…than be in a 4WD vehicle with “all season” (read three season) tires when driving in winter conditions. Winter conditions being snowy roads, packed snow on roads, rough ice, that sort of thing.
Smooth shiny black ice, that you don’t see in time well, may the Force be with you.
Why, you may ask?
Let’s just say that I like control. Control with steering. Control with braking. That sorta thing. Things that are important which have nothing to do with having horsepower delivered to all four wheels. Especially comforting when going downhill on a snowy road.
Living as I do in snow country, I can testify that it seems 90% of vehicles which have slid off the side of the road in my part of the Sierra have one thing in common. They did not have winter tires. And a fair number of said “off the side of the road” vehicles had AWD/4WD drive trains.
And then there was that time a few years back when we got rear-ended by a big ole 4WD truck with gnarly three season tires doing 10MPH-the pace of traffic- on a plowed road. Twas a bad day for drivin’ to be sure. Driver said he tried to brake, but to no avail. Our Subie with winter tires had no problem slowing to a crawl on that same piece of road. (wuz a spun out car ahead off the side of the road and traffic was crawling at 2MPH)
So friends there you have it! Winter tires in winter conditions! Three season tires for the other three seasons!
And chains for the rest of you who don’t have a proper winter!