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I took my 2010, v6 AWD Terrain up the mountain today and had to turn around due to lack of traction. I was on a snow covered paved road and felt like I was still in the front wheel drive car I traded in on this thing.

Since winter is basically over, I will wait until next year and probably buy a set of 17 inch rims and some good all terrain or mud tires and see how it goes. I curretnly have the 19" rims and the tire selection in that size is as worthless as the AWD in the terrain.

I would really like to know if anybody else is as disappointed as I am. This is the only time I have driven it in snow (my mistake) since I bought it 35 days ago.
 

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I found the AWD to be very good in this thing.
I got stuck twice this winter and both times were simply me testing exactly how far I could push the vehicle through very deep snow.
Both times I attempted something that I was pretty sure would end in failure and was still able to get "unstuck" by myself.
I tried driving up my back alley after the biggest snow fall we have had in my lifetime(32years), I got about halfway up before I was unable to move any further. The snow was pushed up to the top of the grill in front of the vehicle. When I tried to back out I was also unable to move at first but after I shut off the traction control I was able to get a bit of a rocking motion going and get the vehicle moving back out of the alley.
The next time was later that same day in the parking lot of my kids school. I was the only parent that attempted to make my way through the snow drifts that had formed back there and while I did get stuck,I was still able to free the vehicle on my own again simply by de-activateing the traction control and getting a bit of a rocking motion through the crests of the drifts. When I got back to the entry way for the parking lot I found the street was filled with stuck vehicles including one FWD Uplander who got stuck trying to follow my tracks into the parking lot. I had to get out and help push him back into the street before I was able to leave and to get him back we both had to first push out a Camry or Impala(some Beige FWD Sedan) that was stuck behind him in the middle of the street.

The 7 years before I got this Terrain I had been driving 4x4 1/4 ton trucks (an 03 Sonoma Z85 followed by an 07 Canyon Z71), while I wouldn't expect the Terrain to perform as well as those vehicle did in the gravel pits or doing mild mudding, it has been as good as either of them ever were on the worst snow covered roads.
 

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cschieck2002 said:
I would really like to know if anybody else is as disappointed as I am.
Not here. My AWD fitted with the 18" Michelin's ripped through 6+ inches of snow with ease. Maybe it is your tires, or perhaps you had Traction Control off. I'd suggest getting it looked at either way.

KJ
 

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I have the 19's as well and thought it handled very nicely in the snow. I go over a mountain to get to work and had no problems in NY.
 

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I have the AWD in the Equinox. Drive an hour to and from work, mostly flat (central Illinois) and mostly interstate. Didn't have any trouble at all.

Is there any way to tell when it kicks in? I can never tell, which I'm telling myself is a good thing.
 

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We took the our Terrain up a snow covered mountain road this winter, no problems.

http://www.terrainforum.net/index.php?topic=246.msg1975#msg1975

Also, the Terrain found it's way up and down the mountain with ease.
The Sis-in-law was having a go of it in her stick shift Grand Prix so her son had to take over as the road leading to the chalet was snow covered and somewhat icy in parts.
 

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I'll just re-iterate what everyone else has said, we've had no problems whatsoever with our Terrain on steep, snowed in roads/sheet ice streets/what have you.

Also, All Terrain or Mud tires are a terrible idea. If you want to see a difference, get yourself a set of quality winter tires. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1's for example.
 

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This winter numberous we drove in up to a foot of snow, and it blazed through it, we have the 17's, night and day difference from a 2005 front wheel drive Impala. After doing some reading I dont think there is any real kicking in, its always basically kicked in.
 

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I read some reviews regarding the Michelins and the Hankooks that come on the 18" and 19" wheels. Many of the comments for the Hankooks were that the snow traction was just adequate or poor. The Michelins did a bit better at handling the snow. One of the reasons that I chose the 18" wheels for my Terrain.
 

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I found the AWD very good, and i have owned many 4x4 trucks, big and small. I read somewhere that the AWD system is an adaptation of the astro/safari system that they used in many vehicles including the high performance syclone of the early 90's. That system was 60/40 rear/front split. So the concensus there was that this new system is a 40/60 ear/front split. And there is no "kick in" GM stopped using automatic 4wd systems when they brought in their new stabilitrak...they said it was too confusing to work both of them together.
I also have the 19" wheels and dumped those p.o.s. hankook for some blizzak DM-V1's, and they are great, highly recommend them.
 

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AWD does not equal TRACTION. I've seen extremely expensive vehicles, both Land Rover and military, and can't traverse simple snow-covered hills because of a simply lack of traction. You can have the best, most adaptive AWD system, but if your wheels can't hook up, it's all for not.

The thing is, regular all-season tires don't grip snow very well. AWD helps a ton on level ground, but if you're going up a hill, don't expect like you're going to just fly up.

Some AWD systems are obviously better than others, but frankly even $100K vehicles wont go up a snowy or icy surface with crappy tires. Some will, but many wont.
 
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