Originally Posted by TruckeeLocal
It strikes me that 4WD/AWD is a waste of money based on gas prices, not snow tires. And our local CHP made a comment, http://weeklywire.com/ww/01-19-99/na...r_shelter.html
, that most of the collisions and spinouts are 4WDs in their (real-world) experience.
One other thought. It only takes one event where you wish you had snow tires to regret the decision to be cheap and not bother. Sure there are real-world decisions on how radical a snow tire you need. Studs for residents, snows for residents and frequent vistors, chains for less frequent visitors. To expect 'all-season' tires to do the job is simply playing a version of russian roulette. You might get away with it, but if you don't ...
I am with TruckeeLocal on this one. I would rather have FWD with snows then AWD with all terrain or all season. Snow's have saved my butt a number of times over the years. Once I managed to avoid being hit by a sliding bus in a front range ice storm. Another time a 4 wheel drive went off the road on an iicy overpass. As the traffic braked on the overpass I was the only one who didn't hit the vehicle in front. I got rear-ended by a 4 wheel drive, however!!
I think the reason people get over confident in 4 or all wheel drive is that they have so much traction taking off, but braking or steering the advantage iis minimal. (You can sometimes use the gas to pull out of a skid, but you can do the same thing with FWD and snows). Snow tires are a lot cheaper than AWD and don't have the gas mileage penalty.
I am now driving a Subaru GT wagon because it was the only reliable wagon in the size/configuration I wanted. If it had been available in front wheel drive I would have bought it that way and would have bettergas mileage and accleration.
The first year I had it I bought snows on dedicated wheels, but waited for out first frontrange ice/snow storm before mounting them. I wanted to try the all seasons on the ice first. I took back roads going home from work and played around. I could acclerate away from a stop just fine, but braking was another matter. Going up a slight grade I slammed on the brakes and must have slide for 60 to 80 feet with the ABS pumping like mad.
With my Dunlop WinterSports on my braking is sure and controlled. I seldom find the ABS working and I feel much, much safer. They also handle just fine on the dry pavement.
I love being able to drive aggressively on snowpacked roads when there is no traffic. I remember going over a snowpacked pass in the Northwest in the early 70's. I was driving a VW Squareback with 4 studded snows and I had the control to keep up with anything on the road. This was heavy, slushy, stuff and my car probably weighed 2200 lbs. or so. I was in the same car a few years later when the bus nearly destroyed me as it slid across the ice on the "Valley Highway" near Boulder.
So, you pays your money and you makes your choice, but I will always use dedicated snows until they make all-seasons as good as my Dunlop Wintersports. LewBob