When comparing AWD vs. FWD:
An AWD vehicle will get better traction and handle better in the rain, snow,
and other slippery surfaces like leaf-covered streets. In a climate like CA
where it doesn't rain all summer, the first few rains of the season make the
oils rise off of the road surface, making them very slippery. An AWD
vehicle will also be slightly more stable in conditions where hydroplaning
On the negative side, the AWD hardware weighs more and has more drag on the
drivetrain so it will get poorer fuel economy, and there are 2 extra
differentials to maintain.
It's nice to have, but not that necessary.
Winter tires are best for new dry snow, something we seldom have on
Canada's urban and main highways. With salting slush is the norm.
So IMO under these conditions All season tires are best.
ABS brakes are very important, should be a legal requirement on new cars.
What is more important is common sense and a feel for driving on very
Although I've driven all my life in Canadian snowy conditions, the 40
yrs going to the western Canadian ski hills in all conditions, I still
practice my winter driving driving skills with the first snow each
season, including always driving slower than the slip point.
This has meant I get there before many AWD, 4WD, etc. vehicles which
often are in the ditch on their roofs.
Unfortunately recent vehicle design is often not desirable on snowy
roads, this includes excessively low profile tires which float on the
snow at speed.
No, not at all. Winter tires are best for winter--they are made of
different compounds, the combination of which is dedicated to the rigors
of cold temperatures.
Summer tires are made of different compounds, the combination of which
is dedicated to performance in summer temperatures and lack of snow and
All-season tires are a compromise, although getting better all the time.
Winter tires aren't just a matter of the tread pattern.
while it might be a minority opinion, it is not a wrong opinion,
I have AWD and I drive a mb which I put on winter/snow tires on, I
feel safer in the MB with snows on than I do in my awd cars.
I have spun out in awd cars, I've never spun out in the mb with the
Try the Nokian WR all season passenger tire. It's the only one with the
snowflake designator for winter driving--and I have to say, it's an
amazing all-season tire. Quiet in the summer and no doubt a Nokian tire
with the snowflake come winter storms, from snow to slush.
A two wheel drive car with snow tires (or tires otherwise appropriate
for conditions) will, on the road, always be more capable than an all
wheel drive vehicle with all-season or otherwise inappropriate tires.
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.