So how good are Subie's in the snow....really?
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This is a discussion on So how good are Subie's in the snow....really? within the Everyday Impreza Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; HA HA you're probably wondering why I'm asking this in the beginning of July when it's 90 degrees outside. There's ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Super-G's Avatar
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    So how good are Subie's in the snow....really?

    HA HA you're probably wondering why I'm asking this in the beginning of July when it's 90 degrees outside. There's a method to my madness so hear me out.

    Here's my scenario. Back in early 1996 I bought a brand new (leftover) 95 Ford Bronco. It's been my daily driver for the past 18 years and frankly has served me well other than being a gas hog. It's a fantastic truck in the snow and has NEVER met a snowstorm it couldn't handle. 3 feet of snow is nothing to this truck. It has been good for a variety of other uses as well. It has a class III hitch and a tow package and I've used it to tow my 68 Firebird back and forth from the body shop when it was being painted. I also have a 14' aluminum bass fishing boat at our vacation home in the Pocono Mountains and I've used the Bronco to tow the boat to various lakes in the area and it's NEVER gotten stuck or had any issues getting to any of the various lakes I fish at or backing down into the water to drop or pull the boat out. It also has the option to remove the rear seat and with that removed, it pretty much acts just like a pick up allowing me to haul around a wide variety of items.

    With all that being said, the Bronco also has 151,000 miles and seems a little tired. It also has developed some body rust and frankly after driving the same vehicle for the past 18 years I was ready for a change. About 2 weeks ago at a family party I got to talking with a few guys about cars and long story short, I bought my 02 WRX from a family friend. Basically I bought it because it is a one owner, dealer maintained car, with only 57,000 miles. I've had the car now for about 10 days and I'm enjoying the Hell out of it. That being said, it's a sport wagon and not a Bronco. I'm OK with it not being able to do some things that the Bronco did because my wife has an 02 Toyota 4 Runner which has a tow package and a large cargo area just like the Bronco. Not to mention that the 4 Runner is awesome in the snow as well. The 4 Runner is an excellent truck and can realistically do everything that the Bronco can and it's 10 times nicer to drive.

    Last night I was talking to a friend who asked if I'd be willing to sell my Bronco. Right now it's just sitting in the street and I've had mixed feelings about whether to keep it or toss it up on eBay. My thoughts were to either take it up to my vacation home and leave it up there to serve as a snow/tow vehicle, or sell it in the fall when people are starting to think about snow coming.

    The one reason I've always loved my Bronco is because how damn good this thing is off road and in the snow. I've heard that Subaru's are really good in the snow but don't have any real world experience. Any feedback or opinions?

    This is my Bronco....

    Greg
    2002 WRX wagon bone stock 57,000 original miles
    68 Firebird 428, 4 speed, 12 bolt rear w 3:73 gears
    29 Ford Pickup 350, Tremec 5 speed, 9" rear 3:89 gears

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  3. #2
    Registered User MercRising's Avatar
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    The only issues you'll have in the snow that will differ from the Bronco, with proper tires of course, will be clearance issues once you get up around 8+ inches of accumulation on the roads. Other than that, Suby = snowmobile I have spent several years in Imprezas, now my Impreza wrx, and we own a 2012 Outback too. All of these cars are extremely capable in 99% of the snow amounts I've come in contact with on public roads.

    For some qualification, I've lived in the Denver area for about 10 years now and before that I was up near the ski areas west of Denver. I've owned 2 jeep Cherokees and a full size Z71 Chevy Silverado pickup too. I do still wish I had a legit 4x4 truck for offroading and major clearence over obstacles but, from strictly snow perspective....the height issues are your ONLY concern given you have appropriate tires.

    GL with it, these cars are real fun and safe in the slippery white stuff if yo know how to drive!

  4. #3
    \_(ツ)_/ Rambo's Avatar
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    With a proper set of snow tires, the only limiting factor I experienced in my WRX was ground clearance. I easily navigated unplowed roads where Jeep Wranglers were stuck.

    The key is proper tires for the job. All seasons do not count, and summer tires are downright dangerous in cold conditions, let alone snow. If you don't already have them, a good set of snow tires w/wheels are an excellent first investment in the car.
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    Registered User Dustin1232's Avatar
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    What kind of snow tire/rim combo would u guys suggest?

  6. #5
    Registered User MercRising's Avatar
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    Cheap steel wheels and Blizzaks...if you really live in a snow prone area. Tire Rack and Discount fire sell packages like that for pretty reasonable $$.

    If you only get occasional snow, I've had good luck with Continental DWS (Dry Wet Snow) tires. They're and all season and do require slower speeds and more distance to stop though, they are by no means a full on snow tire, really an all season. But, great long milage tires that function well in all conditions, just not as great as a snow specific tire....go figure.

  7. #6
    Registered User tirerob's Avatar
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    i drove my 02 wagon home during the WORST snowstorm in recent montana history. 7 hour trip turned into 23 and a overnight stay. that was on crapped out all seasons. never had problems except on snow plow polished pack ice and that was solved by slow driving. i immediately purchased a oversized( 225-50-16) set of firestone winterforce snow tires and even left them unstudded. never got stuck or even slipped. busted some huge drifts too. anything taller than the headlights-avoid, plastic bumper. this was my upgrade from driving a 84 camaro for the last 17 years so the awd and Not drifting every snow covered corner is GREAT.

    damm nice bronco though. damm nice! put a gnarly @## snow plow on the front and let it lurk in the garage so you can plow your driveway out to the street so the go fast car can hit pavement without climbing over the wall the city just made for you!
    Last edited by tirerob; 07-06-2013 at 04:29 PM.

  8. #7
    Registered User Super-G's Avatar
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    Thanks! I took the Bronco out for a ride today to pick up a few things and what a difference from the WRX. The Bronco is just such a "truck" compared to the WRX.

    I think what I'm going to do is take the Bronco up to the Pocono home and leave it there. It's awesome in the snow and we do get some decent snow up there. Plus it really is great for dropping my fishing boat into different lakes. The great thing about the Bronco is that I can roll the back window down and back deep into the lake to drop the boat off. Then I just climb out the back window and unhook the boat.

    Plus it can't hurt to have an extra 4WD truck.
    Greg
    2002 WRX wagon bone stock 57,000 original miles
    68 Firebird 428, 4 speed, 12 bolt rear w 3:73 gears
    29 Ford Pickup 350, Tremec 5 speed, 9" rear 3:89 gears

  9. #8
    Registered User twister8008's Avatar
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    +1 to ground clearance issues. I could get around with 10 inches on the ground when others could not in trucks.
    Yellow lights mean go faster!!!

  10. #9
    Registered User WRX1371's Avatar
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    I took my 05 to northern Michigan during a blizzard and never lost control of it once. Everyone else was doing like 2 mph, but I was able to travel much quicker because of the superb traction.
    Semper Fidelis
    Last edited by WRX1371; 07-06-2013 at 11:43 PM.

  11. #10
    and the Funky Bunch Calvinball's Avatar
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  12. #11
    slow no mo' ! Shoopster's Avatar
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    Lots of videos online of WRX's pulling other cars out of the snow!

    cop car NYC snow storm
    2010 NYC Snow Storm SUBYKING Subaru Impreza pulls out NYPD Highway Patrol - YouTube

    stuck truck
    Subura WRX STI pulls 14 wheeler out of snow - YouTube
    Last edited by Shoopster; 07-07-2013 at 06:16 AM. Reason: Suburas are rare, though.
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    Registered User irvin787878's Avatar
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    Super-g. I had my wrx for about 4 yrs. I work for Pa DOT as an equipment operator. My wrx was my DD so when it snowed in Pa I went to work. Well i went in when they decided to call us. Going to work and home all different times during all of the Pa snow storms. I never had any issues with my wrx with various depths of snow and I didn't even have dedicated snow tires. I just had some all season tires that were on it when I bought it. So I have to agree with everyone.
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  14. #13
    Registered User Ampliified's Avatar
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    Definitely very capable car in the snow just get snow tires so you can turn and stop... basic stuff.
    2012 DGM WRX - Stage Two 93 - Stink Eye Mob #908
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  15. #14
    Lando Calrissian DemonWRX's Avatar
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    As others have said, Subaru AWD in the snow is a dream with snow tires. I live in Pittsburgh, so I get snow every year and have lots of hills to drive....Each year I go out for drives in the snow just for fun and see a lot of 4x4 trucks and SUVs that are stuck, while I have had no issues whatsoever. As long as the snow is not deep enough to act as a wall, you can drive almost anywhere you could on dry ground.

    For snow tires, best bang for buck is General Altimax Arctic. You can normally get them for about $100 a tire, and they will out perform Blizzack. If you are a 'best I can get' tire of guy, Nokian Hekkapalita are the best snow tires, but will cost about a grand.
    Stink-Eye Mob #39
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  16. #15
    slow no mo' ! Shoopster's Avatar
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    *hakkapeliitta and they're frickin' AWESOME!!
    Last edited by Shoopster; 07-07-2013 at 07:47 AM. Reason: and studded? ZOMG AWD!
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