Quote Originally Posted by NINE-T-1-RENEGADE View Post
Then i'd have to vote for the XJ as well. Very reliable and tough.

However, I will say one of the best winter vehicles i've ever driven is a 1998 Cavalier with snowtires. There's more to winter driving than just not getting stuck (stability/control/braking) <-- three things Jeep's DO NOT excel at.
Amen. 4wd helps you go, but good tires help you go, stop, and turn.

In the winter, I switch between a Protege5 on snow tires and a Pathfinder on all-terrains. In 6 years, the Protege has been stuck exactly 1 time: when I tried to back it over an 18" snow plow pile at the end of the driveway, and it high centred. It feels a little closer to the limits vs. the pathfinder in 4wd, but when things start to go pear shaped, the Protege is MUCH easier to get back under control.

If you think you need 4wd, I'd spend $2500 on an XJ, $500 on a set of snow tires for it, and put the $2k into an oil stock.