AWD is not a winter-driving feature. Sorry.
If there’s one thing Canadians know how to do (besides say “sorry”), it’s driving in winter weather conditions. This season is already off to a roaring start, with more snow on the way and a whopper of a storm coming on Sunday, which makes it a good time to share a conversation more like a polite argument, really I had with a friend recently.
I was driving a sporty BMW Gran Turismo 335i test drive. It was snowing heavily and the roads were a mess.
“It’s okay, you’ve got AWD,” my passenger said soothingly.
“All-wheel-drive is not a safety feature,” I huffed. “It’s a performance feature.”
“No, it’s both,” my passenger said.
“That’s a misconception,” I retorted.
“No it’s not,” he retorted back.
Clearly, this was rapidly turning into a silly argument and I needed to focus my attention on the road rather than on witty rejoinders. But I filed it under “look that one up later,” and when I got home, I did a little research.
The fact is it takes all vehicles longer to stop on snow-covered roads, which makes winter tires a must. AWD will indeed help you accelerate better in slippery conditions, but when it comes to slowing down, stopping, steering and tire grip ? the key determinants in preventing most winter accidents ? AWD won’t really help.
For a visual demonstration, see the video below, courtesy of AutoExpress.? And then maybe think about staying home on Sunday.