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Nissan's track-equipped crossovers are perfect for the Snowpocalypse (pictures)

If you thought Nissan was crazy for attaching snow tracks to its Rogue crossover, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Now, the Murano and the Pathfinder are joining in on the fun.

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Andrew Krok
Nissan's "Winter Warriors"
1 of 30 Nick Miotke/CNET

Earlier in the year, Nissan debuted a Rogue Warrior concept featuring a heavy-duty set of snow tracks.

Nissan's "Winter Warriors"
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This triumvirate expands upon that concept using other all-wheel-drive crossovers in the Japanese automaker's lineup.

Nissan's "Winter Warriors"
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The Pathfinder, Rogue and Murano are all sporting suspension lifts, snow tracks, some fresh vinyl and...that's it!

Nissan's "Winter Warriors"
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Yes, you read that correctly -- there were no large modifications to the vehicle or its AWD system to accommodate these tracks.

Nissan's "Winter Warriors"
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Theoretically, you could do this to your own Nissan crossover if you wanted -- and if you don't care about your factory warranty.

Nissan's "Winter Warriors"
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Despite the Chicago Auto Show starting just two days from the time of writing, Nissan decided to let us have a go in these ridiculous machines.

Nissan's "Winter Warriors"
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The verdict? They're tons of fun to drive...even if driving them isn't necessarily fun.

Nissan's "Winter Warriors"
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Grip abounds with these tracks. We climbed very steep snow hills, and the cars just kept going. It was genuinely impressive.

Nissan's "Winter Warriors"
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Of course, all this grip comes with a few downsides.

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Namely, your ride quality will suffer -- greatly.

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The tracks are bolted right to the wheel hubs, so every minute vibration works its way from track to steering wheel.

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The steering wheel shakes like a paint shaker that hasn't had a drink in a couple days.

Nissan's "Winter Warriors"
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Then there's the noise.

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The tracks are quite loud, both outside and inside the vehicle. Do you like yelling to (not at) your passengers? Then you'll love driving a crossover with tracks.

Nissan's "Winter Warriors"
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But you do get quite a marvelous show once you hit some fresh powder.

Nissan's "Winter Warriors"
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The tracks kick up snow all around the vehicle, giving the crossover its own cloaking field -- which doesn't really work all that well when it's wrapped in bright red vinyl.

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Paint these suckers brilliant white, though, and they'd practically disappear into the background.

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The tracks also cut into rear-seat ingress and egress.

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Be careful not to slam a shin into the track when entering the vehicle, and make sure not to trip or stumble on your way out.

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Standing still, each member of this unholy trinity looks downright angry.

Nissan's "Winter Warriors"
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If you're a clean freak who can't handle a bit of the white stuff on your paint, then you might want to avoid the whole aftermarket-track-installation thing.

Nissan's "Winter Warriors"
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But if you value fun and grip above all else, it's not a bad way to spend a fair amount of money and become utterly unstoppable in the winter.

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You should probably check your local ordinances before slapping a set of tracks on, though -- good luck finding a county where these bad boys are street legal.

Nissan's "Winter Warriors"
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Best of all, if you can handle the suspension lift on the road, all you need to do to make these cars legal is put the wheels back on, which you can do with a jack and a tire iron.

Nissan's "Winter Warriors"
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The only other issue with a track-equipped crossover is the steering angle.

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As the cars are currently set up, you can't turn the wheel more than 120-180 degrees without the tracks either breaking trim pieces or tearing into the front fenders.

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Go too fast over a mogul, and the suspension will compress the rear tracks right into the quarter panels, as well.

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Your fearless author may or may not have broken the Rogue's windshield-wiper-fluid tank after a bit too much steering input. Sorry about that once again, Nissan!

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For all the downsides, though, these cars are absolutely riotous when around the white stuff -- sort of like pre-rehab Robert Downey, Jr.

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Simply put, you can't go wrong with a crossover built to tackle snow with ease. Even if it is only a concept.

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