I've owned both AWD and 4WD vehicles. I think AWD is a bit better in snow. Balance that with 4WD systems are sturdier which means less finicky about tires and more towing capacity.
If towing and high load capacity isn't an issue for you, AWD performs better in the snow. If you have a flat tire and the tire needs to be replaced; with AWD you should replace all four tires and with 4WD just the 2 tires on the same axle. If you run a new tire with 3 older tires on an AWD car you risk multi thousand dollar repairs from a damaged transfer case.
I find good snow tires on FWD or RWD are fine for areas with significant snow. Many who live in snow country feel all season tires are sufficent with FWD. Myself I have a 4WD SUV now for towing capacity. My other cars have snow tires and are fine in the snow and I live in the mountains of PA.
While AWD cars are very good in the snow I find the cost of ownership isn't worth the benefit. The AWD car gets 1-3 mpg less fuel economy over the life of the car. The drivetrain parts are expensive to repair when they go bad. You have more fluids to replace adding to maintenance costs. Tire replacement can add significantly to the costs. Since most of this is true for 4WD too, you really need to be sure you need AWD or 4WD before signing on for the added costs.
The last 10 years in the USA has seen a huge increase in sales of AWD and 4WD cars and trucks. About 90% of these vehicles would deliver just as good service to their owners if they were FWD or RWD. Just because you live in New England doesn't mean you need AWD or FWD. If it is what you want, then go for either. Focus on the size and style of vehicle you want first and AWD or 4WD is a secondary consideration.