Are Toyota Tundras Good In The Snow? The Simple Truth

By Derrick •  Updated: 01/23/22 •  6 min read


Interested in where the Toyota Tundra stands when it comes to driving in the snow? Let’s discuss!

In short, yes, Toyota Tundras handle well in the snow for the following reasons:

The Toyota Tundra has been on the market since 1999 and has many drivers that commented on how well they handle the snow. Unlike the domestic auto manufacturers, Toyota is slow to roll out redesigned models. They will often make small gradual changes versus the frequent redesigns and large volume of changes that Ford and Chevy do.

The Tundra has 4×4 capability, making it a solid choice for those who live in areas with lots of snowfall. Properly utilizing 4×4 will give you more traction to tackle where two-wheel-drive vehicles struggle.

The Toyota Tundras 4-wheel drive system isn’t as popular as Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado that offer a 4-wheel drive automatic feature. However, the Tundra is still a great option with the driver-selectable 4-wheel drive.

What Determines How Well A Vehicle Does In The Snow?

Many factors determine how well a vehicle does in the snow, and each factor is essential. I will touch on a few of these factors below:

Snow Tires

Yes, you indeed need snow tires to get through the winter season. But there is more to it than just buying new tires. 

There are many brands of snow tires available for purchase, and each company will claim they make the best snow tire possible. This is due to the advertising involved and because all companies will design their specific snow tires based on certain testing metrics that are unique to them.

4×4 System

As we discussed earlier, a 4×4 system is almost a must in areas with consistent, heavy snowfall. It will make a massive difference over a similar vehicle that is two-wheel drive.

Vehicle Weight

This is a factor that some people fail to consider. When it comes to a vehicle’s ability to push through packed snow and ice, its weight matters. More weight will give you better traction and help push your way through thick snow buildups.

It is fairly common for folks living in heavy snowfall areas to add traction grit or sandbags (or other items that will add weight) to the vehicle to add supplemental weight and can be used for more traction if you do get stuck.

Rear Wheel Drive vs. All Wheel Drive

There are pros and cons to both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive when driving in the snow.

Rear-wheel drive vehicles (like the Toyota Tundra) are generally more maneuverable than all-wheel-drive vehicles. This is because the power is sent to the back wheels, making it easier to turn around in tight spaces.

However, when driving in slippery conditions such as snow, ice, or rain, rear-wheel-drive vehicles can be more prone to slipping and sliding. With the Tundra, you can engage 4×4, which will turn your rear-wheel-drive Tundra into a 4×4 and mitigate the downsides of rear-wheel drive.

All-wheel drive vehicles are considered more stable than rear-wheel-drive vehicles when it comes to slippery conditions, and they are also better at handling uneven surfaces. For the most part, all-wheel-drive vehicles are always engaged, so it doesn’t require you to shift into 4×4 like a rear-wheel-drive Toyota Tundra would.

However, all-wheel drive vehicles can be less maneuverable than rear-wheel drive vehicles.

City Driving vs. Highway Driving

There are some key differences between city and highway driving when it comes to driving in the snow.

In a city, you will be driving around tight corners and through small streets, which can be more difficult in a vehicle with poor traction. In a city, you are also more likely to encounter an obstacle in the road, such as a parked car or construction.

You will be driving in a straight line for long distances on the highway, which is easier in a vehicle with good traction. You are also less likely to encounter an obstacle on the highway. The downside of highway driving is it is easier to go at faster speeds, sometimes leading to drivers driving faster than they should, given the road conditions.

Features The Tundra Has That Help With Snow

Four Wheel Drive System Available

Tundras are available with rear-wheel drive (RWD) or 4WD, depending on how much money you want to spend.

Tundras are excellent vehicles for winter usage because they spread power equally among all four wheels.

Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)

The poor traction on roads can cause the car to skid and slide off the road or into another vehicle, which is one of the reasons many people dread winter driving.

Vehicle stability control otherwise known as a Traction Control System (TCS) – Applies brakes to each wheel and routes power to the wheel with the most traction to avoid the driver losing control when a vehicle’s handling limits are reached. The system isn’t perfect and the driver should still use appropriate caution based on the driving conditions.

Brake Assist Technology

Toyota Tundras with the Brake Assist technology have been found to save at least 30 percent on stopping times. The Brake Assist function automatically boosts brake force when you press the brakes to ensure that your Tundra comes to a stop quickly.

Why do people buy Toyota Tundras instead of Ford F150s or Chevy Silverados when they live in snowy areas?

There are a few reasons why people might buy a Toyota Tundra instead of a Ford F150 or Chevy Silverado when they live in an area with lots of snow.

One reason is that the Tundra has been around for a long time than either of those trucks and has a good reputation for handling in the snow. Toyota did redesign the Tundra for the 2022 model year, so time will tell if anything has recently changed with how the new Tundra handles in snowy conditions, but I suspect it will handle just fine.

Toyota’s in general have a track record for being more reliable than the Ford F150 or Chevy Silverado, giving owners the peace of mind that they will not likely be stranded in inclement and snowy weather.

Finally, some people might prefer the look or style of the Toyota Tundra over the other two trucks.

Wrapping Up

Toyota Tundras may not necessarily be the best trucks for driving in the snow; overall, they have done respectably well. With any vehicle, the most significant factors that impact cold weather driving are having quality tires that if possible, are snow rated, having them inflated to the appropriate PSI, with proper tread life left. Lastly, ensure you are driving at an appropriate speed for the road conditions while leaving enough room to stop between other cars.

I hope this article has been informative and answered all of your questions, but let me know if we can cover any additional topics.


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