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Old 01-29-2014, 02:57 PM
 
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We are looking at possibly moving to Iowa City this summer for work. We are also looking to upgrade our family car to a van...either Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna. Is the AWD of the Sienna necessary for the Iowa Winters?
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:09 AM
 
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As I always joke with people asking about buying a car for Iowa City:

The best car to buy is the one that will get you out of Iowa City

No idea where you are moving from, but many of the people I met while living in Iowa City were regretting the decision to move there.

If you decide to go through with it, and I'm sure the fanbois on the forum will come out in force to declare it as the best place "EVAR!!!", you'll want something that can deal with ice. It's a good idea to have chains. I would suggest having AWD if you have the option available. It isn't an absolute must have, if you are a great driver that is not being distracted by children, but the one or two times that it keeps you from getting your car stuck you'll absolutely love it.

The ice in the winter is a very real problem.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
3,420 posts, read 4,892,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumbeep View Post
We are looking at possibly moving to Iowa City this summer for work. We are also looking to upgrade our family car to a van...either Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna. Is the AWD of the Sienna necessary for the Iowa Winters?
If you're in a van in Iowa City, you'll be looked down upon. Not quite as much as if you drove a (heaven forbid) pickup. You're only cool in Iowa City if you own a Prius or a similar facsimile of.

My daughter needed help moving from her apartment to a house she bought several years ago. She had LOTS of male friends, but do you think she could find one red blooded guy who owned a pickup? Na Da. When my son lived there he actually owned an Avalanche. Disgraceful. He was single handedly ruining the earth.

As stated earlier, get something with front wheel drive or all wheel drive. Ice is the biggest hazard in Iowa City, not snow.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:06 PM
 
18 posts, read 57,821 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurtsman View Post
As I always joke with people asking about buying a car for Iowa City:

The best car to buy is the one that will get you out of Iowa City

No idea where you are moving from, but many of the people I met while living in Iowa City were regretting the decision to move there.

If you decide to go through with it, and I'm sure the fanbois on the forum will come out in force to declare it as the best place "EVAR!!!", you'll want something that can deal with ice. It's a good idea to have chains. I would suggest having AWD if you have the option available. It isn't an absolute must have, if you are a great driver that is not being distracted by children, but the one or two times that it keeps you from getting your car stuck you'll absolutely love it.

The ice in the winter is a very real problem.
Just make sure you ignore pretty much everything in this post. I have yet to see anyone use chains, lol, and there are plenty of people driving rear wheel BMWs who manage to get around the days when it snows.

Depending on how much you need to drive, rear wheel drive may not be the best idea (it sounds like the vehicles you are looking at won't offer it regardless), but unless you intend to drive long distance in the winter, I wouldn't let winter play much of a role in deciding which car you intend to buy. All things the same, AWD may be worth it, but I certainly would not spend very much extra for it. Car review magazines are probably a much better place to ask this type of question.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:19 PM
 
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Front wheel drive is all you really need.
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:43 AM
 
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I've never known anyone to use chains while driving in the winter around the Iowa City area. I would highly recommend front wheel drive unless you're a very experienced driver. When we moved here from Southern California 20 years ago, I had a terrible time with our back wheel drive while my husband did not. Regardless, we got snow tires for that car and then I had no problem at all
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:34 AM
 
3,492 posts, read 5,155,497 times
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The lack of willingness to use chains could be part of why I saw so many abandoned vehicles in the ditches. You would really only want them for a couple days a year, but people made bad decisions and drove on those days regularly with no safety measures.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:26 AM
 
18 posts, read 57,821 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurtsman View Post
The lack of willingness to use chains could be part of why I saw so many abandoned vehicles in the ditches. You would really only want them for a couple days a year, but people made bad decisions and drove on those days regularly with no safety measures.
This may be true ... it is amazing to see how many people end up in the ditch on the interstate. But, I think there is a big difference between driving in Iowa City and outside. Also, I apologize if my previous comment came off as rude in anyway; I tried to edit it this morning but it appears too much time has lapsed.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:43 AM
 
1,625 posts, read 2,315,940 times
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A lot of people just drive too fast on Interstate 380 in bad weather. I can't count the number of times that cars have sped past me only to end up in the ditch as I pass them by during my daily commute between IC and CR.
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:55 PM
 
9,381 posts, read 10,057,798 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurtsman View Post
The lack of willingness to use chains could be part of why I saw so many abandoned vehicles in the ditches. You would really only want them for a couple days a year, but people made bad decisions and drove on those days regularly with no safety measures.
I've NEVER seen anyone use chains ANYWHERE in Iowa. I've never seen tire chains in person, or heard anyone even suggest using them in Iowa before.
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