I buy winter tires for stopping and handling in winter weather, not to get up to speed, although they do help in deep snow. I've not driven the XC in Toronto without winter tires, but when I was on my road trip I hit some snow in Wyoming and the XC pulled through just fine with the stock Pirelli Scorpion STR.
Old Photos of my Stockish XC
*Bought the XC with those hub caps, I don't use them any more. Like the look of the steel rims better.
Over here we don't get it anything like you guys but we do have our moments. I tried my hardest but nothing stopped my XC90 with Nokians on. The one time I did grind to a halt in a drift I just turned off the traction knocked the gearbox over to manual and it pulled me out in second no problem.