SageBrush wrote: ↑Tue Apr 13, 2021 6:18 pmAny 2WD stops as well as any AWD if the cars have the same tyres.
Any 2WD with winter tyres stops sooner than any AWD with non-winter tyres.
The main AWD advantage is in going uphill. I think it also has some cornering advantage, although that might be implementation dependent.
As I wrote earlier, the AWD hype is strong in America
There is one other reason for choosing AWD plus M+S or snow tires here in California, and it has nothing to do with grip and everything to do with the way chain regs are enforced. Most Californians live below 1,000 feet, so we don't have to deal with snow and ice locally. So, when we drive up to ski, the CHP and other agencies usually skip direct from R0 (no restrictions) to R2 (chains or 4/AWD with snow tires) because they know most people have little experience driving on snow & ice. On the rare occasions they go to R3, they'll probably shut the road shortly thereafter; usually they just skip R2 to closure.
Thus, 2WD with snow tires provides no convenience advantage, whatever the safety benefits, and you'd be driving them on bare pavement most of the time. I've only owned a 4 or AWD car for the past 33 years, solely so I can avoid having to put chains on when I don't need them, not because I need 4/AWD - that's probably been needed to get me up a snowy road a few times, but not enough to pay for it. I've never regretted the decision, as it prevents me from grinding my teeth and my chains down on dry pavement just to handle a few intermittent patches of snow.
Did that and broke a chain once after driving around Yosemite Valley for a week around XMAS, 40+ years ago. There were chain requirements up for the entire 14 mile valley loop, for 3 patches of snow totaling maybe 600 yards on roads which are essentially flat. A cross-link broke as I was ascending from the Valley on my way home, and the chain proceeded to wrap itself tightly around the axle, requiring that I jack up the car and remove the wheel just so I could untangle and remove the chain. Making it more fun, it was at night and headlamps hadn't become the norm, so I was holding a Mallory AA flashlight in my mouth while lying in the snow. The week of grinding had also ground the tread on my rear tires away so they were completely bald. By the time I got finished untangling everything and putting the wheel back on I was furious, to put it mildly, took the other chain off so the same thing couldn't happen again and proceeded to drive out of the park, mind you climbing and then descending on snow with bald tires 16 miles to the park boundary, without any problems whatever. If any ranger had tried to give me a ticket for not having chains on . . . well, it's a good thing that didn't happen, or I might be writing this from prison.
I don't mind putting chains on when they're needed but that's very rare for me, especially now that I cherry-pick my trips a lot more than when I was younger. Despite carrying a set of V-bar chains in my Forester on every winter trip since I bought it in 2003, IIRR I've never had to use them. But I've driven on snow and ice many times, always with contentment that I don't have to put chains on.