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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How practical is it to have a separate car equipped for the worst winter weather? I'm not talking about a beater driven in the winter. Instead, one would have a separate car, AWD, best tires (either studless or studded snow tires), exterior of the car in a bright color (preferably yellow if it exists), and good safety ratings. When it is merely cold, one would drive the BMW car. When it's snowing, the dedicated snow vehicle would be used.

The next related question is what vehicle to have? If money was an issue, it would also affect vehicle choice. I wouldn't want to spend huge sums for money for a vehicle used only from December to February and once a month or two the rest of the year to keep it somewhat fresh.

preliminary and hypothetical choices:
Subaru Crosstrek $23,000, a little small so maybe not the safest
Subaru Forester $26,000
Nissan Pathfinder SV 4WD $37,000 in red (can get a Pathfinder S for about $35,000)
BMW X3 xDrive30i $44,000

If one kept the vehicle for 15 years and drove it 20 times a year, that would be 300 drives (one drive=one day of use, not a one way trip). If $40,000 spent, that would be (very roughly) $135 per drive not counting gas, repairs and insurance.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
The vehicle would get only a little use, it seems. Maybe over 15 years, the car would be driven 25,000 miles. In the summer, maybe one day a month for 100 miles. In the winter, maybe 10 times a month at 35 miles per day. That seems like little use.

Would you or somebody buy a 1999 or 2004 4WD that had 25,000 to 30,000 miles on it? Or should a car with that low miles be kept 20-25 years (and 40,000 miles on it)?

On the other hand, that would allow the owner's BMW to be equipped with either summer tires all year or summer tires most of the year and all seasons during the winter.
 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 99K miles NOKIAN WR G3 12K miles
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We usually have snow on the ground and icy snowy roads from Halloween to May, that's half the year.

I just 1200 miles ago purchased year around all weathers with snow tread and a lower temperature compound which optimal operating temperatures range from -25°C to +35°C (-13°F to 95°F). The NOKIAN WR G3 SUV RFT will operate reasonably well outside of these temperatures as well, as I am assured by the builder.

xDrive seems to be a good AWD and better than the traditional 4WD that I grew up with. The color is dark but clearly not just shadow, Sparkling Bronze.

It is our only car, though hardly a daily driver. I count on about twenty miles per week in the winter from running it on Friday and Sunday. In summer >45°F we do as much as we can on our trikes.

Money is an issue on a fairly fixed income, but we could buy another X5 if we had to, by liquidating some investment. With interest rates as they are, less than our ROI, a note seem best. We bought CPO 36K miles and pray that this is our last vehicle.
 

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How practical is it to have a separate car equipped for the worst winter weather?
Financially it doesn't make much sense. The added cost can easily cover extra underbody protection (if rust is a problem) and a couple of fender bender. Winter accidents happen usually at low speeds.

But you could have an End Of World vehicle that is very simple, runs on any gas, immune to electromagnetic interference, raised and 4wd. I'm thinking of an old Toyota 4runner. So when all the new computerized cars stall due to a cyber war, you still have a getaway car. Plus you can use it in the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Financially it doesn't make much sense. ...
That's what I'm thinking. It doesn't make much sense to have an extra car. True, some people do. They have a RV. Or they have a very high performance sports car. But to have a winter car, not an old beater to reduce wear on your main car, but an optimized winter car doesn't make much financial sense. One nice thing about having a dedicated winter car is that the BMW can be equipped with summer tires so one could use those on a warm winter day.

Perhaps, selecting a car that has another attribute. For example, a vehicle that can haul large items occasionally, if one has such a need. That would rule out the Subaru Crosstrek because that car is not very big. It's smaller than a F30 3 series and 500 lbs. lighter.

As far as cars immune to electromagnetic pulse, there may be very few of those. One would have to choose a very old car. Even the Saab 900 1981-1992 had an ECU computer chip. I don't know about the Saab 99EMS circa 1967-1979. The late 1950's-early 1960's 2 stroke Saab 96 is way too primitive and also not very safe in a collision.

Any suggestions on a AWD winter vehicle, maybe a wagon or mid-sized SUV?
 

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Bluebirds fan in USA
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If you like off-roading a lot & money isn't an issue, get a Land Rover Defender. If money is an issue, get a 1995-1998 Land Rover Discovery with a functional CDL. When I lived up north, I had a '98 and that thing was unstoppable in the snow. (Just make sure that CDL is engaged on snow or ice only.) The hill descent control was terrific! I'd get up early when a storm hit just to "test" it. :D
My neighbor up there had a Pathfinder and that was atrocious! The only path it could find was to the ditch. He tried going up a drive in the snow and slid off into the yard. Another guy had to tow him out using an S-10 :rofl:
 

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Don't forget the long term effect of road salt. Salting up an expensive car would drive me nuts, and might adversely affect my 10 year plan for our cars.

We'll get about a half-dozen snows a year when we move to Tennessee. We''ll be living on a hill, so AWD and snow tires will be needed. But, that's Plan B... in case Frau Putzer needs to take me to the ER. Plan A will be to hunker down, do laundry, eat, sleep, and become one with the TV remote, and wait for the next rain to wash all that salt into the Tennessee River. I might buy a snow blower, just to have another gasoline powered implement of destruction.

Oh, and do 24/7/365 car washing in my insulated, heated, AC-ed garage with a drain it the floor of bay #1.
 

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Ziggy.
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if you want a purely winter vehicle id get a jeep wrangler with snow tires on it, i loved when i owned my jeep it went through everything and i could park on snow mounds at the super market lol
 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 99K miles NOKIAN WR G3 12K miles
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The late 1950's-early 1960's 2 stroke Saab 96 is way too primitive and also not very safe in a collision.
I rode a ‘60 SAAB 850Gt Monte Carlo through about as bad a single car crash as I can imagine, the worst of my life, and all three of us survived unscathed after a 100 yard roll down the mountain from Ca-9 now Congress Springs Road, I believe that it was among the first with seatbelts, They were cross shoulder only and I remember being slammed against the passenger door and being pleased that it did not burst open. My brother knocked the rear window out and flailed his head and arms outside of the car long enough for me to notice and remember.

The driver missed a shift in a 2-stroke roller bearing crankshaft and hit 10K RPM in an instant, spitting out the core of a spark plug and losing power in a sharp right switchback.
 

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I’d get a Toyota FJ Cruiser. A proper body+frame SUV and very reliable. And since Toyota axed it, their resale values are actually good. So if you want to get rid of it you won’t be losing that much $. AND it comes in Yellow.

Personally I think it’s better to either drive the same car or just buy a cheap $5,000 car like an old Suzuki Tracker or an Outback.


Sent from my iPhone using Bimmerfest
 

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How about just buy a set of snow tires for your car and run them during the winter? Good snow tires are the key factor for winter traction. AWD and snows are optimal, but for most it's not necessary.

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Discussion Starter #13
How about just buy a set of snow tires for your car and run them during the winter? ]
The winters I live through are mild. What that means is a snow SUV would not be used much. Snow tires are the way to go even though I originally thought of the BMW with summer tires except all seasons for the winter and a dedicated snow SUV with snow tires.

Currently, I have a BMW SUV with snow tires but that vehicle is being saved for a family member to use in about a year. In the mean time, it gets driven one weekend a month to keep it fresh and during the infrequent snow days. That is why I was thinking if I want to buy a dedicated snow vehicle next year. I've decided not to unless I win the lottery (except I don't buy tickets).
 
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