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Subaru winter woes

We own a 2005 Subaru Outback with a 5 speed manual currently running Nokian Winter Studded tires. This is the 2nd Outback we’ve owned in the past couple years. I’ve spent my life driving in Michigan and Colorado winters, never have I felt so uncomfortable as the past two winters in our Outback.

Currently I was driving out of town on a day when the roads were plowed but the night before it had snowed a few inches. At 35 mph with a car full of friends the car was completely out of control as we were driving on a straight flat stretch of road, if I touched the gas the car the car fish tailed worse, if I down shifted the car continued to fish tail, as I stayed off the gas realizing that it was safest to just get to the side of the road and slow down considering there were cars oncoming and behind.

Out of curiosity we walked out onto the road when traffic had cleared expecting to slip and fall on what seemed like an ice rink, but the road was really pretty dry, there was a little ice in the drivers side wheel path worn from studs but really not conditions I would have guessed could be so sketchy. As we sat there contemplating our next move, all sorts of cars and trucks drove by just fine.

Side Note: This same experience happened last winter in Idaho coming home from Colorado, the car was all over the place, couldn’t go over 20 mph and we were being passed by minivans, semi’s and buicks. (No offense to anyone who owns any of those)

My gut feeling is that all of these electronically controlled traction devices such as VDC and AWD are applying too much something, to the wrong wheels. Why would a car that should be so great in the snow leave me with no confidence what so ever driving in the winter???