From all I've read you need to get 4 snow rated tires. The reason being that the rear end will break loose while the front grabs. It makes for an unsafe condition.
We just put 4 general altimax artics on our van yesterday. The wife is the main driver and she says there is a huge diff from the tires that came with the van. If she can tell then that's a real positive. Braking is where she notices the biggest improvement so far.
Fishy, I understand money being tight, it is for a lot of us. But...spring for all 4. I had two on our fronts only about 5 years ago, lightly braked going downhill and started doing 360's. Filled my pants.
Bought matching pair for the rear an hour later.
I put 4 General Altimax tires on my wife's van four days ago. I took it out during the near blizzard we had two days ago and WHAT a DIFFERENCE!!! The van is like a tank in the snow. The regular tires we have on the van are fairly new but are awful in the snow. I highly recommend the snows.
The OEM tires suck. I was driving at 5 to 10 mph during the snow storm. The accumulated snow on the road probably like 4 to 6 in, and when I brake on stop sign, the van continue to slide. There was a income truck too, luckily he was able to stop. Scary the sh1t out of me.