Can a Toyota Camry Drive in Snow?

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  • Post last modified:August 8, 2020

Whether you already live in an area that gets regular snowfall or are moving to an area that does, a car that can handle the wintry road conditions is a top priority. If you are planning to buy a Toyota Camry, you might be wondering how well it handles in the snow that you expect to encounter. We researched the Camry’s winter handling to help you better understand how well it can handle the snow.

The Toyota Camry is suitable for winter weather driving. Some have said that the Camry outperforms many SUVs in their area. The all-wheel-drive models are superior to the front-wheel-drive models, but both do well in winter weather.

Gray Toyota Camry on a snowy road, Can a Toyota Camry Drive in Snow?

You may ask what you can do to improve the winter driving performance of the Camry even more. Would you be better off with an all-wheel-drive (AWD)?  And what makes a vehicle handle better in winter weather? We’ll take a look at these and have tips on how to make the most of your car when winter arrives.

How to Make a Toyota Camry Handle Winter Weather Better

The number one thing you can do for your car to make it handle better on ice and snow is to outfit it with winter tires. Snow tires are even more important than having an all-wheel-drive on ice and snow-covered roads. 

Front view of Toyota Camry on a snowy road

Does that mean you’d be better off with a front-wheel-drive car, or an AWD? The best performance comes from an AWD vehicle that has snow tires installed. If you have to choose only one, the consensus seems to be that you’d be better off with a front-wheel-drive car with snow tires over the AWD car with all-season tires. If you are in an area that doesn’t get a lot of snow in the winter, your best bet might be to get the all-wheel-drive vehicle, rather than having to store an extra set of tires the majority of the year.

Is the Toyota Camry All-wheel Drive?

The Toyota Camry is available in both front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive configurations, as of 2020. Before that, the Camry had not been available in AWD since 1991 in the United States. 

Which Camry models have AWD?

Only four-cylinder variants will be available with the AWD option. That will limit your options to the LE, SE, XLE, XSE, and Nightshade models in AWD.

Does AWD Help on Ice?

Whether all-wheel drive helps on ice depends in large part on what help you are looking for and what help you are expecting. It can be beneficial in some situations, though you will still need to drive with care. 

An area all-wheel-drive excels at on icy roads is during the takeoff from a standstill. This can be an essential consideration, especially if you live in an area with a lot of hilly roads. If you live off the beaten path and have a steep drive to get to the main road, then AWD may be worth it for you.

An all-wheel-drive won’t help as much when it comes to turning or stopping, though. You are going to get more help from a set of snow tires than you will get by having AWD. You’re going to stop better and turn better with a front-wheel-drive vehicle sporting snow tires than you will get with a standard all-wheel drive. According to some, with a front-wheel-drive car equipped with the snow tires, you’ll be able to drive up hills as well as or better than the AWD car equipped with standard tires. 

So does all-wheel drive help on ice? Yes. The best combination is an AWD with snow tires, but the AWD on all-season tires will outperform a front or rear-wheel drive vehicle on all-season tires. 

Beige color Toyota Camry on a snowy road

Do You Need Snow Tires with AWD?

This will rely a lot on how bad the roads you will be facing are, and on how often the streets in your area get slick. If you live n the southern United States, then the answer may be no. The reason for this is that the rare gain may not be worth the added expense of a set of tires that is only used during the winter months. Winter tires will need to be installed and removed at the beginning and end of each winter season, Another expense to consider is an extra set of wheels for the snow tires to minimize the time investment, cost, and wear and tear on your wheels.

If you live in the northern areas, then you are going to have a far greater number of days with snow on the ground, and long winter. In those cases, snow tires would be a bonus. It would be worth the extra hassle and expense involved in both the purchase, installation, removal and storage of the extra set of tires. 

Summary

If you already own a Toyota Camry and are considering a move to an area with heavy winters, or already live in an area that receives a lot of snow and are purchasing a Camry, you can rest assured that your Camry will perform well on the snow. This is especially true if your Camry is outfitted with a set of snow tires during the winter months.

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