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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am moving to Vermont and have to choose an all wheel drive non Pickup truck as the snow is rumored to be a fierce issue.

The Element was on the top of the list before the decision to move!

How does the element perform in deep snow.

How is the all wheel drive?

Right now I have an Elantra GT, and a 2 wheel drive 91 F250 Diesel and if I shovel the bed full of snow right after it snows, I seems as if 4X4 is not needed.

I have even been in snow so deep that I have plowed snow with the front bumper and rammed through road side snow banks to get around accidents buried in them!

My Elantra GT is not so deep snow friendly!
 

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It depends on what you consider deep. The AWD works OK on a snow-covered road until the snow is dense and reaches all the junk that hangs down underneath.

But it's not like a Jeep or a Ridgeline.
 

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I am moving to Vermont and have to choose an all wheel drive non Pickup truck as the snow is rumored to be a fierce issue.

The Element was on the top of the list before the decision to move!

How does the element perform in deep snow.

How is the all wheel drive?

Right now I have an Elantra GT, and a 2 wheel drive 91 F250 Diesel and if I shovel the bed full of snow right after it snows, I seems as if 4X4 is not needed.

I have even been in snow so deep that I have plowed snow with the front bumper and rammed through road side snow banks to get around accidents buried in them!

My Elantra GT is not so deep snow friendly!
I drove across a mountain pass in south central Idaho last December with about 8" of snow on it in my E with just the standard tires and had no problems. I didn't stop, so I don't know if I would have gotten stuck. The snow was pretty light and fluffy. I've never been to Vermont, so I don't know what kind of snow they have there. I'm pretty happy with my E-I live in north central Washington and we have snow here in winter.
 

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Call in sick..............
 

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Get a good set of snow tires, drive conservatively (the E is NOT a snow plow or an ice track racer) and you will be fine.

One of the best winter vehicles I have ever owned - if driven within its limits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, it seem that the Subaru is vary popular out there and considered manditory.
I would think that the Element with AWD should do as well as the Subaru taking into account that ground clearance is close to what the Element has.

Subaru Outback is 8.4" to 8.7"
Subaru Legacy is 5.9"
Honda Element is 6.9" with standard tires.

Adding a set of slightly taller winter/snow tires to the Element should be all I should need.
 

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The Subaru AWD system is more sophisticated than the Element's but, as I said before, the Es system works well enough if its limits are understood and taken into consideration.

Snow tires and sensible driving will take you a lot further than AWD in the majority of situations anyway IME.
 

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Vermont Snow

I live in Massachusetts but go to Killington to ski all winter. The Element is amazing in the snow. I don't know if you're familiar with the Killington area at all... but if you are... you know the hill at the base of the Killington Access Road? Well one morning it was really bad... there were like 3 or 4 cars stuck in the middle of the hill... and then the Nissan Frontier in front of us spun out... and with us in the E... you never would have known we were going up a snowy hill. It rocked!! We have never had a problem in the snow with the Element... or even with ice. It has been awesome. I had the stock tires on it from '05 to '09... it wasn't until a few months ago that I upgraded. I highly recommend the Element to you... you won't regret it.
 

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just need to throw out 1 more thought...

getting moving is what most folks think of first, but stopping is more important.
so, if you're going to be dealing w/ a lot of snow, make sure you have tires that can maintain grip in snow, so that you'll be able to stop. and once you have the correct tires, there won't be that much difference among 4WD, AWD and FWD.

yeah, snow driving advice from a guy who lives in San Diego. <grin>
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
just need to throw out 1 more thought...

getting moving is what most folks think of first, but stopping is more important.
so, if you're going to be dealing w/ a lot of snow, make sure you have tires that can maintain grip in snow, so that you'll be able to stop. and once you have the correct tires, there won't be that much difference among 4WD, AWD and FWD.

yeah, snow driving advice from a guy who lives in San Diego. <grin>
Well, you live there now, but that does not imply that you were there all along, and you just MIGHT have lived in Fairbanks Alaska for all we know.

And you are right, snow traction works both ways, but I feel that inertia and it's consequences is more of an issue with snow braking performance.
 

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this car is great in the sno. but something to keep in mind the exhaust hangs down kinda low. i wacked mine and dented it on a rock. doesnt seen to effect anything but made me cautious. i have been an avid sno boarder for years and have gone out in some incredable blizards and even with frozen roads and 2-3 foot drifts it cant be stopped. the thing i keep in mind is SLOW. i mean nothing fast should ever be done on snow and ice. and the 4wd kicks in its posi-traction and will throw u sideways if ur not careful. but kinda fun if you know what your doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
this car is great in the snow. but something to keep in mind the exhaust hangs down kinda low. i whacked mine and dented it on a rock. doesn't seen to effect anything but made me cautious.
I Have read that the stock exhaust is vary restrictive so it should be swapped out anyway, right?

i have been an avid snow boarder for years and have gone out in some incredible blizzards and even with frozen roads and 2-3 foot drifts it cant be stopped. the thing i keep in mind is SLOW. i mean nothing fast should ever be done on snow and ice. and the 4wd kicks in its positraction and will throw u sideways if your not careful. but kinda fun if you know what your doing.
Well, driving a 1991, 7.3 Diesel F250 that is terribly nose heavy, and in the Chicago winter no less.
I love to slip and slide around when there's no one else near enough to be effected.
However, last winter there was one time the loss of traction actually frightened me.
It was like a bull ran into the left side and instantly my truck aimed straight at the other side of a 2 lane road pointed directly at an on coming SUV!
I can't see how I missed it!
 

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AWD pulls to side in ice and snow, requires constant compensation

Hi
I was wondering if anyone else has experiences a phenomenon of Element AWD in snow / ice conditions.
It is intermittent problem.
The front wheels sway or pull to one side ...I compensate...then pulls again.... too and fro as it pulls back after straightening.
It is an alarming condition when driving on icy highway
any ideas
thank you
 

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Welcome, Pier.

Sounds like torque steer to me, or else the road conditions vary enough to give one wheel purchase over the other. You didn't say at what speed this occurs, but if it happens while taking off from a stop, try starting out in second gear. Can be a little hard on the clutch, but sends less torque to the wheels.
 

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If not at start and not when hitting a patch of ice, it could be response to cross wind.

Regardless, if it happens to you frequently, you are driving too hard for conditions. Loosen up and slow down. ?
 
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