Do you need winters tyres even if you have a 4WD?

While numerous individuals believe that 4-wheel drive is sufficient to take on perilous snowy and icy conditions, however, this is not true, you still need winter tyres.

With regards to braking, accelerating, cornering, and most importantly traction winter tyres play a grand role and nothing can substitute that not even a 4WD vehicle. While 4-WD has its points of advantage, genuine winter tyres bestow you with principal leverage in terms of overall handling and safety.

Understanding the four-wheel-drive framework and its subclasses

Four-wheel drive

Four-wheel drive is frequently alluded to as 4WD or 4X4. As opposed to AWD frameworks, 4WD frameworks distributes power equally to every one of the four wheels, irrespective of their traction. 4WD can be activated full time or on-demand.

4WD is frequently found on pickup trucks and huge SUVs intended for broad rough terrain driving. Four-wheel drive functions admirably for individuals who live in country regions, which institutes uneven and snowy terrains.

Many truck-based 4WD frameworks additionally have a low apparatus setting which can be helpful for handling steep slopes. For extremely rough terrains, the mix of four-wheel drive with winter tyres can be significant to winter driving.

All-wheel drive

All-wheel drive alludes to a fully automatic four-wheel-drive framework where the vehicle automatically chooses two or four-wheel drive according to the street conditions.

AWD vehicles commonly transmit most of the vehicle’s power to the front or back wheels under ordinary driving conditions. In elusive conditions, the vehicle transmits power to the individual wheels in regards to their traction. This is particularly useful for escaping heavy snow in parking spaces or handling rough terrains.

In any case, drivers should remember AWD does little to help in terms of braking and cornering in icy and snowy conditions versus a two-wheel-drive vehicle outfitted with all-season tyres.

AWD is especially useful for helping with increasing speed on smooth surfaces.

Front-wheel drive

Front-wheel drive is commonly known as FWD. Mostly hybrids and passenger vehicles are outfitted with front-wheel drive.

This can be a decent alternative for driving in snow since the vast majority of the vehicle’s weight is over the two driving wheels that are responsible for traction.

In an FWD vehicle, basically the front two wheels are pulling the vehicle along, that is why the vehicle is less inclined to encounter over-steer (over-steering happens when the back of the vehicle sliding out when cornering and causing a lot more keen turn than wanted).

When FWD is combined with a set of good winter tyres, the vehicle can perform far more effectively on snowy conditions.

Rear-wheel drive

Rear-wheel drive is commonly known as RWD. RWD framework can be found on vehicles such as truck-based SUVs and trucks.

RWD performs effectively in ideal conditions since the front wheels are in charge of controlling while the back wheels are entrusted with power. Back wheel drive is frequently less perfect for driving in the icy and snowy conditions.

Much of the time, RWD vehicles have less weight over the determined wheels than an FWD, AWD or 4WD vehicle, so they will have more trouble quickening on frigid streets and a more noteworthy probability of losing control of the back of the vehicle.

A decent arrangement of winter tyres can be colossal assistance in giving these vehicles secure footing and overall handling within cold and frosty conditions.

However, RWD is less normal in present-day cars.

How to choose car/tyre combination

The type of wheel framework that you want depends upon the region you live in and type of terrain you drive on. On the off chance that you live in a region that sees overwhelming snowfall, the best alternative will be 4WD or AWD combined with great winter tyres.

Below is a table to help you choose a perfect blend of car and tyre in order to tackle snow and icy terrain effectively and securely:

Terrain Zone Appropriate Vehicle Tyre to be used
Moderate snow and Ice City driving FWD and RWD Winter tyres
Heavy snow City & Occasionally rural driving AWD Winter tyres
Deep snow and Unplowed roads Rural Driving 4WD (Low gear setting) and AWD Winter tyres

Top AWD and 4WD vehicles

Following are some of the best AWD and 4WD vehicles:

  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • Dodge Ram 1500
  • Ford Explorer
  • Ford F-150
  • Honda CR-V
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Lexus RX 350
  • Mercedes-Benz C300
  • Nissan Rogue

Winter tyres

As per various tests conducted; by Jonathan Benson’s, at Goodyear’s facility in northern Finland; by PitStopArabia, an online tyre store in Dubai; and by various other reputable individuals, tyre vendors, and manufacturers winter tyres are the single most important factor that creates a huge difference in performance of the vehicle on snowy and icy terrain. A winter tyre makes an AWD or 4WD vehicle significantly progressively proficient in a winter climate.

Winter tyres outfitted with the latest technology enable you to drive unhesitatingly even in the awful climate. Following are some of the most renowned and reliable winter tyres:

Studless Ice & Snow

  • Yokohama iceGUARD iG20
  • Michelin X-Ice Xi3
  • Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT
  • Dunlop Winter Maxx WM01
  • Bridgestone Blizzak WS80
  • Bridgestone Blizzak WS60

Studdable Winter / Snow

  • Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter
  • General Altimax Arctic 12
  • Firestone Winterforce 2
  • Firestone Winterforce

 Performance Winter / Snow

  • Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II
  • Pirelli Winter Sottozero
  • Pirelli Winter Snowcontrol Serie 3
  • Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
  • Goodyear Eagle Ultra Grip GW-3
  • Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D
  • Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
  • Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32

Light Truck/SUV Studless Ice & Snow

  • Yokohama iceGUARD iG51v
  • Yokohama Geolandar I/T G072
  • Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2
  • Bridgestone Blizzak W965
  • Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2


Having a 4WD, AWD, FWD, or RWD vehicle is not enough, you also need a reliable 4WD or odd-road tyres to get through that snowy or icy terrain. That is why it is always a great idea to buy winter and enhance your overall driving experience while ensuring safety.

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