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Old 09-25-2016, 09:52 PM
 
29 posts, read 16,763 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
The reason I don't like all wheel drive/low center of gravity is that the bottom of the car drags in the snow. With 4 wheel drive, you are up above that and aren't dragging. That's one thing I HATE about my current all wheel drive. It's too low to the ground compared to the 4 wheel drives I have had. With those I was up above the snow, not dragging my undercarriage through it.
Ok thanks that's good to know as well and maybe I will consider 4 wheel drive vehicles too. I do wonder how often I might be dragging in the snow out here though, since I'm under the impression that if it snows that much in the area then the town just shuts down and people don't go out. I'm hoping that that doesn't happen often though. I'm still trying to get a clear picture of what to expect in the winter in the Branson area, but so far it sounds like the bad days will only be occasional.
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Old 09-26-2016, 04:19 PM
 
Location: IN
21,438 posts, read 37,699,288 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klemmaniac View Post
Ok thank you for the insight. I'm pretty nervous about driving in the winter here and not looking forward to it. I've been searching for Subaru Imprezas, but can't find any newer ones within my budget, and I've been told that after about 6 years the cars start having problems you need to have repaired, some which can be very expensive - don't need that. Now I'm looking more at older Toyota Matrix cars with AWD. I've found some '05-'06 cars that may work. But, it's good to hear from you that I may be able to get by with a Fit with FWD and good winter tires if I can't find any AWD vehicles within my budget. Thanks again.
Matrix with the 1.8L four cylinder is a very reliable engine, can get lots of miles out of those vehicles with maintenance with added bonus of AWD. Not as robust of an AWD as Subaru, however.
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Old 09-26-2016, 04:21 PM
 
Location: IN
21,438 posts, read 37,699,288 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
The reason I don't like all wheel drive/low center of gravity is that the bottom of the car drags in the snow. With 4 wheel drive, you are up above that and aren't dragging. That's one thing I HATE about my current all wheel drive. It's too low to the ground compared to the 4 wheel drives I have had. With those I was up above the snow, not dragging my undercarriage through it.
It must be a Honda or some derivation then. I have a Subaru Forester with 8.7'' of ground clearance but most people would never guess that by looking at it. I have never had an issue dragging through the snow, but Subaru plows through snow like few other vehicles.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:09 PM
 
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The most stuck I ever got in snow was in a 2004 Chevrolet K2500 Duramax. We got 12" of snow, some drifts were deeper, and the front bumper made a totally inadequate snowplow. I also once slid backwards down my driveway for about 300 feet with that same truck. I had been driving UP the driveway when this occurred. This while running on Michelin's best mud and snow tire. There are days one should just stay home.

Unless you live in a particularly remote and hilly area it simply makes no financial sense to buy a car for the occasional snowfall in Branson. I do. We live quite a bit farther north well off the main roads, our driveway is long, steep, and gravel (plowing is a problem), and also travel often to the Colorado mountains, so we only buy four wheel or all wheel drive. In almost every possible way the awd sedan and the awd suv we now own are superior on ice and snow to any of the many 4X4s I have had over the years.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:49 PM
 
13,693 posts, read 16,372,877 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
It must be a Honda or some derivation then. I have a Subaru Forester with 8.7'' of ground clearance but most people would never guess that by looking at it. I have never had an issue dragging through the snow, but Subaru plows through snow like few other vehicles.
8.7" isn't very much clearance. Snow drifts can get higher than that in a matter of a couple of hours.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
8.7" isn't very much clearance. Snow drifts can get higher than that in a matter of a couple of hours.
That is almost identical to a stock Ford/Chevy/Ram 4X4 1/2 ton truck and more than a stock Jeep Wrangler. If numbers mean anything, above 7,000 feet in Colorado every parking lot looks like a nesting site for Subarus.

Like most raw specifications, it is more complicated than the mere numbers suggest. To identify the lowest hanging point under a car is one thing, but what is it? A brake line bracket? Differential? Exhaust? The stock Jeep is almost legendary for its poor performance in deep snow - those solid front and rear axles pretty much act like brakes. On the other hand, most late model suvs have almost totally enclosed undersides, letting the car ride up on the snow - until the tires lose traction. Or maybe until the snow rips off one of those plastic panels under there (Last winter, $300 just for the part. I installed it myself).

Branson averages about three inches of snow (each) in January and February, less in December, March, and much less in November and April, so the problem of dealing with eight plus inches of snow must not arise very often.
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:19 AM
 
29 posts, read 16,763 times
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Okay, so it sounds like it's not unreasonable to get a fwd drive vehicle with good winter tires for the winter in the Branson area. I found a honda fit I can afford and have been recommended Blizzak ws80 tires to put on it. What about studs? Can anybody recommend what they would use for winter tires in this area? Thanks again.
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:45 AM
 
215 posts, read 198,775 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klemmaniac View Post
Okay, so it sounds like it's not unreasonable to get a fwd drive vehicle with good winter tires for the winter in the Branson area. I found a honda fit I can afford and have been recommended Blizzak ws80 tires to put on it. What about studs? Can anybody recommend what they would use for winter tires in this area? Thanks again.
The Fit is a very lightweight vehicle and will skid like a hockey puck on ice. Get really soft rubber if you're going in that direction. Soft tires have lower mileage warranty and also tend to be cheaper. My 2 cents: We got a cheap Subaru Forester AWD to drive the boy back and forth to college in S. Dakota and it tracked wonderfully through the SD sh1tstorms, ice, grappel, etc. Better traction than my old Cherokee true 4WD.
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Old 09-27-2016, 10:13 AM
 
Location: IN
21,438 posts, read 37,699,288 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luzianne View Post
8.7" isn't very much clearance. Snow drifts can get higher than that in a matter of a couple of hours.
Visit any area of the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, Snowbelt regions of the US, New England, and Alaska and they will be filled with Subaru vehicles. Those that know winter know that vehicle brand is one of best values for the conditions. In terms of ground clearance, it is more than adequate and comparable to larger trucks as the other poster mentioned.
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Old 09-27-2016, 04:51 PM
 
29 posts, read 16,763 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ION1010 View Post
The Fit is a very lightweight vehicle and will skid like a hockey puck on ice. Get really soft rubber if you're going in that direction. Soft tires have lower mileage warranty and also tend to be cheaper. My 2 cents: We got a cheap Subaru Forester AWD to drive the boy back and forth to college in S. Dakota and it tracked wonderfully through the SD sh1tstorms, ice, grappel, etc. Better traction than my old Cherokee true 4WD.
That's what I'm worried about. I haven't seen more than maybe one or two Honda fits around here in two weeks. More Matrix/Vibe/Subaru/Scion and some Prius cars among others. Still can't get a guage on if it's really worth it to spend the extra money on a more expensive car for what sounds like will be a small percentage of winter out here, but maybe I don't have the whole picture-this is my first time here. I'm also noticing that the Fit has a very low clearance and the front bumper is pretty low to the ground. I've been driving a toyota corolla rental and have hit the front twice already going up or down a steep incline exiting/entering parking lots, etc. I was going slow too. The Fit looks like it has an even lower and protruding bumper. I'm having second thoughts now about it all.

I thought about a cheap used Subaru like a Forester or Impreza, but was advised that after about 6 years Subarus start having problems and repairs can be costly - was told they don't hold up as well as say Hondas or Toyotas. The cheaper Subarus I've found are all 8-10+ years old.
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