All wheel dr


#1

will all wheel drive get me up hills in vemont winters just like 4 wheel drive does


#2

Yes, perhaps even better than 4WD.

A part-time 4WD system, such as what is found on many pickup trucks, is not good on road curves since all of the wheels are turning at the same rate of speed, and that is not desirable. An AWD system will allow each wheel to turn at its own rate of speed, depending on whether it is on the “inside” of the curve, the “outside” of the curve, on the front wheels or the rear wheels.

However, if you really want to have secure control of your vehicle, you should get a set of 4 winter tires, and this applies even if you have AWD or 4WD. AWD and 4WD will help you to get going, but they will not help you to stop. A good set of winter tires will reduce your stopping distance dramatically, and can also help to prevent your rear end from sliding on curves.


#3

Yes. I can attest as I have driven up to Jay Peak and Mad River Glen steep access roads many times in 4-6"+ deep snow with a Subaru WRX(AWD) with all-seasons. If its knee deep powder I am on the slopes :slight_smile:


#4

Yup, and VDC’s comments about winter tires are spot-on also.


#5

Worth repeating

However, if you really want to have secure control of your vehicle, you should get a set of 4 winter tires, and this applies even if you have AWD or 4WD. AWD and 4WD will help you to get going, but they will not help you to stop. A good set of winter tires will reduce your stopping distance dramatically, and can also help to prevent your rear end from sliding on curves.


#6

It should. There are differences in AWD systems, however, and they are not all equal.

I have a 4WD pickup and an AWD Subaru, and in almost every instance I prefer to drive the Subaru in snow. The only time I’d want the truck is if the snow is too deep for the Subaru (my Legacy wagon sits low, it’s not raised like an Outback), and that would have to be an emergency situation, because if it’s too deep for the Subaru I don’t want to be on the road anyway.

4WD fights itself every time you make a turn, AWD does not, and is much easier to drive in snow. In my opinion 4WD is for off road dirt and rock climbing. I’ll take AWD for snow any day.


#7

I agree with the other posters with a few caveats. First off, for really deep snow, 4wd is best because it fixes the ratio of front wheel speeds and rear wheel speeds which makes it so you have to lose traction on both axles to get fully and truly stuck. If, say, your right rear tire is spinning, there will still be the same amount of power going to the front axle. Since all-wheel drives vary the amount of turns going to the two axles in order to permit turns on a roadway surface, it is theoretically possible that if one tire is on a really slick patch, the AWD system will transmit all of the power to that one wheel and you’ll be stuck.

Now, what’s a big issue is that all AWD systems are NOT made equal. The Subaru AWD system has a complex system of clutches and limited-slip differentials that make it extremely difficult to get a Subie stuck short of high-centering it. The side effect of this is that this system is really sensitive to mismatched tires. The AWD system on a lot of other makes is nothing more than two extra differentials and the scenario I described above with getting stuck with only one tire spinning is entirely possible. The trouble is that extensively testing the AWD system is not something most auto reviewers do, so it can be difficult to figure out which ones work well.