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Old 03-10-2011, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Vermont / NEK
5,773 posts, read 12,298,395 times
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I tried all season tires - once. And that was enough to tell me that they aren't cut out for more than an inch or two of snow at most. The tread pattern just isn't beefy enough for any real gripping.
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Old 03-11-2011, 05:07 AM
 
Location: Rutland, VT
1,822 posts, read 4,521,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by square peg View Post
I tried all season tires - once. And that was enough to tell me that they aren't cut out for more than an inch or two of snow at most. The tread pattern just isn't beefy enough for any real gripping.
Agreed!

In December, we were driving along on a slippery day when someone came screaming out of a street, smashed into our Civic, then fled. The insurance company gave us a rental for the two months our car was being repaired.

The first rental car was fine -- until it snowed. I called the rental company and said, "Do you really send non-Vermonters off in these cars with wimpy all-weather tires? We're sliding all over the place!" Yes, they do. So we found Green Mountain Rental, which at least puts good snow tires on the front of each car. We were good to go until we finally got our car back.
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:33 AM
 
6 posts, read 24,493 times
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thanks for your input everyone..sounds like snowtires may be adequate, but there may be some limited situations where AWD would be helpful.
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Rutland, VT
1,822 posts, read 4,521,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arwm View Post
thanks for your input everyone..sounds like snowtires may be adequate, but there may be some limited situations where AWD would be helpful.
A perfectly distilled squib of the discussion -- and, I think, the reality.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:21 PM
 
400 posts, read 724,215 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logs and Dogs View Post
I agree with Artic on this one as well........

If you can get AWD or 4wd why not? I mean just because you can get by in 95% of the situations with a FWD car and snow tires isn't a good reason not to get a AWD car when all is equal. I mean, we could also perform brain surgery with a rusty spoon if we wanted to, doesn't mean it is the best option........
Well, the vehicles cost more and have more systems that need to be maintained/can break. They also use more gas and supposedly burn through tires quicker. And you have to pay for all those expenses during the summer as well, when you really wouldn't need them.

So, best is subjective. Its not as if AWD is free.
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:42 AM
 
Location: Vermont
5,439 posts, read 14,746,800 times
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i think most vehicles with a little higher clearance are AWD. if not RWD which I wouldn't necessarily recommend unless you had snow tires and some weight in the rear. FWD + GOOD snows would have been fine for us so far in the sugarbush area.
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:19 AM
 
Location: Live - VT, Work - MA
819 posts, read 1,266,921 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j_jimerino View Post
Well, the vehicles cost more and have more systems that need to be maintained/can break. They also use more gas and supposedly burn through tires quicker. And you have to pay for all those expenses during the summer as well, when you really wouldn't need them.

So, best is subjective. Its not as if AWD is free.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

We have had AWD and 4wd vehicles for years and we get the same tire life as other configurations, 50-65K miles normally. As for the initial vehicle cost, many are comprable to other drivetrains, and frankly no one can call the Suzukis you see running around all over VT "expensive" from a vehicle standpoint. As for more expensive maintenance, it is negligable, really it is......one more differential to change fluid in etc. trust me once the mechanics have your car on the lift for a 60K mile service or something similar, there is barely any difference in the cost to service a Fwd vehicle or AWD vehicle.

So while nothing is free, the costs are negligible, but what do I know we just have an Outback with 170K miles, Tundra with 145K miles and an F-250 PSD with 90K miles......which all replaced an Outback with 150K miles, a Tacoma with 110K miles and coming from an Acura Integra with 100K miles and a Jetta with 85K miles........maybe someone with more experience can chime in.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:16 AM
 
1,643 posts, read 2,102,813 times
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AWD is a great asset, but for most folks, it's not an absolute necessity. A FWD car with 4 snows will get you around unless you deal with dirt roads or very steep hills regularly.

Also, if you do go with AWD, still get 4 snow tires for it. AWD is all about getting you going, it makes no difference stopping and turning whereas snow tires drastically improve winter braking and turning.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Live - VT, Work - MA
819 posts, read 1,266,921 times
Reputation: 606
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sporin View Post
AWD is a great asset, but for most folks, it's not an absolute necessity. A FWD car with 4 snows will get you around unless you deal with dirt roads or very steep hills regularly.

Also, if you do go with AWD, still get 4 snow tires for it. AWD is all about getting you going, it makes no difference stopping and turning whereas snow tires drastically improve winter braking and turning.
Spot on advice right there. Subaru et al have not solved for the laws of physics.......
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Providence, RI
986 posts, read 2,026,616 times
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If an AWD car burns through tires more quickly, it's only due to the extra weight of the AWD system, not the way AWD works. However, I have noticed that they last about the same as a FWD car. The big difference is that they wear more evenly. While the front tires still wear faster than the back tires, they don't wear as quickly as the front tires on a FWD car.

My view of buying cars is to buy something reliable that can handle almost anything you might come into. For me, that means AWD. While it's not 100% necessary in RI (though the hills in Providence in the winter can be rough), we travel north for skiing regularly and drive through snow storms. I feel it's necessary then. It definitely handles better in the snow than any FWD car I've had. Subarus also have a history of being extremely reliable. I plan to drive mine until it dies. It's a bit more expensive up front, and sure, it doesn't get as good gas mileage as most FWD cars, but it does pretty well for its size. And overall, it needs little maintenance (regular oil changes and other preventative maintenance). Best part is that oil changes at my local Subaru dealership are cheaper than Midas.

AWD is about a little more than just getting you going. It's not going to help you if you hit a big slick patch of ice or snow, but it can help keep you going in those types of conditions if it doesn't affect all 4 wheels. It also helps keep you going through deeper puddles and snow covered hilly roads.
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