What Vehicle Is Best On Wyoming’s Wintery Roads?
When I first moved to Wyoming, about 13 years ago, I was driving a small 2-door, 4-cylinder car. At the time I thought it would help me save gas on Wyoming's long highways.
But it turns out that small cars with small engines are best for driving in town or on highways where the speed limit is a lot lower.
It's not a good idea to have a small engine when taking big hills or climbing mountains.
A mechanic friend of mine pointed out that engines reach a bell curve in efficiency.
A 4-cylinder will become one of the biggest gas hogs on the road when it's pushed to an 80 miles an hour on the highway or more.
They also use far more energy trying to get up some of Wyoming's bigger hills and mountains.
For power and fuel efficiency in a state like Wyoming, it's best to have a 6-cylinder or more.
In snow and ice conditions rear wheel drive is the worst way to go.
Front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive handle a heck of a lot better in slick conditions or even on dry gravel roads when climbing a steep hill.
This video below will show you that all-wheel drive has advantages in snow. But not as much as you might think.
Winter tires are more important when trying to stop than how many tires are able to turn.
Higher clearance is also good.
The vehicle does not have to be so high that a person has to jump up to get into it. But higher clearance than the average car is important, especially during winter driving.
So what is better in the snow? A car or a truck? More weight or less.
Let's see how the tests turned out by watching the video below.
Their conclusion was that the truck seemed to have a bit more traction, due to its weight and wider tires.
But the car was easier to control because of its lower center of gravity.
The truck can stop at a shorter distance in the snow because of its weight and bigger tires.
But the car has more control when trying to stop in snow and ice.
Whatever you do, it's not a good idea to drive a small vehicle with a small engine in this state. Get something with a bit more beef to it.