I can't say that I have needed it very much. There were some instances that it would have helped perhaps but I muddled through without it. For me now it's more of a just in case thing.
I learned to drive with my mothers Volvo wagon with a stick in Syracuse NY winters. Those cars are heavy TANKS. I had to come back and do an edit since the 1980 Volvo wagon weighs pretty much the same as a 2017 Impreza! Wow that surprised me!I live on a steep hill. Last month when we had that 14" snowfall, not only was climbing the hill easy, but even driving on the snow-covered highway was a breeze. When there was no traffic, 65mph was no problem at all. Going into manual mode, it was also very easy to do engine braking in the slick conditions, as well as second gear starts when starting on slick hills. Of course, I own a sport, so ground clearance isn't great, but sticking to the roads is so much easier in the snow than my old Toyotas,and even my old Volvo wagon was. In fact, I kinds think that the Impreza wagon is pretty much everything that those old Volvo 245's were years ago.
I like it!Here is a good example of Subaru AWD -- It was snowing on my way home from work and there was about an inch on the roads. Traveling about 25 MPH, the BMW X3 infont of me which was going SIDEWAYS down the road as the rear wheels were spinning the entire time. My Impreza with factory tires did not even know the roads were slippery.... I could actually accelerate without ANY tire-slip.
Did I "need" AWD? no.... but it sure does help get moving from a stop.
I live in Wisconsin and last winter was my first with my Subaru. The AWD and winter tires make driving on ice and snow so much safer. You can make it with Front wheel drive and winter tires, but it's so much safer in AWD.In my Impreza, not yet. However, my first winter with her is approaching, so we will see!
Last February, there was a freak snow storm the left ~9 inches in one night. We average 0.5" a year, with some years not seeing any snow. Needless to say, the city infrastructure could not withstand 9" of snow, and a lot of power lines were downed, and half the city was without power. My house is on all electric, so without power, we didn't have heat. Thank goodness my previous car was an outback and I was able to get my wife, three kids and two dogs out of our neighborhood (streets were never plowed) to go eat and stay at a place with power so we wouldn't freeze to death.
Over a period of 7 years, this was the only situation where AWD was necessary, but I was glad to have it. It's one of those things, where I'd rather have AWD and not need it than not have AWD and need it.
I get 200" of snow in my Vermont driveway in an average year. AWD and Nokian snow tires save me from having to shovel. I could get around with a FWD car with snow tires and 6" of ground clearance but I'd be using a snow shovel and I'd have to pay attention to where I parked. I have a 6-cylinder Outback with Nokian Hakka R2 snow tires. It has no problem at all as long as I remember to disable the traction control in deep snow. It won't move at all with traction control enabled.Where I live we get 13 feet of snow (not inches feet) a season on average. Yes, yes there are times when I need AWD. If I didn't I would be driving a Mustang.
LOVE VERMONT!I get 200" of snow in my Vermont driveway in an average year. AWD and Nokian snow tires save me from having to shovel. I could get around with a FWD car with snow tires and 6" of ground clearance but I'd be using a snow shovel and I'd have to pay attention to where I parked. I have a 6-cylinder Outback with Nokian Hakka R2 snow tires. It has no problem at all as long as I remember to disable the traction control in deep snow. It won't move at all with traction control enabled.
My girlfriend's daughter has a 2019 5-door Impreza with Nokian WRG4 all weather tires instead of the stock tires. They matched a Walmart $113/tire internet price at Discount Tire. We're going to see how that works out at Vail this winter. The car might need a lift kit. An inch or 1.25" would make a big difference and wouldn't require anything but installing spacers.
I get a few of these two foot storms most winters:
I don't have a Subaru photo in anything deep