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I have to disagree on the studded snow tire point.

One of my cars is a 5,000+ pound AWD Mercury Mountaineer.  I run studded 
Nokian Hakka SUVs on it.  Why?  To optimize for the black ice it sees 
frequently both by the ocean in Portsmouth and climbing from the flatlands 
around New London, NH.  In that condition and with a heavy car, there's 
really no substitute for studs for getting the best possible safety 
margin.  The Mountaineer isn't used as a flatlands commuter car so the 
usual issues with studded tires aren't important.

AWD is extremely useful for me combined with studded snow tires.  Every 
Saturday and Sunday morning, I have to do a suicide uphill right turn out 
of my driveway onto the Kmart access road.  If I didn't have to tow a boat 
with it, I'd much rather have a much smaller AWD car.

I have to question any data from Tire Rack.  Their business is to sell the 
tires they carry.

Geoff

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