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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I have decided to buy a new 2012 equinox 4 cylinder 1lt fwd and was wondering how is the handling of the vehicle in the snow? I assume it will be the same as the 2011 models? We decided against the awd version since I live only 1.5 miles away from work, don't want to spend the extra $1750 to get an awd, and we would get a little better gas mileage. I have never had any major problems driving in the snow with my previous fwd vehicles since I live in town. I live in central Illinois and a typical snowstorm is in the 6-9 inch range and occurs maybe twice a year. Any comments would be greatly appreciated thanks!
 

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You will probably be fine but spending $500 - $600 for winter tires would be worth it as a good medium. I highly recommend winter tires since my 2006 mazda 3 with winter tires handled better than my 2010 Equinox without winter tires. I am buying some Blizzak's for this upcoming winter, needless to say
 

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I also went with winter tires on my FWD. There was absolutely NO problems in all kinds of snow. I think I would have used winter tires with AWD also - just because I am really sold on winter tires. They make an unbelievable difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good to know that I should not have that much of a problem with the nox in snow with fwd. I have a 2005 Pontiac Vibe with fwd and I have not had that much of a problem in the white stuff with Cooper CS4 V-Rated tires. With the extra ground clearance with the nox going through the snow should not be a problem I imagine in town. I will be ordering the equinox later this month most likely and hopefully it will come before x-mas! That would be an awesome present! I don't know if I will opt for winter tires though unless I start having major traction problems with the factory tires.
 

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vortexnut said:
I don't know if I will opt for winter tires though unless I start having major traction problems with the factory tires.
The only problem with that type of thinking is that "major traction problem" could result in an accident ! Actually, I think the snows are most important for the stopping because I tend to drive a bit too fast !

FYI - I came from a FWD Vibe, and I used snows on that also. Snows made that car into a great winter car.
 

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My Nox is the best snow handling vehicle I've ever owned...and that includes some FWD cars. I must admit that I live in Texas which isn't exactly covered in snow all winter...but I live in north Texas, and when we do get snow/ice it can be pretty bad. Just four days after taking delivery of my Nox we got a thin layer of ice topped by about 4" of snow...the stock Michelins aren't great snow tires, but the combo of stability/traction control and ABS mean't that I never really felt I was going to lose control..
 

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vortexnut said:
Good to know that I should not have that much of a problem with the nox in snow with fwd. I have a 2005 Pontiac Vibe with fwd and I have not had that much of a problem in the white stuff with Cooper CS4 V-Rated tires. With the extra ground clearance with the nox going through the snow should not be a problem I imagine in town. I will be ordering the equinox later this month most likely and hopefully it will come before x-mas! That would be an awesome present! I don't know if I will opt for winter tires though unless I start having major traction problems with the factory tires.
The equinox is not that great in the snow unless you have winter tires.
 

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barhoc11 said:
The equinox is not that great in the snow unless you have winter tires.
I would say that it's still better than most FWD vehicles without winter tires. With the right tires, even a high powered RWD car can be manageable in the snow..
 

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LOL I am the opposite -- I have never found a FWD car worth a darn in the snow.... Give me RWD any day. In 50+ years of driving I may have been stuck 2-3 times with RWD. On FWD -- can't count that high. However, in Chicago one rarely actually drives in snow as the roads are plowed quickly. Also I do drive the Nox -- it's my wife's... But in winter I DO drive a 97 Saturn SC2 -- and it is awful in snow -- but usually -- it is slush at worst around here
 

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Rick Tinley Park said:
LOL I am the opposite -- I have never found a FWD car worth a darn in the snow.... Give me RWD any day. In 50+ years of driving I may have been stuck 2-3 times with RWD. On FWD -- can't count that high. However, in Chicago one rarely actually drives in snow as the roads are plowed quickly. Also I do drive the Nox -- it's my wife's... But in winter I DO drive a 97 Saturn SC2 -- and it is awful in snow -- but usually -- it is slush at worst around here
Wow - I am shocked by your statements. You are the only person that I have ever heard that prefers RWD. I had a '72 GTO that would get stuck going downhill - with snow tires. Yep - and I have NEVER gotten stuck with FWD.

:confused:
 

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Realisticly -- It may be because I was raised in RWD and still drive a RWD so I may not be used to FWD .... Never too late to teach and old dog new tricks. :thumb:
 

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Rick Tinley Park said:
Realisticly -- It may be because I was raised in RWD and still drive a RWD so I may not be used to FWD .... Never too late to teach and old dog new tricks. :thumb:
Cornering in FWD can be tricky. They understeer, while RWD oversteers - which is much more fun.
 

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Typically engine over drive axle results in maximum traction and better "go" in the snow. However not necessarily better handling. Like many have said, RWD can be managed in snow if learned. Especially if one has a manual transmissin, which allows one to start in a higher gear and thus reduce wheel spin. Some auto transmission vehicles allow a position to be selected that will start the transmission in a higher gear. I think it was my GMC Sonoma had that function. Limited slip rear differential helps also. Current day traction control on RWD vehicles negate much of the problem of lack of weight over the rear wheels.

All in all I have had several FWD vehicles over the past 30 years, including a 2006 Equinox and now the 2011 Terrain. Living in central Michigan and in a rather urban area, I have only got stuck once and that was when my driveway was drifted about 3 feet deep. Even then, I only had to back out and blow the snow out of my driveway to get to the garage.

Having learned to drive on a Model A non-syncro transmissin, rear drive dump truck when I was about 12 years old in 1952, I likewise prefer a RWD for handling and as one mentioned the ability to oversteer them on slippery conditions.

Solution, drive your FWD in the winter and your Vette in the summer :D
 

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FWD versus RWD in winter. I was interviewed and quoted in a Chicago Tribune article some years back. The idea of the story came about when there was talk of some vehicles going back to RWD and I sorta got the impression the reporter thought it would be the end of the world or something. He was somewhat surprised when I told him I had had more trouble with FWD cars in winter then RWD.
 

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My 2012 'Nox has Michelin Latitude Tour tires, standard equipment. The Tire Rack web site rates the tire as excellent in snow, with 8.0 in light snow, 7.1 in deep snow and 7.0 on ice traction. I'm not planning on changing to a winter tire. I live in northern Wisconsin and we get plenty snow. Besides, the tires I had on our '07 Impala had similar ratings and we didn't have any problems. Just mho.
 

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I have driven both. My first 3 vehicles were RWD and my next 3 have been FWD. In Wisconsin the winters can be rough. FWD beats RWD hands down. More weight in the front for traction is the key!
 

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RIT333 said:
Wow - I am shocked by your statements. You are the only person that I have ever heard that prefers RWD. I had a '72 GTO that would get stuck going downhill - with snow tires. Yep - and I have NEVER gotten stuck with FWD.

:confused:
Amen, the first FWD car I ever owned was a Chevy Citation and about two weeks after we got it we had a blizzard. Driving it for the first time in deep snow amazed me.
 

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LOL Don -- teh first time I drove a FWD I was shocked too as I found i was OK driving -- I just could never turn (off roads -- miss diveways etc) and forbid I had to make a wide turn and not know when it would just lose it all and go straight during the turn. Gimme RWD and I am one happy camper
 

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Rick Tinley Park said:
LOL Don -- teh first time I drove a FWD I was shocked too as I found i was OK driving -- I just could never turn (off roads -- miss diveways etc) and forbid I had to make a wide turn and not know when it would just lose it all and go straight during the turn. Gimme RWD and I am one happy camper
Sounds like maybe you were too heavy on the gas or the tires that was on it weren't the best, the only time I have had a FWD want to go straight while trying to turn was if I was getting on it too hard or the tires that were on it weren't the greatest for traction. The particular Goodyear tires that came on my wife's Vibe would want to go straight on turns in the snow and would get stuck on a wet street. I couldn't believe the difference when I put the Cooper CS4's on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I finally was able to drive my fwd 4 cylinder 2012 equinox in the snow (4 inches with some drifts close to 1.5 feet) and was impressed at how how good it handled with the factory tires. This is the first vehicle I have ever owned with traction control and I finally saw it kick into action as one of my tires was spinning on a little ice. I am glad I did not spend the extra $1750 to get awd and also take a slight hit in mpg. If I lived in the country I would have opted for the awd but in town I think fwd would be fine for most people unless they lived in the mountains, get slammed with lake effect snow, or nor' easters in the winter. The snow finally has arrived in Central Illinois....
 
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