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Which car.....The Best Traction in Snow, Ice or Rain?

I am turning in my Audi A4 Quattro.



As I understand it, between a Torsen differential and the ABS system, the A4 Quattro would divert power to the tire that had traction if the other 3 tires were spinning.



No white knuckling driving experience for me in rain, ice or snow.



What kind of car or SUV (besides the Audi or Hummer) will give me the same kind of traction, safety and security as the Audi did?



Front Wheel is out of the question having had a SAAB that performed miserably in under the same kinds of conditions ascompared to the Quattro Audi.
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Comments

  • edited November 2007
    Subaru AWD and audi's are considered the best.
  • edited November 2007
    AWD SUV's like RAV4, Subaru, and Honda etc ...also equip your new car with the same type of tires that you had on the SAAB...tires make a big difference with traction and handling.
  • edited November 2007

    Subaru's AWD system is definitely better than the one found on the CR-V. And, if you can find one of the upscale Subaru models that have the Variable Torque Distribution system, rather than the usual Subaru system, that is even better.

    I would question mshugna's advice ("also equip your new car with the same type of tires that you had on the SAAB"), since you state that the SAAB performed miserably in slippery conditions. It is possible that the tires on that SAAB were part of the problem, in addition to the fact that FWD is not as good as AWD when the going gets bad.

    Personally, I recommend the Michelin X-Ice tire, which, in combination with my car's Variable Torque Distribution system, Traction Control and ABS, makes for a car that is incredibly capable in bad winter conditions.
  • edited November 2007
    At the Audi price level, BMW makes a complete line of AWD cars, including a station wagon. Infiniti makes the G35X AWD sedan and some SUVs. Lexus makes the IS250 in AWD and SUVs. Lexus and Infiniti should be more reliable and cheaper to repair than either Audi or BMW.
  • edited November 2007
    By a FWD econo-box and stay home on bad days. It's a LOT cheaper than buying and maintaining a AWD car for 10-15 days a year...YOU might feel secure in a $35K AWD wonder car but what about the moron behind you in the Cavalier with bald tires and no insurance? How do you make HIM stop??
  • edited November 2007
    Likely any car with real winter (not all season) tyres is going to out perform any AWD or 4WD in snow or ice.

    Remember AWD and 4WD will help get you out of the ditch that you slide into. Winter tyres will help keep you out of the ditch to start with. AWD and 4WD will not help you stay on the road or stop better.
  • edited November 2007
    My Subaru Legacy wagon sometimes drives me crazy with little problems, but I have to admit its AWD system is one of the most sophisticated, and best, on the market.

    I've yet to spin a wheel in winter driving conditions. The car just goes. Uphill, downhill, around corners. Snow, ice, slush, it just goes. I live a mile from the main road, and it's uphill all the way. My Legacy has always made it home, regardless of the conditions.

    I have a 4WD Ford Ranger, too. Unless the snow is REALLY deep, the Legacy outperforms the Ranger every time.
  • edited November 2007
    I disagree on your stability statement with AWD. Equip a vehicle a vehicle with the same tires and you will find cornering stability much better a decent AWD system like that equipped on Subaru, Audi and Acura SH-AWD. The Acura system was so good(designed to enhance handling on dry pavement) that testers on frozen lakes were able to disable the vehicle stability control and perform things such as easing off the throttle during a turn and the vehicle's AWD straightened the car out. Other AWD luxury cars compared (BMW & MB) spun out of control. Basically, these top tier AWD's shift power to the appropriate tire based on current conditions.

    Many passive AWD systems(part-time as needed) are simple 2WD(typically FWD) that kick traction on to rear wheels when needed and too late for stability. Basically to get you out of the ditch as you say. Volvo, Ford, Mazda, Honda, Toyota use this system. It does have the benefit less fuel economy penalty however do not impress owners too much when stuck. I have witnessed a few of them in sloped snow/ice covered ski slope parking lots.

    I have 20 years experience driving AWD(mainly Subaru) and one Audi and FWD vehicles in New England winters.

    Stopping I totally concur on not improved with AWD.
  • edited November 2007

    Where do you live that you think you NEED a AWD system??

    My wife has NEVER had a problem getting around in her Accords or now Lexus with fwd and decent all season tires in NH. There has NEVER been a time she's EVER NEEDED a 4wd/awd system. Do you live on Tug-Hill Plateau in Upstate NY???
  • edited November 2007
    Growing up in white mountains we needed AWD/4WD to get out of our poorly treated driveway. Even FWD's with winter tires could not get out once the snow started to melt then freeze since it turned to ice. Currently at my now passed grandmother's place(family estate), its impassible at times to get across a private gravel driveway 1/4 mile+ since it drifts in with snow or turns into a block of ice and then snows on top. FWD loses muster when the surface below is frozen. Prior to this driveway there is a 2 mile uphill with gravel that turns to pure mud & running streams occasionally, its "maintained" by the town for 6 homes. Its not top priority and I notice FWD's during the mud season parked at the bottom of the hill some years. Our Subaru and my families other Subaru's have never had an issue getting up this or thru any snow.

    People have their individual situations and the person is not asking whether they need AWD or not, simply which is the best.

    Some people simply like AWD and the hassle free traction associated with it. They may not need just as much as your wife does NEED a Lexus when a basic 4 cylinder or even loaded Camry will do. Its just a personal preference.
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