How well does the Model 3 RWD perform in snow?

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#1
Hey all!

I'm a current reservation holder and have been debating if I should get a RWD or AWD Model 3. I need some insights from current TM3 owners in snowy cities.

I much prefer the AWD for its ability for increased traction in snowy weather and would wait for it but I definitely want the full tax rebate of $7500 so I'm torn. AWD for me is "late 2018" but considering all the delays I'm very skeptical of it.

When I was younger, I drove my dad's RWD BMW 530i (I think it was a 2001 or slightly later) with snow tires that had traction control during snowy weather. It was white knuckle driving. Lots of fish tailing with the traction kicking on often.

I've read that EVs perform better in snow and Tesla supposedly is good in it but I don't want to purchase a car that would have a lot of fish tailing like the BMW I drove many years ago.

Can anyone who owns a Model 3 in a snowy city tell me about their experiences? Im looking for real, honest insight. I always have driven with snow tires. Thanks!
 

NJturtlePower

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#5
Thanks. I've seen that video before and it doesn't tell me enough. Thats really little snow so it doesnt much. Looking for actual owner insights.
How much snow do you plan to see in ATL?

Also keep in mind the Model 3 only has 5.5" of ground clearance, so unless you plan on putting a plow on the front end, "light" snow is all there is to worry about.

See the thread linked above and this one here: https://teslaownersonline.com/threads/model-3-on-the-snow-so-far-so-ok.5988/
 
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#6
I don't plan to see much snow in ATL but I'm from Toronto and I hope to be moving back there and I'd want to take my TM3 back with me. Toronto gets a lot of snow so AWD would be most preferred for me to handle those conditions. I'm open to RWD if it's not going to be a white knuckle fish tailing experience ;)
 

garsh

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#7
I used to drive a rear-wheel drive pickup truck with all-season tires in the snow. I'd just throw a bunch of weight in the bed and it was fine.

An electric car already has a lot of weight on the rear wheels. Snow tires help a lot. Being very gentle on the accelerator is imperative.
 

TheTony

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#8
Tony, I had that same dilemma and the way I talked myself into it was that mid-2018 in Elon-time is most likely late 2018 and even then, I won't be the first one in line for it, so realistically it's early 2019 AND the tax credit will most likely not be 100% by then. I also told myself that in a year I can always sell my current one (and pay back the pro-rated tax credit) and get the one I really want per my signature. Now, I do have two reservations so I have that luxury.

Yeah, I'd actually never really toyed with the idea of AWD - even though I'm in an area that might benefit from it, between the center of gravity and a good set of snow tires, which I'm already shopping for, I don't have any qualms about going with RWD all along. It was only when AWD seemingly got moved up that I even considered it. However, I noticed the discrepancy tonight once I was able to access the configurator and realized they were quoting two different times for AWD.

I think the uncertainty alone is enough to keep me sticking to RWD like I'd planned all along.
 

Audrey

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#9
Yeah, I'd actually never really toyed with the idea of AWD - even though I'm in an area that might benefit from it, between the center of gravity and a good set of snow tires, which I'm already shopping for, I don't have any qualms about going with RWD all along. It was only when AWD seemingly got moved up that I even considered it. However, I noticed the discrepancy tonight once I was able to access the configurator and realized they were quoting two different times for AWD.

I think the uncertainty alone is enough to keep me sticking to RWD like I'd planned all along.
 

MGallo

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#10
Yeah, I'd actually never really toyed with the idea of AWD - even though I'm in an area that might benefit from it, between the center of gravity and a good set of snow tires, which I'm already shopping for, I don't have any qualms about going with RWD all along. It was only when AWD seemingly got moved up that I even considered it. However, I noticed the discrepancy tonight once I was able to access the configurator and realized they were quoting two different times for AWD.

I think the uncertainty alone is enough to keep me sticking to RWD like I'd planned all along.
Tony, where in MN are you? i lived there for 30 years before moving to the Bay Area about 2 1/2 years ago. Lived in Eden Prairie for 20 of those years (where Twitter user @brucem appears to live). I had an RWD 2001 BMW 740i Sport for 11 years and never had an issue with 17" winter tires on it. Traction control on the Tesla is undoubtedly light years ahead of my Beemer, so I would think you should be fine. I only want AWD for the extra power and efficiency, and occasional trip to Tahoe. There are a few other Minnesotans that received invites yesterday, one in Stillwater, Burnsville and maybe North Oaks? Unless one of those is you.
 

TheTony

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#11
Tony, where in MN are you? i lived there for 30 years before moving to the Bay Area about 2 1/2 years ago. Lived in Eden Prairie for 20 of those years (where Twitter user @brucem appears to live). I had an RWD 2001 BMW 740i Sport for 11 years and never had an issue with 17" winter tires on it. Traction control on the Tesla is undoubtedly light years ahead of my Beemer, so I would think you should be fine. I only want AWD for the extra power and efficiency, and occasional trip to Tahoe. There are a few other Minnesotans that received invites yesterday, one in Stillwater, Burnsville and maybe North Oaks? Unless one of those is you.
I'm not one of those but I'm also I the metro. I never even considered AWD because it wasn't supposed to be offered this early in the ramp, and I've actually encouraged others to spend the money on winter tires before AWD, so I fully agree with you. I was just curious which estimate on their site was correct, since they 're not consistent between the estimator and configurator. If I knew AWD was coming this summer, I might consider waiting, but it seems far from certain, so I won't bother, nor have I ever had any concern about RWD after seeing Model S in the snow years ago.

It'd still be nice if Tesla could be more consistent with the data on their site.
 
4

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#12
I much prefer the AWD for its ability for increased traction in snowy weather
traction
ˈtrakʃ(ə)n/

the grip of a tyre on a road or a wheel on a rail.

AWD has nothing to do with vehicle traction. AWD only adds acceleration capability.
If you want more traction in snow, you HAVE to get certified* winter tires.

Fun fact: AWD Model 3 has much longer braking distance on snow than RWD Model 3 with winter tires.

*This is the only way to get proper winter tire, this symbol is mandatory:


I drove my dad's RWD BMW 530i (I think it was a 2001 or slightly later)
That vehicle had cable-pulley throttle adjustment which is very slow. Therefore fishtailing is expected.

 

JeffC

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#13
Very quick answer: snow tires matter more, and EVs like Teslas have excellent control of the driven wheels due to digital control of the electric motor. The Youtube video of the guys in Massachusetts with snow on unplowed roads looks like RWD Model 3 with snow tires works well.