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Discussion Starter #1
As an owner of a 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX for the past 17 years it was a tough sell switching from an AWD turbo to a FWD electric, but it happened and hopefully will be another good long term relationship! Aside from the interior the car is meeting expectations. Studded tires will probably be required to make it handle in the snow like the WRX did!

What makes/models did other people have prior to the Bolt?
 

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I still have my old UrS4 Audi Quattro and have some Nokian studded tires for the winter. The whole Turbo AWD manual to FWD EV transition is dear to my heart. I put some Hakkapeliitta R2s on the Bolt and they are really good. However, it's no comparison to the S4. The Bolt works well enough in winter that I don't hesitate to drive it in all but the very worst conditions, but it is what it is and you need to be aware of it's greatly reduced handling envelope. The S4 is fun to thrash and confidence inspiring no matter how bad the weather is. Freezing rain and glare ice - no problem I can still look forward to slipping and sliding. I sometimes even get to take the S4 out on a frozen lake, but I can't imagine that being fun in the Bolt.

That said, we take the Bolt on long trips in the winter without trouble or concern. I've driven it as cold as -27C and as warm as 37C and it works fine.
 

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I'm in the Milwaukee area. I kept my ICE, a GMC Sierra 1500 Truck. But I do miss the AWD aspect or 4x4 on the bad snow days. But I adapted fine. I hug my dog a little tighter each morning before I go to work though on heavy snow days, just in case it's the last time I see him.
 

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I watched a WRX with 4 chains try to get up an icy hill in Portland as sparks went flying. The guy made it barely. The FWD minivan I had with winter rated (not snow rated) went up it without issue. As long as clearance isn't an issue, having the proper tires is everything.

I loved my 1996 Subaru Legacy and drove it through forests, up mountain roads with a couple feet of snow, up steep bouldery horse paths, etc.

Now I've got a Prius, CX-5, TSX (Acura), diesel pickup, and a few others. Hoping to get a Bolt someday and might sell the Prius to help convince the wife to let me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice about snow tires on the Bolt. Never needed them on the WRX as it did very well with all season tires when regular cars couldn't. I live in southeastern PA, so snow is typical but hasn't been as consistent the last few years.

I watched a WRX with 4 chains try to get up an icy hill in Portland as sparks went flying.
That guy was a dingis because you are not supposed to put chains on an AWD car. The WRX had an open front diff, viscous coupled center diff, and a limited slip rear diff, it was awesome in the snow without chains.
Get your wife to test drive a Bolt. It was all that my wife needed to convince her to buy it new versus something else.
 

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My wife was passenger on a 1hr test drive around Portland. She's not impressed by instant acceleration and has an aversion to EVs for some reason despite our wonderful Prius plug-in. Her dream car is a Subaru Crosstrek.

She won't approve an EV purchase until we get rid of at least 1 vehicle, and sadly I'm leaning towards letting go of the Prius. I'm hanging on to the Acura 6-speed so that I can nostalgically teach my children how to shift a manual 15 years from now when everyone is being chauffeured in AVs.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Her dream car is a Subaru Crosstrek. She won't approve an EV purchase until we get rid of at least 1 vehicle, and sadly I'm leaning towards letting go of the Prius.
It's never bad to have a utility type vehicle and an EV for the best of both worlds. I sold my CBR600RR and WRX to put towards the Bolt. My wife has an Outback. I don't think we could get away with only two EVs unless everything we did was close to home.

Trade in the Prius for a Bolt. You already know you won't be disappointed!
 

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If you're ever seen fwd rally cars.. you know what fwd is capable of.

To the question, I have a rwd car too, but I come from a long line of 99% fwd stuff.
 

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I've owned and unofficially rallied a Subaru, so I know the capabilities. AWD doesn't help steady state cruising down the interstate. It helps when traction is limited and you need to accelerate, in which case tire choice is most important.

I've also accelerated into snow and high centered my car, getting it stuck for 5hrs while I dug it out by hand. AWD can help a person get into more trouble too. It's entirely possible to cary momentum and begin climbing a hill only to run out of both momentum and traction, and then be unable to keep from sliding back down. I've done that one several times too and at least maintained steering by feathering the brake.

All that said, the road I live on has a 12% grade where AWD might come in handy at some point, but I assume that will be the first hill to be treated in a snow/ice storm, and I wouldn't attempt descending it in the first place unless I was sure I could stop.

Most vehicles in Montana and Colorado are 2WD, so clearly it's good enough for most people in places that regularly snow.

Even if there is a good use case for owning an AWD vehicle, many families own multiple cars, and only 1 would need to be AWD.
 

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What makes/models did other people have prior to the Bolt?
Welcome!

I'm new to the Bolt (about a month and a half now) but not new to EVs. My wife and I have been VW/Audi people for many years. After 20 years with a couple of GTIs, I had a B5 (2001.5) Audi S4 Avant 6MT with dedicated snow tires during the New England winters. It was a wonderful car for all occasions and I do still miss it.

From there I went EV with a 2015 VW eGolf, which I drove for 4 years. I really liked that car as well. While it was no Quattro, it did fine with Blizzaks in the winter. I would have kept it longer, but I needed more than 83 miles range, and was annoyed by a couple of other things due to it being VW's first mass-market EV offering (weak heater, less power than I'd have liked).

The Bolt very effectively address my range/power/climate control complaints, and while it doesn't perfectly tick all the boxes in my wish list, it is the closest thing I can find at a price that I can justify. My largest complaint with the Bolt (handling) can hopefully be addressed by the aftermarket for a few hundred dollars. I'm very pleased so far.

I haven't done a winter in the Bolt yet, but I'm guessing it won't be much different from the eGolf. I might try to squeak through this coming winter on the all-seasons, but I expect that I'll be on the lookout for a used set of mounted snow tires for the following winter.
 

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Living in New England by now you know there's no such thing as an all-season tire. Spend the few hundred on a set of wheels and Nokian Hakkapilitta snows. You'll be glad you did. Since the Bolt's tires need to be rotated every 7500 miles, swapping to the appropriate tires spring and fall takes care of that.

FWIW, I found a set of Cruze 16" steel wheels on craigslist for $100.

jack vines
 

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Living in New England by now you know there's no such thing as an all-season tire. Spend the few hundred on a set of wheels and Nokian Hakkapilitta snows. You'll be glad you did. Since the Bolt's tires need to be rotated every 7500 miles, swapping to the appropriate tires spring and fall takes care of that.

FWIW, I found a set of Cruze 16" steel wheels on craigslist for $100.

jack vines
Hi Jack -

I was just hoping to avoid sending $800 to $1000 to TireRack for a new set of mounted snows until I could find a used set that would work. I've found that all-seasons work "well enough" if you only get a couple inches of snow and are careful. I was thinking that worst case, if we get a half-foot or more I can just drive our Blizzak-shod Touareg which will go through just about anything.

Thanks for the tip on Cruze wheels - I'll definitely keep an eye open for some. I don't mind shelling out for snow tires, but paying $150 for each of four winter wheels just rubs me the wrong way. Question: did you get tire pressure sensors to install on them, or just go without for the winter?

Thanks,
- Bob
 

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I'm an old school guy in most respects, but the TPMS is just such a nice thing to have, I bought a set on-line for cheap. We drove without TPMS for fifty years and don't let the tire shop tell you they can't mount tires without them; not true. They are only forbidden to disable the nagging nanny warning light.

jack vines
 

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The discussion about winter tires versus all-seasons has less to do with depth of snow and a whole lot more to do with temperature. When temperature drops below about 45°F or 7°C, the rubber in all season and summer tires becomes too stiff to provide safe traction for stopping. That’s the number 1 reason for a winter tire.
 

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Agreed, tread compound is also a factor in choosing dedicated winter tires for colder weather.

I don't dispute that all-season tires are a compromise, and excel at neither summer nor winter duty. Everyone must evaluate their own circumstances, but for me, I'm considering trying to stay with all-seasons just for this coming winter. While I expect that I'll have winter tires for next year, I've just spent a lot of money on buying my new car and am resisting spending more right away. On the rare occasions in the past when I haven't had dedicated winter tires on my car, I've found that all-seasons perform adequately as long as conditions aren't too extreme, you respect the tires' limits, and you allow extra margins for accelerating, stopping, and maneuvering. I also have the luxury of having a winter-tire-equipped AWD vehicle available for my use in case I need to go out in more extreme snow.

Do you want adventure? Back in the early '90s I tried to make it through winter in my '89 GTI, wearing Yokohama A008s. Now that was an adventure! I made sure I got a set of Blizzaks for the next winter. :D
 
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