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I do wonder why some choose a 4wd car - if it's always on-tarmac (pavement) then a 2wd with winter tyres would be more effective in many cases.
Yeah you do know why, but I know what you're saying. What I really don't understand is ridiculously wide low profile sport tyres on expensive status 4x4, that defeat the very reason you might justify owning such a car in inclement weather. I felt smugly vindicated in my choice of car as I sailed past both an X5 and a Cayenne stuck in the snows of 2011.

Several times this summer, the wading depth has been more of a concern than minimum ground clearance :mad:.
 

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Ok point taken re: the difference between off-tarmac and off-road. For my purposes, my greatest concern is being able to make it through 10-12" of snow and through some of the snow banks left a cross streets when the snow plows go by during a snow storm.

2WD may be sufficient if you rarely or ever encounter these conditions, but here in Canada, we live with snow and ice covered roads for the better part of 4 months of the year. I would take an AWD over a 2WD without hesitation (I have had both).

I agree though, that having AWD with performance tires (at least in winter months in Canada) is just a joke. That said, having winter tires is more the rule than the exception in my part of the country. I have always had a set of winter wheels and tires and always put them on before the snow flies. In fact, in the Province of Quebec, winter tires are mandatory! I hope they enact the same in some of the other provinces because those that insist on using all-season "compromise" tires on ice and snow are putting the rest of us on the road with them at risk.

So, for me (and perhaps many others), whether the clearance is 7.3 or 8.2 is not that big of a deal, because my major concern is getting through snow, not dealing with off-tarmac roads with major pot holes, uneven ground or over rocks. And, with AWD and a set of good winter tires, I will plow through just about anything mother nature normally throws at us in the winter.
 
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