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Picked up my 2005 Honda CR-V SE with 69,000 miles on it, it now has 116,000 on it, and countless trips from Long Island to VT without a single hiccup, great car in the snow.

With the racks on top I can easily fit four adults with room for gear and clothes in the back for 3-4 day trips.

Car will last way past 200,000 miles no problem, one of the best snow vehicles you can buy for the money.

Only complaints are its slow AF and the mpg could be better considering the lack of power.

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Thinking about getting a Nissan NV to convert to a camper, but not sure about the rear wheel drive trying to get to the mountains?

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Thinking about getting a Nissan NV to convert to a camper, but not sure about the rear wheel drive trying to get to the mountains?

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I'm biased and prefer 2 wheel rwd to fwd...and in many cases even to 4wd. Grew up with rwd and learned how to drive in muddy cattle feedlots. In many cases 2 wheel rwd drive is just as effective and will keep you out of trouble (due to being over confidence) when compared to 4wd. Fwd works ok for level ground, but for going up and down, there is a more narrow window. Meaning on Fwd, going up hill, if you have to stop, it harder to get going again...and going down hill, if you have to stop, there is a tendency for your rear end to break loose and swing around...(which is also the case for rwd...but you can goose it or drop down to a lower gear and get the ass end to drag or do a power-slide...hope that makes sense). 4wd is great and works on the same principles as 2 wheel rear drive. The only advantage is that you can get some driving bite with the front tires instead of being pushed by 2 rear wd. The disadvantage is the cost and maintenance, sometimes weight of 4wd (more weight/mass to stop) and more often than not...one becomes over confidence and thus gets in to trouble more quickly. There are 3 main things to be aware of that will result in very effective winter driving to/from the mtns with 2 rear wheel drive.

1 skills and judgement...which mainly consist of driving within the limits of the snow/ice road conditions. Having good judgement, leaving plenty of space between cars (going both up and down) and patience/take your time. The secret is keep going...even just barely rolling (don't spin your tires...feather your gas pedal), that way you maintain steering control and your momentum (going up hill). Don't lock up the brakes/wheels (= no control)...instead use the drag on the engine. Best control is to have a manual transmission and if you have automatic transmission...use the gears. On AT use 2nd gear for going up and going down, use a lower gear so that you can maintain engine drag instead of using your brakes. In essence drive with your gas pedal and gears...and avoid using your brakes.

2 weight, distribute the weight evenly and some weight over your rear wheels.

3 snowtires and a set of chains for the rear...have good snow tires on all 4 tires and a set of chains for the rear. I've only put on the chains like 4 times (for only about the last 5 miles up the hill) in 18 years.

Btw just a dad that has taught my kids to drive up/down Baker, so that I can nap to and from the hill. My technique was driving them up and down the hill for years. Then would be fully awake the first time they drove up and down the hill. The second time they drove..."I'm taking a nap...get me to the hill/home in one piece...I have every confidence you can do it." That first drive often took a long time...resulting in a long refreshing nap...LoL.

edit: Get real chains, don't use the wimpy ass cables or new socks. I use the "Alpine Premier" from Les Schwab. Then drive sensibly, i.e., slow, and don't spin the wheels nor lock them up and chains will last you decades. And if you can't get through with rwd and chains, ya probably shouldn't be going. The gnarls is 4wd with chains on all 4 (which I've done when snowplowing county roads)...not many folks do that but there is not much advantage in actuality...and your better judgement should have over-ridden this option.
 

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I'm biased and prefer 2 wheel rwd to fwd...and in many cases even to 4wd. Grew up with rwd and learned how to drive in muddy cattle feedlots. In many cases 2 wheel rwd drive is just as effective and will keep you out of trouble (due to being over confidence) when compared to 4wd. Fwd works ok for level ground, but for going up and down, there is a more narrow window. Meaning on Fwd, going up hill, if you have to stop, it harder to get going again...and going down hill, if you have to stop, there is a tendency for your rear end to break loose and swing around...(which is also the case for rwd...but you can goose it or drop down to a lower gear and get the ass end to drag or do a power-slide...hope that makes sense). 4wd is great and works on the same principles as 2 wheel rear drive. The only advantage is that you can get some driving bite with the front tires instead of being pushed by 2 rear wd. The disadvantage is the cost and maintenance, sometimes weight of 4wd (more weight/mass to stop) and more often than not...one becomes over confidence and thus gets in to trouble more quickly. There are 3 main things to be aware of that will result in very effective winter driving to/from the mtns with 2 rear wheel drive.

1 skills and judgement...which mainly consist of driving within the limits of the snow/ice road conditions. Having good judgement, leaving plenty of space between cars (going both up and down) and patience/take your time. The secret is keep going...even just barely rolling (don't spin your tires...feather your gas pedal), that way you maintain steering control and your momentum (going up hill). Don't lock up the brakes/wheels (= no control)...instead use the drag on the engine. Best control is to have a manual transmission and if you have automatic transmission...use the gears. On AT use 2nd gear for going up and going down, use a lower gear so that you can maintain engine drag instead of using your brakes. In essence drive with your gas pedal and gears...and avoid using your brakes.

2 weight, distribute the weight evenly and some weight over your rear wheels.

3 snowtires and a set of chains for the rear...have good snow tires on all 4 tires and a set of chains for the rear. I've only put on the chains like 4 times (for only about the last 5 miles up the hill) in 18 years.

Btw just a dad that has taught my kids to drive up/down Baker, so that I can nap to and from the hill. My technique was driving them up and down the hill for years. Then would be fully awake the first time they drove up and down the hill. The second time they drove..."I'm taking a nap...get me to the hill/home in one piece...I have every confidence you can do it." That first drive often took a long time...resulting in a long refreshing nap...LoL.

edit: Get real chains, don't use the wimpy ass cables or new socks. I use the "Alpine Premier" from Les Schwab. Then drive sensibly, i.e., slow, and don't spin the wheels nor lock them up and chains will last you decades. And if you can't get through with rwd and chains, ya probably shouldn't be going. The gnarls is 4wd with chains on all 4 (which I've done when snowplowing county roads)...not many folks do that but there is not much advantage in actuality...and your better judgement should have over-ridden this option.
Yeah, I'm pretty familiar with rwd in snowy conditions, just not on that big of a rig. Also have never driven with chains, so don't know how much they help? Assuming by snow tires you mean studs?

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There is no chance a rwd vehicle is better than a fwd in the snowy mountains on the same tire,you can have your preference but a fwd will always be the best choice outside of awd
 

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Yeah, I'm pretty familiar with rwd in snowy conditions, just not on that big of a rig. Also have never driven with chains, so don't know how much they help? Assuming by snow tires you mean studs?

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Chains are amazing when climbing on snow and ice. You just need to go really slow, speed depends on the type of chains.

At our local mountain the worst days (best snow days?) are 4WD+chains only.
 

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Yeah, I'm pretty familiar with rwd in snowy conditions, just not on that big of a rig. Also have never driven with chains, so don't know how much they help? Assuming by snow tires you mean studs?

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Snow tires as are friction based and studded. Studded tires are not legal in all areas. Winter tires have the 3peak mountain snowflake logo on them

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There is no chance a rwd vehicle is better than a fwd in the snowy mountains on the same tire,you can have your preference but a fwd will always be the best choice outside of awd
If you climb a steep enough hill with snow, FWD with winter tires may not be able to climb up that hill, since the weight is biased to the rear of the car, RWD with the same tires will make it up since the weight is on the drive axle now.

There is a trick for FWD with steep hills, driving in reverse up the hill.

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So, got a couple of perhaps unconventional (for Australia) snow cars - at least compared to all the dudebros who need Tonka Trucks / rigs like in Tango and Cash, in order to strap a snowboard to their feet.

1. 2015 Subaru Impreza G4 -- top of the range, all the bells and whistles, recently re-strutted (aftermarket struts that are FAR superior to the sh1t that Subaru slings, and rebuildable every 5 years). Me and my old man went halves in this one, but he's sorta taken it under his wing, with new Yoko tyres (fcking amazing in the wet and slush), roof bars and a SWEET Thule box, and he wants to get a nudge bar and spotties for the front, XV or Forester suspension eventually, and muddies - for the complete country driving look (he admits his ego is on the attack). I'm not complaining, lol.
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2. My guy - 2009 VW Polo GTI -- bought this a couple of months back with less than 70,000kms!!!!! Has been tuned, with some plug-n-play mods. Lowering springs look sweet side-on, but DAMN he rolls around corners, compared to my old RenaultSport. Will be looking at getting PROPER adjustable suspension later this year, as well as new brakes all around, install the sway bar, maybe a couple of things to get an extra 15hp out of him, then call it a day.

Reppin my Patreon, and seen here rocking my roof racks with my pumping setup mounted - Seasucker Palavicinis (apparently a new model). For anyone who doubts suction cup roof racks, I mounted my pumping deck on the Seasuckers and took them for a test. Let's just say that at 165km/h, they are ROCK FLIPPING SOLID.

Why a FWD small hatch? Because on days when there's no snow on the roads, when 1-2 people + gear need to get up 30km's worth of winding roads to get to the hill, a hot hatch is STILL the best form of snow transport, in my humble opinion.

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Been rocking the Outlander for a few years now, been a great snow vehicle and never had to use chains even on the worst days.



Decided to treat ourselves to a new 3.6 H6 Outback now so will be moving the roof box and heading up in this beastie soon

Also got the Cross Polo next to it I can use if I do a solo trip, so light on gas and fun to drive




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Been rocking the Outlander for a few years now, been a great snow vehicle and never had to use chains even on the worst days.



Decided to treat ourselves to a new 3.6 H6 Outback now so will be moving the roof box and heading up in this beastie soon

Also got the Cross Polo next to it I can use if I do a solo trip, so light on gas and fun to drive




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Dad and I have been renting Outlanders for years, for our annual pilgrimage to Perisher (he usually lives and works in Indonesia, so didn't have an Aussie car, and I was rocking a RS Clio which is useless for long snow trips).

I have a (to channel Ace Ventura) mahoo-sahivvvvuhhh soft spot for the Outlander - aren't they simply amazing??!?!?!?!! VERY clever "fake" electronic diff and low range that actually, properly works, HEAPS of room inside, comfy ergonomics, good on fuel, light on their feet, and weighing less than a mid-spec VW Golf.... If I won lotto, I'd have me an Outlander, swap an Evo engine in, put it on adjustable coilovers, and boom.... pretty much my ideal snow car.

And CrossPolo..... I'm very jelly! Wish we got them down here in Aus.
 

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Dad and I have been renting Outlanders for years, for our annual pilgrimage to Perisher (he usually lives and works in Indonesia, so didn't have an Aussie car, and I was rocking a RS Clio which is useless for long snow trips).

I have a (to channel Ace Ventura) mahoo-sahivvvvuhhh soft spot for the Outlander - aren't they simply amazing??!?!?!?!! VERY clever "fake" electronic diff and low range that actually, properly works, HEAPS of room inside, comfy ergonomics, good on fuel, light on their feet, and weighing less than a mid-spec VW Golf.... If I won lotto, I'd have me an Outlander, swap an Evo engine in, put it on adjustable coilovers, and boom.... pretty much my ideal snow car.

And CrossPolo..... I'm very jelly! Wish we got them down here in Aus.
The Cross Polo is an awesome little car, never misses a beat.
Thinking of doing a stage 1 tune on it to give it a bit more go.

The outlander is great, if a little underpowered, would be awesome with the Triton’s TDi in it.

Best snow trick I have picked up is if you do get a bit bogged, turn OFF the traction control. Showed a few people this trick this weekend and they were amazed!

If you have the TC on it cuts the power whenever it detects a bit of wheel slip, lock the centre diff, turn off the TC and give it a bit more and it will usually just pop out


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The Cross Polo is an awesome little car, never misses a beat.
Thinking of doing a stage 1 tune on it to give it a bit more go.

The outlander is great, if a little underpowered, would be awesome with the Triton’s TDi in it.

Best snow trick I have picked up is if you do get a bit bogged, turn OFF the traction control. Showed a few people this trick this weekend and they were amazed!

If you have the TC on it cuts the power whenever it detects a bit of wheel slip, lock the centre diff, turn off the TC and give it a bit more and it will usually just pop out


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Nice tip re: the traction control! And yeah the Outlander is a little underpowered, but big on heart, I reckon. Its light weight counters the lack of power on the roads that matter - mountain passes / twisties on the way up the hill.

I fondly remember overtaking BMW X50M + 550D + Merc ML63AMG one time, in the snow (Asian non-snowsports enthusiasts whose egos likely weren't big enough to NOT drive timidly on the day, and were likely just up at the snow because to Asians, even if you don't ski or snowboard, going to the snow invokes some sort of early 90's "ehehehew, we gew to Arspen" sentiment of prestige) <<<<---- I'm part Asian, and I'm officially allowed to have to dance around being politically correct, just in case I offend someone I don't know, let alone care about simply say it how it ACTUALLY is.

What's the engine in the CrossPolo? I used to have a 1.9PD TDi 9n3 Polo, and I had Viezu do a race tune + torque tune (both stored on the handset, along with the stock map). There are better tunes out there now, but back in the day, it was epic - 74kw at the engine became 89.7kw at the wheels, 340nm of torque... I loved that little thing.

If it's a 1.6TDi with commonrail + DPF, things might get a little tricky, but someone like Revo / GIAC / Superchips should be able to sort you out. Or a custom dyno tune (which I've got on my Pog GTI).
 

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Nice tip re: the traction control! And yeah the Outlander is a little underpowered, but big on heart, I reckon. Its light weight counters the lack of power on the roads that matter - mountain passes / twisties on the way up the hill.

I fondly remember overtaking BMW X50M + 550D + Merc ML63AMG one time, in the snow (Asian non-snowsports enthusiasts whose egos likely weren't big enough to NOT drive timidly on the day, and were likely just up at the snow because to Asians, even if you don't ski or snowboard, going to the snow invokes some sort of early 90's "ehehehew, we gew to Arspen" sentiment of prestige) S] simply say it how it ACTUALLY is.

What's the engine in the CrossPolo? I used to have a 1.9PD TDi 9n3 Polo, and I had Viezu do a race tune + torque tune (both stored on the handset, along with the stock map). There are better tunes out there now, but back in the day, it was epic - 74kw at the engine became 89.7kw at the wheels, 340nm of torque... I loved that little thing.

If it's a 1.6TDi with commonrail + DPF, things might get a little tricky, but someone like Revo / GIAC / Superchips should be able to sort you out. Or a custom dyno tune (which I've got on my Pog GTI).
Haha, exactly, knowing how to drive trumps horsepower any day!

The cross is a 1.2 TSi now, 81kw and 190nm.
7 speed DSG keeps you in the torque range constantly and gives engine braking downshifts in sport mode. Blips the throttle too

A stage 1 egr upgrade takes it to 100kw at the flywheel and 230nm.
Pretty handy for a 900kg car


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Haha, exactly, knowing how to drive trumps horsepower any day!

The cross is a 1.2 TSi now, 81kw and 190nm.
7 speed DSG keeps you in the torque range constantly and gives engine braking downshifts in sport mode. Blips the throttle too

A stage 1 egr upgrade takes it to 100kw at the flywheel and 230nm.
Pretty handy for a 900kg car


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Jesus. 230nm in a 900kg car. You're going to need a sticker that say "Don't presume" hehe.

Those 1.2TSi Polos... I've been on VW drive days where a couple of guys have had them (you know the days - all the bone-stock Golf GTI owners rocking up and turning their noses at everyone except Golf R drivers, because their recent $2k glass coat professional detail apparently adds 1000hp).

That light engine = GOOD turn in / cornering. That thing's gonna be a blast!
 

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Adding mine! I recently bought a Volkswagen T-Roc (2.0 TDI), with the "snow pack" (heated front seats and steering wheel) and I can't wait to try it on the mountains! I'll be in Zermatt in a week but it's not going to be a real test since it's summer and the roads will be clean.

We'll see this winter, so far it feels rock solid, and the roof rails are going to be very useful when I decide to buy some snowboard rack 😏
 

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So, got a couple of perhaps unconventional (for Australia) snow cars - at least compared to all the dudebros who need Tonka Trucks / rigs like in Tango and Cash, in order to strap a snowboard to their feet.

1. 2015 Subaru Impreza G4 -- top of the range, all the bells and whistles, recently re-strutted (aftermarket struts that are FAR superior to the sh1t that Subaru slings, and rebuildable every 5 years). Me and my old man went halves in this one, but he's sorta taken it under his wing, with new Yoko tyres (fcking amazing in the wet and slush), roof bars and a SWEET Thule box, and he wants to get a nudge bar and spotties for the front, XV or Forester suspension eventually, and muddies - for the complete country driving look (he admits his ego is on the attack). I'm not complaining, lol.
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2. My guy - 2009 VW Polo GTI -- bought this a couple of months back with less than 70,000kms!!!!! Has been tuned, with some plug-n-play mods. Lowering springs look sweet side-on, but DAMN he rolls around corners, compared to my old RenaultSport. Will be looking at getting PROPER adjustable suspension later this year, as well as new brakes all around, install the sway bar, maybe a couple of things to get an extra 15hp out of him, then call it a day.

Reppin my Patreon, and seen here rocking my roof racks with my pumping setup mounted - Seasucker Palavicinis (apparently a new model). For anyone who doubts suction cup roof racks, I mounted my pumping deck on the Seasuckers and took them for a test. Let's just say that at 165km/h, they are ROCK FLIPPING SOLID.

Why a FWD small hatch? Because on days when there's no snow on the roads, when 1-2 people + gear need to get up 30km's worth of winding roads to get to the hill, a hot hatch is STILL the best form of snow transport, in my humble opinion.

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I have Thule box envy.
 

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I have Thule box envy.
Haha yeah I'd already told my old man that if I was going to dump money into a car, it'd be the Polo (dump pipe / hoses / intake + retune, adjustable suspension, new wheels with semi slicks for the summer etc). The Impreza is TOTALLY FINE as is, for getting people up to the snow without having to put chains on.

Nope. Dad's been in Aus for a few months now, occasionally doing virtual meetings for work but otherwise thoroughly bored, and evidently wants a project. Re: boxes, I was like "What about Rhino Rack, Pro Rack, Yakima? They'll be cheaper for sure".

"Nope, if I'm gonna get one, it's gotta be Thule". It gets delivered on the day after they announce lift closures, he starts looking at cross country skis, and realises the box is too small for 195cm skis lol.

Still looks sweet though - the grey is SO much more characterful than the black.
 

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Could anyone tell me if some roof racks are worth the investment or if the noise (even with the aerodynamic ones) is too much for long trips? Better get a roof box instead?
 
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