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2019 Terrain Denali
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I bought my grandma's 2019 Terrain Denali from her as she quit driving. I assumed at the time that it was AWD due to some ignorance on my part. For one she fully loaded it, the only option that I thought it was missing was a tow hitch. Second I didn't know you could actually buy a Denali without AWD, but I found out that it comes in both versions.

So due to living in an area that snows I am a bit let down. She sold it too me very cheap so I can't look a gift horse in the mouth, but I really had no idea at the time. So how well does the 2WD version handle snow? And does the "snow mode" actually make any difference?

Thanks for the help
 

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My wife's 2017 FWD gets her where she wants. Take some of the money you saved and buy a second set of tires ( winter). Or, buy a good set of all weather tires yoy use year round. For 95 % of the time in the winter do you really need AWD, I think a good set of either type will get you what you want along wilt driving as per the conditions.
 

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I have the AWD version and with the factory Hankook tires in 2 wheel drive mode they suck. In 4 wheel ok. If you still have the factory Hankook tires upgrade to the Crossclimate 2 by michelin, every review says they are the best all around tire. All snow mode does is lower the power you are supplying to the tires. Even with traction control the Hankook tires are terrible.
 

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Depends on your local snowfall and road conditions. If severe you might want AWD but for any other condition the fwd is fine. A set of winter tires on a fwd is better than any AWD vehicle with all seasons anyway.

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A set of winter tires on a fwd is better than any AWD vehicle with all seasons anyway.
Truth right here.

Overall, it is more about the quality of the tire than how many wheels are driven. My wife's Terrain has AWD with snow tires and my previous car (TL) was FWD with proper winter tires. She could out accelerate me from a dead stop, but I could stop and turn waaaaaaaaay better than her car. On true ice, my TL accelerated better than her Terrain.
 

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The only way a FWD will be better than AWD is studded tires on the FWD and bald ones on the AWD.
And I'll take a RWD places a FWD could only dream about going, like uphill in a foot of snow with a snowmobile trailer hooked up.
 

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The only way a FWD will be better than AWD is studded tires on the FWD and bald ones on the AWD.
And I'll take a RWD places a FWD could only dream about going, like uphill in a foot of snow with a snowmobile trailer hooked up.
FWD with non-studded snow tires will be better than AWD with all-season tires. AWD with snow tires would certainly be the optimal option, but people that have AWD (myself included) tend to try and get by with all-season tires in the winter due to cost and the inconvenience of having to switch over the tires.
 

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I have the AWD version and with the factory Hankook tires in 2 wheel drive mode they suck. In 4 wheel ok. If you still have the factory Hankook tires upgrade to the Crossclimate 2 by michelin, every review says they are the best all around tire. All snow mode does is lower the power you are supplying to the tires. Even with traction control the Hankook tires are terrible.
Agree. . . . +1
The Hankook OEM tires are a hazard in snow. FWD or AWD.
Our daughter (FWD) had them and drove s-l-o-w-l-y in snow and still they would not grip well enough to go around city street corners without dangerous sliding. Also, coming to a stop was treacherous.
After getting the better tires, daughter could drive normally in snow.

Get some good Crossclimate Michelins and you will thank us.
 

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Hmmm, my '16 'nox with Bridgestone Alenza all seasons will outperform my '15 Malibu with studded snows any day unless it's totally glare ice then studs will be better in the ice. Same Alenza tires on my Tahoe.
And I'm a avid snowmobiler with tons of lake effect zone snow driving time to go have fun.
I've had the 'nox in a foot of snow on a unplowed road and it's a just as good as my Tahoe.
Can't speak for OEM Hankooks but I've had their snow tires in the past on Sables and a older 'bu and they where good tires.
Stock Michelins on my 'nox were so so and only made it to 50k miles becoming winter unworthy.
 

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I think we are all saying the same things here. Use the right tires for the right conditions. AWD in deep heavy snow will almost always accelerate better than FWD. Four tires spinning will usually always win. But overall driving dynamics, winter tires will almost always win. AWD doesn’t help on stopping….winter tires do.

I didn’t think winter tires were needed until we had a blizzard in KC a couple years ago. My TL was able to drive down the highway while many other AWD vehicles sat there and spun their tires. I didn’t have issues until the snow got deep enough to drag on my bumper and undercarriage.


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So how well does the 2WD version handle snow? And does the "snow mode" actually make any difference?

so much for answering the question LOL Sounds like winter tires will make a big difference, but extra costs and storage in off season. Best of both worlds buy top rated all weather tires, but might be a little noisier than all season. Snow mode, sorry I can't help with that question.
 

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From all I have read AWD with snow tires would seem to give you the best handling of all in snow & ice. I am retired now, but if I were still driving a lot here in MI I would pay the extra for snow tires & I think one of the tire outlets will store them for free if you buy them there. Might even change them for free.
 

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Agree. . . . +1
The Hankook OEM tires are a hazard in snow. FWD or AWD.
Our daughter (FWD) had them and drove s-l-o-w-l-y in snow and still they would not grip well enough to go around city street corners without dangerous sliding. Also, coming to a stop was treacherous.
After getting the better tires, daughter could drive normally in snow.

Get some good Crossclimate Michelins and you will thank us.
You are so right ! These tires SUCK even on wet pavement ! If I keep this I will replace them with Michelins....and I always said if you can't drive in snow (not 3 feet lol) with front wheel drive....you should stay home
 
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