Originally Posted by yardsale
Interesting article in November Consumer Reports Magazine concluded that for most driving situations, it is the tires that are more important than 4wd. One of the dirty little secrets for snow tires is that their wet road braking capacity is very poor.
The Consumer Reports Magazine was comparing FWD vehicles to AWD; not RWD to AWD. There's a big difference between a RWD pickup and a FWD car.
RWD trucks are a whole other category because the rear end tends to dance around. With original equipment tires, RWD trucks can get stuck on steep wet asphalt roads. Seriously! Rear wheel drive trucks are almost useless in west coast snow. If it snows, you stay home. A locking differential and really sticky tires will improve the situation but its not ideal.
4WD trucks corner better in snow and gravel because you are less likely to break traction when accelerating out of a corner. You don't have to accelerate out of a corner, but if you do, it feels a whole lot better.
4WD trucks usually come with a low range which is really cool for slow manoeuvring on slopes.
4WD trucks can get off the line pretty quickly when the road is wet. This is helpful when crossing highways at uncontrolled intersections and racing road hogs at merge points.
Having said all that, the first vehicles to enter the ditch following the first snowfall of the year, are typically 4WD trucks. This happens not only in Vancouver (whose drivers are much maligned) but also in Calgary, Prince George, Edmonton and Toronto. Oak Bay is probably not a lot different. Over confidence is a big factor. Stupid is another one. Been guilty of both
This Christmas we're considering a run down to southern California if the weather is agreeable
There's no way I'd be crossing those passes if we had a 2WD pickup.