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Old 09-02-2011, 01:12 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,576 posts, read 2,322,993 times
Reputation: 1627
FWD with good tires (and better yet traction control) and I think you'll be good. Even better yet if it's a manual. I've taken a Hyundai Accent 4-banger up into the mountains during winter with snow tires (on a couple of relatively smooth dirt back roads) and it handled them just fine, even in the hills...granted, the engine got a bit of a workout
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Old 09-02-2011, 05:00 AM
 
Location: Centennial State
349 posts, read 330,328 times
Reputation: 159
NOOOOO, a thread I actually LOVE talking in and I'm like a day late!

IF YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO READ, PLEASE AT LEAST WATCH THE VIDEOS. THEY SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.

Tires! If you're thinking about all wheel drive (AWD) and four wheel drive (4WD; NOT FWD which is FRONT wheel drive), PLEASE get snow/ice tires before anything. There are a ton of people who only have front wheel drive (FWD) cars and they do just fine BECAUSE they have snow/ice tires. AWD and 4WD are not required but they do help a lot only if you have the correct seasonal tires. If you're using summer tires on snow, you're not going to be in much control of where you're going and stopping. You'll probably be just another passenger as you'll see soon enough.

It should be known that a lot of people throw the term around and they use it interchangeably. Some will say you're using it incorrectly or some will say it's just fine. Some AWD enthusiasts will say a Subaru is a 4x4 or four-by-four. And some will say it's AWD, not 4x4 and not 4WD.

Subaru's are common just for that in Colorado. Remember, not all AWD systems are built the same. That goes for 4WD and 4x4. Here's a video on tires which I highly suggest you just take a quick look (it's short). And below that is a good video about AWD systems from Subaru which is totally legit (certified by United States Auto Club a.k.a. USAC).


Tire Rack Tire Test - Winter/Snow vs. All-Season vs. Summer Tires on Ice - YouTube


2011 Subaru Symmetrical AWD vs. Nissan, Honda, Toyota, and Ford - YouTube

No tricks, no behind the scenes or anything like that. You can view this on Subaru's official site too if you want under the "Why Subaru" tab and in the "All Wheel Drive" section. I cannot stress this enough: if you are buying an AWD, 4WD, or 4x4 vehicle, different model years (the years those vehicles are released to the consumer for purchase) will sometimes have upgrades, downgrades, or changes in the system. You should not assume car B from 2005 with AWD will have the exact same AWD as car A from 2011. Speaking of which, all vehicles starting with model year 2009 sold in the United States are required to have electronic stability control phased in as standard equipment as stated by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). By 2012, it should be an available option on all vehicles (as ConsumerReports says). That is a huge plus for consumers, don't kid yourself; It does a lot for people, in and out of all the seasons. A quote directly from the NHTSA PDF (found at http://www.nhtsa.gov/Laws+&+Regulations/Electronic+Stability+Control+%28ESC%29): (http://www.nhtsa.gov/Laws+&+Regulations/Electronic+Stability+Control+%28ESC%29%29: - broken link)

Quote:
In order to provide the public as rapidly as possible with what are expected to be the significant safety benefits of ESC systems, NHTSA has decided to require all light vehicles covered by this standard to be equipped with a FMVSS No. 126 compliant ESC system by September 1, 2011 (with certain exceptions discussed below).
I can explain the Subaru AWD a bit more if you're curious. Just ask. Or you can try Google'ing for more answers.

Vehicle stability control and traction control (called different things with each car brand; VDC for Subaru, VSA for Honda, VSC for Toyota, etc.) work differently sometimes but, for the most part, their purpose and objective are met regardless of car brand.

How electronic stability control (ESC) works - YouTube

And apparently THIS (video below) happened in Colorado and it happened in 2005. Where I live (eastern Boulder county) we didn't even get hit that hard by that specific storm. I remember an even WORSE blizzard and it was up to my waist when I was still in elementary school. And that bad storm was before 2005, but probably before YouTube was so mainstream and widely used.


car crash Denver Colorado - YouTube

Here's the full video, mostly.

Car Winter Olympics Car Slide Multiple Car Collision in Black Ice & snow - Car Crashes in Ice - YouTube

Snow/winter tires help acceleration, turning, and stopping on snow and ice. AWD, 4WD, 4x4 systems help with acceleration and traction (to different extents depending on the traction control and stability control systems) but NOT so much stopping.

There are three things that are the most important when driving in the snow.
1.) Type of tires you're using (e.g. summer, winter, all-season).
2.) Ground clearance (the length between the bottom of the car and the road; it is measured differently for each auto maker and sometimes used incorrectly).
3.) Drivetrain (e.g. all wheel drive, front wheel drive, rear wheel drive, etc.)

For one, tires connect you to the road. For two, if you have too much snow packed under your car, obviously your wheels won't be doing you any good any time soon. For three, rear wheel drive (RWD) vehicles have nightmares in the snow but, with the correct tires, they too can drive in the snow albeit with a bit of difficulty. FWD vehicles have it easier than RWD but is still outperformed by AWD, 4WD or 4x4 vehicles. A FWD vehicle with winter tires WILL DO BETTER than an AWD vehicle with all season tires. But an AWD vehicle with winter tires WILL DO BETTER than a FWD vehicle with winter tires.

As to which vehicle to purchase, I suggest you look at these vehicles:
2012 Subaru Impreza (great MPG with Subaru's great AWD system but has low ground clearance)
2009+ Subaru Forester, Outback (so-so MPG but class leading ground clearance with Subaru's proven AWD system)
2009+ Toyota 4Runner, Land Cruiser, Sequoia (4x4, 4x4, 4WD respectively; all three have SUV-like ground clearance)

The two vehicles most bought are the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V which, in the video you saw, do not have the capabilities of a Subaru Forester (or any 2009+ Subaru vehicle). They are popular because of the brand name, reliability, and low cost both to buy and maintain. Subaru Foresters are in the same category but are sought after less because Subaru started off as a niche brand, not a huge automaker like Toyota or Honda (which have their own luxury brands). Of course, there are other vehicles that will do well on par with the vehicles I have listed. However, the vehicles I have listed I know in my head do what they are supposed to do and are not cheap compilations to maximize profit at the compromise of the consumer's transportation potential (unlike the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Ford Escape). I cannot personally attest to their capabilities which is why I have not listed them. Someone else can vouch for the other ones.

What you will hear in this specific topic of discussions is that "that AWD is more than enough 99.9999% of the time" or "for all purposes and intents, it's good enough for most people." They will say that about the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Ford Escape. You can decide if it's good enough for you given how much it costs to buy that vehicle. But I will say right now, for the price, Subaru's AWD cannot be beat. It's an obvious choice for the Subaru Forester when you compare just costs alone; The Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V cost nearly the same as the Subaru Forester but cannot go where the Subaru Forester can. The Subaru Forester is in the same price range as those four. For driving utility purposes, the Subaru Forester has them all beat. Of course, there are other things that those four excel at that the Subaru Forester does not come in first place (cargo space by total cubic feet for the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, styling for the Nissan Rogue, etc.). Given enough momentum and a car, regardless if it's FWD, AWD, or RWD, can make it up an icy hill. Just like cars that can hydroplane across a body of water. That's where people can argue "the AWD is enough for most intents and purposes." Lol, yeah, sure...

Last edited by Sobe Itsavized; 09-02-2011 at 06:07 AM..
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Old 09-02-2011, 07:21 AM
 
Location: 80919 Rockrimmon yO!
2,738 posts, read 4,591,680 times
Reputation: 1200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snikt View Post
You said you don't need 4WD but you're suggesting an AWD car?
There's a big difference between 4WD and AWD. AWD actually does quite a bit for handling, even on dry pavement, and most of the automotive manufacturers are starting to recognize this, and are slowly releasing AWD models of just about every car.

i'd reccomend it highly, No you don't NEED it, but if you find yourself in a situation where you're stuck, you"ll wish you had it.

There's a reason why Colorado has more registered Subarus than all other states combined.
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Old 09-02-2011, 07:33 AM
 
Location: 80919 Rockrimmon yO!
2,738 posts, read 4,591,680 times
Reputation: 1200
And as far as Subaru is concerned, I liked them a whole lot better when they actually had true 4WD, not AWD. Miss my old GL wagon....check out the transfer case....

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Old 09-02-2011, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,788 posts, read 2,979,695 times
Reputation: 1387
I'll join those who are saying that you don't NEED an SUV in the city, but I'll admit that I have one as my main vehicle. If you want an SUV, get one! It's your money and your choice.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Centennial State
349 posts, read 330,328 times
Reputation: 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanek9freak View Post
There's a big difference between 4WD and AWD. AWD actually does quite a bit for handling, even on dry pavement, and most of the automotive manufacturers are starting to recognize this, and are slowly releasing AWD models of just about every car.

i'd reccomend it highly, No you don't NEED it, but if you find yourself in a situation where you're stuck, you"ll wish you had it.

There's a reason why Colorado has more registered Subarus than all other states combined.
Yeah, a lot of people drive Subaru's out here because, for the price and proven AWD, they make total sense. One of the reasons why Colorado has the largest Subaru volume dealer in the United States which is Heuberger Subaru (Colorado Springs, Colorado).

A lot of people buy the Subaru Outback too making it the acclaimed official car of Colorado. Or at least this guy likes to think so:


2010 Subaru Outback 3.6R Review - YouTube

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanek9freak View Post
And as far as Subaru is concerned, I liked them a whole lot better when they actually had true 4WD, not AWD. Miss my old GL wagon....check out the transfer case....
LOL WOW! ;D That's one OLD Subaru. I like the automatic transmission AWD for Subaru with VDC and VTD. Side to side wheel management (like VDC) is something I feel should have been standard starting in 1998.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Colorado
2,562 posts, read 1,734,939 times
Reputation: 2808
The new Yugo SUV should work just fine.

http://www.vemurivenkatrao.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Yugo-2.jpg (broken link)
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Denver area
16,976 posts, read 11,936,778 times
Reputation: 19085
I don't think anyone is saying a person shouldn't feel free to get an SUV if that's what they want...but people should know they aren't necessary here. If that is what they for sure wanted, I doubt they'd be posting a question about if they should buy one....People who move here seem to think that there is this constant amount of snow everywhere all winter and you won't be able to get out of your driveway without 4WD. That just isn't the case.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Centennial State
349 posts, read 330,328 times
Reputation: 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
I don't think anyone is saying a person shouldn't feel free to get an SUV if that's what they want...but people should know they aren't necessary here. If that is what they for sure wanted, I doubt they'd be posting a question about if they should buy one....People who move here seem to think that there is this constant amount of snow everywhere all winter and you won't be able to get out of your driveway without 4WD. That just isn't the case.
Yeah. Most of the time the sun is out melting the snow. Sometimes it's gone by the afternoon, sometimes it ices over the highways and stays for a couple of weeks. Requiring an SUV will depend on if your roads are paved or if you live somewhere a bit away from paved roads. Having that option of an SUV there is nice if you are required to be at work regardless of weather conditions. But yeah, it definitely depends on your neighborhood and parking circumstances. Sometimes you will need that SUV just to get onto a paved road parked ON a paved road. Those plow trucks don't really dig your car from the snow on the sides of roads. You dig yourself out or you just drive over it in your SUV.

If you live in the city where the roads are plowed constantly during storms, a sedan with AWD that gets good gas mileage works just fine. The 2012 Subaru Impreza is the choice of the year for people who use logic.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Denver area
16,976 posts, read 11,936,778 times
Reputation: 19085
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sobe Itsavized View Post
The 2012 Subaru Impreza is the choice of the year for people who use logic.
Where is it your dealership is located?
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