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Deitz Dittrich

Car buying advice... handles snow well.

29 posts in this topic

Ok, the wife called me this morning after her commute to work and told me we are going car shopping this weekend. I wish I could tell yo uthe exact model car she has but I think its a 02' 2 dr Ford Escort ZX or something like that. Anyway she has always complained on how it handles in snow. I tried the different tires thing already... so, looking for advice.

We have always been Ford owners as we have a friend that is a mechanic at a ford dealership. But I am willing to look elsewhere as well.

We would like a car that gets pretty decent gas mileage as she drives 30 miles to work. And one that now handles snow well...

Any ideas?

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I'm not sure if the Ford Fusion has the AWD but I've heard nothing but good things about these car. I know the 500 has AWD, but there I have not heard as many good things and the price tag is pretty steep.

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I'd stay away from an Accord. I love everything about mine, except how it handles in the snow.

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Deitz, you may not want to hear this, but before my wife played chicken with heavy equipment (long story), her mini-van went through the snow awesome and got aboot 25 MPG.

Mini-vans are fairly ishy, but they go through snow quite well.

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My 2006 Mazda 3 handles the snow very well for a car of its type. It also get pretty good gas mileage, between 26-28 mpg in rush hour traffic on 494.

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I have a 2006 Ford Fusion SE and I love it. It has the V6 at 220 horses it fly's and handles like it's gulled to the road. I got rid of my Cadillac for the fusion. And now Ford making the fusion in AWD, the 500 is AWD but they are changing it's name back to the Taurus.

Ford also has the EDGE in AWD, very nice crossover SUV.

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new trailblazers are nice, dont know if your into the little bigger SUV type.

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Audi A4 or A6, Subaru Outback (or most any Subaru). BMW 3 series are pretty good in the snow too for a 2WD.

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I LOVE driving my wife's '01 Subaru Legacy Outback through the snow. I thought it was pretty good in winter before, but this last fall we put new Michelin all-season tires on and it is phenomenal now. I would recommend this car in a heartbeat. It get about 25 mpg consistantly around town and close to 30 mpg on trips at 70+ mph. And the best part is NO BREAKDOWNS, only preventative maintenance such as timing belt, water pump, etc. at about 115,000. Knock on wood shocked.gif

Only shortfall is getting lumped into the greeny crowd and my wife getting winked at by other ladies wink.gif.

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Concur with Matt on the trailblazer. We have the GMC Envoy version. I will tell ya though that they are not all that great unless you have it in Auto4WD. That seems to work great and not suck a lot of extrra gas. Mileage is normally only about 19 MPG though. Have a good one././Jimbo

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My wife loves her envoy, tow's our boat nice also.

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My Pathfinder got stuck in the drifted in driveway following the last snowfall (had to go fishing, no time to shovel) so I reluctantly grabed a shovel to work on the drift. Meanwhile, my wife, on a quest for groceries opened the garage, jumped in her Subaru and backed out, across the ruts left by the pathfinder, down the unplowed alley and through the burm at the end of the alley that was pushed up by a snow plow; never even spun the tires. I would recomend at least test driving one.

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Dietz, Have your wife test drive a suburu (AWD) as some others have already mentioned. I have always been impressed with how well they go throu the snow. I'm thinking Mrs. Dietz should get a WRX!!

Otherwise stick a set of blizzaks on just about any front wheel drive vehicle and its like adding four wheel drive. I had a 1988 honda prelude that really sucked in the snow. The first year the blizzaks where introduced I through a set on. They are unbalieveble in the snow! I reccommend them all the time at work.

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I owned a '90 Subaru Legacy sedan AWD for a few years as a work-beater car. It went thru snow like you would not believe. MANY trips out onto the lakes in deep snow, heck, I even used it to move my 4x8 shack on skids around the lake. grin.gif

I would buy another, because I was amazed that the Legacy lasted as long as it did with me behind the wheel.

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I agree with you airjer! Get a real set of snow tires. Almost all cars today come with low profile tires on alloy wheels. This is great for dry handling, but stinks in the wet or snow. Get different wheels and do a -1 if they will fit. Skinnier with more sidewall will make snow driving much nicer.

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I have been driving a 98 Grand Prix for the past 6.5 years with very good luck, 212K on it now. Only normal repairs, 28mpg highway and handles snow well. Even used it instead of my truck on many hunting trips over the past 4 years to save gas.

It is the 3.8 motor.

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Quote:

I have been driving a 98 Grand Prix for the past 6.5 years with very good luck, 212K on it now. Only normal repairs,


That must have a 3.8 liter, 212k you would have about $4,000 invested in intake gaskets if it where a 3.1 grin.gif The 3.8 is one of the best engines made ever (IMO).

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Honda CRV AWD this thing will go any place my 4x4 Silverado will go. Ask my wife grin.gif

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Quote:

That must have a 3.8 liter, 212k you would have about $4,000 invested in intake gaskets if it where a 3.1
grin.gif
The 3.8 is one of the best engines made ever (IMO).


$4,000? How much do you guys get to do it once? I Just retired my Lumina 3.1 with 227,000 and it had only been done once, but admittedly it was getting ready again. wink.gifUnquestionably the most frugal car I ever owned. Still even had the original fuel pump and the only engine related repairs I ever did were a water pump and one coil pack.

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Dietz

I will second putting on the Blizzaks for tires once your wife gets her new ride.. I think these tires will make any car, front wheel drive especially, handle much much better in the snow..

My wife has an 02 Ford Focus and we have these tires on there.. Thing just keeps trudging along in the winter weather up here.. Always switch em out though after winter.. They wear very quickly...

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I am also a Subaru driver. I have the bigger brother, a 5- speed Forester. This thing goes through all kinds of snow. I actually towed a Silverado out, that was stuck, in the last snow storm. The guy gave me a funny look when I said I will tow him out.grin.gif I bet next time he wont bad mouth a Subaru anymore. Here is a few things you need to know about Scoobies. The automatics have a 80/20 all wheel drive system. 80 to front 20 to rear when you need it. All manuals have a 50/50 all wheel drive system. And the WRX is 50/50 with limited slip. Or step up to the 300 hp STI or XT(turbo charged Forester) and you get 50/50 slip with limited slip in the front, center and rear diff. Oh I almost forgot I get about 25 miles on the highway and 22 in the city. I wish I would have gotten the turbo version cuz they have been reporting up 20's and low 30's for mpg.

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02' Grand Prix, 140,000 miles, tromps up and down the North Shore on a daily basis. Have yet to be stuck in 4 years. Best thing is you can pick up rental returns for under $10,000 with less than 30K on them.

I did anyways. Throw some Blizzaks on there and she will be ruling the roadways.

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You have to check out Subaru. I own a 98 forester and a 05 outback turbo. Subaru's are rock solid and will take you anywhere. We get a lot of ice in the winter here and they both handle great in that. If you go up into the mountains in Colorado, all you see are Subarus. For gas mileage, stick with one that has the flat 4 cylinder. A non turbo model will save on mpg too. For a sedan the basic Impreza would be your best bet or for more room look at the Legacys.

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Dude, get her a 70 GTO Judge.

It'll go through the snow good enough if you keep it floored. As an added bonus, if she doesn't like it YOU got yourself one sweet ride!!!

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Quote:

$4,000? How much do you guys get to do it once?


The repair is pushing $1,000. Once you figure in the intake gaskets, valve cover gaskets, plenum gaskets, EGR gaskets, waterpump bypass o-ring, Heater pipe o-ring, t-stat and geasket, oil pump drive o-ring, injector o-rings (higher mileage vehicles), coolant flush, an oil change, and book time (I think is around 5 hrs). If they have higher miles than tack on a serp belt, maybe a tensioner, Tune-up (platnum plugs), airfilter, and a half a dozen burnt out bulbs. It adds up pretty quick!!

Ive seen them leaking pretty bad with as little as 35k - 36k. Ive also seen them at around 80k-90k. The longer you wait the worse off you can potentially be. I have had to replace many intakes due to severe pitting. I have also had to replace several heads for the same reason. I have also seen many with bad head gaskets from the overheating (more common in the 3.4). Then there a few that will take out the main bearings when coolant starts to enter the oil.

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