I fully agree that tires are the most important part of the traction equation. AWD, 4WD, locking diffs (centre or otherwise) and traction control will not help you turn or stop. Its basic physics that helps here - friction is your friend.
I find, as well, that the E is a well balanced vehicle given how short a wheel base it has (longer is generally better for stability IME). Its centre of gravity is pretty low for such a tall vehicle as well.
Lets not turn into traction snobs, however. The Honda AWD system is not garbage - it works well (within its limits) and aside from an occasional change of fluid is maintenance free. The main limitation, as has often been pointed out, is the lack of ground clearance. Drive accordingly.
I would like to see that test redone with the VSC turned off for the CRV, I'm guessing the results would be different as I have read that it is recommended that the system be turned off in that type of situation. Just curious, not trying to raise a stink.So, is the Element a balanced vehicle and that is why it does well in snow or is it because the traction control is good OR is it because the RT4wd is effective???
I keep on seeing the Subaru Youtube video showing just how ineffective the RT4wd system is on slippery surfaces. (Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooQRxlChvMw) I used to own a 1997 Honda CRV with RT4WD (1st gen) and i thought that it was a good system, but i never got the chance to try it out in the white stuff.
Cool - sounds like a true winter car!I live in Iowa and we've recently received almost 2 feet of snow all in 1-2 days and since I recently got a 2010 Element, it seemed like a good opportunity to see what it was like in the snow.
I live on some back country roads with a lot of turns, slopes, blind corners, etc and the Element handled everything beautifully. There are a few corners I remain cautious of due to previous encounters in my old car, but the Element never stepped out of line and made it around easily.
Even on slick ice, nothing trumped the Element. Not far from our house there is a hill that goes down at a 45+ degree grade and turns sharply as you go down, then when you get to the bottom, it continues to wrap around and finally goes back up hill so it basically makes a big 'U' shape. The other morning things warmed up a bit then re-froze making the curving hills look like a polished ice rink. I stopped the Element at the top, put it in first gear, then released the gas and brake and the thing crawled down without any problems or slipping. Then when I had to continue to turn and go back up the steep icy slope, I felt the front wheels slip, then the RT4WD must have kicked in because it plowed it's way back up without a problem...all this on stock tires too.
I've taken this thing through 8-10 inches of wet packed snow and it went through without any issues. I gotta say I'm impressed, for a vehicle with modest horsepower, relatively low ground clearance, and stock tires, it sure gets around in the winter very well.
I can't say much about Chevy or Dodge, but in all fairness it was physically impossible for my Ford F250 to get stuck anywhere.Definitely hasn't let me down!
Out where we live, everyone's got Ford, Chevy, and Dodge trucks, but funnily enough I see all those stuck in the snow off the side of the road while the little E just soldiers on through it.