I just wanted to post to say the tires make a huge difference. I bought a winter tire/rim package through the Tire Rack and it cost about $600 shipped. Well worth it. I bought the winter set shortly after I bought the car so I can't honestly say how many accidents it's helped me avoid, but just about any car is safer with winter tires than without it if you live in a wintry climate. All tires have their limitations, regardless of conditions, but stopping, steering, and starting is better with the right tires.
Best part, after a winter of usage the tread still looks almost new. Plus, my all seasons don't show much wear.
Model: Focus SES
Location: North Dakota, USA
Tires only or winter package: Package (15" steel rims with 195/60-15 Continental ExtremeWinterContact tires)