I hear it all the time, living on the East Coast: "Well, I need an all-wheel drive car because it rains and snows sometimes." But those in the know are well aware that the right kind of rubber is really more important than anything else.
This video from the UK's AutoExpress seeks to prove just how true that is. They get two Ford Kugas (Ford Escapes to us Americans), one with front-wheel drive and one with all-wheel drive, and they see which one is better at powering up a snowy slope.
The front-drive car doesn't make it very far up the hill with its summer tires — and the all-wheel drive version fails to do any better with the same tires. When equipped with winter tires, the front-driver obliterates the all-wheel drive Kuga that's still stuck on summer tires.
The one that does best of all is the all-wheel drive Kuga with winter tires, which makes it all the way up the ski slope. Not surprising. But the video is excellent proof that the tires make all the difference.
So the next time someone insists on spending more on an all-wheel drive car and they don't live in some perpetually snow-covered place like Colorado or Alaska, use this to maybe convince them to spend that cash on the right set of tires instead.