My dad never bought snow tires in the winter and also didn’t get his first FWD car until 1988. We were living in Louisville Ky, where we got plenty of snow while I was growing up.I always had small cars or sport cars with FWD in the winters of Quebec and never had a problem. Friends and folks around me shopping for a vehicle are all asking for a AWD SUV like if it is now a must. They are talking like if it is impossible to go through winter without it. Then you see people drive like crazy with their AWD SUV like if the thing will never slip or will always brake on time and first thing you see when there is snowfalls, SUV's in the ditch. I wonder how my parents and grand parents did without a SUV especially when winter tires were not mandatory. IMO this SUV thing is a trend and will fade out while gas price and car price will go higher and higher.
I even took my drivers test in snowy conditions in 1969 in a car with regular tires. And I did not have a FWD car until 1984 and only put snow tires on the rear of my 1989 Chevy full sized pickup.
One thing I have noticed about AWD cars and SUVs is that people take too many chances while driving them, they will still exceed the speed limit many times on snow covered roads, they seem to not realize that AWD will not stop faster in snow and ice. Overconfidence is a killer when driving in snow.