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Date registered: Sep 2008
Vehicle: 1997 E-420 (150K miles), 1997 SL500, (90K miles) 2015 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD CC/SB/4x4 Duramax
Location: Portland, OR
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Quoted: 399 Post(s)
Wife and I grew up in the midwest driving RWD cars on snow and Ice so we are reasonably experienced snow and ice drivers.
On our 97 E420, I put a set of Blizzaks on, and frankly, it's a whole lot better on ice/snow than any of th RWD cars with studs I learned to drive on. IMHO, about 80% of driving on ice/snow is learning the skills, (not just car handling, but also "reading" the road for the signs of black ice etc.) the other 20% is the vehicle.
Growing up, there were no FWD cars around (in the U.S), RWD seldom had positraction, few folks had studded tires, "traction control" ment "I stayed out of the ditch", and roads weren't plowed or maintained anything like they are now. And the majority of folks were pretty good drivers on ice and snow out of necessity.
Last year when the ice storm hit Portland, wife passed many a FWD or AWD car that was stuck or spun out or couldn't get going with the Benz. (and more than one 4WD pointed the wrong direction in the ditch) The combination of the blizzaks, W(ife) Mode and ASR is pretty darn good. Brother had the E420 in spokane WA for 5 years, living in the hills outside he city and never got stuck or had any problems either with studded tires. Biggest concern with the Benz is the low ground clearance. anything more than a few inches of snow or any drifting snow and it risks getting high centered.
If anyone in your area offers winter driving or skid school classes, they are worth taking. In our area skid school is offered using FWD cars with outriggers so the instructor can instantly change the car between gross understeer and gross oversteer even on dry pavement. We have all taken the class and it was a humbling learning experience. Gave the class as a gift to our 3 kids in high school and they have thanked us several times for what they learned.
97 SL500 Imperial Red/Parchment Leather/Black Top
Chromed OEM wheels, Akebono's, H1+90 fog, Burlwood/Leather shift knob, Rostra Lumbar support, Check seat heaters, Bilstein's, Parrot Bluetooth, GG Bailey Custom cargo mat, GG Bailey trunk mat, Real Burlwood Instrument Cluster w Chrome rings, Burlwood & Chrome shift surround, Euro headlights with Osram 70W/65W H-4's, clear corners, Silverstar corner lamps, Euro Trunk mount Warning triangle, SL600 Burlwood armrest trim & Burlwood cupholder sliding cover, Kahtec flashing third brake light (CHMSL)
97 E420 Royal Indigo/Grey Leather
Raintracker wiper, Rostra Lumbar support, Parrott Bluetooth, 17" chrome AMG replica wheels, Bilstein's, Akebono's, smoked marker lights, Osram 65W H7's, H1+90 fog, Rear Seat Child restraint Tether, Burlwood/Leather shift knob, OEM Mudflaps, DRL's, Becker Aux input
Last edited by e-420; 12-20-2009 at 01:48 PM.