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We're gonna need to add a vehicle at some point in the next 9 months, and this ice storm has me fairly convinced that we need something more capable of driving Austin roads when the shit hits the fan.

We have a 4Runner, but it's RWD.  My wife absolutely loves it.  (So do I.)  So, one option is to buy another one (4WD) and let her drive it, and I'll take the old one.  I'm fine with that.  Or, we could buy a basic 4WD truck and I could drive it.

Are there other options that are as good as a 4WD truck in these types of driving conditions?  We camp, etc. but nothing adventurous.  A Subaru?  An AWD Audi or some such?  We don't need 2 trucks/SUVs.  One is plenty.

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Our awd Acadia performed well in snow conditions. Nothing works well when the roads are a sheet of ice. But patches, yes that platform is good as far as on-road.  Subaru makes a similar sized Ascent but it’s CVT and a turbo4 that just has to be underpowered. 
But get another 4Runner if you also want off-road capability. 
In the luxury segment I’d look to Audi. 

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17 minutes ago, Hank Scorpio said:

AWD is better than 4WD in snow/ice.

Why is that?

 

Quote

So enjoy your Subaru you big lesbian. 

Well, we own a beater Tribeca but it doesn't start much less run.  So, we are experienced lesbians.

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1 minute ago, jimmyjazz said:

Why is that?

 

Well, we own a beater Tribeca but it doesn't start much less run.  So, we are experienced lesbians.

Usually awd is fwd that engages the rears automatically and electronically, and usually doesn’t split the power 50/50 but rather like only 20 to the back. Better starting point than rwd that you lock in a transfer case. 

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6 minutes ago, Pato del Muerto said:

Usually awd is fwd that engages the rears automatically and electronically, and usually doesn’t split the power 50/50 but rather like only 20 to the back. Better starting point than rwd that you lock in a transfer case. 

Great explanation, thanks.

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Tires are just as important, if not moreso, as which wheels are driven. All of my cars are AWD or 4WD. I won't drive my Audi in snow right now because it has high performance all seasons on it. Slides everywhere. But with snow tires it is a tank.

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I did a grocery pickup today. My neighborhood never gets plowed but the main roads are usually clear from plowing and traffic. Instead of having my truck in 4wd just for the neighborhood, I left it in rwd and played around with the traction. 
it has all seasons but they are triple peak winter rated so they do meet some sort of snow performance metric. 
drifted around corners, traction control trying to help the whole time. But when in 4wd there’s much more control during turning and acceleration (unless I’m just on ice then they all just spin when none have grip).  There’s a noticeable difference for the better when a front and rear is driven. 

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I did a grocery pickup today. My neighborhood never gets plowed but the main roads are usually clear from plowing and traffic. Instead of having my truck in 4wd just for the neighborhood, I left it in rwd and played around with the traction. 
it has all seasons but they are triple peak winter rated so they do meet some sort of snow performance metric. 
drifted around corners, traction control trying to help the whole time. But when in 4wd there’s much more control during turning and acceleration (unless I’m just on ice then they all just spin when none have grip).  There’s a noticeable difference for the better when a front and rear is driven. 


With the same tires, absolutely. My main point to OP is that getting an Audi with high performance tires, for example, is not going to do what he wants in bad weather, that's all.

4WD with good all seasons, or all terrains, should be good.
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Besides Jeeps and 4runners out today in Austin, the Audi seemed to be doing very well, even on hills. Saw plenty of big 4x4 trucks having some issues due to being light in the ass. No idea what tires the Audi were running but probably stock. 
 

Used to have a Q5 AWD and it was a wizard in the rain. Never had the chance to  try it with ice/snow. 

Edited by ChickenSandwich
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1 minute ago, ChickenSandwich said:

Besides Jeeps and 4runners out today in Austin, the Audi seemed to be doing very well, even on hills. Saw plenty of big 4x4 trucks having some issues due to being light in the ass. No idea what tires the Audi were running but probably stock. 
 

Used to have a Q5 AWD and it was a wizard in the rain. Never had the chance to  try it with ice/snow. 

Light in the ass isn’t as big a deal when you have 4wd activated because the front is doing some pulling. 
 

but as said above, stopping is all tires and driver.  My diesel is HEAVY so momentum is built up quickly and I have to really take it easy when braking and crawl to a stop. It’s twice as easy with a little suv that weighs half as much. 

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3 minutes ago, Pato del Muerto said:

@troph I saw you react to a post. 
does your tesla have some sort of ice mode so that the wheels aren’t constantly spinning from all the torque it has?

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Trouble with my phone ...

  I was going to respond then didn’t, we were actually leaning toward using the old 4WD today over her Macan AWD but only because the 4WD 350 has ranch bumpers and the Macan would be a pretty penny to fix, but I bet it would perform noticeably better on ice. 
 

re Tesla I dunno. I would think the precision response would make it harder on acceleration (torque and no delayed acceleration like with ICEs) for me but I bet the regen braking could be safer ?   It doesn’t have an ice mode and mine has the cold weather package.

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I sold my Subaru WRX last year and got a 2017 Subaru Forester 2.5i (more fuel efficient) with A/T tires and Jesus Christ i knew Subaru's were good but I have had 0 issues driving around in snow and ice. I live on top of a big hill and I just chug along like nothing. I even took traction control off just for shits and giggles and powered up the hill wheels spinning and all. I am definitely a Subaru fan for life.

34157dac6c709e3d59b00354286ed891.jpg

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I sold my Subaru WRX last year and got a 2017 Subaru Forester 2.5i (more fuel efficient) with A/T tires and Jesus Christ i knew Subaru's were good but I have had 0 issues driving around in snow and ice. I live on top of a big hill and I just chug along like nothing. I even took traction control off just for shits and giggles and powered up the hill wheels spinning and all. I am definitely a Subaru fan for life.

34157dac6c709e3d59b00354286ed891.jpg
Subarus with the 2.5 are great until your head gasket pops around 100k.

Best bad weather vehicle I've ever owned was an Outback. Good clearance, low center of gravity thanks to the H4 engine, great AWD system.
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Subarus with the 2.5 are great until your head gasket pops around 100k.

Best bad weather vehicle I've ever owned was an Outback. Good clearance, low center of gravity thanks to the H4 engine, great AWD system.
I had my WRX for 165k miles and head gaskets were fine. Only did timing and clutch replacement. Looks like Subaru fixed these issues with the newer platforms thank god.
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Jimmy if you like those 4runners (and I do.....I’ve had 3) I’d just get another one in 4wd. That’s the easy solution.

Subarus are a beast in ice and snow, but that’s a rarity here. I think you would (and your wife) find the 4Runner more useful year round in austin.

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I’ve had a Subaru wrx and now drive a f150.

I’d have to swap summer (basically one tier above slicks) and winter tires every spring and fall for the Subaru. Not something you’d necessarily do in central Texas. When we’d get 4-5-6 inches in a storm it still took off and stopped like a 4wd truck. Obviously being lower than a truck, getting in that 7-8+ inch range it’d make it dicey but I don’t recall needing any tow truck for getting stuck. Subarus are beasts. With what texas just went through, a Subaru with snow tires would’ve been fine if the driver was experienced.


With my f150, I’m still in FWD 99% of the time throughout the year. I manually switch it to 4wd when conditions obviously change. I love trucks/ suvs and will never go back to a car. sitting higher ftw, I feel more protected, having a tailgate to carry stuff comes handy for the snow blower.


Some trucks like my dads GMC Sierra has auto. I’m not a fan of it, I like knowing whether I’m in 4wd or 2wd, not the system deciding for me. I can see for myself what I’ll need.

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44 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

What's the downside to running A/T or similar tires on a Subaru year 'round?  Just lower gas mileage?  More frequent tire replacements?  Ride quality?

Louder, worse mileage.  Ride quality should be OK as long as you get a P-metric set of tires.  That's about it.  Many A/Ts these days have a 50k+ mileage warranty.

 

Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires are as good as any A/T in snow (probably better) and will not be noisy.  Better mileage warranty, too.  That's how I would go and you're set for any bad weather but they do very well in dry conditions.

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16 hours ago, Pato del Muerto said:

Usually awd is fwd that engages the rears automatically and electronically, and usually doesn’t split the power 50/50 but rather like only 20 to the back.

Can't speak for other makes and models, but my 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX is split ~60/40, front/back.

It is amazing in inclement conditions, especially with new tires**. Just wish it had better ground clearance. Also starting to sip a little oil, which I'm sure means the head gasket is not long for this world. 

 

 

** I've only ever used all-season radials.

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13 minutes ago, Braff Zacklin said:

Can't speak for other makes and models, but my 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX is split ~60/40, front/back.

It is amazing in inclement conditions, especially with new tires**. Just wish it had better ground clearance. Also starting to sip a little oil, which I'm sure means the head gasket is not long for this world. 

 

 

** I've only ever used all-season radials.

Some AWD systems are part time (i.e., FWD until they sense slippage) and others always send power to all 4 wheels.  Subaru always sends power to all 4.  So do most Audis.  I know the small Audis (TT) used to have a different system.  Not sure if they still do. 

Do your research when you buy if that is important.  Even within the same brand there can be differences.

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No matter whether you have AWD or 4X4 the key is to control your speed as speed is the enemy if you start to drift.  My new Chevy 4x4 did great, but I also know to have some weight in the back.  I would have no problem buying a Subaru even though I am not Lesbian.  They are solid cars with excellent resale.  In fact My Dad just did a three year lease on a new Forester and it's really nice. Nice enough for me to put dibs on buying it on the back end.  

Main reason I bought a New truck was as a travel trailer tow vehicle.  I wanted a bed cover and a two package, and running boards as my main desires.  

4runners are great too, I just want the ability to tow or haul a lot of shit.

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We had another thread on tires a couple of weeks ago. I am glad we did. I got a new vehicle in October and when the first snowfall hit, I was astounded at how poorly it handled the roads. I have been driving a 4wd SUV since college and I never had issues like this. Within a couple of days it became obvious that it was the shit tires the dealer had put on it, so I upgraded to Michelin Defenders LTX, which I also had on my last vehicle. Problem solved and just in time - took a trip to the upper half of the mitten last weekend to go to the cottage (this is what we call them - it's a lake house on a nice piece of property that my inlaws own) and for some reason the driveway was barricaded off. It's the last house on the street and I guess my MIL doesn't want the plow tearing up her driveway since no one really goes up there in the winter. I couldn't park in front of the neighbor's house as I would be blocking their cars in so I did what any idiot that had to piss really bad and had 2 kids in tow would do - moved the barricade and beached the car in the deep shit. Had to be about 16". I had to dig myself out the next day, even the Michelins weren't getting me out of that stuff. But I did get some back and forth traction and was able to turn around completely to get out, which I never would have been able to do with the shit tires. They really do make a HUGE difference. 

hSLu1VBKTiYlsd72MTdNcAnANGedDrTFyorGPoXP

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8 minutes ago, Baboontyme said:

We had another thread on tires a couple of weeks ago. I am glad we did. I got a new vehicle in October and when the first snowfall hit, I was astounded at how poorly it handled the roads. I have been driving a 4wd SUV since college and I never had issues like this. Within a couple of days it became obvious that it was the shit tires the dealer had put on it, so I upgraded to Michelin Defenders LTX, which I also had on my last vehicle. Problem solved and just in time - took a trip to the upper half of the mitten last weekend to go to the cottage (this is what we call them - it's a lake house on a nice piece of property that my inlaws own) and for some reason the driveway was barricaded off. It's the last house on the street and I guess my MIL doesn't want the plow tearing up her driveway since no one really goes up there in the winter. I couldn't park in front of the neighbor's house as I would be blocking their cars in so I did what any idiot that had to piss really bad and had 2 kids in tow would do - moved the barricade and beached the car in the deep shit. Had to be about 16". I had to dig myself out the next day, even the Michelins weren't getting me out of that stuff. But I did get some back and forth traction and was able to turn around completely to get out, which I never would have been able to do with the shit tires. They really do make a HUGE difference. 

hSLu1VBKTiYlsd72MTdNcAnANGedDrTFyorGPoXP

When I haven't been to our place in the mountains for a couple weeks this time of year, I often have to deal with the snowplow berm at our house (we have a U shaped driveway).  So I back up and blast through it.  It's always a good time.  Haven't gotten stuck yet, but I've come close a couple times.  Then I clear the driveway with my snowblower.

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18 hours ago, Bigpoppapump said:


Subaru, bmw, Audi, Mercedes all split close to 50/50 I believe.

They are all over the place, actually. For example Audi/VW uses two different types of AWD system: quattro and haldex. Rule of thumb, if the engine is mounted longitudinally it will have quattro; if it’s transversal, haldex. Quattro has a center differential that by default will split the torque in some way, for example 40/60 or 50/50 or whatever, but it can send more to the front or rear as needed. Haldex by default sends all the torque to the front, and as soon as it senses that the wheels are slipping, it starts to send some torque to the rear, and it stops doing that as soon as it senses that the front wheels stopped slipping.

Subaru also uses several different types. There are videos on youtube where they explain the 4 or 5 different systems used by Subaru. The only ones I remember are thr WRX uses a mechanical center diff that always splits 50/50, and they use the brakes to transfer torque to the wheels that are not slipping. The WRX STi on the other hand, very different. It has a center diff where the driver can actually dial in the split, or be automatically controlled, plus the front and rear diffs are torsen (the front and rear diffs on the plain WRX are open).

I don’t know what Mercedes does but fuck Mercedes.

Most tires that are rated for deep snow (three peak symbol) are dedicated winter tires, but there are some all-purpose tires that also have the three peaks. I used to have a set of Yokohama something or other that were all-terrain and deep snow rates, and I used that car in the snow and the tires performed pretty well. Now I have a set of BF Goodrich all-terrain which also have the three peaks, and I also drove in deep snow and they were fine. All-terrain tires with the three peaks can stop a lot faster than regular “all season” whatever tires, but they are not as good as proper winter tires.

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2 minutes ago, XYZ said:

I had to chuckle today when I saw a mighty Wrangler rubicon bucking and chirping on the Lowes parking lot. The idiot owner put it in 4WD and the pavement was clean.

Hopefully his transfer case explodes. Some lessons need to be learned the hard way. 
 

why is this so tough to turn????

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Drove the first time today. Ex wanted me to bring the kids over (day late so it wasn’t by itself a bad ask). Said her boyfriend said roads were good. They weren’t early, we left at 4pm and it was fine on 71 and 620. Neighborhood roads were not ok and her hood was especially bad, showed up on her streets with bobcats trying to clear ice off the road. Talk about Oklahoma freak show, a New Yorker boyfriend all chirping “when I was a kid in upstate New York we drove on 3 inches of ice with bald tires while the AC was running max and it was no big deal blah blah blah” anyway, southwest parkway was ok but surprisingly still covered. So the Macan and its AWD did well. First time needing AWD in a really long time and it was fantastic. Stopped sliding moments 2-3 times. Didn’t stop it another 2-3 times but they weren’t that bad. 

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12 minutes ago, troph said:

Help explain me ... 

glad you asked, before you destroy your truck. 
 

when you are in a turn, the wheels don’t travel the same distance on both sides. When they are mechanically linked in 4wd, wheels need to be able to slip otherwise stress can build up in the linkage and eventually shear the gears. That’s why you don’t run 4wd on dry pavement.  And when you do, the vehicle will hop and lurch as it fights to overcome the force of friction between the tires and the road surface, almost like a spring storing energy and getting released over and over...until the stress in the linkage breaks it instead. 
 

I guess I should add that some vehicles have a front/back differential so it’s not an issue. 

Edited by Pato del Muerto
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@Pato del Muerto


Thank you. We are perpetually in 2WD, only used 4WD twice once in sand once in mud. Did great in the sand took two F350s in the mud.  I’ll heed your instruction. 

you say not on dry pavement but wet or icy pavement is ok? 
 

I doubt my 2000 has a front diff. 

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2 minutes ago, troph said:

@Pato del Muerto


Thank you. We are perpetually in 2WD, only used 4WD twice once in sand once in mud. Did great in the sand took two F350s in the mud.  I’ll heed your instruction. 

you say not on dry pavement but wet or icy pavement is ok? 
 

I doubt my 2000 has a front diff. 

Dirt/gravel, wet or snow/ice.  Any road surface where the wheels can slip when they need to. 

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4wd should really only be used on roads that are noticeably icy. In my experience, it only matters for take off and to an extent turning. I’ll flip it on for security reasons if I’m on a highway and there’s black or blow ice present. Driving straight in town, and especially stopping it doesn’t a shit. Also obviously getting a considerable dumping of snow I’ll use it.


Don’t use 4wd in rain and I don’t even use it on slush if the pavement is wet and I have no problem taking off with 2wd

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On 2/17/2021 at 8:31 PM, Hank Scorpio said:

AWD is better than 4WD in snow/ice. So enjoy your Subaru you big lesbian. 

I had to pull a Subaru out of the ditch in front of my house yesterday. A road tees into our road right in front of the house and I guess the guy decided to drift the corner expecting it to go well. I will say he had it moving back and forth more than most anything else would have been.

Based on the roads around this week, skip the 4WD and just get a side by side. There have been more of them out on the main roads than anything. I picked up lunch for the kids yesterday and the parking lot was full of them.

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On 2/17/2021 at 10:43 PM, Upgrayedd said:

As I posted in another thread.  4WD does not mean 4 wheel stop.  Chewy is right about the tires.

I love being a lesbian and passing 4WD trucks off the side of the road in my Outback.

my grandfather was a lesbian before it was cool and laughed at all the people in the ditch as he drove by in his legacy wagon with his dogs in the back during hunting trips in michigan and west virginia.

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39 minutes ago, Brew said:

Based on the roads around this week, skip the 4WD and just get a side by side. There have been more of them out on the main roads than anything. I picked up lunch for the kids yesterday and the parking lot was full of them.

What’s a “side by side”?

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