AWD no winter tires vs FWD with winter tires?

my neighbor drives a CRV 2020 with no winter tires but an AWD with Vehicle stability assist. 

I drive a 2018 corolla with VSA and I got winter tires but only have FWD.

who has the advantage in the snow/ice/slush/cold weather?

- Stop and Go

- Slipping

- Braking

- Traction when there is lots of snow

my neighbor says he does not need snow tires as his AWD takes care of everything. He never gets stuck with his All seasons


he also says having the higher of center of gravity makes a huge difference

13 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Both of your vehicles are decent options for snowy conditions and arguing over which one is slightly better is childish argument not worth trying to settle. The biggest difference between your vehicles is the skill and patience of the driver.

    I do agree though that your neighbor is a moron.

    First of all, All Wheel Drive does not "fix everything." AWD gives you better traction to get started and may help slightly with keeping the vehicle straight and not spinning out or fishtailing. AWD doesn't help you turn or stop. However, his car likely has a bunch of other features like traction control, anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control with DO help with steering and stopping. So altogether when you have those and AWD  you have a great combination for being able to safely navigate slippery roads. Snow tires would add a small additional benefit, but he should be just fine with regular all-season tires given that he has all the other factors working in his favor. If I were him, I probably wouldn't spend the money for winter tires either.

    For what its worth having a higher center of gravity isn't beneficial either. it actually makes his SUV more prone to tipping over - which is why its equipped with a stability control system to reduce that effect. However the height is helpful if the snow is so deep that lower cars are having to plow through the snow with their bumper.

    But your car is also good enough that I wouldn't change anything either. You probably have electronic traction control and ABS systems and maybe even a roll/stability system as well. You made a good choice to spend the money and get a set of snow tires to improve performance as much as possible. I wouldn't go trade in your car to get AWD.

  • 2 months ago

    Everyone should have an AUDI QUATTRO or SUBARU AWD! This would prevent accidents! Either way the AWD has the advantage and many FRONT DRIVER do NOT have ELECTRONIC DIFFERENTIAL LOCKS< so if the front wheel SLIPS< you will go NOWHERE! LIMITED SLIP DIFFERENTIAL cars should be excellent for grip and SNOW TIRES will help you to stop more evenly with active ABS working in their favor. Most GM units are ONE WHEEL DRIVE CARS> a VW is a better car all the way around! It also depends upon WHAQT TYPE of ALL SEASON tires you have vs the SNOW TIRES ont he other car.  BRIDGESTONE BLIZZKs are some of the best out there! The AUDI QUATTRO ALLROAD is interesting in that it has a hydraulic suspension , TURBO CHARGERS and a button that raises the whole car up by FOUR INCHES incrementally! I LOVE those cars! They also have RADAR in the fenders to prevent accidents that AVOID them by using the brakes to PREVENT HITS! 

  • 2 months ago

    I've got Blizzack Winter tires on my FWD Bonneville and I pass 4WD and AWD vehicles all the time when it's snowing.

  • Jay P
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    It's not the higher centre of gravity that makes a difference in snow but rather the higher ground clearance.  As the snow becomes deeper and the front bumper begins pushing the snow, it's becomes more difficult to gain speed and keep the vehicle moving.

    AWD will help the vehicle accelerate better but winter tires will help the vehicle brake and turn better.

    My opinion of course but 4X4/AWD systems lull many drivers into thinking their vehicles are invincible.  I see it every year, and especially after the first significant snow fall, the number of trucks and SUV drivers that drive too fast for the conditions and the number of them spun out into a ditch or guardrail is both amazing and a little bit sad...

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  • F
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    There are numerous demonstrations on YouTube of this and FWD with snow tyres always beats AWD with summer tyres.( all things being equal).

    In real life , the skill level between drivers will be crucial , the depth of the snow, ( a saloon will get stuck in deep snow at some point however much traction it has),the condition of the tyres ( worn), the actual kind of tyres ( many SUVs cone with all season tyres as standard),the type of AWD system , ( Subarus are superior to most of the on demand AWD systems) etc etc.


    ABS can  fail in snow if it builds up in front of the wheel forming a kind of chock stopping the wheel from turning.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    I would take the corolla never was much of a fan of how suv's drive they tend to have lots of body roll when taking corners and just not very pleasant to drive.

  • Ron
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    AWD helps you go, they do not help you stop. A good ABS helps you stop

  • 2 months ago

    Front drive economy cars are typically pretty bad at accelerating in the snow.  Snow tires will turn them from almost useless to at least functional when accelerating in snow.  That said the CR-V will take off better from a stop even just on all-season tires.  When it comes to stopping or turning, the Corolla on snow tires will be better.  AWD does nothing for stopping or turning on snow/ice.  Snow tires do. 

  • 2 months ago

    The better driver!

    I got where I needed to go in a FWD 1979 Subaru when those with 4WD were either getting stuck or were afraid to take their cars out on the road.

    AWD and all those other dodad's will not help the vehicle stop any better once it breaks traction, which often happens not only on the get go, but also on the awshit stop.

    One of the rules seems to be the smarter the car the dumber the driver.

    It isn't about the higher center of gravity (a big negative for cornering as it makes a roll over easier), it is about ground clearance.

    So you might have to go a little slower because you might have to worry about bottoming out. That is a plus and increases the odds of getting to the destination.

    It is the awshit stops that gets more drivers then the getti-up go part of the trip.

  • 2 months ago

    Don't ask us to argue against your neighbor. It could be that he's just a better driver than you.

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