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A car for winter weather

(45 Posts)
Bunbaker Mon 30-Sep-13 19:09:52

I know this is an emotive subject, but I am seriously considering buying a 4 wheel drive car.

We live on a hill in a rural area and the bad weather over the last two winters left us housebound on a number of occasions. I have been looking at a Ford Kuga and wondered what the opinion was. Or what else can anyone recommend?

Bunbaker Wed 02-Oct-13 15:04:06

Budgetwise I think I would be looking at no more than £15,000. It doesn't have to be a new car.

lljkk Wed 02-Oct-13 15:11:00

I intend to get winter tyres instead. Thanks for reminding me.
How hard is to swap tyres yourself? We are not super mechanical but we can often figure out basics.

lljkk Wed 02-Oct-13 15:11:43

ps: do you think 1 Nov about right date to swap to winter tyres? Swap back end of March, maybe?

NaturalBaby Wed 02-Oct-13 15:16:11

My sister lived at the top of a steep hill up north for years and drives a fiesta...with winter tyres. The only time she's had big issues with it is when a car park flooded while she was at work grin.
I drove dh's bmw last year in severe snow and nearly skidded off the road with my 3 dc's in the back. Everyone I told said 'oh yea, bmw's can't cope with snow and ice'. Wish I'd known before I set off that day!

BikeRunSki Wed 02-Oct-13 18:00:53

BMWs are rubbish in snow because they are rear wheel drive.

WMittens Wed 02-Oct-13 18:39:53


Do you mean swap tyres or swap wheels? Swapping wheels requires jacking the car up, unbolting wheels, removing wheels, fitting other wheels, tightening bolts (or lugnuts) - easy.

Swapping tyres involves all of the above, plus breaking the bead on the tyre, levering the bead over the rim on one side, then the other, probably fitting a new valve, brushing some tyre soap on to the new tyre, levering it on to the rim (a fucking chore if you don't have thousands of pounds worth of equipment), checking the balance of the wheel and fitting weights as required (again a chore without specialist equipment).

WMittens Wed 02-Oct-13 18:42:17

BMWs are rubbish in snow because they are rear wheel drive.

Apart from the X1, X3, X5, X6, 1-series xDrive, 3-series xDrive.

BlackMogul Wed 02-Oct-13 18:45:27

Actually I would recommend a Discovery. I did say Land Rover, not Range Rover. I have seen "soft roaders" abandoned on our hill and nearly every 2 wheel drive. BMW 5 my husband used to have was impossible! 4 x 4 of a good pedigree is definitely best.

Waswondering Wed 02-Oct-13 18:49:04

Friend who is gp in rural practice, north East Scotland, swears by a Fabia with winter tyres.

BlackMogul Wed 02-Oct-13 18:52:37

OP - given your budget I would look at a 2nd hand freelander. I have had Land Rovers for 20 years and they have not gone wrong. I have them serviced and they have all been reliable. My current Discovery never puts a foot wrong and neither did the last one. The roads you have to deal with seem difficult. We have spent years agonising over snow car vs rest of the year car and I think you have to drive what you really like for the majority of the time.

lljkk Wed 02-Oct-13 18:58:00

I meant swapping wheels I think! Sorry, is that too expensive to do ourselves?

Waferthinmint Wed 02-Oct-13 19:24:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BikeRunSki Wed 02-Oct-13 19:25:47

Ok, I stand corrected on the BMWs. Just repeating what the petrolheads at work told me last time it snowed and the managers all had to abandon their Mark 5s at the bottom of the hill.

WMittens Wed 02-Oct-13 19:50:04

I did say Land Rover, not Range Rover.

You said Range Rovers at one point too, which is why I mentioned it.

I don't think Freelanders are particularly reliable - they're a different beast to a Discovery.

OP, £15K is a hell of a wedge, there's a huge amount of choice at that point. You can get a brand new Dacia Duster 4x4 for a little over £11K.

octanegirl Thu 03-Oct-13 11:20:30

BikeRunSki I think you mean 5 series not Mark 5's ;) Unless you meant a Golf?

£15k is LOADS. You can literally buy anything you want!

Personally I'd always buy an older German 4x4 or LandRover model over a newer Japanese/other offering - and a new Duster would be very far down my list. I like quality interiors and cars that are built to last. Jap cars are built to last but don't generally have particularly nice cabins. Duster - eww.

BikeRunSki Thu 03-Oct-13 12:45:51

Yes, I meant 5 series. Not great on cars, but I can tell a Golf from a BMW.

duckyfuzz Thu 03-Oct-13 19:36:02

mittens bmws with winter tyres on are great in the snow grin

WMittens Thu 03-Oct-13 21:45:41

Duster - eww.

What? Romania's finest.

Hey, I was going to suggest a Lada Niva.

thenightsky Thu 03-Oct-13 21:48:16

I've had no issues since I got myself a Subaru all wheel drive Impreza which I swap onto winter tyres once the temperature drops to below about 5c for more than a week consecutively. Its been rock steady on solid ice and I've not missed a day of work, despite living 15 miles away down rural untreated roads.

Love winter tyres (Vredestein Wintrac Extreme) and my Scooby.

WMittens Thu 03-Oct-13 21:49:29


mittens bmws with winter tyres on are great in the snow

I have no doubt, and I'm fairly certain I'll be sampling the same in the future.

For now I'll stick to an AWD Impreza on winter tyres (well, when the temperature drops).

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