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SAAB 9-5 Sportwagon vs. SUBARU - Page 2

post #31 of 46
Originally posted by Robin:
Hey, what do you call a 4Runner that is 2WD?
A station wagon?
post #32 of 46
It's my understanding that no matter how good of a FWD system you have if the Cops say you have to put the chains on then you have to put the chains on. The first winter I moved to Utah was a pretty heavy snow year, I was working in Salt Lake City at the time so I had to drive up and Down Parleys canyon everday. There were a few days and nights when the Police had The chains required sign out. You would see these poor guys out there putting on chains. The Cops would just wave The 4x4's and all wheel drive cars on.
Altaskier, how long have you been in Utah? If you haven't been here for an El Nino year then this year is going to be a real eye opener for you. El nino is looking like it's really shaping up for this next season. In the winter of 95/96 The Cottenwood Canyons were pounded with snow and the roads were closed a lot.As I recall there were over night Lock downs at Alta and Snowbird 3 or 4 times that season. I think Park City had a record 600 inches that year. kep your fingers crossed and keep that jeep loaded and ready.
post #33 of 46
Shiiiiiiit. Man, why would you ever want to buy either one of those hoopties when you could could be drivin' what Willis be drivin': 79' Camino with the top sawed off. You know this, baby! I gots hydraulics and Daytons on it, and a bumpin' system that gets the ladies. Snow? No problem...I just throw the blocks in the back for extra traction, and I lower the hydraulics to give me a lower center of gravy. I don't even worry about staying warm because there be a hole near the passenger's feet which leaks hot exhaust fumes, keepin' me and my ho's toasty. Willis is outta here.
post #34 of 46
If all else fails, ride up the hill with Willis, sounds like he has it together. Does that thing have 3-wheel motion?

Utah, been out here for a few seasons now, but not for an el Nino year yet. From what I hear they sound like a dream come true! Friends have said the same. I feel that I have enjoyed a couple of good snow years, but am ready for the next. Man I wish it was November!

Kept the shovel and a pack with a sleeping bag and extra beer money in in the past two seasons. I'd love to call in to my boss with that excuse!
post #35 of 46
(A) I have lived and worked in Vermont all of my adult life. I have live, worked and skied in Vermont all of my middle aged life [if that starts at fifty]. During my ski decade, I have never owned an AWD but have had the standard front wheel drive sedans and coupes. Haven't owned or used chains. Haven't had a problem with drving in whatever snow conditions. Haven't had a problem getting me and my skis to and from the mountain. Don't need an all wheel drive.

(B) Both Little Cottonwood Canyon and Big Cottonwood Canyon have some really neat turns, a few I'd call "hairpin turns" or nearly so. In some conditions when it has been snowing and slippery and I have been driving in or riding in my friend's Rav4, due to the coefficient of friction and the nature of the roads up the canyons, I wouldn't have objected if the Rav4 had been wearing chains. That wouldn't have improved the "vision thing", though. Still couldn't see two feet in front of the windshield. Novel solution: Wait 'till the white out slows down. Then go skiing or go home.

(C) Brother Gonz, your points are well taken. Time to chill. [img]smile.gif[/img] Not to worry about outcomes. No Anderson or Enron here. No capital punishment on EpicSki. Illegitimus non carborundum, brother.
post #36 of 46

Every weekend, Thanksgiving through April, I haul 2-3 13-year-olds to Smuggler's Notch up here in Vermont, no matter what the weather. To keep the mother's from freaking out, I bought the perfect snow vehicle: Subaru Forester. It drives like a car, and with AWD combined with Bridgestone Blizzaks, snow and ice on the roads are no problem. The boxy body maximizes storage and the nice high driver position with lots of glass all around makes it easy to see. You can get them with heated seats and heated wipers. I've got a Yakima rack system which handles skis, canoes, kayaks, and whatever. The 13-year-olds like the reclining rear seats. I bring blankets and small pillows and they just tilt back and sleep on the way up and on the way home.

I just bought an older Subaru Legacy for my 20-year-old daughter and the car guy told me that Subaru just passed Jeep as the most popular car in Vermont. Subies are the best snow cars, as far as we Vermonters are concerned.
post #37 of 46
Originally posted by gonzostrike:
The only thing I have in common with Clinton is a law degree, nothing else.

C'mon Gonz...we all know you've got some Paula Jones porno on your hard drive.
post #38 of 46
Time for my $.02.

I once owned a kick butt 85 Honda Civic. It took me to Washington, Canada, and Idaho for skiing many years.

After a few days in tropical Seattle one January, where it was rainy, I headed back to Spokane on a Sunday evening. Being the stupid poop I was when I was younger, I had not really listened to a weather forecast for the entire time I was "on the coast".

La de da, tooling across Stevens Pass it started to snow incredibly heavily, and by the time I got to Leavenworth on the backside of the pass, it was near dark and snowing like a mutha (as Willis might say).

Needing to work the next day, an intense desire to make the 5 hour trip home in under 7, what with going slower on account of the snow, I dropped a little speed and continued on my merry way. Out of Wenatchee, across the plains, wondering why the hell I haven't seen a single car in about an hour or so???

Somewhere past Coulee City, the wind had started to make drifts deep enough hit the front bumper, and parts of the road were no longer visible. If you look at a map, you'll know that there's not a lot of places to stop between there and Spokane--just a bunch of cow towns, most without a gas station. Keep in mind it is now late at night in January, no traffic in either direction, drifting snow, and I'm in a Honda.

I got home by braille, it took forever, and had I listened to the radio at all, I would have learned that Highway 2 had been closed at Wenatchee since around 5:30 pm, about half an hour after I passed the point of no return. Total snowfall that day: 18 inches, a record.

Point is, that Honda made it through one of the deepest snows I had ever seen. No chains, just an excellent driver. No brag, just fact.

It ain't the car -- most of the time .
post #39 of 46
No one has mentioned the most important item and that is the type of tire mounted on the vehicle.

Being a former traffic cop I'll suggest the following. AWD with an all season tire is no different than FWD with a top tier snow tire.
post #40 of 46
Ahh rusty...
I'll go with you on this one.
Most Italians, Austrians, Germans who live close to, or intend to visit snow bound areas (er not French - I'm afraid) tend to swap their summer tyres for solid winter tyres around November/Dec time.

The only disadvantages are that they are much noisier on the road and carry a speed limit of 140km/h - not a problem for most of you.

On the whole I would say that they will carry you safely through 90% of snowy conditions.

I'll agree to a diluted (and slightly less agitated) version of Gonzo's reasoning that a 4x4 doesn't mean you are invincible in the snow and that it is the knowledge and awareness of the driver that is central to the issue. Driving in blizzard conditions is all about patience and concentration, except when the wheels are already buried - then all the praying in the world won't get you out - that's what shovels and chains were designed for!!!!

What I will say is that you can always spot the person on summer tyres in a ski resort...the wheels will skid with the slightest motion and they are the ones forced to put the chains on whilst the rest drive carefully round them...

You can continue your debate on which is the best super ski car.....I for one can't join in because my knowledge of various car models is less than impressive...as too are my eloquent descriptions of their shapes - 'looks like the back of it has been chopped off' was my reponse to the Saab Fox and I saw in London!!

But skill and experince will always play a crucial role....not just body work and power.

well that's me for now

cheeky J
post #41 of 46
being a professed Saab fanatic for twenty some years it is my duty to respond here... Oh yeah I have owned a Subaru as well. First off Gonz you are sooooo right. I at one point was driving 3 hours every weekend to VT to ski. I once counted 24 SUV's off the road! Now a point of clarafication SUV's in 4 wheel drive will not, I repeat (because it bares repeating) will not help on icy roads with no traction. That means black ice, packed snow etc. I learned that on car talk so if you have a beef take it up with them guys. Anyway. Personally you can't go wrong with a Saab. Get it in manual and if you have any talent behind the wheel your golden. It's a very heavy car, big wheel base, rock solid, and so much more fun to drive when there isn't any snow. Remember you don't buy a car for just the winter. Think about the summer as well I'd personaly rather be cruising in the saab. Saftey well I think Saab definetly has it there as well. I would say it could be the safest car to put yourself in. Oh yeah Saab is not going to make the 9x for production so anyone interested sorry. I hated that thing. Word on the street is they are coming out with a roadster of sorts. Now that could be cool. My advice stick with Saab, and buy the car you will like to drive year round.
post #42 of 46
If you are jonesing to go ski the bottomless at Alta or Snowbird and the 4wd/chain law is in effect (assuming the man is operating checkpoint charlie) you won't be skiing unless you 1)hitchhike 2)ride the bus 3) suck it up and put chains on your shiny new Saab with its 4 studded snow tires 4)you own a 4wd with any type of tires.It doesn't matter if you are the European icedriving champion. No chains/No 4wd/no get up canyon. End of story. Let go of your Saab story, get a WRX wagon, put 4 Blizzaks on it, go anywhere.
post #43 of 46
My wife had a 4WD Suby when I met her. She's on her 5th one (Legacy Outback). She went the Saab route for 3 cars. High maintenance and expensive). The Subies can be very expensive to do major repairs on(fourtunatly they rarely need them). My wife is a midwife in Chicago. She makws 2 or 3 trips per week. Her 99 has 115,000 miles on it with nothing but oil changes, rear brake pads and 1 set of platinum plugs. She's on her second set of tires.(Hakki NRWs).
I agree with Rusty though, FWD with snows is just as good AWD with all seasons. Once I had to drive her to her job in Madison, during a snowstorm, in my FIAT 128(with snows) because the all-season tires on the Subie didn't have enough grip in the deeper(1ft) snow. [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #44 of 46
What Rusty said.
post #45 of 46
I have a Subaru 2.5 litre RX Wagon. It is awesome. Highly recommended. It does town and country with out missing a beat, cruise control, nice sound system, climate control, leather seats, AWD, VDC (traction control), fits the kids and gear in, good resale and low insurance premiums. (third soobi for me)

Now a SAAB is European and more expensive so if you are the "look at my car" type then I guess you could get the ..... Audi or VW Passat wagon with AWD .... SAAB nahhhhhh!!

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #46 of 46
As a loyal Subaru owner for many years I regard them as the best snow car for the money, I saw Bode Miller the other day in the top of the line Audi AWD wagon (I think its the All Road or something likr that) I confess I haven't read this entire thread but people seem preoccupied with traction, good point, but whatever you buy, pay some attention to vision!! get the best wiper blades you can, slather your windshield w/ rain-x, make sure your defroster can really crank! Wax your wiper arms so ice won't build up on them. Those of us who drive in heavy snowfall frequently know that being able to see (esp. @ night) is often the biggest problem. Also in the PNW you'll need to have chains regardless, they sometimes close the passes (at least Snoqualmie) even to 4x4's w/o chains. Good luck!
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