This is every bullcrap argument against AWD in one article, with nothing but conjecture, and the author's personal claim that he's wrecked AWD cars, and sees AWD cars in the ditches in the winter.
Here's my anecdote... I have been in ditches in FWD and RWD cars, and have yet to catastrophically lose traction and control in an AWD car, and I see plenty of FWD and RWD cars (and some AWD cars, likely ALL driven by morons), in ditches. After more than 15 midwestern winters of daily driving in highly variable winter conditions.
Gee... tires matter, NEWSFLASH, NOBODY DISPUTES THAT. AWD with snow tires is more capable than 2WD with snow tires, even if 2WD may have some traction that AWD on shagged out summer tires might not.
Gee, drive wheels have little to do with handling... that would be suspension's department for the most part.
Gee, people are dumbasses and drive too fast for conditions... ALL SORTS OF PEOPLE do that regardless of how many driven wheels their car has.
And yet one more person who trivializes the argument that traction can be lost in the transition back and forth between power and coasting, and that oversteering and understeering can be mitigated.
Not a single word about different grades of AWD, just some conjecture about future torque vectoring, not that it mentions that some Quattro Audis, and DCCD/VTD Subarus, and SH-AWD Honda/Acura cars already have it, and aren't the same as Faux-wheel-drive base-line haldex systems, like MINI's All4, and others.
Not a mention of 4-wheel engine braking as a winter weather technique that is often more controllable than ABS-jarring threshold braking in slick conditions.
Most of the article seemd to just be criticism of people who are not well versed in winter driving, and them exceeding their driving skills, as well as any car's expectation for control in adverse conditions, regardless of how many of the car's wheels are driven.
Not a consideration apparently given for the added superior capabilities in the hands of someone who does know what they are doing, and doesn't overstep the bounds. Not a consideration given for the superiority of AWD in rally and other loose or slick surface motorsports, and sometimes even demonstrated benefits on the tarmac.
I tried to read the article with an open mind... considering how few cars fit my criteria... opening up to 2WD daily drivers in the winter would open up my possibilities for my next car.
But it was the same shallow arguments that I have refuted before, usually that come from people with a whole lot less automotive experience than I would figure for someone with an automotive by-line authorship, like Mac Demere of Popular Mechanics, reposted by Yahoo Autos.
I expected more substance, and something less shallow. I guess I overestimated again. I overestimate the automotive press more than I overestimate traction and safe speed on a slick road.