Winter Driving in Norway - Happy Blue!
Just come back from a few days north of the Arctic Circle.

Interesting in that there is little obvious road clearing of the style we see in the UK. Yes main roads are cleared but not down to tarmac, but down to a manageable level of snow (two inches?) and thereafter cars are on snow tyres with little metal studs. They drive remarkably quickly for the conditions, but all the cars I saw seem to be in very good condition for their age (some at least 20 years old).

No salt is put down, but some form of grit which provides grip but no melting facility.

Mostly 2WD cars with plenty of RWD and a few 4WD including some Subaru Outback and Forester taxis! Saw very few large SUVs - in fact I saw just two Merc MLs, two XC90s and I think that was it.
Winter Driving in Norway - Nickdm
Further proves that 2WD is often fine, with the right tyres!

I imagine that large SUVs cost a fortune to buy and run in an expensive country like Norway, hence their general absence - apart from in wealthy urban areas like Oslo!

I took a rental Touran TDI with snow tyres from Copenhagen to Oslo in heavy snow last Feb, and traction was not a problem. Other drivers seem to know how to cope too.
Winter Driving in Norway - Zuave
Ditto Sweden. I lived for 18 months there and it was the same. A friend from Leeds and I befriended a couple of local lassies and we went to a cabin in a ski resort on the Norwegian Swedish border. Volvo S40 estate I think the car was. Snow tyres on and not a problem at all.
It does show the vast difference of driving skills, common sense and, most importantly, having the correct tyres fitted.

These days I am in Germany and have winter tyres on the diesel XJ. Despite conditions being constantly snowy, sometimes down to 18 below zero and generally " a bit wintery", with a couple of bags of sharp sand in the boot and a smooth driving style, all is well!
Winter Driving in Norway - Big Bad Dave
For various reasons I didn't swap for my winter tyres until just before I went skiing 3 or 4 weeks ago so I was able to make a good comparison between the all-seasons I had on and the winter tyres. There is no comparison frankly, the difference is nothing short of incredible. I was toying with the idea of buying chains for the trip but it was instantly obvious that I wouldn't need them. Some roads I drove up in the mountains - I had to take a deep breath - steep and single track so no going back, and thick snow. But it didn't miss a beat, didn't slip or twitch and didn't even come close to getting stuck anywhere despite some really heavy snow falls. I'm 100% convinced now that there isn't a road in Britain that can't be negotiated by a fwd car on the right tyres even in dreadful conditions and I'm sure it's the tyres more than any other factor that allows these countries to keep going in harsh winters.
Winter Driving in Norway - rtj70
The irony in the UK, some of the 'performance' 4x4s like the Porsche Cayenne have low profile tyres geared towards performance and not grip. In the poor weather we recently had, they would not be any better (and possibly worse) than most cars.

And old Land Rover usually can get to places partly because it has 4x4 and obviously because of the tyres fitted (typically mud and snow).
 

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