Last post on Dec 17, 2008 at 9:18 AM
You are in the Toyota Corolla
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Toyota Corolla, Sedan
#10 of 12 Re: Toyota Corolla for winter driving [will26]
Oct 23, 2008 (2:05 pm)
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.
#11 of 12 Re: Toyota Corolla for winter driving [nedzel]
Oct 23, 2008 (8:01 pm)
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.
#12 of 12 2009 Toyota Corolla vs. 2009 Mazda3 for winter driving
Dec 17, 2008 (9:18 am)
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.