My neighbor had been leasing several GM car based SUVs for a half dozen years through 2008. We live in a tough area and the drive train left a lot to be desired. It lacked the sophistication to handle both steep hills and slippery going. One day his wife kindly pulled over in a turn out to let me pass as I was coming down, and sat there spinning her front wheels while not moving one bit as I passed. She then had to back down a slipper hill to get a run, like any 2wd car. I said to her, "please don’t pull over for me as long as you own this car. Let us move aside for you " She was apologetic about not being able to handle the car to which I assured her it was not her at all but the poor drive train in her car. The next lease, they went to Volvos and they have been excellent on our very tough road with good ground clearance and an AWD system that hands our road as well as anything we have. And yes, she had snow tires on all her cars, just like the rest of us who live there; that was not the issue.
GM, like many car based SUVs, cannot seem to shift enough power quickly enough to the rear to get up a really steep slipper hill. Volvos can. This has been my observation on several types of each our neighbors have owned on our road over the years. No one drives GM car based AWD anything anymore…no one. Several Volvos, yes ! But, Volvos are less reliable…so, as many have said, lease them. They are still good winter performers and they always have been. Of course yours is a couple years older. I have no doubt that the drive train is better. Personally, I would buy a Subaru for the least expensive car based SUV for bad weather driving on road.
Our RAVs and present Venza have been decent but never as good as our old Subaru… But, I instructed my wife on hills, not to pull aside for anyone, punch out the stability control button and just drive up without stopping and force the person comming down to pull over. It is really the best way to handle this situation.