What makes the perfect Winter car

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'Vera' the Defender was really good when we lived somewhere that we had snow and my wife had to commute up to Buxton in the Peak District.
Now we live on the dry Norfolk plains again, I just use whatever needs cleaning next. The other one stays clean and dry in the garage.
I have used both in freezing conditions and they are both fine.

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Totally agree:) Only thing I have had on mine, was red paint on the rear callipers was coming off (not exactly a show stopper) Replaced under warranty (twice), no drama from main dealer either
Insuring them down South is a big problem, either refusing to insure or eye watering sums:mad:

Plus that V6 Jaguar diesel is an absolute peach of an engine. So smooth and refined
 
Daily hacker finally expired so we were looking round for a cheapish replacement, small petrol and auto, without much success. Relative offered us his 2015 Hyundai i40 large, diesel but auto really the opposite of what we wanted. Had it a couple of weeks and took it to Stafford last week in snow heavy rain and fog. Got to say despite misgivings it was brilliant really comfortable great heater and sat nav and ate up the miles at 50mpg. Bargain at £4K and some are cheaper on eBay. I would never have considered one but fits the bill for the time being.
 
The only problem with 4WD SUVs and Pick Ups is that some of the idiots behind the wheel think that they are immune from the simple laws of physics , ice and snow = limited grip , but blast on regardless.
If you drive in the north of Scotland after a heavy snowfall, the first cars you see upside down in a field are always 4x4's, every year without fail.
 
the racy one was probably the twin turbo conversion!
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It wasn’t a “conversion” - the GTB was a factory built model for the Japanese Domestic Market.

But they are a popular ‘niche’ import (like many of the crazy models they have. Like the Nissan Stagea, an estate with the Skyline turbo engine, or some of the wild Toyota Turbo Starlet pocket rockets)
 
If you drive in the north of Scotland after a heavy snowfall, the first cars you see upside down in a field are always 4x4's, every year without fail.

I think the extra traction when first pulling away gives them a false sense of confidence ... they then find out too late that braking doesn't care how many driven wheels you have.
 
Whilst I probably wouldn't choose it for a winter car my wife's 107 was remarkably competent. Lightweight, small, little mass, skinny tyres, low torque, decent heater, low value, easy to position and control, she'd romp passed 4x4s on an icy hill back to our house.

good on icy stuff and packed snow, ground clearance was its only flaw.
 
My old T4 Vans were reasonable in snow; more ground clearance than your average car, relatively aggressive treads on 195 commercial tyres, enough torque to allow you to pull away in 2nd and quickly upshift to avoid wheelspin and when empty a lot of the weight over the driven wheels.
 
This week I was listening to a podcast from The Intercooler which is a few months old now, and Andrew Frankel and Dan Prosser were debating what makes a great Winter car, and it got me thinking…

What would you look for in the perfect winter car?

For me, whilst it might be well suited to winter driving it would still need to be the sort of car I’d really want to drive, so something a little left-field, and not a common sight on the road.

It would also need to have something about it which makes it feel a little special, and for me the engine is an important part of that, something with character and ample performance potential.

It would need to be practical though and so black seats and carpets are a must, with big doors and generous boot so that my passengers can get in and out quickly and easily on poor conditions.

Four wheel drive, premium Winter tyres, and high ground clearance are a must for me to make sure that I can keep moving in deep snow and deep floodwater, as that is a too-common occurrence for us

All of that is my perfect winter car, however fitting a set of premium Winter tyres on any car transforms it’s ability in cold, wet and dirty roads - never mind ice and snow - so they’re a must.

What would you look for in the perfect winter car?
G63
 
Has anyone mentioned a G Class?
 
Has anyone mentioned a G Class?
Me. Once upon a time I ordered a new GLS 350D with an off road pack and full winters for Northumberland. That car went anywhere, any weather, any time. Unstoppable. Friends left their new Range Rover with us one night...air suspension expired in the snow and cold.
 
An interesting video of 'suitable' winter car - the lovers of Range Rovers might wish to look away :)

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I see many local Pandas (car variety) in the Pyrénées and very few, if any, Range Rovers or Discoverys/Sports etc., just the occasional old Defender or Series Landie.
(ps, I have nothing against Rangies but some people really do need educating; a few years ago, when we had bad snow/ice, a friend was going to take his out. I advised against it as his driveway and the local road, sloping downhill, were both sheet ice and hadn't been gritted - "oh, it's alright, I've got snow-control" (+21" very low profile summer road tyres). He disagreed, until he fell over and then decided that it might be better to stay at home.
 
An interesting video of 'suitable' winter car - the lovers of Range Rovers might wish to look away :)

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I see many local Pandas (car variety) in the Pyrénées and very few, if any, Range Rovers or Discoverys/Sports etc., just the occasional old Defender or Series Landie.
(ps, I have nothing against Rangies but some people really do need educating; a few years ago, when we had bad snow/ice, a friend was going to take his out. I advised against it as his driveway and the local road, sloping downhill, were both sheet ice and hadn't been gritted - "oh, it's alright, I've got snow-control" (+21" very low profile summer road tyres). He disagreed, until he fell over and then decided that it might be better to stay at home.
The question should perhaps be: "Are tyres and driver education more important than the perfect winter car?"
 
An interesting video of 'suitable' winter car - the lovers of Range Rovers might wish to look away :)

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I see many local Pandas (car variety) in the Pyrénées and very few, if any, Range Rovers or Discoverys/Sports etc., just the occasional old Defender or Series Landie.
(ps, I have nothing against Rangies but some people really do need educating; a few years ago, when we had bad snow/ice, a friend was going to take his out. I advised against it as his driveway and the local road, sloping downhill, were both sheet ice and hadn't been gritted - "oh, it's alright, I've got snow-control" (+21" very low profile summer road tyres). He disagreed, until he fell over and then decided that it might be better to stay at home.
The Range Rover just has the wrong tyres, it would be fine on a set of good quality winter tyres.
 
Compared to Summer tyres - and specifically very wide, very low profile, ultra high performance Summer tyres - quality Winter tyres make undrivable cars drivable in snow, and transform cars in general cold, wet, wintery conditions.

There’s a common belief that Winter tyres are only better on snow, but that‘s just when the difference is most noticeable because it’s dramatic from the outside. The rest of the time the difference is there but you can only really few it from behind the wheel so most don’t realise.
 
The Range Rover just has the wrong tyres, it would be fine on a set of good quality winter tyres.
There's another video I saw years ago of a Range Rover on wet grass, despite all the electronic traction modes, it just seems to sit in the same position with all 4 wheels spinning on the grass. Wish I could find it again.
 
The question should perhaps be: "Are tyres and driver education more important than the perfect winter car?"
For sure, the BFGs on the Landy are fine in snow, not so much on ice. The GGAT3s on the Rangy are decent in all conditions but it’s so torquey that it wouldn’t be any good on ice unless you put it in low and even then, with all the gadgetry, you’re taking a chance If you’re not a very experienced and competent driver (not saying I’m good enough by the way).
If it’s icy and you don’t have studded tyres or have to be somewhere as a matter of urgency then best stay indoors.
As A side note, I got the CLK out of the garage yesterday to give it a run out after sitting for 6 weeks; a revvy little V6 with rear wheel drive is definitely NOT in the running for decent winter car, I’ve put it away again for another few weeks.
 
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There's another video I saw years ago of a Range Rover on wet grass, despite all the electronic traction modes, it just seems to sit in the same position with all 4 wheels spinning on the grass. Wish I could find it again.
The tyres Russ, the tyres. Most of them these days seem to have 22” wheels with wide low profile tyres - great on the road, not so much anywhere else. That and the fact a lot of owners don’t know how to drive them or take advantage of all the trickery, wouldn’t occur to them to put it on low and just let the tickover get them going.
 

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