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E46 vs. Jeep Cherokee in snow (more) (archive)

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Posted by CRW on January 17, 2000 at 14:10:47:

In Reply to: Hey, I still have the MPOWER plate (more) posted by DC on January 16, 2000 at 22:50:01:

: and the E46 M3 is a definite possibility.

: How does a car like that handle snow? It has traction control and ABS brakes...I would put narrower wheels and snow tires on it in the winter...but I have no idea how it would compare to a Jeep or other Four Wheel Drive SUV.

: Then there is the Audi S4....AWD and gobs of torque from 1800 RPM on up.

: Suggestions?

I replaced a 94 Jeep Cherokee (the cheap one, not the Grand Cherokee) with an E46 in December of 98. In winter, I ran the Jeep with Nokia snow tires. The E46 uses Blizzacs in winter.

With the snow tires, the E46 accelerates similarly to the Jeep in snow. The E46 turns and stopps much better than did the Jeep. The part-time four wheel drive on the jeep, with open differentials front and back, drove one front wheel and one back wheel.

The Jeep had about a foot of ground clearance, while the E46 has about four inches. Consequently, the Jeep would go through deep snow that would bury the airdam of the E46.

The Jeep had no ABS and was poorly balanced, The drum brakes in the back tended to lock up when lightly applied after long periods of disuse on a slushy highway. This made for a few interesting approaches to offramps.

Decending hills in the snow in the Jeep was initially tricky. With the front wheels engaged, they would occasionally slide sideways instead of steering. The solution was to disengage 4WD while decending.

I am pleased with the E46 in the snow. As long as the car doesn't sink more than 4 inches, it works fine.

An A4 with quattro would be be better at accelerating and climbing hills than an E46. It will probably turn and stop similarly to the E46.




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