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Hyundai Santa Fe: Do I need four-wheel drive for these conditions?

I am a lady driver living in the country side - up a mountain with a small narrow laneway up to the house.

Conditions in winter are wet, mucky and sometimes a week or two of snow and ice. There are icy mornings too.

This is a general question about four-wheel drives and whether they are of any use in getting up a VERY steep hill in the winter time in bad snow and/or icy conditions. I understand that they do well in mucky conditions (which definitely applies) but, am unsure about snowy and icy conditions.

Apologies, I have never driven a four-wheel drive before.

We have children and normally I just stay off the road in bad conditions - but, can't really do this when they move onto 12+ secondary school. Sales guys tell me that I wouldn't need snow tires with the four-wheel drive and that will have no problem getting up steep hills.

I would normally err on the side of caution but, am being advised that if they wouldn't get me up the hill anyway, I might as well stick with the two-wheel drive version.

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Snow tyres on front wheel drive is at least as good and often better than four wheel drive. But, of course, four wheel drive with snow tyres is the best of the lot. You could compromise by buying all weather tyres, which are not quite as good as full winters in snow, but a lot better than summer tyres. See:
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