How do you get a Prius through the snow? I didn't used to care but in the last few years Redmond has had snow sitting on the ground for a week or two. There are low profile chains that will work on a Prius but that's a bad solution for me because the main roads in Seattle will be clear of snow, it's the neighborhood roads and side streets that will be covered. So after a mile or two of driving I would have to take the chains off. Studded tires could work but most of the time there is no snow on the ground and having to have my wheels put on and off is a pain. Snow tires could work but the snow season is only a month long and temperatures go all over the place, besides we get more water than ice/snow towards the end of the down fall and snow tires do badly on that. In the end I found and have tried out a reasonable solution to my problem âÄì The Autosock.
I tried out the autosock on my car last winter and this winter. Both times they worked really well. They gave me excellent traction both on packed and loose snow. They take literally 60 seconds to put on and take off. They aren't perfect but they work pretty well. Where I ran into problems with them is on slushy snow. I had to rock the car several times, driving back and forth, to get through a few really slushy patches. And when the snow started to seriously melt the autosock met it's match and stopped working. But so long as the snow was reasonably solid (e.g. power or packed) they worked well. I tried them on the steep hills around my home and they gave excellent traction both going up and down hills. Besides the looks on people's faces as a Prius with what looked like a shower cap on its wheels confidently drove past in the two foot snow was priceless.
I have never driven a four wheel drive but my guess is that autosocks are no substitute for a four wheel drive or real snow tires. But they got me around just fine and the cost is certainly right.