Are Winter Tires More Important than AWD in the Snow?

There’s a common misconception that an all-wheel drive car is all one needs to be safe when driving in winter. While AWD is important and gives more peace of mind to the driver, it is completely useless if the car rides on inappropriate tires.

To demonstrate that, AutoExpress magazine took two Ford Kuga SUVs, a front-wheel drive and an all-wheel drive model, both fitted with the same 2.0-liter diesel engine and manual gearbox, and put them to an interesting test. First, they wanted to see which car goes further up the snow-covered slope using summer tires.

Needless to say, both the FWD and the AWD Kuga proved useless in those conditions. The most telling comparison was between the FWD Kuga on winter tires and the AWD car on summer tires. To put it simply, the front-wheel drive car humiliated the 4WD model.

However, when the all-wheel drive Kuga made the switch to winter tires, the situation improved dramatically in its favor. We know this type of test has been done before, but it’s still worth watching.

By Dan Mihalascu


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