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Additional Details
such as ...

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Run Wild
What's the best vehicle to drive in ice and snow?
We've been getting pummeled with ice and snow here in Wa. esp. in the Mt. Rainier foothills where I live. I've seen my neighbors have varying degrees of success getting out of our neighborhood.
What would you rather drive:

Hummer H2 no chains
Ford F250 with or without snow tires (your choice)
Toyota Corolla with front wheel drive and chains
Kia Sorento no chains
Ford Edge with chains


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Front wheel drive is better than rear wheel drive in the snow. Four wheel drive is better still.

Pretty much any 4WD / AWD will cope well in moderate snow conditions.

If the snow is deep or you're going into hilly areas then an SUV is going to be your best option, failing that fit snow tires and / or snow chains.

In snow and ice the important thing is the amount of tire in contact with the ground so a vehicle with big tires is going to perform better than one with small tires. Good tread depth is important. You can also deflate the tires slightly to provide more surface contact with the ground (on ice and compacted snow).

Front wheel drive is better than rear wheel drive as the weight of the engine gives better traction. Adding extra weight provides more traction so if you have a rear wheel drive then put extra weight in the trunk.

The key to driving in snow is to maintain momentum and to plan ahead. Avoid breaking and changing gears wherever possible. If you do have to brake then do so gently, if you have anti-lock braking that can be turned off then turn it off (locking the wheels will stop you in a shorter distance in an emergency).

When approaching a hill or going up hill stick in a lower gear with the engine running fast, that way when you slow down you can delay having to change gear. Changing gear results in a loss of momentum and can cause the wheels to spin, when this happens it's difficult to regain control.

The car itself isn't really all that important - the driver and the tires are the important things. Even a tiny four wheel drive will perfom well in snow and ice conditions.

Useful things to carry when driving in snow - snow shovel, cell-phone, sacking to put under tires when you get stuck, warning triangle (also for when you're stuck), a hand-winch (unless the vehicle is fitted with a winch) complete with plenty of strong cable - suitable anchorage points in open hilly country are few and far between. Be prepaered to spend the night in the vehicle so take spare warm clothing, a flask, some food, sleeping bag, something to read.

As for which vehicle is best - it depends. If you're going to be spending a LOT of time in the snow then go for a Land Rover Defender (the vehicle farmers and the military use) but it's more of a workhorse than a family vehicle. The best AWD would be a Range Rover or a Land Rover Discovery - most SUV's are a hybrid between road vehicle and off-road vehicle, these are designed with people in mind but are more off than on road.

Some SUV's should really be called 'sidewalk vehicles' as this is as far off road as they get. Some of the better SUV / AWD's are BMW, Honda, Ford and Volvo.

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ryan chris
the sorento with the right type of tires does do pretty good off road. but i would suggest the car of choice for the columbia river gorge (the most regestered car in gorge) SUBARU. put studs on one of the following subarus (legacy outback, forester, and tribeca (formerly B9 tribeca) you will go just about anywhere. with subarus their suspention drops quite a bit so they can get through a lit of snow, plus decent gas milege and in 2010 the subaru boxer diesel comes to the states. another option would be a toyota 4runner. i know a few people who have new ones with the v-6 and they get milege in the low to mid 20s.

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jeep wrangler rubicon. no doubt

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Around here we are having the same weather, see lots of snowmobiles, that would be my choice, because I cannot afford a Hummer.

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I would go with the Hummer, my mother has a Hummer and she travels 25 miles on unplowed roads because we live in the middle of nowhere, we have 21 inches and she goes fine, the f250 gets to bogged down and then it gets stuck

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Mr. Magoo
None of the above. My choice is a horse and a sleigh.

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Kubota tractor with chains :)

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Yesterday most people were using snowmobiles here. Even the plow trucks were getting stuck.

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Mike K
hummer H1 like this http://www.desktopcar.net/wallpaper/6708-2/Hummer_H1_67.jpg or ford f250. everyone wants a hummer H2/H3 not me i want a H1

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I know that our snow down here in Texas is not as deep as you have in Washington, but, we have a good amount of ice, and I did spend one winter in Columbus, Ohio, and my Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel 5-speed, and now my Volkswagen Jetta TDI (turbo diesel), are my vehicle of choice by far. Oh, I've got a big Ford turbo diesel 4 wheel drive pickup truck, but my front wheel drive VW diesels beat anything else. Oh, and several winters, decades ago, in the 1970's, I drove a Honda Civic 5-speed, and that was as good in the snows of Tennessee as well as the snow and ice of Texas, so, those are my choices. God Bless you.

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I'd just stay home and send the wife out in a Hummer...:)

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Life is good
Let me substitute the H2 Hummer for it's brother, the Chevy Tahoe with AWD - decent LT Snow tires and no chains. That way I have a vehicle that has the weight and the ground clearance to get through the 'heavy stuff' and I don't have to look at the Hummer.

The Ford F-250 with snows would be my second choice. Put enough weight in the back and they will crash through just about any kind of weather.

The last three choices I will pass on. Too much crap hanging under the front of the car to be effective in deep snow.

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F-250 or Dodge Power Wagon 250 4X4 ( your choice of extended cab or crew cab ) with Aggressive snow tires and Chains for all 4 Wheels for your area!

Best site I have found for chains:


I just bought a set for my truck from them and they have the best selection and best pricing for light truck tire chains.
By the way, if you do purchase chains - buy a set equipped with CAM's - they make a world of difference in both installation time and in getting the chains properly tightened on the tire. Take my word for it - I can mount 3 pairs of chains on a Semi-truck & trailer in about 30 minutes flat - but only if they are cam type chains ... and be certain of this, I will never purchase any chains without cams ever again.

Any Front Wheel Drive or 4 Wheel Drive equipped with good snow tires will handle any reasonable amount of snow and ice. Of the two types, the 4X4 will grind through more snow, but ice driving is far more a driver skill critical issue. If your skills are marginal, the 4X4 will just let you get deeper into trouble faster!

In either case the tires are the most important piece of the puzzle. Choose actual snow tires, Cooper Wintermaster, Firestone Ice and Snow, and Hankook I-Pike are all excellent winter tires, capable of pulling you through the nastiest winter conditions.

Regardless of your vehicle and tire combination the most important thing to remember is to let the snow tires pull you through the snow and ice at reasonable speeds – 4 Wheel drive is no excuse for driving too fast for conditions, and if you forget that, for even one instant … you will be one of those pretty little SUV’s I see on a regular basis – UPSIDE DOWN IN THE DITCH!

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It depends on the severity of the weather.

Snow tires are a must, even before choosing a vehicle.
I'd go for anything front wheel drive first, as they're a bit easier to control on slippery snow than rear wheel.
If the conditions get worse, go for something that's 4 wheel drive.
Worse than that, and I'd go for something with chains, and something that's very wide (like the original hummer).
Anything past that and you may as well get a skidoo/snowmobile, or something with 8 wheels or treads.

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