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Old 11-14-2014, 11:54 PM
 
8,376 posts, read 7,362,552 times
Reputation: 18229

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Quote:
It's been obvious to me all along. I'm not the one who argued that AWD with all-seasons is superior to FWD with winter tires followed with an unequivocal claim that "AWD is superior to 2WD for traction in every instance." If you didn't mean "in every instance" then perhaps you should have chosen different wording than "in every instance."
When driving in ice and snow conditions, AWD or 4X4 with the same tires, have superior traction over 2WD under all conditions.
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:27 AM
 
Location: Estonia
1,707 posts, read 1,258,464 times
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You Americans are a funny folk, a bunch of you are firm believers in God but totally oblivious to the superiority of winter tires compared to all-season yet alone summer in sub zero temps and harsh conditions. A 4x4, 4WD or AWD will take you only so far. 2WD with proper winter tires (here in Europe we have studless winter tires for Central Europe and Northern Europe, Central ones are meant for wet conditions near the freezing point, Northern ones are for the proper winters with ice and snow. Of course in Northern Europe you are also allowed to have studded tires, which most of people use here) will outperform a 4x4/AWD with all seasons on pretty much all the critical parts (braking, cornering). But 4x4/AWD with the same tires fitted as the 2WD is of course superior.

So OP, I'd suggest you get a proper set of winter tires, cause you really don't wanna cut a deal on the safety of your family. If studded tires are allowed in your state, get them, if not get studless ones.

And if you decide for studless tires, don't go for blizzaks, they are only a little above average and lose their attributes rather fast. The best studless tires are Michelin XI3, Nokian Hakkapeliita R2, Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice2, Conti ContiViking Contact 6. Good winter tires are an investment worth making!
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:49 AM
 
33,134 posts, read 39,067,107 times
Reputation: 28484
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadwell10201 View Post
Hello all,

First of all, I want to apologize if this has been gone over a million times! I recently bought a brand new 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan (last February) and I love it! I have 3 kids and 1 one on the way , and the van has done everything that I need it to do...that being that it's very spacious and fits my entire family, and belongings, comfortably. The seats even fold down completely flat to haul things, and overall it's been a solid, dependable van (so far).

The only problem I've ever had with this van is the fact that it's not 4WD or AWD- back in February it was between a brand new Caravan or a lot older Explorer with 4WD. We did look at all the options (I know the Sienna's come in AWD) but I hated the looks and price tag of the others.

We chose the new car because 1) we needed the space (wasn't in love with the 3rd row in SUVs), and well we could get one off the showroom floor for $20k all out.

Now that winter is closing in it's got me thinking. We haven't had the van long enough to test it in the winter...Snow tires seem to be extremely expensive (upwards of $1,000 for all 4). and I'm starting to wonder how good this thing is going to be in the snow. We also live in a very hilly area....and it snows quite a bit (Massachusetts).

I've been watching car reviews on YouTube of the Dodge Durango and Ford Explorer...and I'm thinking to myself "Wouldn't it be nice not worry about the weather, and still fit my whole family" Dependable, Capable, Safe...etc. Do it all.

Can anyone share there opinion? Does anyone have any experience in the snow in a van, or better yet has anyone gone FROM a FWD van to a 4WD SUV and can compare?

I feel really stupid trading in a van that's not even 1 year old because I'm worried about the snow...I'd love to get both, but the money isn't there yet.

Thanks for any and all opinions!
What have you done in the past to deal with winter conditions?
You dont need 4X4 to deal with winter as the majority of cars on the road arent 4X4 and they get around just fine, if conditions are such that only 4X4 will do maybe its not a good day to be out on the roads.
A good set of dedicated snow tires is all you need, something like a Bridgestone Blizzak,while you may think $1000 may be expensive i'm sure its cheaper than the depreciation you'll have to absorb to change vehicles.
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:44 AM
 
675 posts, read 1,214,949 times
Reputation: 803
I thought we were trying to keep this debate out of this thread, but since it is in full swing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtrader View Post
When driving in ice and snow conditions, AWD or 4X4 with the same tires, have superior traction over 2WD under all conditions.
The Original Poster mentioned snow tires for FWD but being expensive or buying AWD. I think many of us infered if they don't want to put the money into snow tires on the existing (1 year old) vehicle, they aren't going to buy something else, and then buy the snow tires, so we aren't talking the same tires. Even with that, AWD will not be better in all conditions. It will be better accelerating, but will be the same in braking and turning (except where you can apply gas to weight transfer and get more traction in the turn, fairly rare for most people when driving in the snow)


Quote:
Originally Posted by MckinneyOwnr View Post
Didn't think I'd actually have to state something that obvious... I guess for you it needed to be spelled out.



Yes, they are designed to have better grip than all-seasons. I'm not debating snow traction either, my main point was about ice.

I've driven my Cayenne S on snow and ice, it's AWD. On winter tires, handling and braking are marginally better than with all seasons. Not enough to rave about, that's for sure. It probably stops about 15 ft shorter distance than with all seasons (1 car length) and handling again is only a marginal improvement.

Going from 2wd to 4wd/AWD is much more of an improvement than switching tires in most cases, especially when going up and down hills as the OP is.

I know, it is one test done at one time, and isn't the answer to everything, but check this article out. On ice, not snow. 18.5 feet stopping improvement from 12 MPH. That's significant and would likely be even more at 25 or 35 MPH.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/...y.jsp?ttid=154


Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
Not to even mention one of the biggest causes of accidents in Winter is following to closely. Guy in front of you has a problem and you cannot stop in time. Snow tires help there, AWD does not.
Yes to this. In my area, we don't get that much snow. When we do, we occasionally see some cars stuck where AWD would help. But it is much more common to see rear-enders (I've been rear ended stopped at a light in the snow, but someone with AWD), and cars who have slid off the side of the road. It is true, that better driving would make a significant impact for both those scenarios, but to dismiss the tires isn't prudent, and we all get into unexpected situations (deer jumps out, person coming the other way crosses center line, etc)

I have AWD vehicles with all seasons, FWD with a set of snow tires for it, and RWD (that I leave home in the winter, although I've previously daily driven RWD with snow tires in the winter).

Since we don't get much snow here, I generally drive the AWD vehicles in the winter, and they are fine. That said, the FWD with snows is better in most conditions than my AWD with all seasons. I'm just too lazy to put them on in the winter since we moved south. If we had more snow, I'd be driving that in the snow(or really, buying snow tires for the AWD vehicles).
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Old 11-15-2014, 08:20 AM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
16,933 posts, read 17,174,761 times
Reputation: 10786
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
Not to even mention one of the biggest causes of accidents in Winter is following to closely. Guy in front of you has a problem and you cannot stop in time. Snow tires help there, AWD does not.
In braking alone you are somewhat correct, but in avoidance an AWD had more control. Braking isn't always the only option. I drive a 6speed manual A4 and it is amazing in the snow. Never bothered with snow tires of course.

To the OP, I would just run all season tires on your minivan. Minivans are better than SUVs because they have a lower center of gravity. SUVs are pretty much a poor choice no matter what.
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Old 11-15-2014, 09:47 AM
 
33,134 posts, read 39,067,107 times
Reputation: 28484
Watch some of these snow tire vs all season tire videos.
snow tires vs all season - YouTube
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:17 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,091,437 times
Reputation: 9065
I've said my piece elsewhere about the snow tire/all-season tire debate. Snow tires are a help, but they alone are not any substitute for winter driving experience. 'nuff said about that. FWD minivans will generally do pretty well in winter conditions, save for the same caveat of any car-type vehicle--they are only as good in deep snow as their minimum ground clearance. If deep snow on the road is a big part of the driving equation, then a high clearance AWD or 4WD is the answer.

Another option for the OP would be an AWD minivan (say, a Toyota Sienna). The downer is that they get little better fuel economy than many 4WD SUV's.
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Southwestern, USA
12,603 posts, read 10,725,246 times
Reputation: 14851
Put 180 pounds of sand bags in the rear, always the best
tires you can ...it is your life after all....and you should have ABS brakes, right?
You'll do fine...if you really are needing to drive it on very bad
weather days...I don't ever need to, I work out of an office I built
onto my home...
ask around about studded...do they go one all four? Things like that .

I do like 4WD in snow for sure...but my passenger van carries
my big art in it...I need it!

Always remember get the best tires you can...it is your life.
I'll eat carrots and potatoes if that is what it means to have safety in my car.
Tires and brakes are something to never skimp on...use a credit card.
Sorry if I sound firm on this.
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Southwestern, USA
12,603 posts, read 10,725,246 times
Reputation: 14851
Quote:
Originally Posted by KuuKulgur View Post
You Americans are a funny folk, a bunch of you are firm believers in God but totally oblivious to the superiority of winter tires compared to all-season yet alone summer in sub zero temps and harsh conditions. A 4x4, 4WD or AWD will take you only so far. 2WD with proper winter tires (here in Europe we have studless winter tires for Central Europe and Northern Europe, Central ones are meant for wet conditions near the freezing point, Northern ones are for the proper winters with ice and snow. Of course in Northern Europe you are also allowed to have studded tires, which most of people use here) will outperform a 4x4/AWD with all seasons on pretty much all the critical parts (braking, cornering). But 4x4/AWD with the same tires fitted as the 2WD is of course superior.

So OP, I'd suggest you get a proper set of winter tires, cause you really don't wanna cut a deal on the safety of your family. If studded tires are allowed in your state, get them, if not get studless ones.

And if you decide for studless tires, don't go for blizzaks, they are only a little above average and lose their attributes rather fast. The best studless tires are Michelin XI3, Nokian Hakkapeliita R2, Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice2, Conti ContiViking Contact 6. Good winter tires are an investment worth making!
You are one smart cookie.
I like you.
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:14 PM
 
90 posts, read 84,687 times
Reputation: 55
lol, thanks for all the replies once again. This thread really has turned into a big debate, of which I'm not going to get involved.....

HOWEVER, I don't think many people around here change out there All Season tires for winter tires, or even realize that they are any better in snow...some DO but many DON'T. And many people think just because they have AWD or 4x4 they don't need to have snow tires...which isn't true.

Plus, say what you will, but many of today's AWD system's in these new SUVs don't compare to traditional 4x4 with a Hi and Lo option....so it would be a waste to trade in my van for, say, a "4WD" (which is really AWD) Ford Explorer, my van with studded tires would be just as good.
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