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Has anyone had any experience driving a FWD Escape in winter conditions? We like our 2008 nicely equipped, however, have been wanting to move to about mid-west states from Texas. Can I expect our Escape to perform well with winter tires, :frozen: , or should I trade it for the 4WD? :confused: (I am about to start some exterior MODs, but don't want to waste my time, if FWD can't hack it in occasional snow.) Being from Texas, I have no idea. :lol:
 

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With most of the weight in the front, you're really okay (and as long as wherever you go does a decent job cleaning the roads). For FWD cars, 4x4 is really an extra safety thing... whereas for RWD vehicles, 4x4 is usually "strongly recommended" for survival purposes. As long as you're cautious/don't drive like a manman/have different winter and summer driving habits, you really don't need 4x4. On snow, with the tires I have, it's virtually useless. I might as well have a RWD Escape at certain times!
 

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Winter tires make a difference. Experience can also help. One needs to ask, if winter conditons are bad, why are you out on the road driving? That said, if one drives in snow and winter conditions, one needs to remember winter tires do not come with treadwear warranty and it is no fun to replace 4 winter tires after two seasons of use. Winter tires are not a wise choice for warmer weather conditions. Solution? Go for the Goodyear Fortera Triple Tread all season tires that carry the snowflake and moutain symbol. These tires come with a 60,000 mile warranty.





 

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Tang said:
With most of the weight in the front, you're really okay (and as long as wherever you go does a decent job cleaning the roads). For FWD cars, 4x4 is really an extra safety thing... whereas for RWD vehicles, 4x4 is usually "strongly recommended" for survival purposes. As long as you're cautious/don't drive like a manman/have different winter and summer driving habits, you really don't need 4x4. On snow, with the tires I have, it's virtually useless. I might as well have a RWD Escape at certain times!
+100
 

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4x4 systems only help you get moving. They do not help you turn or stop.. Sometimes, not having 4x4 systems on vehicles helps people really understand how slipery it is outside.

Remember - the beauty of 4wd is that you get stuck in in-accessible places.
 

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As others have already said, you are far better off investing in snow tires should you have trouble getting around during the winter months. I would see how things go during the first few snowfalls and decide if you really think they are worth the investment.
 

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It isn't necessary. I've driven FWD cars through 25 winters, on all season tires for most of them, and never, ever ever been stuck in one. I started using winter tires a few years ago and THAT is what made the difference, not AWD. My old AWD CRV was as good in the snow as any other car without winter tires except it could get going from a stop with less finesse. Once moving, the Escape AWD, like my old CRV, is FWD anyway.

I bought the AWD version of the Escape mainly because it was on the lot and equipped as I wanted it, I would have bought FWD if the right car was equipped as such.

I do disagree with one of the other posts though - the Fortera (and the Assurance) Triple Treds get mixed reviews at best for summer use. If you want the true 4 season tire you need to buy the Nokian WR or WR2 series. But they still aren't as good in the snow/ice as a true winter tire (Like, say a Blizzak or similar) and louder on dry pavement than a summer or all season. However, in Southern Ontario the Nokian WR would be perfect for 363 days of the year....and the other two everyone should be staying home. On the prairie or in the US Midwest you may be better with 4 snows on steel rims, switch them out Nov 15 and April 1.
 

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Like my agreement with Tang before, I have to also agree with everything Kmoose wrote.
And taking the subject a little further.
1/The higher the tread wear mileage, the higher the mediocrity hidden at its performance.
2/"All season" means that the tire will have a medium and satisfactory performance at most weather conditions without being really good at any...a wise choice for everyday driving under no extreme situations.
There is no tire or any other man-made product that can maintain a top-notch performance in all circumstances.
3/There is no larceny or cheating involved to the high price of a tire which is solely suggested for a specific terrain or weather conditions...and with a very limited treadwear longevity.
 

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The Nokian WR2 is an all season tire that also carries the snowflake and mountain symbol. I looked at these tire prior to purchasing my Goodyear tires which carry a treadwear rating of 10,000 miles longer.

The Escape is not an AWD design.
 

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Billyk said:
The Nokian WR2 is an all season tire that also carries the snowflake and mountain symbol. I looked at these tire prior to purchasing my Goodyear tires which carry a treadwear rating of 10,000 miles longer.

The Escape is not an AWD design.
I get the sense the Nokian is not a very popular tire in the US - Tirerack doesn't sell it so it may not be on a lot of perople's radar down there. It is widely used here in Canada and I think that may result in the popularity of the Goodyear instead south of the border. Certainly around this area if you think of a true 4 season tire Nokian WR series are the ones you would go with first. Kind of the type of brand recognition Blizzak would have for dedicated winters. Of course, Gislaved is also a huge winter brand up here and, again, not found on TireRacks site.

Pirelli and Hankook are both making "all weather" tires like the Goodyear and Nokian ones. Not sure how the Hankooks are (my Hankook W409 winter tires are excellent) but the Pirelli is getting similar reviews to the Triple Tred, so worth checking out too. I've had Pirelli winter and summer tires in the past and they have been excellent.
 

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My wife's Windstar uses Nokian WRG2 boots. The Winnie is a very heavy van....I call it the Hippo. But the Nokian WRG2's give it excellent traction. It's actually not an All-Season tire with a snowflake logo. It's a Finnish Winter Radial. In North America, where the winter isn't as harsh, or as long, they do just fine.

My '05 Escape wears Dunlop RVXT. They're all seasons that are approved with the snowflake logo. They're new and I haven't driven them in winter snow yet.

If you're really concerned about the weather, and winter driving to where you're going, go and check what kind of winter and road conditions they've had the past 3 years. Keep in mind that traction in deep snow is different than traction on ice. If you're going to see a fair amount of ice, I'd get dedicated winter tires that stick well on ice. All seasons just won't cut it. AWD or FWD, ice doesn't care.

Keep in mind too that winter tires are split into categories. Some do well in snow but not ice, and vice-versa.

I don't even think about winter driving. I automatically switch driving modes.....start slow, brake easy, keep a distance, watch for black ice (anytime the road is shiny). Driver attitude has a lot to do with how well you can get through driving in the winter.

The problem isn't getting the Escape to start moving. I worry more about being able to stop it.

So, having said all that....to me.....FWD is fine for winter. I was driving FWD before I bought my AWD Escape. No problemo here as with most drivers around here. I bought the AWD Escape over FWD because, well......I'm a guy. I used to drive a 4x4, and I want it again....personal pref.
 

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Has someone asked their tire shop as to who approves those nice little reliefs of mountain peaks and snow flakes on a tire?
The truth of the matter is that there is no authority which grades all aspects of a tire.Unlike to
what the norm is with fuel or oil.
And that is the reason there is such great differences among tires of the same specifications.
If those discrepancies were met in fuels and oils we would be in big trouble.
 

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aemtxsupvr said:
Has anyone had any experience driving a FWD Escape in winter conditions? We like our 2008 nicely equipped, however, have been wanting to move to about mid-west states from Texas. Can I expect our Escape to perform well with winter tires, :frozen: , or should I trade it for the 4WD? :confused: (I am about to start some exterior MODs, but don't want to waste my time, if FWD can't hack it in occasional snow.) Being from Texas, I have no idea. :lol:
With all due respect to the other posts in this thread , there is one thing you NEED for winter driving that money can't buy, Experience.

I started driving in the late 70's, front wheel drive was practically nonexistent and very few people drove trucks with 4 wheel drive. I drove rear wheel drive cars for 10 years so I cut my winter teeth the hard way so to speak. I was unfortunate enough to get caught in a rare snowstorm in South Carolina one time on my way back from Daytona speed weeks, 2 inches of snow on the roads brought I95 to a complete standstill because of lack of experience driving in snow. Something that would have been shrugged off as an annoyance where I lived was a total traffic nightmare there.

The first FWD car I drove shocked me as to how well it worked in the snow compared to what I was used to and I have never used dedicated snow tires on a FWD. If I lived in an extreme snow area I would probably invest in some, but if it's snowing hard enough that the plows can't keep the roads clean enough to drive on it's probably not a good idea to be out in the first place.

The FWD escape will be more than sufficient and winter tires will definitely improve your snow handling. I live in New England and would have bought the FWD if I didn't plan on towing a trailer in the winter, my wife has never had anything other than a FWD with all season tires and has no problems.

Good luck and drive safely
 
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