Toyota Corolla for winter driving

neelamsethineelamsethi Member Posts: 2
edited April 2014 in Toyota
I just bought a 2003 toyota corolla. I live in Minnesota and we are getting a lot of snow this year. Is corolla reliable and safe for winters ? I had a Hyundai Accent earlier which was really light. Could anyone else share their winter experience in corolla ? Would sandbags in the trunk help on icy roads ?


  • beantownbeantown Member Posts: 228
    They are great in the snow. Like 90% of FWD vehicles, though, they are only as good as the tires you put on them.

    And NEVER put sandbags in the trunk of a FWD vehicle, unless you enjoy fishtailing. Sandbags are for RWD vehicles only.
  • lostwrenchlostwrench Member Posts: 288
    Sand bags in the trunk of a Corolla in winter weather = Bad idea.
  • electrobuzzelectrobuzz Member Posts: 47
    And the OEM tires afte 20K miles are just as bad an idea...
  • tpulaktpulak Member Posts: 44
    just make sure you have good snow tires, and drive carefully, and you'll be fine.
  • robert7676robert7676 Member Posts: 3
    Also an all season tire made for the Corolla work great in the snow. I am on my 2nd Corolla (2003 & 2005 ) and they perform well. If you get stuck, the best way to get out is rock the car, but avoid spinning excessively as much as possible.I have also used kitty litter or Oil Dry under the tires for added traction to get out of a snow rut. :)
  • terceltomterceltom Member Posts: 1,024
    Note: The 2009 model of Corolla or newer has optional traction control and this function will have to be switched off before trying to rock your car.
  • nedzelnedzel Member Posts: 787
    Sandbags in the trunk would not be a good idea.

    Back in the bad old days, when we drove rear-wheel-drive cars that had heavy engines in the front and little weight in the back, we put sandbags in the rear in the hope of improving rear wheel traction.

    Your Corolla, however, is front-wheel-drive. Putting sand bags in the rear would not help.

    The most important thing you can do is to buy a second set of wheels and mount snow tires on them. Not all-season tires, but real, honest to goodness snow tires. You'll be amazed at the difference they make.
  • will26will26 Member Posts: 62
    Just had to throw this in. I had an 85 Corolla with rear wheel drive. Man, that thing was so crazy to drive in the winter and we even put sandbags in it! That car was amazing. It was a hand me down and went through almost everyone in my family. In the end I sold it 6 years ago with 150,000 miles on it and the engine was still going strong. Got $1000 for it!
  • nedzelnedzel Member Posts: 787
    I had an 80 Corolla. It rusted out prematurely, but was otherwise a good car. Sold it in '87. It did fine in the snow, within its limits.
  • terceltomterceltom Member Posts: 1,024
    Yea I know, I didn't recommend sand bags for anyone! I just reminded about the traction control when rocking the car back and forth.
  • iowa_driveriowa_driver Member Posts: 1
    I just test drove a 2009 Corolla and a 2009 Mazda3 hatchback yesterday in the snow. I was going to cancel the test drive with a storm approaching, but my friend said we should try anyway. I'm so glad he talked me into it, because the difference in the car performance was remarkable.

    The setting: Light powdery snow falling, about 2 inches on the ground and around 10 degrees in Iowa. I drove the Mazda3 first and then about an hour later, with more snow on the ground, I drove a Corolla LE. Both were automatic transmissions equipped with traction control and vehicle stability control. I have driven both manuals and automatics (but my wife can't drive a manual) and I have a fair amount of experience driving in snow and ice conditions. Both my friend and I took turns driving.

    I'll say that I was in love with the Mazda3. The car is gorgeous, drives well, and comes highly recommended. But when we came to turns in the snow it slid more than I expected. The traction control would kick in, but it felt like it was fighting us and it jolted the car quite a bit. On a turn across a two lane road, the traction control engaged, but we still had a noticeable sideways slide.

    The Corolla was my second choice and I drove the LE. The exterior for the 2009 is nice, but a picture of the interior should be in the dictionary next to the word "generic". However, it handled the same turns in the same conditions smoothly. On several turns I could see the traction control light going crazy, but all I noticed when driving was a easy turn in the snow with no noticeable slippage. In truth, if it wasn't for the light, I might not have noticed that the traction control had engaged.

    Ultimately, I had to choose the Corolla. It handled the snow with confidence and I felt much safer driving it. If I lived in a climate with less snow, I probably would have picked the Mazda3. I decided to purchase the Corolla S because the interior is far better than the LE (though it still pales in comparison to the Mazda3).

    I never suspected that there could be so much difference in traction control technology (I assume that was the difference in performance). I suppose the tires could have been a factor, but both had new all-season radials.
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