Originally Posted by Howl
Winter tires aren't intended to help you go faster. They are intended to help you stop and corner . . . so yes, they are absolutely necessary on an AWD car.
Studs are 1970's technology. They are great on ice, but they suck the rest of the time. You can get a set of ice tires (Toyo Garit KX, Michelin X-ice, Yokohama IG20 etc.) which will perform almost as well on ice and you'll be much happier the rest of the time.
Snow tires work better on snow but aren't as good on ice. They also tend to be less squishy than ice tires. If snow is your main concern you can get Nexen WG321 tires cheap from Walmart. They are a Chinese-made continuation of the discontinued Nokian Hakka 2 tire which is an awesome tire for deep snow.
I am already putting snow tires on, I was just debating to put studs on them or not. I looked at the WG tires at walmart but they don't ever have them in stock here. I have tried many times and they wont let me order a set.
First come first served apparently... I Will probably just end up with some Hankook I Pikes. They are only a little bit more expensive.