I guess I'll know for sure myself this winter. I am going to stick with the stock tires and see just how well or poorly they perform. If they can't cut it, then I'll look at getting another set, but I can't see spending the money until I know for sure, one way or the other...
We are in the midst of our first significant snowfall this year. About 6" over the last 2 days. I have a quarter mile drive way that is steep uphill, so function was important to me. I had decided to try the stock tires out before purchasing a set of winter tires and wheels. I live in the mountains at 8000 ft. elevation, so snow is an issue annually.
I am impressed. By looking at the tire design, I was afraid that the tires would not slough off the snow adequately, I was concerned about the width and the tires ability to cut through the snow and I was concerned that the smooth aspects of the side of the tires would not bite well. But at this point, early in the winter season admittedly, the tires have performed well. They bite and do not slip. The width does not seem to impede the tire's abilty to cut through the snow.
Unless the tire's performance deteriorates over the winter, I will not be purchasing winter tires/wheels.