What’s Better In Winter Weather, AWD Or Snow Tires?

Illustration for article titled What’s Better In Winter Weather, AWD Or Snow Tires?

When the roads go all white (or dirty grey if you live in a city) what works better, an all-wheel drive car on all-seasons or a two-wheel drive car on snow tires?


When we asked you the other day what the best winter driving car was, the overwhelming conclusion seemed to be that an AWD car (say an '09 WRX or an R32) on snows was the best option. Well what if you can't have both? What if you had to choose between either an AWD car with all-season tires or a two-wheel drive vehicle equipped with snow tires? Let's leave front wheel drive vs. rear wheel drive out of it for now.

We still maintain that it's a case of tires over driven wheels and would opt for snows and 2WD any day. But maybe it's not that simple if you've got lots of icy hills to climb.

(QOTD is your chance to answer the day's most pressing automotive questions and experience the opinions of the insightful insiders, practicing pundits and gleeful gearheads that make up the Jalopnik commentariat. If you've got a suggestion for a good "Question Of The Day" send an email to tips at jalopnik dot com.)

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That is a broad question. I think it would depend on the car, tire, traction control, AWD system and surface in question.

My '08 AWD Sierra Denali does amazingly well with the current all-season Goodyear silent armors but was down right scary with the stock Eagle LS-2s all-season tires.

That being said I would take a Quattro with good all seasons over a any FWD with snows. I could crawl up an icey hill on HP summer tires in my A4. With Blizzaks it was almost unstoppable. Deep slush was it's only weakness.

The ultimate snow monster was my Cayenne Turbo with Blizzaks. Amazing in all conditions.