I grew up on the East Coast spending most of my time in Connecticut and New Hampshire, so you know I was no stranger to snow, cold and all the fun that winter can bring. When I moved to Wisconsin, I kind of expected that winters would be about the same. Boy, was I wrong! I find Wisconsin winters to be colder, harsher and longer than their New England counterparts. Since winter in Wisconsin seems to go on and on (and on and on and…), I’ve decided to make friends with the enemy and find a way to make winter not only tolerable but maybe even a little more enjoyable. So today I am teaming up with my friends at Toyota and sharing some ways to make winter a little more pleasant.
First, make sure you can get out and around when it snows. There’s nothing that makes winter feel longer than being cooped up in your house. Having a way to get out and do the things you like to do whether that is shop, go to the movies or even just get to work without an issue goes a long way toward making winter more tolerable. I’m a huge fan of vehicles with AWD. When I first moved to Wisconsin, I had a basic sedan. Once I upgraded to an AWD vehicle, it was a game changer! (Add in some snow tires and you are unstoppable!!) We braved the most recent snowstorm in a Sienna Minivan from Toyota with AWD.
During my time with the Sienna, we had a family medical emergency and needed to travel to Milwaukee in the thick of the storm. I was so impressed with how well the Sienna handled the unplowed roads!
Next, make peace with winter by finding something fun to do in the cold! My family likes snowshoeing together and Josh is big snowboarding fan. While snowshoes are pretty easy to transport, snowboarders come with a lot more gear! Josh and a friend wanted to take advantage of the fresh snow and luckily the Sienna easily fit ALL of their gear plus the four of us very comfortably.
Also, make yourself as comfortable as possible while out and about in the winter. While I’ve had heated seats in my own vehicles for a while, I’ve recently become a huge fan of heated steering wheels as well. It was such a treat to have both in the Toyota Sienna and I’ve become a strong believer that these should be standard in any vehicles driven in temps below 40 degrees!
And I am also a HUGE fan of remote start. I love being able to warm up my car without worrying about leaving it running in my driveway with the keys in it (which is actually illegal in Wisconsin).
Keep the kids happy! Nothing is worse than trying to concentrate on winter driving while the kids are fighting or complaining in the backseat. If you are going on a long trip, pack some things to keep the kids busy and occupied. The Toyota Sienna has a build in BluRay player with wireless headphones which is perfect for keeping your tiny humans happy. The backseats also have their own heat controls so your passengers can regulate their own comfort without distracting you from staying safe on the road.
Given the choice, I’d probably still choose a sporty convertible and a warm beachy breeze. But if am going to live where winter rules several months of the year, I love having a vehicle that makes winter manageable and the Toyota Sienna definitely does!
Thanks so much to Toyota for providing the Sienna to us for an extended test drive.