I ran a manual transmission Volvo 744 turbo through two snowy Nebraska winters. On decent all-season tires, it was great in the winter, and I share your preference for RWD. More fun and more challenging, but with narrow tires and good ground clearance, I had no big issues with it as a winter car. I think I paid $75 for this car 10 years ago and had to re-wire most of the fusebox since it had melted down prior to my purchase.
After buying new tires, prancing moose stickers, and the wiring fixes, I think I had a total of $450 in it. It was a tank, great car.