Automotive

How necessary is AWD where you live?

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 20th, 2015 9:21 am
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Sr. Member
Dec 14, 2012
562 posts
120 upvotes
With all the bumper to bumper traffic on the roads and highways, especially during snow storms, AWD doesn't do a thing in Southern Ontario.
Deal Addict
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Aug 29, 2011
3839 posts
1936 upvotes
Westmount (Montreal)
I live in hell that look like this for 2km

[IMG]http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t219 ... edf0ae.jpg[/IMG]

Of course its unplowed by the city, and its done by a tractor once a day

We received 2.5 meters of snow last year.

there is often 1 foot of snow on that road, and of course usually ice under.

Anyway, my FWD with studded winter (General Arctic before, now Gislaved NordFrost 100) tires is enough to live there.
Deal Addict
Sep 10, 2008
1016 posts
260 upvotes
Ottawa
[Good winter tires + driving skills + patience] > AWD.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 15, 2004
6054 posts
824 upvotes
Redflagger4 wrote:
Oct 16th, 2015 6:10 am
With all the bumper to bumper traffic on the roads and highways, especially during snow storms, AWD doesn't do a thing in Southern Ontario.
Not sure what you're talking about. I have seen many FWD or RWD cars struggles in deep snow parking lots, ramps, etc. You don't drive stop and go all day long. I went AWD years ago and never looked back. AWD is worth the extra money. Snow tires are good, but snow tires and AWD is better.
Sr. Member
Sep 9, 2003
947 posts
109 upvotes
i live in Toronto. I dont' think I need it. I was driving RWD with snows and I got stuck twice in 2 years. I know have 4WD and snows and it's unstoppable, however I want to go back to RWD because it's more fun : ) .
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Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
29218 posts
15058 upvotes
Ottawa
vonblock wrote:
Oct 16th, 2015 6:40 am
I live in hell that look like this for 2km

[IMG]http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t219 ... g~original[/IMG]

Of course its unplowed by the city, and its done by a tractor once a day

We received 2.5 meters of snow last year.

there is often 1 foot of snow on that road, and of course usually ice under.

Anyway, my FWD with studded winter (General Arctic before, now Gislaved NordFrost 100) tires is enough to live there.
That's the main advantage right there!
Deal Fanatic
Sep 21, 2004
8356 posts
1059 upvotes
We have all 3 style drivetrains. For our local snowfalls in Ottawa, they all manage just fine with winter tires. I daily drove the rwd for the past 5 winters. However, there is a HUGE difference in drivability between the 3.

You can manage with rwd but you have to be cognitive of what you are doing and how you re doing it. Awd is the complete opposite where the car does so much you don't have to think at all (and probably why people crash so many).

However you put it though, I think winter tires are a must.
Deal Addict
Mar 30, 2010
2641 posts
1006 upvotes
GTA
GTA area - not neccessary. As mentioned before, AWD only helps when accelerating and slightly when cornering if the car has torque vectoring in addition to it's stability control program, it cannot help you stop faster. AWD also can't make up for deficiencies in the tire's grip.
Sr. Member
Aug 16, 2011
839 posts
246 upvotes
Kitchener
I spent last winter in Sudbury, including driving all over the Greater Sudbury area (aka in the country and dirty roads), was fine on winters and being cautious on snow covered roads. I'm sure AWD would have helped in a few instances but definitely wasn't a necessity.
Newbie
Mar 24, 2015
55 posts
8 upvotes
Guelph, ON
I live in Woolwich Ontario, My street is frequently not plowed in the morning when I leave for work. It gets pretty deep a few days a year and I manage with my FWD sedan. It has a good ESP stability and traction control system that allows me to "pin" it in deep snow and it trudges through without many issues. It doesn't spin the tyres or over rev when I do that. I have never had an issue.

I don't think AWD is necessary. While it can be a nice luxury, it is exactly that. I have driven trucks in the snow too. Both were two wheel drive. Not many issues. It's a matter of getting going. Once moving, you won't really have any traction advantages with AWD.
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Jan 27, 2004
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T.O. Lotto Captain
vonblock wrote:
Oct 16th, 2015 6:40 am
I live in hell that look like this for 2km

[IMG]http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t219 ... g~original[/IMG]

Of course its unplowed by the city, and its done by a tractor once a day

We received 2.5 meters of snow last year.

there is often 1 foot of snow on that road, and of course usually ice under.

Anyway, my FWD with studded winter (General Arctic before, now Gislaved NordFrost 100) tires is enough to live there.

That right there. Studded tires have such good traction for situations like this. Especially ice.
I would love to have me some studded tires... But they're illegal in Toronto. =[
Sr. Member
Nov 12, 2012
623 posts
292 upvotes
Calgary
UrbanPoet wrote:
Oct 16th, 2015 11:14 am
I would love to have me some studded tires... But they're illegal in Toronto. =[
What, really?!?
Deal Addict
Mar 30, 2010
2641 posts
1006 upvotes
GTA
MikeinYYC wrote:
Oct 16th, 2015 11:19 am
What, really?!?
http://www.ontariocanada.com/registry/v ... ngId=15402
Studded tire use is permitted for vehicles with an ownership address in Northern Ontario, as defined by the Territorial Districts of Algoma, Cochrane, Kenora, Manitoulin, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Rainy River, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, and Temiskaming, and to out-of-province vehicles travelling in Ontario for less than a month.
Residents of Southern Ontario are not permitted to use studded tires because most roads are well-maintained with fewer extreme hills and turns. Also, the traffic volumes are higher and many pavements are made with local limestone that is softer than the Canadian Shield rock in the north. While there have been improvements to studded tires, allowing them in these conditions is expected to result in pavement damage, dust and reduced air quality.
Sr. Member
Sep 15, 2011
916 posts
458 upvotes
HUNTSVILLE
I'm JUST south of the line for studded tire use, too bad really (although many tire shops in the area will happily sell you studded tires).

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