All wheel drive vs 4 wheel drive

#1

I own a 2007 Tahoe with 4WD. I would like to downsize to a Chevy Traverse with AWD. I live in an area that receives a yearly snow fall of 100+ inches. The salesperson tells me that AWD is as effective in snow,(deep snow…1 foot or more) as 4WD. I have a difficult time believing this. I would like to hear from anyone who has gone from a 4WD vehicle to an AWD vehicle.

#2

Salesman is absolutely WRONG. AWD on road with less than 6" snow (usual safe ground clearance) is OK.

We all tout reading the owners manual…my awd non off road vehicle’s manuals all say not to drive in conditions you wouldn’t drive a front drive car. The traverse is not off road…it’s a car.

Ground clearance skid plate protection is a must if you travel frequently in deep snow. Neighbor in deep snow (6" plus, forget about a foot) just went into a ditch with her Escape AWD because deep snow HIDES problems. After being dragged out, she had significant front end damage because of no skid plates and car like underpinnings.

DO NOT try to routinely depend upon AWD (non off road equipped) vehicles in deep snow whether you think they have the traction or not. Flatlanders will try to brag about the virtues of Subarus and the like…car based SUVs can’t cut it. If you can’t hang a plow on it; don’t venture out in deep 12"+ snow unless you have no choice.
I own both and plow and have to drive in deep snow ( whenever it storms)…that’s the straight skinny. We just finished our third 15"+ storm and NO AWDs were moving til the plows went through.
Now ice…that’s a different story.

#3

Dagosa, thank you for your reply to my question. After reading your reply I have decided to stay with a 4WD vehicle !

#4

I agree with Dagosa. If you have to drive unplowed roads, the Tahoe’s a better fit. I assume you have an extra set of winter tires on rims - they’re worth it for you.

#5

"The salesperson tells me that AWD is as effective in snow,(deep snow…1 foot or more) as 4WD. I have a difficult time believing this. "

A friend once told me that when shopping for a car, never ask the salesman of the car you’re considering any question (other than financing) that you don’t already know the answer to. Your instincts were right. They have their own interest in mind, not yours. Sometimes they coincide, often they don’t.
Good choice…
For economy, picking up an older used compact for fair weather travel perhaps ?

#6

i’ve never owned a 4wd truck(though i have driven one before)but i’ve never had trouble in the snow(that WORN TIRES didn’t cause)in either front or awd.i feel that it’s really the driver’s driving-style, more so than the vehicle.maybe it’s a little different with large trucks;i normally only drive small sports hatches.

#7

"i feel that it’s really the driver’s driving-style, more so than the vehicle.maybe it’s a little different with large trucks;i normally only drive small sports hatches."
Sorry…another “flatlander” comment.

The operative word is “deep” snow…of 6 to 12 inches. The best driver with the best tires in the world isn’t going to safely negotiate 12" of snow very often in a “FWD small hatch”.