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Old 12-19-2009, 01:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 4x4 vs. All Wheel Drive

I've been thinking about my next vehicle and after last night's driving experience I thought I would get some others advice. I have always had a four wheel drive SUV but was wondering about an all wheel drive sedan possibly to save on fuel cost. Is an all wheel drive car at a disadvantage in winter driving conditions? My SUV worked like a champ last night and makes me think I would be crazy to switch.
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Old 12-19-2009, 01:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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All wheel is just that, all wheel. 4 wheel you can switch in and out. We've got rear wheel vans at work and are switching over to all wheel since the 4x4 conversions are just to expensive. I think in some instances the allwheels handy really well, but it will lower your gas mileage (compared to rear wheel), but not sure how much if any difference you'd see between it and a 4x4 capable.

I kind of use the rule of thumb....go in the ditch in 2 wheel...4 wheel gets you out....got in in 4 wheel..you shouldnt of been out
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Old 12-19-2009, 01:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Depends what company makes the AWD. Most AWD are FWD cars, however once the front tires slip, the cards goes into AWD (the ratio to front and rear is rarely 50/50). Also, even if your car is AWD, you will still have to put on chains/cables/spikes. Fuel dips on AWD vehicles about 2 MPG over the regular vehicle. The vehicle is heavier and there is a drive train loss, so the loss is minimal. I hope this helps you.
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i don't think you'll ever have to worry about this much snow in VA again..... at least not for a dew decades.
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Old 12-19-2009, 04:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, but it sure is nice to not be totally snowed in because your vehicle can't get out. I was just wondering if I would lose a lot of capability if I switched from my Envoy to an AWD Subaru, Acura, or Ford Fusion.
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Old 12-20-2009, 12:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I had a subaru wrx and loved it, but if you get much snow you're stuck because you don't have the ground clearance of a 4x4 truck or suv. Now i have Chevrolet Colorado and had no problems in the snow storm. I live in Virginia and this is by far the most snow i've seen in 10-15 years. So it all depends on where you live and how much snow you usually get.
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Old 12-20-2009, 12:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Where are you in Virginia? I know that areas up near Staunton were still a mess yesterday from looking at traffic cameras.

Does the lighter rearend on the pickup truck hurt the traction any? Thanks for your reply, this was what I was wondering about.
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Old 12-20-2009, 01:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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A lighter rear end on a pickup is a huge disadvantage. My Ranger was way to light, and I had to put 3-500 lbs of sand to get decent traction (even with a cap). I did have a long bed, but my Silverado is no where as jumpy and/or light on the rear end.
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Old 12-20-2009, 01:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I live over in the mountains of VA and the 4x4 doesn't do you much good to be honest...if 2 wheels can't get traction, 4 wheels don't usually either...it is good for getting going and that sort of thing if you are stuck...but once you get up to speed it's pretty much useless...the majority of the idiots on the road in 4x4's don't realize this and drive like maniacs and endanger the rest of the population in the process...when i finally was able to get out after this big snow i would say there was about a 50/50 mix of 4x2's and 4x4's of all makes and types stranded along the roadways...saw blazers, trucks, imports, domestic...you name it...in the ditches and in various other places.

If you are slowed down to a crawl though or trying to make it out of a slick spot...4x4 is great...but if it's slick it's slick...doesn't matter how many wheels you have spinning if you can't get traction.

I hate winter.
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Old 12-20-2009, 03:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindbinge View Post
I live over in the mountains of VA and the 4x4 doesn't do you much good to be honest...if 2 wheels can't get traction, 4 wheels don't usually either...it is good for getting going and that sort of thing if you are stuck...but once you get up to speed it's pretty much useless...the majority of the idiots on the road in 4x4's don't realize this and drive like maniacs and endanger the rest of the population in the process...when i finally was able to get out after this big snow i would say there was about a 50/50 mix of 4x2's and 4x4's of all makes and types stranded along the roadways...saw blazers, trucks, imports, domestic...you name it...in the ditches and in various other places.

If you are slowed down to a crawl though or trying to make it out of a slick spot...4x4 is great...but if it's slick it's slick...doesn't matter how many wheels you have spinning if you can't get traction.

I hate winter.
I grew up in your area and lived there for almost 30 years,as a matter of fact, I'm not far from you now. No way I would have gone without four wheel drive. Some winters I needed it, some I didn't. I always made it to work and back though. You are right on one thing- a lot of times it is the drivers fault and not necessarily the weather condtions or automobile.
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Old 12-20-2009, 05:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have both...all about the same once it gets bad...lol. I will tell you of all the cars,trucks, and everything else with a motor I've owned...I had a Ford Focus and it was a total death trap in the snow...had it for a winter and got rid of it as soon as i could. Full size 2 door Blazer 4x4 does great...I put it in 4x4 when I need it...I still worry more about other people driving than I do the weather lol.
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