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sobe_death
sobe_death Dork
9/1/21 3:16 p.m.

Best is all over the place.  My Touareg TDI pulled numerous BMW x-Drive vehicles out of the ditch in the Colorado blizzards last year without no snow tires, but the ubiquitous Falken Wildpeaks give really great traction on everything but ice.  Previously, the S2000 had studded snow tires on it and was an absolute hoot to drive in the snow.  Before that, a '96 Civic DX with summer tires was somehow unstoppable in midwestern snowfall.

 

Best is probably the car they have + snow tires, as long as the defog/defrost works well.

Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/1/21 3:22 p.m.
bobzilla said:

Best I've had was the 2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara. 

This is an excellent option. The Grand Vitara is surprisingly capable, and they have more aftermarket than you may think.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/1/21 9:12 p.m.

Found this for you....perfect:

 

AWD Manual CRV

johndej
johndej Dork
9/1/21 9:58 p.m.
Honsch
Honsch Reader
9/1/21 10:34 p.m.
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) said:
bobzilla said:

Best I've had was the 2001 Suzuki Grand Vitara. 

This is an excellent option. The Grand Vitara is surprisingly capable, and they have more aftermarket than you may think.

My AWD Nissan Axxess is also suprisingly excellent in the snow when shod with Blizzaks.

03Panther
03Panther UltraDork
9/1/21 10:40 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

AWD is certainly a help, but 4wd is not really the proper tool for snow.  4wd is for off-roading or situations when you absolutely need torque to go to all wheels with traction.  That is not the usually the case with snow, and 4wd makes turning a PITA in the snow.

I contend that the best car for the snow is an automatic transmission, AWD (with a viscous coupling), LSD rear with skinny snow tires on it.  No studs.  Studs are for ice.

You nailed it. Sadly , prolly 90% of the car buying public have no clue that AWD and 4WD (sometimes stylized as 4x4) are not the same thing! That percentage is probably a bit better on here.

I've never heard anyone with a AWD Astro van, in any part of the country, say they wish they had a better commuter for snow. But Astro's are an aquired taste!

Believe it not, if an antique fits the bill, an old school air cooled VW has been accused of being unstoppable when others couldn't get there. 'Course that legend was started before AWD was a normal thing.

buenavides1
buenavides1 New Reader
9/1/21 10:46 p.m.

Does it have to be a new model? I feel like a bigger car is better in snow, but most of the time great winter tires help. 

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/1/21 10:51 p.m.

Wife's Hummer H2 with the new AT tires I put on it is basically unstoppable in feet's of snow. I like mowing down snow banks with it that are taller than regular sedans.  

03Panther
03Panther UltraDork
9/1/21 10:57 p.m.
dps214 said:

Your profile says you live in VA so I'm going to go with "literally anything with snow tires and more than 3" of ground clearance". I mean I live in ohio and I'm not even planning on running snow tires this winter, just good all seasons.

As mentioned, the snow in VA might surprise folks not from there. Now we don't really count NOVA; It may be VA on paper, but its really a suburb of DC surprise

I was driving all over  VA, in any of the worst snows (granted, they don't happen as OFTEN as its northern fellows) from around '77 till I moved in '08. I never owned a set of snow tires. Mostly RWD. Worked in Oswego NY in February for 5 weeks. Snowed every other day. Lots of northerners wrecked on way in or home, after bragging about "I grew up driving in this!"  I just plodded along in my 86 cutlass 4 door (RWD) with marginal Douglass wally world generic tires. She'd get loose, time to time; but never got stuck in anything. Never dug it out in AM either, despite 6-8". Just pushed on through.

Same story in Monticello MN in Feb. FWD Buick Regal. Cheap tires. Never stuck, never wrecked. The bragging northerners can't say the same! The ones that didn't brag, seemed to do ok... might be something to that! That car would power through anything MN through at it... but I had a choice. I could either steer; or stop. Absolutely would NOT do both at the same time! Just have ta plan ahead.

Advan046
Advan046 UltraDork
9/2/21 8:21 a.m.
No Time said:

If you're looking for a small, budget friendly option the Suzuki SX4 goes well in the snow, at least with snow tires. 

It's a small hatchback available with a 5 speed and AWD with driver selected modes.

-FWD - only front engaged as needed, rear does not engage even when whee spin is detected  

- AWD with auto engagement of rears, as front slip is detected  

- AWD with rear tires  constantly engaged.

 

This! There was a short time we talked about a spec class of ice racing SX4s.

Advan046
Advan046 UltraDork
9/2/21 9:04 a.m.

Also as you despise Subaru look into the mitsubishi Lancer GT and sportback  around 2012-2015.

Mitsubishi being so small, they released awd NON-EVO manual transmission lancers in sedan and wagon form and not many noticed. 

Also, I am still searching for confirmation but I think the Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep group had a Caliber/Compass/Patriot that was AWD and manual. 

Just some oddball incase you find one around. 

While the DMV gets some snow it is managed so randomly that my Evo with snow tires had no problems getting around. In fact, it was a glorious time for each blizzard (2010-2014?) to be out when plow trucks, generally most people and even the police couldn't get around, I went out for multi hour drives where I saw no one. Each time drifting and sliding and things were great UNTIL the plows made it out and 5-10foot high berms were made along the side of the main roads so no one could get in or out of their neighborhood or any of the stores until we shoveled our way in. 

 

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
9/2/21 10:38 a.m.

AWD is great, but it's not necessary. My old 2012 manual trans Mazda 3 on winter tires was probably the best vehicle I've had for winter driving. While it wasn't as fun as the two WRX's I've had, it never even got close to getting stuck and could stop and turn better. Parking lot donuts are not nearly as entertaining, but FWD + snows will get you where you need to go with zero drama.

That said, when it comes to never getting stuck, my Power Wagon with the full-time 4WD NP203 laughs at winter. Stopping is... uhh... interesting, but it will go anywhere, even in feet of snow and ice. And it looks damn majestic while doing it.

Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/2/21 10:56 a.m.
03Panther said:

You nailed it. Sadly , prolly 90% of the car buying public have no clue that AWD and 4WD (sometimes stylized as 4x4) are not the same thing! That percentage is probably a bit better on here.

 

Ok, here's a pet peeve of mine, and arguing about it also a sure way to get a thread deleted on the Oregon Intlet Idiots Facebook group, where the general consensus is yOu MuST hAve 4 WheEL dRIve To Go ON the OuTEr BAnKs!

But we love a good argument here. devil

AWD and 4x4 are the same thing. All four wheels are driven. 

The differences are in engagement (for street manners or off road capability) and marketing. 

I'll give you a few examples.

My 4Runner is AWD.  It runs in 4Hi with an open center differential as it's normal driving mode. I can lock the center differential  if I want, and put it into a 4Lo gear range for torque multiplication. The 4Runner doesn't have front or rear lockers, so if I lift a wheel, I'll have to use brake modulation to keep it from spinning. The V6 4Runners were able to be run in 2WD, 4Hi and 4Low. They also didn't have front or rear lockers, but were considered 4WD vehicles, but they didn't run in 4Hi all of the time like the 4Runner. 

My Subaru is also AWD.  The center diff in my Subaru can't be manually locked, and it has an LSD rear. All four wheels are driven. I could install a trick center differential that would lock or unlock, as they had in some other Subarus. Hell, in some markets, the Forester got a manual with an actual low range manual transmission in it. I was still considered AWD. 

A vehicle with three locking differentials is certainly 4x4. It's alwo AWD, since all wheels are being driven with the same power by the engine. It would also suck to drive on the street. Now, if this is what we're considering to be a "real" 4x4, then a base Wrangler isn't a 4x4, since it doesn't have front and rear lockers and instead uses braking to simulate a mechanical differential. 

Please feel free to argue =)



 

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke UltraDork
9/2/21 10:57 a.m.
johndej said:

This one's local

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1120639741750415/

I don't think you'll find anything better than this.

No Time
No Time SuperDork
9/2/21 11:28 a.m.

In reply to Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) :

Personally, I draw the line between AWD and 4WD based on whether or not it has a center differential. Front and rear lockers/limited slip is just an option for either. 

The rationale is the following:

AWD can handle variations between front and rear wheel speed when cornering allowing them to be used on dry or slick surfaces without requiring tire slippage to accommodate the different distance traveled by front and rear tires. 

4WD has no center diff, therefore both axles are driving the wheels at the same speed and when cornering the tires need to slip to accommodate the different distance traveled by the tires. 

As a result 4wd can create some interesting handling when compared to AWD, especially when cornering in the snow or slick conditions since it needs slippage between the tires and surface to corner.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
9/2/21 11:50 a.m.
clutchsmoke said:
johndej said:

This one's local

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1120639741750415/

I don't think you'll find anything better than this.

How do you tell if its awd?

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/2/21 12:05 p.m.
1988RedT2 said:

So, with August on the way out and winter just around the corner, what is everyone's choice for best vehicle for driving in snow?  Under $10k, and stickshift is ideal.  2WD need not apply.

Best snow car I have ever owned was my '89 Golf.  I have owned multiple AWD vehicles, from Subaru, VWAG, and Volvo.

 

It felt buttoned down and secure and controllable at 90mph on washboarded hardpack...

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke UltraDork
9/2/21 12:24 p.m.
ProDarwin said:
clutchsmoke said:
johndej said:

This one's local

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1120639741750415/

I don't think you'll find anything better than this.

How do you tell if its awd?

I guess you'd have to ask the seller to send you a pic of the rear differential.

84FSP
84FSP UltraDork
9/2/21 12:29 p.m.

My Wife's 96 XJ Cherokee with the 4.0 and 4X4 was unstoppable but thirsty.  I believe I stepped it up t0 235 wide Yok geolander AT's which was a big improvement and still fine the rest of the year.   Dead reliable if you can find rust free versions they'll last forever.  Likely getting a bit long in the tooth for you though.  

sobe_death
sobe_death Dork
9/2/21 12:30 p.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

Look under the back of it!  Everything is way out in the open under the CR-V.

Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/2/21 2:11 p.m.

In reply to No Time :

I agree with your statement. However, it doesn't contradict my position:

If all wheels are driven it's 4x4 and if there are only 4 total wheels, that means it's also all wheel drive. The center differential just gives it better on road manners. 
 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
9/2/21 2:15 p.m.
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) said:
03Panther said:

You nailed it. Sadly , prolly 90% of the car buying public have no clue that AWD and 4WD (sometimes stylized as 4x4) are not the same thing! That percentage is probably a bit better on here.

 

Ok, here's a pet peeve of mine, and arguing about it also a sure way to get a thread deleted on the Oregon Intlet Idiots Facebook group, where the general consensus is yOu MuST hAve 4 WheEL dRIve To Go ON the OuTEr BAnKs!

But we love a good argument here. devil

AWD and 4x4 are the same thing. All four wheels are driven. 

The differences are in engagement (for street manners or off road capability) and marketing. 

I'll give you a few examples.

My 4Runner is AWD.  It runs in 4Hi with an open center differential as it's normal driving mode. I can lock the center differential  if I want, and put it into a 4Lo gear range for torque multiplication. The 4Runner doesn't have front or rear lockers, so if I lift a wheel, I'll have to use brake modulation to keep it from spinning. The V6 4Runners were able to be run in 2WD, 4Hi and 4Low. They also didn't have front or rear lockers, but were considered 4WD vehicles, but they didn't run in 4Hi all of the time like the 4Runner. 

My Subaru is also AWD.  The center diff in my Subaru can't be manually locked, and it has an LSD rear. All four wheels are driven. I could install a trick center differential that would lock or unlock, as they had in some other Subarus. Hell, in some markets, the Forester got a manual with an actual low range manual transmission in it. I was still considered AWD. 

A vehicle with three locking differentials is certainly 4x4. It's alwo AWD, since all wheels are being driven with the same power by the engine. It would also suck to drive on the street. Now, if this is what we're considering to be a "real" 4x4, then a base Wrangler isn't a 4x4, since it doesn't have front and rear lockers and instead uses braking to simulate a mechanical differential. 

Please feel free to argue =)



 

My unicycle is AWD

03Panther
03Panther UltraDork
9/2/21 5:57 p.m.
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) said:

In reply to No Time :

I agree with your statement. However, it doesn't contradict my position:

If all wheels are driven it's 4x4 and if there are only 4 total wheels, that means it's also all wheel drive. The center differential just gives it better on road manners. 
 

You are correct in semantics. Partially. It is also a matter of marketing, but isn't everything?

To take the semantics out, AWD when applied to daily driven, factory produced vehicles , does not mean it has 4 wheels, and all of them are "driven" 100% of the time. They are not. (Irrelevant to original topic example: my sister had a 97 Grand Cherokee "full time 4wd." It had a transfer cases to with the ability to shift into 4low, and send "driven" {a way of saying where the power is going} power to front and rear axles all the time. But with open carriers, only one front and one rear were being given power at any time!  Could you sue them for false advertising? No. But irrelevant to original subject)

It is true that AWD and 4wd are the same, except in their egagement. The engagement dirrerence being the relaxant part to the OPs question. 
Nighttime and Daytime are the same. Both are a period of time. Except...

The AWD, (common usage) has a viscous coupling sending varying power to the front and rear, as needed. Newer has computer controlled clutches instead. 


4wd or 4x4 (common usage), has a selectable transfer case (geared or chain driven) that sends a fixed amount of power (within the selection) to the front and rear.
There are vehicles manufactured from the factory, with a combination of both systems. 

there are a lot of the general public buying vehicles that can not tell the difference. 
I'm not implying you are one of them. You obviously do, and are aware of how to buy the one that best suits your needs. 

Tk8398
Tk8398 HalfDork
9/2/21 6:25 p.m.
JesseWolfe said:

First or second generation Touareg or Cheyenne, base model ( you don't need lockers ), 17" AT tires, severe snow rated.  Absolute monsters in snow and loose surfaces.  Unavailable with a manual transmission though.

They made a few manual base Cayennes but I think the clutch is absurdly expensive when it needs changing and they apparently aren't that great anyway.  I kinda want a normal automatic one though.

GeddesB
GeddesB GRM+ Memberand New Reader
9/2/21 6:41 p.m.
Folgers said:

Late nineties early otts Jeep Cherokee’s. For stock suvs, it can’t be beat in my opinion.

 

Dead on the mark!  Those things are mountain goats, if they haven't been hacked into junk. 

 

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