Wildgoose Chase Moto Guzzi

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: willowstreetguzziguy on January 10, 2015, 01:48:52 PM

Title: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: willowstreetguzziguy on January 10, 2015, 01:48:52 PM
I have an older German rear wheel drive car with Blizzak snow tires for snow and it does very well   Just curious how an all wheel drive vehicle w/ all-season tires compare in the snow? If you had to choose one to travel 100 miles in a snow storm, which would you choose?
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Mayor_of_BBQ on January 10, 2015, 02:04:47 PM
Having lived in the MTNs of Nc & Montana I would take my Subaru with all season tires over any rwd I've had.

Only luck I ever had in snow/ice with RWD was a little 2wd Toyota truck that I had two rubbermade totes full of water/ice strapped in the bed over the rear axle


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: rodekyll on January 10, 2015, 02:13:46 PM
I take it there isn't snow where you come from.

AWD is superior.  In standard snowy road conditions I prefer it to the jeep grand Cherokee* and it's copious choices for traction.  Also there is something satisfying about busting a snowdrift with my GMC AWD Safari van and feeling the various corners bite independently of one another.  It's like it's THINKING its way through the obstacle.




* The jeep has other amenities that make it worth its keep, but the 4wd on the highway is not one of them.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: PeteS on January 10, 2015, 02:21:13 PM
 AWD with all weather tires are better for go. 2 WD with snows are better for stopping and turning.
If they are used to snow where you live and have plenty of plows you will be fine with 2 WD. If you have a long driveway or have to drive unplowed roads then you want AWD. Average snowfall around here is about 130". Two or three days a year I wish I had 4 WD but I have not been stuck yet in 14 years with my 2WD drive pickup.

Pete
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Nic in Western NYS on January 10, 2015, 02:53:32 PM
For some high percentage of the time where I am in interior New England, rwd with or without snows works great.  Some times, like yesterday around 0930 when I was on my way from Worcester to the Amtrak station in Westwood MA, I was one of the few cars that were not stopped by the weather.  I have winter tires and all wheel drive. Almost all of the time, that's overkill.  Yesterday, I would have missed my train without it.  How much do you always need to be somewhere?  Can you easily push off drives until the weather clears or does your business require you make it somewhere no matter what the weather?

Nic
Title: Re:
Post by: Kev m on January 10, 2015, 03:11:43 PM
I've owned almost nothing but 4wd or AWD vehicles for nearly two decades now, including 3 Jeeps (2 Grand Cherokees, and 1 Cherokee), 1 Geo Tracker (that started life as 2wd/rwd, but ended as 4wd), 3 Subarus, and 1 AWD Nissan Juke.

About half of them I've run with all-seasons only, and half with all-seasons or dedicated winter tires (usually Blizzaks) seasonally.

Though there is no denying that there are braking advantages to winter tires and that a rwd (especially one with locking or limited slip differentials) can do well with run them, I'll take the AWD EVERY TIME.

Over the years I've found that AWD and DECENT all-seasons are sufficient for this latitude.

Rk - I'm curious what 4wd systems you've experienced in the GC. My two were/are EXCEPTIONALLY good on the highway. The first was a 99 WJ 4.7 V8 with the first mechanical Quadra-Drive (variable auto locking transfer case and front and rear differentials). The current is a 2012 WK2 with Quadra Trac II and Select Trac (utilizes an electronically controlled locking transfer case with open diffs that approximate locking differentials through braking control).

The later might be as good or better than the former both on and off road.
Title: Re:
Post by: Kev m on January 10, 2015, 03:16:04 PM
PS I've traveled 100-150 miles in blizzards between Chester County, PA and various Pocono ski resorts. In both Jeeps and Subarus, usually, but not always with winter tires, but ALWAYS with AWD/4WD.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Antietam Classic Cycle on January 10, 2015, 03:36:06 PM
I have an older German rear wheel drive car with Blizzak snow tires for snow and it does very well   Just curious how an all wheel drive vehicle w/ all-season tires compare in the snow? If you had to choose one to travel 100 miles in a snow storm, which would you choose?

Not all rear wheel drive vehicles are created equal. If the "older German rear wheel drive car" is also rear engine, it could do just as well as awd.  ;)
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Pfaff! on January 10, 2015, 03:44:37 PM
All season rubber are crap and good for nothing.
And for heavens sake do use those Blizzak on all 4 wheels.

We do occasionally have winters in Scandinavia and some experience with snowy roads. For the icy roads you need spiked tires. Or stay at home.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Kev m on January 10, 2015, 03:48:59 PM
I have no idea how they treat the roads in Scandinavia, but I do know how well they do in PA, where all seasons are usually fine. ;)
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Pfaff! on January 10, 2015, 03:54:42 PM
I have no idea how they treat the roads in Scandinavia, but I do know how well they do in PA, where all seasons are usually fine. ;)


No they are not. They will provide less grip in any situation, summer or winter, compared to proper tires.
Title: Re: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Kev m on January 10, 2015, 04:11:24 PM

No they are not. They will provide less grip in any situation, summer or winter, compared to proper tires.

No they are not what, sufficient/fine most of the time? That's a silly stance and easily disproved.

The key to the problem with your stance is proving if less is "too little."

But the opposite is easily demonstrated.

I know only a small handful of people at this Latitude of North America who use winter tires. The VAST MAJORITY don't.

The vast majority also don't hibernate and drive in the winter.

The vast majority don't crash.

Therefore the vast majority prove all seasons are generally sufficient around here.

That's not to say winters won't be even more capable.

But that doesn't prove they are necessary.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Aaron D. on January 10, 2015, 04:22:04 PM
100 miles in a snowstorm? AWD and real snow tires.

I have AWD and all-season, because the roads are seldom all that slippery and the Pirelli P7s are great in dry, and a hoot in snow. But stuuded snow tires or real snow tires on 2WD is excellent in snow.

I used to put studded Nokias on my Audi 200, that was fun. I was driving up to the White Mountains a lot for ski touring in those days.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Nic in Western NYS on January 10, 2015, 04:27:38 PM
Any experienced opinions on the best aspect ratio for snow?  I've heard that skinny tires have an advantage all else being equal. Makes sense but want to ask the experts.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: canuck750 on January 10, 2015, 04:43:16 PM
All season tires are good for up to -10C, after that winter tires make a huge difference. I was a non believer until I put a set of 4 on my wife's Cavalier 15 yrs ago, wow what a change. Winter is long and cold here and winter tires should be mandatory like they are in the Province of Quebec.

I have a 4wd Ford Ranger, a Jeep Wrangler and an AWD BMW 550xi. By far the best winter vehicle is the BMW, it does not slip or slide, there is on loss or traction no matter how bad the roads are or. I had a RWD BMW 530 and with winter tires it was pretty good most of the time. AWD in the German cars is not same as 4WD in the Ranger or Jeep, don't know how the Audi or Mercedes system works but I assume its like the BMW, constant drive system modulated to front and rear.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: EvanM on January 10, 2015, 04:58:47 PM
All season tires are good for up to -10C, after that winter tires make a huge difference. I was a non believer until I put a set of 4 on my wife's Cavalier 15 yrs ago, wow what a change. Winter is long and cold here and winter tires should be mandatory like they are in the Province of Quebec.


100% agree with you on that Jim!
Way too many idiot drivers speeding around here with bald all seasons.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: StuCorpe on January 10, 2015, 05:04:45 PM
I like my AWD with snow tires real well.  Studded tires are no longer legal in Michigan as they tore up the roads to much.  AWD doesn't hack it for boondockin, still need my 4WD for that.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: MotoGuzzi on January 10, 2015, 05:57:21 PM
Ground clearance is all so a factor in determining the capability of a vehicle to traverse snow covered roads.
Title: Re: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Kev m on January 10, 2015, 05:59:45 PM
Any experienced opinions on the best aspect ratio for snow?  I've heard that skinny tires have an advantage all else being equal. Makes sense but want to ask the experts.
Skinny is better for snow, wide and siped better for ice.

With snow you want to dig down to the road surface and more #/surface area of tire is good. Too wide a tire and it's similar to hydroplaning in that it floats on the snow because the weight is too spread out.

But on ice you want square footage. So to an extent, wider soft compound tires with more sipping (which also increases effective surface area) is better.
Title: Re: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Kev m on January 10, 2015, 06:08:01 PM
AWD in the German cars is not same as 4WD in the Ranger or Jeep, don't know how the Audi or Mercedes system works but I assume its like the BMW, constant drive system modulated to front and rear.

There are a good number of different AWD systems and it's not country of origin based.

There are systems that mechanically or electronically lock. There are systems that equate to only 2 or 3 wheel drive. There are systems that are front or rear wheel biased. There are those that vector torque to one side or the other based on steering inputs.

MOST modern systems use significant electronic controls and can control individual wheels.

I really like Subaru systems for rwd-like layout (longitudinal crankshaft and transmission), equal length front halfshafts (coming out of a differential near the front of the transmission) to prevent torque steer, low center of gravity boxer motors, and great front to rear balance.

My Juke has a neat on-road performance based system that is completely electronically controlled through clutch packs that connect the rear halfshafts to the ring and pinion. Depending on settings it can aggressively throw power to the outside rear wheel in a dry curve, or limit it side to side in slippery conditions to prevent the tail from kicking out. Through this electronic control it can run anywhere from 100% fwd to 50/50 front to rear, and can vector up to 100% of that rear power to one side or the other.

Jeep has something like 5 or more different AWD/4wd systems that vary by model, or even by trim level. Everything from traditional rwd with 4wd transfer case, with or without locking or limited slip differentials to fwd biased systems that throw power rearwards on demand. Ironically the best off road Wranglers (Rubicon models) don't have the best on road manners as they are designed for rock crawling and mud holing.
Title: Re: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Kev m on January 10, 2015, 06:26:56 PM
AWD doesn't hack it for boondockin, still need my 4WD for that.

The lines are getting more and more blurred.

In theory you might call our Jeep GC AWD since it's full time, but it has a traditional transfer case (with low range) plus front and rear axle layout.

Meanwhile Subaru's Outback now includes an "X" mode for off-roading that increases the not insignificant abilities of those crossovers. But it's still an AWD system in every traditional sense of the word.


X-mode:

http://www.planetsubaru.com/subaru-x-mode.htm


If you can't tell, I'm sorta an AWD junkie...
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: rboe on January 10, 2015, 07:09:59 PM
I have boat loads of experience in the winter and snow in Duluth Minnesota and along the North Shore. The cars most favored by locals; Saabs and Volkswagen Beetles. Now, Subaru's, but you see a ton of everything else.

Because Duluth is kinda like San Fransisco and getting up the hill is usually matter of tactics than brute force. I had a Pinto wagon, with brand new radial snow tires climbed greasie hills pretty good (not as good as my wife's old Citation. That car impressed me). So the right car, the right tires and a driver with winter snow skills can do very well.

Up north, folks tried to get by with all season tires (and some years prove easier than others) with limited success. In bad years, snow tires are the only way to go. Especially with two wheel drive. Northern climes have extremes way too often and proper winter tires are really the only way to go if you can't pick and choose the days or roads you need to drive.

So, a good rear wheeled car (with close to 50/50 weight distribution and not too much horsepower) or front wheeled drive car (I would prefer front wheel to rear wheel as the engine end usually has the most weight which will help you in the snow) would serve me/you just fine.

If I get to choose the 4WD/AWD car, stuck with all seasons, I'll take the Subaru. Assuming all the tires every where are new, I think it would be tough case. I'd probably still choose the Subbie, but would not feel short changed with a good two wheeled drive car with excellent winter tires. They are under rated in this age of AWD and 4WD vehicles.

A very strong case could be made to go two wheel drive as you'll take fewer chances than with an AWD vehicle. More folks get into trouble with four wheel drive vehicles because they think they can a lot more (like stop as well as they get going) than they really can (especially with their skill set).

I guess I'm choosing the 2WD car. :)
Title: Re:
Post by: Kev m on January 10, 2015, 07:34:03 PM
I had a buddy who drove his E30 BMW 3-series year round and made a point of the car's capabilities with Hakkapeliitta snow tires. It was impressive, though the driver played a part.

He always said 4wd just meant you got stuck worse...

...I have to admit the one time I seriously got stuck in a blizzard it was in a 4wd with snow tires.

Granted, I got it stuck in snow ON THE ROAD that was higher than the HOOD! Snow was blowing off the higher elevation Amish farm fields and clogging the lower roads cut between them.

I actually spent that night in an Amish farm house until the next morning when the "English" farmer across the road came out with his bucket tractor and plowed the road and pulled me out.

In my defense the major roads nearby all shut down too that night and 30+ people slept on the shelves of a local convenience store.

At least I had a wood burning stove, a sleeping bag, and a couch!
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Aaron D. on January 10, 2015, 07:34:58 PM
Current Audis with longitudinal engines use a Torsen center diff, my current car has a torque bias of 60% to the rear.

Transverse Audis and VWs use a Haldex coupling, as does Volvo and at least some Fords.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Aaron D. on January 10, 2015, 07:36:49 PM
Any experienced opinions on the best aspect ratio for snow?  I've heard that skinny tires have an advantage all else being equal. Makes sense but want to ask the experts.

I've often done thw -1 thing when ordering snow tires for cars with fat tires. A 205/70 will go to 195/80. Works remarkably well.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Nic in Western NYS on January 10, 2015, 08:31:34 PM
I've often done thw -1 thing when ordering snow tires for cars with fat tires. A 205/70 will go to 195/80. Works remarkably well.
Thanks. Is there a good conversion chart you recommend?  Nic
Title: Re:
Post by: Kev m on January 10, 2015, 08:35:30 PM
Check www.tirerack.com for recommended sizes and tire/wheel packages.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: willowstreetguzziguy on January 10, 2015, 08:48:47 PM
Found a nice set of Hankook I Pike winter tires on BMW wheels used for under $450
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: rboe on January 10, 2015, 08:52:21 PM
I had a buddy in college that had a deal with a tire company testing winter tires on his Saab. The current set he had (this was over twenty years ago, so details like the tire maker are lost) on his Saab, in a good snow storm, that car acted like a 4WD. I was very impressed. Naturally, those tires on a Subaru or other well working all wheel drive would have worked even better (save pickups, I think they suck in the snow but perhaps I really should be dinging their drivers).

We always took special note of vehicles that did exceptionally well in snow, on the hills. My Pinto, with new tires did very well, used tires, not so much. I had a diesel Escort, that despite being front wheel drive did poorly in the snow.
Title: Re:
Post by: drums4money on January 10, 2015, 09:18:29 PM
Check www.tirerack.com for recommended sizes and tire/wheel packages.

I put an 8 month set of wheels & tires on my little e46 wagon and had winter tires put on the factory wheels.  It's a good setup & I haven't had any sketchy moments in the snow in the few years since I've had them.  Definitely narrower for the snow. 

I had a little X-Type Jag with AWD.  Always had all season tires and it was a little beast in the snow.  Better in the snow than the 5 Series we replaced it with.

Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Antietam Classic Cycle on January 10, 2015, 09:59:02 PM
We always took special note of vehicles that did exceptionally well in snow, on the hills. My Pinto, with new tires did very well, used tires, not so much. I had a diesel Escort, that despite being front wheel drive did poorly in the snow.

My Rabbit GTi didn't go up hills very well forward, but backed up them great. Did it by accident the first time - spun around going up to Crampton's Gap, stuck it in reverse and what the heck? it went better backwards! There was a guy in a Saab 900 watching and he backed up the hill right behind (in front?) of me. Good thing they had rear window wipers.  :) The Audi 5000S did much better up hills since it was larger and heavier, less weight transfer to the rear.

Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Nic in Western NYS on January 10, 2015, 10:09:37 PM
My 2002 F150 manual 4x4 with a V6 is better than was my 1993 F150 4x4 with a V8.  The combination of less torque being more controllable through the manual transmission might account for the difference. Tires were comparable.
Title: Re:
Post by: rodekyll on January 10, 2015, 10:39:57 PM
I've owned almost nothing but 4wd or AWD vehicles for nearly two decades now, including 3 Jeeps (2 Grand Cherokees, and 1 Cherokee), 1 Geo Tracker (that started life as 2wd/rwd, but ended as 4wd), 3 Subarus, and 1 AWD Nissan Juke.

About half of them I've run with all-seasons only, and half with all-seasons or dedicated winter tires (usually Blizzaks) seasonally.

Though there is no denying that there are braking advantages to winter tires and that a rwd (especially one with locking or limited slip differentials) can do well with run them, I'll take the AWD EVERY TIME.

Over the years I've found that AWD and DECENT all-seasons are sufficient for this latitude.

Rk - I'm curious what 4wd systems you've experienced in the GC. My two were/are EXCEPTIONALLY good on the highway. The first was a 99 WJ 4.7 V8 with the first mechanical Quadra-Drive (variable auto locking transfer case and front and rear differentials). The current is a 2012 WK2 with Quadra Trac II and Select Trac (utilizes an electronically controlled locking transfer case with open diffs that approximate locking differentials through braking control).

The later might be as good or better than the former both on and off road.

I had an govm't surplus '84 wagoner with a straight 6 and 4-speed.  It was really good off-pavement in 4wd but twitchy on the highway.  There was a lot more off pavement than on back then so it was a good thing.  You could run it up a creek bed at any speed you felt you could do, but it really didn't like going much faster than 65.  Before that it was Dodge Power Wagons and the like -- serious machines with no speed.  I sold the jeep when I got the jimmy in '99, and it's been the only cage I've put many miles on except for my sister's grand Cherokee.  I ran her jeep from Whidby Island to past Pendleton, OR about this time last year on a trip to Baker City.  We started getting snow about Portland and went into 4wd for the pass through Pendleton.  It was 4wd from then on and back (didn't make Baker City).  I thought the jeep was twitchy, oversteered, and felt like one corner or the other was breaking loose a lot.  The overall feeling was more of skating than driving.  I did NOT want to stop quickly.

I run my Safari van with studs in the winter and take it up as far as Dawson City in the Yukon on my aurora photography trips.  They know how to make snow up there.  I go any speed I want to and feel confident in my control.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: drw916 on January 11, 2015, 01:03:34 AM
I have an AWD Juke with blizzacks for winter, and a Land Rover Discovery with BF Goodrich All- Terrains.  Say what you want, good tires and AWD is always going to be the best option.  The Juke handles ice and packed snow with incredible ease, and when the snow gets real deep, the Land Rover is pretty much unstoppable.  If I lived in town it probable wouldn't matter, but in the country you can't count on plows to come by when you need them.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Zoom Zoom on January 11, 2015, 05:34:43 AM
Well, I have an AWD car equipped with Blizzaks and have driven over 100 miles in a snow storm. Honestly, if I had been in anything less, I would have turned around soon after getting started. It was that bad. Traction and stability control also helped. Like Kev said, AWD every time! It was a Guzzi gathering/ski trip in NY the end of last January where it snowed heavily the entire day. Since it was an opportunity for my daughter and her hubby to meet my Guzzi friends, as well as me spending time with them, it was important to me to be able to do the trip.

John Henry
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: bmc5733946 on January 11, 2015, 06:37:33 AM
So many things go into safe winter driving. My front wheel drive Dodge Stratus and my wife's AWD Subaru Impreza have Hankook I Pikes on all four corners. Ground clearance is an issue with both, both do very well in city driving and on the highway but I wouldn't get very far offroad with either. I believe that the rubber compound of the winter tires we have make them much better on hard packed snow and on ice. My wife had a Dodge Magnum Hemi with the I Pikes and it did very well also. I never thought I needed/wanted the winter tires until we had a bad winter here when I was on call 24/7 and had to drive in some pretty nasty stuff. I purchased a set of steel wheels for the Stratus and decide to give the Hankooks a try, if I didn't like them they could be easily sold the next season. More than anything the stopping traction convinced me, we have a lot of idiot drivers where I live, 2mph or 60mph, can't go any steady speed or even an appropriate speed for the road conditions that are present. I don't believe that any tire could have helped anyone in the 4 or 5 major pile-ups we've had over the last few days here in Michigan.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Nic in Western NYS on January 11, 2015, 06:49:04 AM
So many things go into safe winter driving. My front wheel drive Dodge Stratus and my wife's AWD Subaru Impreza have Hankook I Pikes on all four corners. Ground clearance is an issue with both, both do very well in city driving and on the highway but I wouldn't get very far offroad with either.
Off road is a whole other kettle of fish.  I had a Toyota Matrix 4wd which was great on road but had hokey 'ground effects' which didn't do well when I went through low banks.  BTW, off topic, there was a mention of the Juke in this thread - it seems to be what Toyota tried to be with the Matrix - a fun, hot, car that young people would want.  I read that the average age of Matrix owners was particularly old. Great car though, my son has it and now appreciates it in a way he didn't when he was a passenger.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Unkept on January 11, 2015, 06:51:30 AM
If your subject line was Front Wheel Drive instead, I'd be testing this first hand this Winter season...

I had been driving a 2001 Subaru Impreza with all season tires for the past seven years. In the middle of last year I sold the car for a Volkswagen Jetta TDI.

The Jetta had 18" wheels with low profile "sports" all seasons equipped. I didn't even want to think about driving in Winter with those.

So I grabbed cheap (Guzzi Content!) a set of new 15" steel wheels from a Golf and put General Altimax snows on. Not studded, but studdable.

We've recently had some bad snow, not as bad as last year yet... but the temperatures have been brutal. -11 the other day before windchill.

How do the two cars feel in comparison?

The Subaru was more *confidence inspiring*. Everything was more connected to the driver, no electronic interference/disconnect. The Jetta has electric steering, stability control, and traction control. The Subaru only had a mechanic limited slip rear differential.

That being said, even with those systems last year I almost bit the dust trying to stop with the Subie. Cruising on the toll road with all the other crazy drivers, when I start seeing lots of red lights in the distance.

"No problem" I thought... "I'll just apply some brakes early!" The car didn't slow down, but instead starting sliding side to side. Luckily the car in the lane to my right was far enough away I didn't hit him, and I somehow regained control. Ahead of me there were four cars in the ditch, a giant slab of ice.

Would Winter tires have helped? Probably! Would the electronic stability control of the Jetta have kept the car from bouncing around? Maybe?

The Jetta has been fine so far, not surprises and when it begins to slip the car just... takes care of it on it's own. Mentally I'm less comfortable with it because the tires offer softer handling, the steering isn't reactive (electric just doesn't give you that physical connection to the wheels per say), and the traction control is unpredictable.

I'll agree with the sentiments already posted. Not all AWD is created equal (My Subaru was really 3wd with an open front diff and limited slip rear), and that only Snow/Winter tires can assist in braking under cold/icing conditions.

Best of both worlds would be my personal choice... AWD with Winter/Snow tires... As much as the United States seems content with All Season tires, and I completely understand your point Kev, if we all had our vehicles wear their snow shoes in the Winter I'd wager that accidents may decrease. Even if it was a small percent, it would be worth it.

Now what kind of OIL do you guys use in your cars for winter?  ;) :BEER:
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Dean Rose on January 11, 2015, 07:16:02 AM
Never put a set of snow tires on my Isuzu Trooper always run all season tires. Never fails me.

Dean
Title: Re:
Post by: Kev m on January 11, 2015, 07:16:23 AM
Nic - Juke is a FUNny little car. It's a cross between a hot hatch and a crossover SUV. DECENT at both, but not a master at either. I like it well enough though.


Un - are you sure front diff was completely open? Subaru is a little close to the vest about some details on their AWD systems and I've not bothered to study the service manuals enough (nor would I necessarily know what to look for in some cases) to confirm what is open or limited. Perhaps much of it is electronic, at least with late model stuff.

They have produced some impressive test videos usually using rollers to disable up to 3 of the car's wheels and demonstrating how the Scoobie can still pull away, so they definitely have ways of dealing with wheel spin and I don't think it's all brake traction control.
Title: Re:
Post by: Kev m on January 11, 2015, 07:21:39 AM
As for winter tires the breaking point for me was the government requirement for tire pressure monitoring systems.

It wasn't even the cost (adding up to $200 more to a set of dedicated winter wheels/tires), so much as the HASSLE of getting the ECM to recognize them and needing a way to reset them twice a year.

It was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back and made it just not worth the effort for the limited snow we get.

I've instead concentrated on decent all seasons, watching pressures, and perhaps playing less in blizzards.

I'm waiting to see how this winter pans out in a new state, but so far temperatures are warmer and snow less frequent and less heavy than southeastern PA where we were the last few decades, so I'm not motivated. But we still have too much winter left so we'll see.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: kevdog3019 on January 11, 2015, 07:36:07 AM
All season tires on AWD or 4WD are better than snow tires on RWD. I've owned an AWD small Land Rover and now a Toyota FJ 4WD and these last two vehicle can go anywhere with their all weather tires. I wouldn't consider driving RWD with anything less than snow tires here in MI. Even then I wouldn't venture out in the deep stuff. My FJ is terrible in RWD and incredible in 4WD. THE VW Beetles of old were pretty good in snow for obvious reasons.
Title: Re:
Post by: Unkept on January 11, 2015, 09:04:15 AM
Un - are you sure front diff was completely open? Subaru is a little close to the vest about some details on their AWD systems and I've not bothered to study the service manuals enough (nor would I necessarily know what to look for in some cases) to confirm what is open or limited. Perhaps much of it is electronic, at least with late model stuff.

http://www.gearhack.com/myink/ViewPage.php?file=docs/Subaru+Transmission+Chart (http://www.gearhack.com/myink/ViewPage.php?file=docs/Subaru+Transmission+Chart)

There have been several attempts at cataloging the Subaru transmission differences (I remember Rallispecs?). The Subaru community is pretty good at this kind of thing.

Model Range                        Trans. Code   1st       2nd     3rd     4th     5th     6th     Rev.   T.R.   F.D.   Center Diff. Type   Front Diff. Type   Notes   Application Notes
US Impreza 2.5RS MY99-01   TY754VCAAB   3.545   2.111   1.448   1.088   0.780   N/A   3.333   1.000   4.111   Viscous (4kgf)   Open   

At least in the past, the 5 speed doesn't usually come with anything but (possibly) rear limited slip. The six speed was more likely to get a helical or suretrac front/center diff...

I am not sure if there is more info on the newer Subaru stuff, like the CVT.
Title: Re:
Post by: Kev m on January 11, 2015, 09:09:50 AM
I'm saying later model stuff might be mechanically open, but effectively limited slip due electronics (like brake application via TC system or something like that).

I don't have details on the videos I've seen, but like the one that was posted here a few months back with the test ramp and rollers. The Forester was able to walk up it even with the wheels disabled by rollers.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: kevdog3019 on January 11, 2015, 10:31:15 AM
I think most AWD have electronic engagement when slip is sensed. My LR had a viscous coupling system where fluid would heat up and couple the rear axle more 50/50. It was always 90/10 front otherwise. Let the fronts spin for a second and walk out after a couple seconds. It worked well. The most limiting factor with snow is height of the vehicle.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Dean Rose on January 11, 2015, 10:36:54 AM
The most limiting factor with snow is height of the vehicle.

 ;-T

Putting low profile tires on an SUV is stupid! And that is what they the manufactures are doing now.

Dean
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: tpeever on January 11, 2015, 11:03:39 AM
Have run all-season tires on my Subaru Outback for 15 years in the mountains of WA and ID and never had a problem. Car will go anywhere in the snow and is very confidence inspiring to drive in snow. They say that not all AWD systems are created equal (ie. not symmetrical like Subaru) but my only experience with AWD vehicles is Subaru so can't comment. So one might have to factor that in. Although my Suby is excellent in all sorts of different snowy and wet road conditions, there have been a few occasions when stopping on icy roads with the all-season tires has been an issue. No all-season tire is going to stop as well as a dedicated snow tire or studded tire regardless of how many wheels are powering the car.
Title: Re:
Post by: Unkept on January 11, 2015, 11:09:27 AM
I'm saying later model stuff might be mechanically open, but effectively limited slip due electronics (like brake application via TC system or something like that).

I don't have details on the videos I've seen, but like the one that was posted here a few months back with the test ramp and rollers. The Forester was able to walk up it even with the wheels disabled by rollers.

Yeah, I've read about how the new WRX actually has front and rear open differentials... but uses the brakes to help with understeer and stability control.

I'd prefer mechanical helical diffs all the way around, but I've read that it makes it handle a bit funky on the street. Great for a rally car though.

So back to tires. Whatever car you choose, cheap wheels and some winter tires is cheap insurance compared to an accident. RWD, FWD, or AWD I'd recommend snows.
Title: Re:
Post by: Zoom Zoom on January 11, 2015, 12:36:59 PM
As for winter tires the breaking point for me was the government requirement for tire pressure monitoring systems.

It wasn't even the cost (adding up to $200 more to a set of dedicated winter wheels/tires), so much as the HASSLE of getting the ECM to recognize them and needing a way to reset them twice a year.

It was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back and made it just not worth the effort for the limited snow we get.

I've instead concentrated on decent all seasons, watching pressures, and perhaps playing less in blizzards.

I'm waiting to see how this winter pans out in a new state, but so far temperatures are warmer and snow less frequent and less heavy than southeastern PA where we were the last few decades, so I'm not motivated. But we still have too much winter left so we'll see.

I didn't even bother. Winters don't have TPM sensors installed. The light is on while the winters are on. It goes back off when I reinstall the summers. It does not affect the traction or stability control in any way. You just get used to the light being on for a while.

John Henry
Title: Re: Re:
Post by: Kev m on January 11, 2015, 12:54:20 PM
I didn't even bother. Winters don't have TPM sensors installed. The light is on while the winters are on. It goes back off when I reinstall the summers. It does not affect the traction or stability control in any way. You just get used to the light being on for a while.

John Henry
YOU might get used to it, not me! :o

I forget what the Jeep does, it may do more than one light. It might flash the EVIC display too, which would be annoying.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: canuck750 on January 11, 2015, 01:00:03 PM
Applying 4WD or AWD to a vehicle is the easy part, many options have been tried. Making it 'work' in harmony with the rest of the vehicle is the challenge.

Instead of a permanent torque split (which is featured in earlier systems), xDrive provides variable torque split between the front and rear axles through the use of a multi-plate wet clutch located in the gearbox on the output to the front drive shaft. This setup allows xDrive to modulate the torque split between the front and the rear axles, which is normally split at 40:60 ratio. If wheel slip is detected by the ABS/DSC system system, xDrive can react within a tenth of a second to redistribute up to 100% of the engine power to the front or rear axle.[1] The wet clutch is applied through a high speed electric servo motor turning a cam-shaped actuator disc. xDrive is connected to the ABS and DSC systems. In the case that wheelspin or directional instability still occurs while xDrive is or has been modulating the torque split, DSC will brake independent wheels to regain traction and improve directional stability without driver intervention. The front and rear differentials in xDrive vehicles are an open differential design, thus relying on brake application by the DSC system to transfer power from the slipping wheel to the wheel with traction.

BMW and Audi have been working on how to integrate the AWD systems into their vehicles for decades and through balanced platform design, low unspring weight, and lots of high tech electronics that I will never even try to understand it works pretty darn good. You have to really push the limits of stupid to loose traction on breaking or acceleration. If I want off road capable 4WD I will take the Jeep Wrangler out for a spin, but for the other 99% of the driving I do the AWD car leaves the Jeep in its tracks.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Zoom Zoom on January 11, 2015, 01:00:44 PM
Yellow light on the dash, or 200 bucks more plus programing......... ..... Humm.

Again, there is always a piece of black tape. ;D

Seriously, it did bug me last year but only for a while. Light or no light is not going to change me checking the tires.

John Henry
Title: Re: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Kev m on January 11, 2015, 01:02:47 PM
Yellow light on the dash, or 200 bucks more plus programing......... ..... Humm.

Again, there is always a piece of black tape. ;D

Seriously, it did bug me last year but only for a while. Light or no light is not going to change me checking the tires.

John Henry
You missed my edit, it's not always JUST a yellow light.

Sometimes it's part of the vehicle information display too and interrupts other functions.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Zoom Zoom on January 11, 2015, 01:20:13 PM
Yes, I understand. In my case, it does not disrupt anything else. Of course I cannot speak to other vehicles.

John Henry
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: LowRyter on January 11, 2015, 01:37:50 PM
Never put a set of snow tires on my Isuzu Trooper always run all season tires. Never fails me.

Dean

Same for me too.  I have 95k miles on my Trooper and have run at least 500 miles in 4WD.   ;D
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: rboe on January 11, 2015, 02:19:05 PM
Years ago (about twenty five) the girl friend borrowed a White Pine Copper mine Jeep pickup (the old style J10 I think) and we drove up to Lake of the Clouds in the winter. Road was plowed but well packed by snowmobiles. Snow tires naturally. We got as far as the sweeping up hill right hand turn near the top where deep snow and going up hill finally got the best of the Jeep pickup. Even then, we were able to backup, turn and get turned around back to where we came from. We had some extra bodies in back acting as ballast.

I was pretty impressed with that truck. It probably had locking hubs, a brute force old school four wheeled drive system. A couple years later I had a Kaiser Wagoneer (1968), a model popular with the local doctors as it had the mass to bust through snow drifts if they had to get to the hospital no matter what. Never could afford decent tires for her though, but she was pretty good at busting snow or backing out of a stream after busting through the ice. Today, I'd want a better 4WD system. :)
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: PeteS on January 11, 2015, 02:21:03 PM
Yellow light on the dash, or 200 bucks more plus programing......... ..... Humm.

Again, there is always a piece of black tape. ;D

Seriously, it did bug me last year but only for a while. Light or no light is not going to change me checking the tires.

John Henry


Ditto here. 7 years with the yellow light on in the winter. Unless you mount the snows on the summer rims and you would still have to get the winter wheels reprogrammed every time you swapped wheels. Who needs these nannies anyway?

Pete
Title: Re:
Post by: Kev m on January 11, 2015, 02:32:10 PM
I obviously dislike the tire pressure systems in general.

However the Jeep system is neat, not only monitoring pressure, but it also gives you a digital display of each tire's actual pressure (accurate to less than 1 psi of my analog dial pressure gauge).

It's generally great as you can even watch pressures rise as the tires warm.

But yes, you lose that and/or would have to reprogram with each wheel swap.

And when they are below spec I believe the digital readout that displays that or other data like fuel mileage, range, coolant temp, oil temp, oil pressure, trans temp, Nav directions, etc. Will alternate flashing between the selected display and a warning triangle, which is not only annoying but makes it hard to use the other selected function.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: slowmover on January 11, 2015, 03:14:51 PM
The most important piece of equipment is between your ears. I have a RWD Ford Ranger and before that a RWD Toyota pickup possibly the lightest weight vehicle at the time.Kept the same tires on year round.Commuted in the worst weather in the northern hemisphere.Passed up countless 4WD vehicles stuck in the snow and sometimes upside down.Reliance on specialized equipment breeds overconfidence.Slow down and pay attention.  
Title: Re: Re:
Post by: Nic in Western NYS on January 11, 2015, 04:51:42 PM
YOU might get used to it, not me! :o

I forget what the Jeep does, it may do more than one light. It might flash the EVIC display too, which would be annoying.
My brain would also have trouble adjusting to a warning light being on all the time.  Would take away from the enjoyment of the drive for some stupid reason.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Madtownguzzi on January 11, 2015, 05:48:32 PM
Subaru All Wheel Drive Traction Testing Video. I have a 2008 RAV4 AWD which is OK in the Wisconsin winter but Subaru beets it in this test.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRniF4JQN2U
Title: Re:
Post by: Kev m on January 11, 2015, 06:01:25 PM
That's one of the videos I was referencing... Not the first time it's been linked here... Maybe not even the second. But it's a great demonstration!
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: charlie b on January 12, 2015, 10:17:06 AM
So,back to  the OP.

Just what do you want to do with the car?  You are in the NE part of the country, but, you mention driving 100mi in a snowstorm.

That still leaves a ton of information out.

If you only want to drive in the snow once or twice, and it is on plowed and sanded highways, then just about any car will do it, even with standard road tires.  If you need a "get home" option then carry chains.  Did that for many, many years and they 'saved' me several times.

The question also seems to be from some sort of 'bet'.  As in, I have AWD so I can go where you can't, even with snow tires.

As stated before, going is only part of the problem.  Yes, a good AWD or 4WD (like a Subie or my truck) is different than some others, like my Honda Element.  And, yes, they will go forward when others cannot.  Snow tires make a difference, on snow packed and icy conditions.  In deeper stuff, not so much.  

The problem is turning and stopping.  For that is makes less difference to how many wheels are driven than the tire, so snow tires would be better.  How much better depends a LOT on the specific conditions.

Off road tires on the truck are good for snow pack, not good for ice.  All weather are better on ice, but, not as good as snow tires.

If I had to choose to go 100 mi on an unplowed road (with little traffic) with 10" of snow then I'd take a Subie on all weather tires rather than just about any REAR wheel drive with snow tires.  But, if I had a FWD drive vehicle with decent traction control and snow tires I would not feel under equipped either.  The FWD might not be able to keep going forward if you include things like a 10% grade,but, for most interstate and US highways it would work fine.

And, yes, I have logged thousands of miles on snowy and icy roads with FWD vehicles on all weather tires.  Not as many inclement weather miles on my Subies, but, enough to know the difference.

As an aside, going up my driveway in winter is a lot like that traction control test, only driveway is a little steeper  :D  Honda's system sucks compared to Subie's and the truck.

And snow tires make no noticable difference at all when under the snow and ice is frozen mud and gravel :D  :D  :D

Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: MotoGuzzi on January 12, 2015, 10:46:14 AM
Subaru All Wheel Drive Traction Testing Video. I have a 2008 RAV4 AWD which is OK in the Wisconsin winter but Subaru beets it in this test.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRniF4JQN2U

Does your 2008 RAV4 have a locking center differential? And if so, would it have helped it up the ramp in that demo?
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Kev m on January 12, 2015, 11:05:06 AM
I'm pretty sure the RAV4 never came with a locking center differential (as can be said for MOST of the FWD based AWD systems, but I think there were a few exceptions).

A locking center diff would assure some ratio of power is split between the front and rear wheels (usually 50/50).

So in that test it would have assured about half the power went to the rear axle. However what happens at that point would determine if it made a difference in the test. Does that power just go to the one wheel that is free spinning without traction, or does the vehicle have a way to force that power to the wheel with grip (a locking or limited slip rear different, brake traction control, etc).

A traditional 4wd truck without a locking or limited slip differential or any braking traction control is basically only capable of driving TWO wheels at any given time.

Put it in a situation where 3 wheels have ice under them and you might not move at all because on each open axle the one wheel with the least amount of traction will just keep spinning and the one with traction won't move as all the power is going to the one that is slipping. So a traditional 4wd truck might have a problem on that test as well.

That is actually why when I bought my first Jeep (my old 99 WJ GC) I opted for a model specifically with Quadra-Drive. I mentioned it earlier in this thread. It was then a brand new system they had just developed that contained 3 variable locking differentials - 1 in the transfer case, and 1 in each axle. You could literally put it on a hill with ice under 3 tires and it had the ability in nearly an instant to direct effectively 100% of the engine power to the ONE wheel that still had traction. We used to go out an play in blizzards a lot in that one, as well as some trails and rock quarries. It would just push through snow as high as the bumper, it would climb loose shale inclines. I remember one time we stopped in the middle of a quarry thinking we'd get out and look around, but when we each stepped out of the Jeep we sunk about a foot into the mud. We quickly (and messily) scrambled back in hoping that we weren't stuck, but the Jeep didn't care at all and just drove out of that pit like we were on solid ground.

In contrast I had a old Chevy Blazer as a kid that I remember being pulled out of a Florida swamp more than once.
Title: Re:
Post by: jreagan on January 12, 2015, 11:06:22 AM
I obviously dislike the tire pressure systems in general.

However the Jeep system is neat, not only monitoring pressure, but it also gives you a digital display of each tire's actual pressure (accurate to less than 1 psi of my analog dial pressure gauge).

It's generally great as you can even watch pressures rise as the tires warm.

But yes, you lose that and/or would have to reprogram with each wheel swap.

And when they are below spec I believe the digital readout that displays that or other data like fuel mileage, range, coolant temp, oil temp, oil pressure, trans temp, Nav directions, etc. Will alternate flashing between the selected display and a warning triangle, which is not only annoying but makes it hard to use the other selected function.

The latest Honda CRVs (and other Honda models) have eliminated the stem-mounted pressure transmitters.  They now rely on the anti-lock wheel speed indicators to detect low pressure (a tire with pressure lower than the others spins at a different RPM).  No more reprogramming.  No more dead batteries in the transmitters.

I use all-season tires on my AWD CRV and did just fine when I lived in NH.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Zoom Zoom on January 12, 2015, 11:17:47 AM
Back to the original question: I have had an AWD vehicle since 2003 when I bought my first Subaru. It was not until last winter that I bought a set of rims and had a set of winter tires for said car.

My work vehicle, a 2009 E250 has winter tires on all four corners. It still sucks in the snow! It simply sucks less.

I would take my Subaru with all season tires any day over the RWD van with winter tires. ANY DAY!

Now with the winters added into the mix on the car, it went from great to awesome.

John Henry
Title: Re:
Post by: Kev m on January 12, 2015, 11:39:22 AM
The latest Honda CRVs (and other Honda models) have eliminated the stem-mounted pressure transmitters.  They now rely on the anti-lock wheel speed indicators to detect low pressure (a tire with pressure lower than the others spins at a different RPM).  No more reprogramming.  No more dead batteries in the transmitters.

I use all-season tires on my AWD CRV and did just fine when I lived in NH.

That's similar to the system Mini (and I THINK BMW) used (perhaps still do) on their vehicles with runflats.

Nice simple solution.

Good to know, makes me hate Honda just a little bit less.  :BEER:
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Madtownguzzi on January 12, 2015, 04:21:54 PM
Does your 2008 RAV4 have a locking center differential? And if so, would it have helped it up the ramp in that demo?

The RAV does have a center locking differential of sorts as explained here. http://rav4world.com/pdf/2006/2006_4wdsystem.pdf
I do not think that in the Subaru test ramp that it would make any difference though as it would only have power to one wheel on each axle. In the real world in deep snow starting out up hill it makes little difference if the center differential is locked or not and once you get over 25 mph it reverts back to front wheel drive.   
Title: Re:
Post by: Kev m on January 12, 2015, 04:35:05 PM
A lot of manufacturers are playing fast and loose with the term "locked".

The RAV4 system is not all that different than the Juke system. The biggest difference is the Juke uses a pair of electronically controlled couplings, one for each rear halfshaft, which allows for individual rear wheel control.

But both systems can't be forced to remain engaged and will vary balance in most conditions. Ultimately control remains with the computers.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: charlie b on January 12, 2015, 08:47:26 PM
Wouldn't it be nice if they would put a couple of switches on the console so you could manually 'lock' all that electronic stuff.  Like having an ABS switch on a dual sport.  When you just know you are going to be sliding, at least let all the tires spin at the rate you want them to instead of the computer just 'turning off' the power (or applying full brakes).

Rant off. 

PS being an engineer makes me hate other engineers some times :(
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Madtownguzzi on January 12, 2015, 09:48:14 PM
Wouldn't it be nice if they would put a couple of switches on the console so you could manually 'lock' all that electronic stuff.  Like having an ABS switch on a dual sport.  When you just know you are going to be sliding, at least let all the tires spin at the rate you want them to instead of the computer just 'turning off' the power (or applying full brakes).

Rant off. 

PS being an engineer makes me hate other engineers some times :(

I would sure welcome those switches. The RAV4 has a warning alarm when you start sliding on snow or ice that drives me nuts. Growing up in Wisconsin as kids we could not wait for the roads to get snow covered and go out cruising trying to get stuck and once we did everybody would bail out of the car and push us out of the snow drift. Every time I want to put the RAV4 in a four wheel drift around a corner that dam alarm goes off and dont even get me started on ABS in the snow. I would welcome those switches!!
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: segesta on January 12, 2015, 10:25:17 PM
For what it's worth...
I have a Audi A4 AWD with all season tires, and a Ford Crown Victoria RWD with snow tires. The Audi is much better in snow.

That said, snow tires on a big powerful RWD car like the Crown Vic are an absolute necessity. They don't let you accelerate quickly, but they make the car go where you point it. And control is the most important thing when the snow gets bad.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Sasquatch Jim on January 13, 2015, 12:33:52 PM
  My two wheel drive P/U gets along just fine with the tires it came with, the deep snow at 12 to 14 thousand feet is no problem cause I don't drive there.
  I just admire it from down near sea level.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Eunos9494 on January 13, 2015, 12:48:45 PM
I guess I take a different approach in tires/driven-wheels.  I drive RWD with snow tires from mid-Nov to the end of March.

AWD will help give you traction when you attempt to accelerate.  Snow tires will help you accelerate, turn, or brake.

I've not heard too many people ever say "I would have avoided that accident, if only I could have accelerate on ice faster."

There are some great Youtube videos comparing RWD/AWD and All-seasons/Snowtires.  (I think I remember Tirerack doing one with cars on a hockey rink some time back.)  My own experience is that I can often accelerate faster and stop sooner with my X-Ices than most of the guys I know with Audis and Subarus that still have all-seasons on.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Kev m on January 13, 2015, 01:01:43 PM
I guess I take a different approach in tires/driven-wheels.  I drive RWD with snow tires from mid-Nov to the end of March.

AWD will help give you traction when you attempt to accelerate.  Snow tires will help you accelerate, turn, or brake.

To be fair.

AWD WILL help you turn also, and not only in snow or ice.

AWD improves handling and safety year round, on all surfaces.

Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: rodekyll on January 13, 2015, 01:05:27 PM
Stopping is more important than going.  I like studded tires for that.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Kev m on January 13, 2015, 01:09:30 PM
Stopping is more important than going.  I like studded tires for that.


One could argue you won't have to stop if you can't get going.

Chicken - egg ?

Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: mach1mustang351 on January 14, 2015, 12:55:49 AM
I'm 100% on board with Studless snow tires, more specifically the Bridgestone Blizzak.  With the Volvos in our fleet the ice and snow may as well be dry pavement.  They are that impressive.  Even my R model with the 6 speed manual.  So I guess that is AWD with winter tires.  There are some studded that work well too.  I have Firestone Winterforce on my AMC Eagle and they work great too. 
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Eunos9494 on January 14, 2015, 01:52:03 PM
Yeah, if it's snow tires on AWD versus snow tires on RWD, snows on AWD will perform better.  If it's all-seasons on AWD versus all-seasons on RWD, all-season on AWD will perform better.  But if you compare all-seasons on AWD versus snows on RWD, I'd put my money on the snows making a bigger difference than the AWD/RWD would.  Who knows?  Just been my experience the tire made the most change.

I found these related videos interesting.

http://www.tirerack.com/videos/index.jsp?video=26
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STaximkaQxo
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Kev m on January 14, 2015, 02:28:38 PM
I found these related videos interesting.

http://www.tirerack.com/videos/index.jsp?video=26

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STaximkaQxo

I agree those ARE interesting.

But let's look at a couple of things here.

1. How often (percentage of time) do you drive on pure untreated ICE? Your answer to this may have a lot to do with your choice of tires.

2. The tireRack video was well done, and I don't doubt MOST of what they showed. But they SELL TIRES (especially winter wheel/tire packages) for a living and they didn't tell us what they were comparing? How good were the all-seasons, from the measurements they were a lot closer to the summers than the winters.

In addition the TireRack video purposely chose the worst type of car for such conditions, a RWD. I would argue this was smart of them because a FWD and an AWD would have been closer to the winter tire in 2 of their 3 tests (acceleration and cornering). So kudos to them for not lying, but they are certainly choosing to show tests and data in their own best interest.

3. I've seen the Forester vs. M3 video before. You notice they specifically said SUMMER tires on the Forester, and you notice that it STILL made it up the hill. That says something right there.


So if you look at those videos from another perspective it MIGHT suggest that if AWD and/or All-Seasons can narrow the gap between summer and winter tires. And if you don't expect to drive many miles in THAT severe kind of untreated winter conditions, and perhaps if you slow down and leave a greater following distance, just perhaps you'll be FINE with AWD or FWD and all-seasons.

Just another perspective.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Rough Edge racing on January 14, 2015, 02:50:59 PM
 Slippery road traction begins with the driver...A skilled driver in a two wheel drive PU truck is better than a unskilled nervous driver in any all wheel drive vehicle. Just take a look what happens in areas where snow is uncommon and the sheer number of AWD vehicles off the road  when it does snow...
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: charlie b on January 14, 2015, 03:06:43 PM
Depends.  I'd rather have AWD and all season tires than RWD and snow tires.  Done both.  Hate RWD in icy stuff even on snow tires.  Now, if you throw the Beetle or Porsche in there then maybe I'd be OK with RWD and snow tires.  Or add studs to the tires  :)

The videos were interesting but not really conclusive for me.  RWD definitely needs snow tires and regular tires suck for 4wd in winter.  Too bad the second video wasn't with all season tires as the do a little better.

Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: rodekyll on January 14, 2015, 03:30:21 PM

One could argue you won't have to stop if you can't get going.

Chicken - egg ?



True, true.  So you advocate staying at home for the winter eating chicken?    :D

Assuming though that we don't want to hibernate, one can also argue that in the snow or ice, you're more in control of your get-going than you are in your have-to-stop.  The three blocks it might have taken to safely accelerate 0 -> 25mph might be reduced to three car lengths on the 25mph -> moose side of the equation.  I appreciate my studs for that.
Title: Re:
Post by: Kev m on January 14, 2015, 04:00:12 PM
Agreed!

Winter winter chicken dinner!
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: BrianK on January 14, 2015, 06:28:17 PM
Boston here.  We get winter.

The first time I tried to take a corner in my (FWD) Saab, I turned the steering wheel to ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT.  Massive understeer.

With Blizzaks, the Saab is unbelievably sure-footed all winter.  My wife had an AWD Audi A6 with snows, which has to be close to the gold standard in this regard.  I'm not sure it was much better than the Saab.  So to me, it's the tires that are the main factor (and RWD does suck on anything but dry pavement, but you don't necessarily need AWD or 4WD - although I'm a big fan of both).

All season tires in real winter (you guys from south of Pennsylvania, just be quiet)?  I don't care how many driven wheels you got, they'll all be spinning helplessly around here.
Title: Re:
Post by: Kev m on January 14, 2015, 06:53:42 PM
No no, when we were running snows on everything we had a Jeep Cherokee, a Subaru Baja, and a Mini Cooper S. Aside from the Cooper being better at handbrake turns on ice, the Baja and Jeep were SIGNIFICANTLY better at being hooligans or daily drivers in severe weather.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: rboe on January 14, 2015, 07:03:43 PM
But, at the video's are pretty good at showing, (and years of driving in the winter in Minnesota) snow tires are superior on everything. Even all season tires pale compared to all snow tires. It also shows that even the lowly rear wheeled drive car, with good snow tires (but not all, Mom had this big V8 Buick Skylark that was stupid in the snow; too much power, too much weight in the front) will do just fine in snow - with a skilled driver.

After all, that is pretty all we had for years, 4WD being a very specialized vehicle. When it was really bad out, you simply stayed home.
Title: Re: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Kev m on January 14, 2015, 07:08:53 PM
But, at the video's are pretty good at showing, (and years of driving in the winter in Minnesota) snow tires are superior on everything. Even all season tires pale compared to all snow tires.

But I continue to argue it may suggest that, but doesn't PROVE that because we have no idea if they choose the best or worst examples of each style of tire.

My personal experience suggests that they chose a worse than average all season for it to be so close between the too.

But again and again, yes, true winters can be an advantage from a tire standpoint.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Aaron D. on January 14, 2015, 09:02:05 PM
I suggest practice. Back before we became barbarians and shopping mall parking lots were empty on Sunday, I taught snow driving techniques I'd been practicing for a long time.

Understeer was no problem with a good handbrake. Now cars are coming with 4 wheel emergency brakes, so you need to learn to upset the car a bit if it understeers, and get the rear around.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: rboe on January 14, 2015, 09:37:35 PM
Kev; these guys don't look like Consumer Reports and are running what they got (the guys in town, not sure who the guys are in the hockey rink). Which means instead of taking the worst All Season tire and comparing it to the best snow tire. So I'd say each car guy bought the best tire he could afford (why buy the worst?).

But it does make wonder how each class of tire would compare (i.e. instead of one sample, provide as many as possible for as many data points as you can afford).

But it will take some work to find the worst snow tire to compare to the best all season.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: charlie b on January 14, 2015, 11:24:37 PM
And it depends on which AWD and which RWD and which 4WD.  The vast number of 4WD trucks and SUV ( up until a few years ago) were really just 2WD since they did not come with limited slip as std.  Like that 4WD in the video above.  And it also looked like the little car had limited slip.

And like the comparison to the Subie not all AWD are equal.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Lannis on January 14, 2015, 11:36:11 PM
And it depends on which AWD and which RWD and which 4WD.  The vast number of 4WD trucks and SUV ( up until a few years ago) were really just 2WD since they did not come with limited slip as std.  Like that 4WD in the video above.  And it also looked like the little car had limited slip.

And like the comparison to the Subie not all AWD are equal.

4WD vehicles have existed for years, but when I was coming up, only a very few people could afford them.

The alternative was simple.   Put studded snow tires and/or chains on the back of the Pontiac, put some weight in the trunk, and just drive.   Where I started out working, they expected you to get to work regardless of the weather.   

We've all got tons more money than we used to have, so we use it to make things easier for us.   But we generally made it where we were going in them days.....

Lannis
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Yukonica on January 15, 2015, 01:09:35 AM
Gotta jump into the fray simply because it looks like so much fun. ;D
Do any of you buy the sketchiest 'get-by' rubber you can fit on your bike's rim? Or do you buy something that will provide a modest level of adhesion during avoidance maneuvers?.. just curious.
Me, I don't get much winter driving experience cause we only get it 8 months of the year (7 since global warming). My unscientific speculation is 99% of the time I don't need great control offered by superior traction because I'm not doing anything to upset the inertia.... that remaining 1 percent concerns me.
Tires are integral to keeping me stuck to the ground. I buy and happily wear-out the best I can afford. I drive a 4wd and own two sets of winter rated tires. One is studded and the other isn't. I use one set for summer and shoulder and the other for the rest of the year. I look at the money I spend on tires is saving money spent on bodywork and towing fees.
Title: Re: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Kev m on January 15, 2015, 03:35:19 AM
Kev; these guys don't look like Consumer Reports and are running what they got (the guys in town, not sure who the guys are in the hockey rink). Which means instead of taking the worst All Season tire and comparing it to the best snow tire. So I'd say each car guy bought the best tire he could afford (why buy the worst?).

But it does make wonder how each class of tire would compare (i.e. instead of one sample, provide as many as possible for as many data points as you can afford).

But it will take some work to find the worst snow tire to compare to the best all season.
I'm not sure what you're suggesting? That they didn't hand pick the cars and tires used in the comparison?

Why wouldn't they? They're one of the largest tire retailers in the country with a shop that mounts and balances their products too.

And they certainly have the data to know which are the best and worst

And they are NOT CR, their agenda is NOT data it's advertising and sales.

What is better for their business, people running two sets of tires even on brand new cars or just running one set of all-seasons on OEM rims?

I'm NOT suggesting dishonesty, so much as strong motivation to show as big a case as possible to support sales of their product. It's still truth in advertisement, albeit probably biased.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Rough Edge racing on January 15, 2015, 04:47:57 AM
4WD vehicles have existed for years, but when I was coming up, only a very few people could afford them.

The alternative was simple.   Put studded snow tires and/or chains on the back of the Pontiac, put some weight in the trunk, and just drive.   Where I started out working, they expected you to get to work regardless of the weather.  

We've all got tons more money than we used to have, so we use it to make things easier for us.   But we generally made it where we were going in them days.....

Lannis

 Now this is the truth.....And it snows here in western NY state a lot more than many other places mentioned here and up until maybe 20 years ago 2 wheel drive was most got along with. And as Lannis says,we all got were we had to go....
 Now it seems no one can venture a half mile from home without all wheel drive,back up cameras, I phones and GPS.......
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Zoom Zoom on January 15, 2015, 05:23:54 AM
I'll wager the OP never expected this much discussion on this question. ;)

Just to qualify my previous comments, (and I know many here can relate), I have been contending with winter weather for a long time. My job of nearly 40 years entails me driving around every day in all kinds of weather. Until Lake Erie is frozen, lake effect snow and ice contribute to all kinds of conditions where I live and work, along with the regular snow storms that aren't lake effect driven. Muscle cars, grocery getters, 4WD trucks, and a 4WD Suburban are included in the mix. Both posi and open rears on cars and FWD as well. Studs and no studs. In all those years, I can count on one hand with fingers left over when the company took us off the road due to weather, although I would have suggested more times that we should have been grounded. We are still expected to get the job done. As I said before, my present van at work has winter tires on all four corners. It still sucks when the roads get bad! I only put winter tires on my Impreza in the last couple years and never had them on the WRX at all. The AWD Subie would simply go places the van would not when the roads get bad. I spent all night sitting at the bottom of a gully on a road when I was called out, unable to get up the hill. The Subaru with half worn all seasons would have gotten me out of it. In fact, once I got to work, after sitting for hours, the van would not make into our parking lot due to knee deep snow that had been plowed across the entrance of our lot. I parked the van behind the Fire Station and walked over to my car and drove out like nothing on OEM all seasons with several years of use on them.  

But to the ORIGINAL question: "  Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires" with no mention of studs or driving techniques, and assuming tires as good or better than originally fitted with a decent amount of tread, I will take AWD any day over the RWD for winter driving. AWD is not a get out of jail card, nor does it mean you have licence to become a jerk on the road. What it does mean is your drive can be easier and much less stressful.

No one is saying you cannot get there given enough patience and time with almost anything, I do it every day. But at the end of the day, I can't wait to get out of the van and into the Subie when the roads are bad!

So, I suppose we can debate the finer points of tires, drive systems, techniques, and everything else. At the end of the day, my AWD vehicle has proven superior in every way to anything else I have ever driven in foul weather!

John Henry    
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Kev m on January 15, 2015, 06:22:12 AM
Now this is the truth.....And it snows here in western NY state a lot more than many other places mentioned here and up until maybe 20 years ago 2 wheel drive was most got along with. And as Lannis says,we all got were we had to go....

Well, let's be honest, I remember digging out and pushing out a hell of a lot of stuck vehicles in the 80s and 90s.

So I suspect people largely had to work harder to go where they had to go and/or stayed home more.


Now it seems no one can venture a half mile from home without all wheel drive,back up cameras, I phones and GPS.......

Seems is the operable word.

It seems like no one can live from day to day without electricity anymore too.

Or maybe it is that people LIKE the conveniences of technology and don't see a NEED to do without them.

Unfamiliarity doesn't necessarily equate to lack of ability.

Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Rough Edge racing on January 15, 2015, 07:33:50 AM
 Kev, me and you are from different worlds... ;D
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Kev m on January 15, 2015, 07:49:40 AM
Kev, me and you are from different worlds... ;D

Nahhhh, it just SEEMS that way  :BEER:

I don't think NYC and Long Island were really THAT different from western NY... except maybe no lake effect snow.  :D
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: rboe on January 15, 2015, 08:05:23 AM
Kev; good points (and being late; I didn't state my main point which was your cynical statement stating they probably cherry picked the worst all season and best snow tire to exaggerate the differences, it was inferred but not stated. I needed sleep. :) )

Under the video is a link to the full test: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=116

They stuck with one brand of tire so we don't know how they perform to other brands (there is a Finnish brand of snow tire that escapes me that was the gold standard back in the day; expensive too, but scary good in the ice and snow that I would expect to smoke anything Bridgestone makes) but I think it does show they did not cherry pick, from the full market, snow tires and all seasons. I don't know the Bridgestone line that well but it appears they did take the better Bridgestone product line.

Typically I'm not as cynical as you and in this case I think the vendor did good. They do have a profit motive but I think they did a very good job of making a good test with very little bias towards a product. Which they easily could have by not including the details on the cars, tires and reasons why they did the test. All that info is provided in the link I have above.

In real world terms we make less than we did twenty years ago; what has happened is that a lot of technology has filtered down to where we can afford some of it (typically just due to scale of manufacturing). A well designed RWD car can do as well as a well designed FWD car, with the proper tires and a good driver. AWD/4WD can do even better; but I think real world experience shows that unreasonable expectations of AWD and bad drivers or poor judgement have these cars in the ditch and in accidents more than they should be. Same goes for RWD and FWD cars that end up stuck. However; I think there are more RWD cars out there (or were, back in the day) totally unsuited for winter storm driving; mainly because of too big of an engine which makes too much power for snow and puts too much weight up front were it's not needed.

When it gets really bad, I'll take a Snow Cat. :)

I never owned one in Minnesota (did have one in Arizona for a spell) but I've seen the local pizza place delivering pizzas during a blizzard with a Suzuki Samuri. With good snow tires I bet that sucker was the bomb! Unlike the Suby, it had very good ground clearance.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: steven c on January 15, 2015, 08:50:47 AM
 My first car was a new 74 Subaru DL in Vibrant green which was when Subaru's where still just FWD ( I think the four WD wagon came out in 75 or so) I put a set of bias ply snows on the front and this car was really unstoppable. I would drive to warm and all the big American cars would be stuck and I would just drive around or one big storm that closed the state down I would stop and help people get going. I swear it was better in the snow then my 97 Outback or my 12 Forester. I tend to think it was the large lugs they used to put on snows, more of a mud tire now. My 80 Citation was not as good with just snows on the front, I tend to think because it was a much wider tire the the DL's.
Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: Kev m on January 15, 2015, 09:13:29 AM
Kev; good points (and being late; I didn't state my main point which was your cynical statement stating they probably cherry picked the worst all season and best snow tire to exaggerate the differences, it was inferred but not stated. I needed sleep. :) )

Under the video is a link to the full test: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=116

They stuck with one brand of tire so we don't know how they perform to other brands (there is a Finnish brand of snow tire that escapes me that was the gold standard back in the day; expensive too, but scary good in the ice and snow that I would expect to smoke anything Bridgestone makes) but I think it does show they did not cherry pick, from the full market, snow tires and all seasons. I don't know the Bridgestone line that well but it appears they did take the better Bridgestone product line.

Typically I'm not as cynical as you and in this case I think the vendor did good. They do have a profit motive but I think they did a very good job of making a good test with very little bias towards a product. Which they easily could have by not including the details on the cars, tires and reasons why they did the test. All that info is provided in the link I have above.

I DO think it is a decent test and makes some good points about the POSSIBLE differences tires can make.

That said - sticking with one manufacturer doesn't necessarily mean they didn't cherry pick.

READER'S DIGEST VERSION IN BOLD:

THE DATA ON THEIR OWN WEBSITE PROVES THEY CHERRY PICKED, CONSCIOUSLY OR NOT.

If they weren't cherry picking, why wouldn't they use the BEST of each (Summer, Winter, All-Season) from the same manufacturer.

The All-Season tire they "chose" to use was THE WORST in the category:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Bridgestone&tireModel=Turanza+EL400-02

592 reviews on their own website say that most wouldn't buy that All-Season tire again, and though they give it good marks for wet and dry, give it only Fair for snow and Unacceptable for Ice.

As a matter of fact, if you look at the full list of results for tires in the same category of what they tested (All-Season) 19 of the 20 tires rated better than the one they chose, 12 of them with ratings of GOOD or EXCELLENT in SNOW AND ICE.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyresults/surveydisplay.jsp?type=ST

And that most other All-Seasons are rated better than the one they chose to test is a pattern is seen across other types of All-Season tires they carry.

This is EVEN true with other BRIDGESTONES LIKE the Potenza

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Bridgestone&tireModel=Potenza+RE960AS+Pole+Position

Though there are only 22 reviews on their website at this time most would buy it again, and it is rated with superior wet and dry capabilities, but more importantly GOOD capabilities for snow AND ICE.

In this category (Ultra High Performance All Season tires) MOST get ratings of GOOD on snow or ice, only a few got fair or poor.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyresults/surveydisplay.jsp?type=UHPAS

And you don't need to go to the Ultra-High Performance All Season to get GOOD ratings for snow and ice. Just check say the simple "Passenger All Season" tires:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Bridgestone&tireModel=B380+RFT

That Bridgestone Passenger All Season gets GOOD for ICE and SNOW (And close to excellent for snow).

And again just about the whole list of Passenger All Seasons tend to do better than what they chose to test:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyresults/surveydisplay.jsp?type=AS#runflat


On the flip side if you look at the BLIZZAK winter tire they chose it is NOT on the bottom and is rated very close to the top performers in it's Studless Ice and Snow Category:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyresults/surveydisplay.jsp?type=W&VT=C




In real world terms we make less than we did twenty years ago; what has happened is that a lot of technology has filtered down to where we can afford some of it (typically just due to scale of manufacturing). A well designed RWD car can do as well as a well designed FWD car, with the proper tires and a good driver. AWD/4WD can do even better; but I think real world experience shows that unreasonable expectations of AWD and bad drivers or poor judgement have these cars in the ditch and in accidents more than they should be. Same goes for RWD and FWD cars that end up stuck. However; I think there are more RWD cars out there (or were, back in the day) totally unsuited for winter storm driving; mainly because of too big of an engine which makes too much power for snow and puts too much weight up front were it's not needed.

When it gets really bad, I'll take a Snow Cat. :)

I never owned one in Minnesota (did have one in Arizona for a spell) but I've seen the local pizza place delivering pizzas during a blizzard with a Suzuki Samuri. With good snow tires I bet that sucker was the bomb! Unlike the Suby, it had very good ground clearance.

Well, at the end of the day I think the phenomenon we see with regards to AWD and 4WD winding up in ditches is similar to what insurance institute data showed about ABS after its introduction. Drivers overcompensated for the capabilities of the safety systems and got themselves in trouble. I think the AWD and 4WD often hides how bad road conditions really are and drivers forget. It's one of the reasons I frequently test road surfaces using my brakes to make sure I'm not overconfident in how well my AWD systems are handling the conditions.

Title: Re: NGC - Rear wheel drive w/ Snow tires vs. AWD w/ all season tires
Post by: rboe on January 15, 2015, 10:00:56 AM
 :bow They should have tested the excellent all season tires in the video. That said, I need to look into that site more as I'd like to get better "off road" tires for my 2WD pickup. I know squat about pickup tires.