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There is definitely value in having a winter beater. Salt and slush and wet dirt mix (I think someone referred to it as "snirt") is brutal on cars. We have a 1989 NA c900 that is cosmetically a bit rough for this purpose, and that pre-ABS car drives circles around the 9-5 in winter. Unfortunately someone slid into our rear fender a few weeks ago, so I'll have a little bit of minor cosmetic body work to do once things warm up outside... thankfully it was the winter beater and not the nicer condition c900 that took the hit! Not sure how many more winters we'll get out of it (corrosion), but I've been saying that for 5 years now...
AWD is helpful, but Hakkas are more helpful imho!
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