Last post on Sep 06, 2012 at 11:31 AM
You are in the Volkswagen Jetta
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Volkswagen Jetta, Wagon
#237 of 246 Re: Jetta Wagon in the snow [carteach]
May 26, 2012 (6:03 pm)
My experience is that the VW FWD TDI's with ESP and studless winter tires are superior to AWD rigs with all season or mud and snow tires on ice and snow. In the past eight years my greatest challenges driving Cascade Mountain passes in blizzards has been getting around the AWD and 4WD SUV's and crossovers that get stuck going uphill or end up in the middle of the road after spinning out. Studless winter tires mounted on winter steel wheels are less expensive than an AWD option, and the FWD versions of almost all models get better fuel mileage than the AWD versions year around. Of course, an AWD rig with studless winter tires and traction control and stability control would be optimal for winter conditions. But who drives in snow and ice all year long? We've owned two 4WD SUV's with stock all season tires, and I would chose any of the 3 VW TDI's we have owned over either SUV in a blizzard. I have chosen to invest in the studless winter tires for traction in the winter and still benefit from the better fuel mileage throughout the year. I have driven Audi Quattro's, and I appreciate the improved handling AWD provides on most road conditions, but I don't drive that aggressively anymore. By the way, before the advent of traction control and stability control, FWD Audi's were found to outperform AWD Audi's in cornering and braking on ice. The Quattro's were better at accelerating and hill climbing on ice. Would I trade our Jetta TDI Sportwagen for an AWD version if VW made it? Nope.
May 29, 2012 (11:55 am)
I concur. I have studless snows for all three of my vehicles and much prefer it to AWD with regular all seasons.
It is amazing how few people realize that for every uphill there is a down hill and for every acceleration there is a deceleration. AWD does nothing for you most of the time. On top of that not being able to stop is much worse than not being able to go. 4 snow tires help you all of the time, not just some of the time.
Of course if you run snows with awd you have the total package - congrats. I would still prefer fwd for the added economy.
#239 of 246 Re: - [dudleyr]
May 29, 2012 (2:08 pm)
If the roads are icy, the only thing that helps is knowing how to drive on it. Those Alaska troopers seem to do fine with rwd and snow tires. Skill, technique and experience are a factor few factor into the equation , hence all those awds' in the ditch.
May 30, 2012 (4:37 pm)
I concur with the lat couple appenders. *MOST* people do not need AWD vehicle.
Contrary to what the TV ads tell us, on pavement there is absolutely no benefit to having AWD.
Cars have ALWAYS had 4-wheel brakes, so AWD does nothing to help you stop.
Also, AWD adds weight, complexity and more moving parts to a car... all of which detract from MPG while adding expense.
With that said, I live in Vermont and Subaru is the most popular vehicle (perhaps every 3rd vehicle is Subie) Vermont has a lot of dirt (mud) roads which may not even be plowed in the winter.
#241 of 246 Re: AWD -vs- FWD [bpeebles]
May 30, 2012 (4:43 pm)
So, just to clarify. Are you comfortable driving a FWD with snow tires in Vermont? As comfortable as you would be in a Subaru? I live in CT where we get a considerable amount of snow though not as much as you do. I also have a 1,000 foot driveway.
Do you drive a Jetta?
#242 of 246 Comfortable snow driving [carteach]
May 30, 2012 (5:01 pm)
You asked "Are you comfortable driving a FWD with snow tires in Vermont? "
ABSOLUTELY comfortable! (even without "snow" tires) I learned how to drive on snow-covered roads. I taught my kids to drive on the snow by FORCING them to slide around in empty parking-lots. (I would grab the parking-brake and then let them recover the skid) They have since thanked me several times when they found themselves sliding and knew EXACTLY what to do without any fear.
My *only* fear on snow-covered roads is out-of-staters who have no clue what they are doing and tend to slide into other cars.
I will say that the ESP on my VW almost makes snow-driving not fun because it will not slide sideways. The ESP is uncanny at keeping the vehicle from getting into a slide.
Do not forget that VW has a lot more than you may expect
ESP - Electronic Stability Program
Contains all of the following abilities:
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
Anti-slip Regulation (ASR)
Electronic Differential Lock (EDL)
These all work together when you accelerate in the snow.
The EDL system will apply brakes to the wheel which is trying to spin. This forces the torque to the OTHER wheel.
If that does not work, The ASR will cut the throttle to keep the tires from spinning.
I can attest that all these fancy systems work together to make driving a FWD VW in the snow very mundane and uneventful. I can dump the clutch and mash the throttle... and the vehicle will simply pull away from a stop smoothly with no spinning of the front wheels...and in s STRAIGHT line.
#243 of 246 Cargo crossbars?
Sep 05, 2012 (11:52 am)
Just bought a 2013 JSW TDI. My 1st diesel & so far very impressed. Apparently, not allowed to tow anything with the DSG tranny ( although I read that's somewhat bogus, as it's allowed on the same cars sold in Europe ). Planning a trip, so plan to use one of those cargo carriers on the roof rack. VW locally wants about $350 just for the two cross bars that attach to the rails. That seems a bit steep to me. Has anybody tried any aftermarket crossbars they're either happy or unhappy with? I can't seem to find many reviews on these things online.
#244 of 246 Re: Cargo crossbars? [tuckerdog]
Sep 05, 2012 (2:46 pm)
You can probably google the crossbars and get a less expensive model. Be aware that the load on the roof can seriously affect stability and handling on the interstate. Passing trucks and crosswinds can make things real uncomfortable. I speak from experience using one on a vw golf. They do have light weight trailers that can handle a lot of gear --- that might be an option -- or rent a minivan or pack real light.
#245 of 246 Re: Cargo crossbars? [tuckerdog]
Sep 05, 2012 (6:31 pm)
Look at the crossbars that can be bought in a package with car top carriers made by Yakima, Thule, and others. These manufacturers often recommend the use of their own crossbars to assure proper fit. From personal experience, I can tell you that car top carriers, small station wagons, and cross winds make for not-so-excellent adventures.
Sep 06, 2012 (11:31 am)
Thanks for the replies. I already have a small trailer I'd love to tow. Been dragging it along for years behind my '02 Subaru Outback Sport. But worried about the possibility of a warranty denial if I towed it. The Yakima & Thule options are just as costly ( if not more ) than the VW bars. I was just wondering if anybody here had already bought some less expensive aftermarket bars & what they thought of them ( good or bad ).