I'm betting it wouldn't do badly. The Durango might sit in the garage during our next big storm.
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Originally posted by xsfo Thanks for the report. Keep us updated. I too am wondering how well the 18" wheels/tires will perform in the snow. Your report is encouraging.
I assume that the Durango you compared it to is adequately set-up for snow? No bald tires etc?
I was worried about the 18" wheels also. I was going to get some 17" wheels and have the dealer switch them out for the winter (it's a service they do for free - tire storage and switching). I don't think I'm going to do that now though. While this storm was not major (4-6 inches) it did give me change to try it out. Even in the 7-8 inch drifts I didn't feel like I would get stuck.
The tires on the Durango are very good (31 inchers). Don't get me wrong. I love the Durango and would take it anywhere. I had it out in a 20 inch snow storm this winter and it did fine. I did almost get it stuck in a 30 inch drift (slid into it), but a little low range and rocking back and forth and I got out. I also take the Durango in deep sand (down in NC) and have never been stuck.
I would probably still grab the Durango for a snow of more than 8 inches, but I do want to try the 330 out in deep snow. Like I said, with the VSC, it feels more stable than even the Durango in this snow storm. Very impressed the 330 4WD (I think it's more of an AWD though).
"True all-wheel drive that seems to work remarkably well. It splits power 50-50, front-rear normally, and can shift nearly all to either end, as traction needs require. The electronic traction control manages side-to-side wheelspin. Such electronic systems usually falter on steep, slick slopes and in other challenging conditions. You want to go, but the traction control, programmed to limit wheelspin, keeps trying to stop. Toyota appears to have tuned out that vile behavior, also a benefit to the AWD version of the Sienna minivan, which uses the same system. "
However, article mentions glitch with power steering.
"The RX 330 was a peach in the test drive, with one, signal exception. The power assist on the steering faded in vicious, emergency swerves. That made it hard to turn the steering wheel for an instant"
Apparently, also same glitch in Toyota Sienna minivan.
Originally posted by 1st330 With winter weather coming to the NE, I was curious how my new 330 baby with 18" Michelins might do in its first winter storm and came across this thread.
I'm ready for a bad winter. The little bit of snow I got to drive the 330 in during the spring has given me alot of confidence in it's ablility. The reviews seem to confirm what I experienced. Motor Trend, during thier SUV of the Year testing, was impressed by the AWD on the RX330.
Gotta get new shoes for the Durango, then I'll be all set.
There was a big discussion earlier this year about whether the 18 inchers would be adequate in snow. As I recall, on the RX300, the bigger optional tires werent that good. So the implication was that the 18's on the RX330 wouldnt be either. However, most of the new RX330's are coming in with 18's. j4ydubs in the first and third post post here did find his RX330 with the 18's was fine in the snow.
I'll probably wait and see how it performs in that white fluffy stuff. However, I did find a review of the Blizzack WS-50 on tireracks web site. It does seem to be a decent snow tire.
I guess it depends on your tire. Mine came with the Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires. I've noticed that many of you received Michelin. The Blizzak WS 50 seem to be really good tires but I'm worried about the rapid tread wear I read from the reviews. I would want my winter tires to last 3-4 winter seasons.