Tires make all the difference. Buy chains if you want but chances are that you'll never need them. I rarely ever see passenger vehicles with chains on anyways. My girlfriends car was a way scary ride in the high country on the other had my old ride ,Honda Civic, (before I bought my WRX) was perfectly at home in even the worst conditions with the right winter tires. Don't try to save money on tires. You get what you pay for! Also cary a shovel and some a bucket of salt. It can get you out of any jam. 4wd vehicles help but a fwd will get you just about anywhere as long as you are a competent driver. Good luck.