Susuki SX4 4 WD versus a 2 WD motor with Winter Tyres

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Susuki SX4 4 WD versus a 2 WD motor with Winter Tyres

Post by einhorn » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:45 pm


So I've been bullied by she who must be obeyed to replace my trusty Peugeot 309 diesel (dog in snow) for a motor which is good at coping in snow/icy conditions as we live about 200 m down a lane which although ploughed (not gritted) can as a consequence get pretty icy/hard packed snow (in tyre tracks) and its uphill on a gradual incline to the main drag. Plus of course our 50 m long drive which does not get cleared. Been looking at small SUV's, test drove Panda 4 WD but although ticked most of the box's just found the seats too uncomfortable. Now considering Suzuki SX4 4WD which has Electronic Stability Programme. HOWEVER Honest John states "on snow and ice ESP is normally best switched off because it can fight a drivers reactions to a skid in super slippery conditions". Rather pointless than in those conditions!!

So I am in a bit of a quandry as apart from periods of snow/ice here in the UK I hardly ever off road or have need for 4WD. Considering what Honest John says about ESP would I be better off with fitting all four winter tyres to a 2 WD motor. I regularly travel to Norway (cross country skiing) and many cars seem to be 2 WD (with winter tyres I guess).

We also have a 10 year old Yaris with narrowish summer tyres which is pretty nifty in snow (always over tarmac of course) but of course has limited use when conditions get worse.

Certainly appreciate any thoughts you might have on this one.

All the best,


Left a Bit
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Re: Susuki SX4 4 WD versus a 2 WD motor with Winter Tyres

Post by Left a Bit » Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:37 am

A 2wd with winter tyres will be better in bad weather than a 4wd on normal tyres.

The 4wd may still edge it slightly for outright traction but the winter tyres will give massively better braking and cornering grip.

Mike Arthur
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Re: Susuki SX4 4 WD versus a 2 WD motor with Winter Tyres

Post by Mike Arthur » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:39 am

It is worth pointing out that modern 4x4's with traction control, such as post 2000 LR Discoveries, are extremely capable in such conditions. However, for your needs it would seem that decent tyres on a 2wd, with a set of chains for worst case, would be quite adequate.
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Tim Tennant
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Re: Susuki SX4 4 WD versus a 2 WD motor with Winter Tyres

Post by Tim Tennant » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:24 pm

I have fitted winter tyres to a BMW 120d. (manual)

There are winter tyres & winter tyres the first ones I had on the rear were useless - I now have Michelin Aplin 4's on the rear. I eventually got stuck going uphill in seven inches of snow when the car bellied out! (Once I had switches off the traction control).

My son has the same tyres on the front of an L reg diesel golf & its performance is equally impressive in the snow. 8)

My P38 Range Rover (automatic) on General Grabber all terrains (old style) however beats the lot with traction control on. Incidentally I am on course to get 50,000 miles from these tyres.
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