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#1 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 09:50 PM
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AWD vs FWD

We have been shopping for a small SUV. RAV4 is at top of list right now. We have never owned an AWD vehicle or an SUV.
Live in Northwest Indiana, 75 inches of snow/year, flat terrain.

Question is would FWD be ok or are we giving up a lot? I am wondering if with stability control and traction control, FWD will be fine. I know there are many enthusiasts here but we not be off-roading. We will use pretty much as modern day station wagon. We live in subdivision close to town, not in the country.

Thanks for any comments.
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-11-2013, 10:16 PM
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FWD will be ok with decent winter tires. My current RAV is my first 4WD/AWD.

Apart from having more traction in snow and rain, on thing that I appreciate every winter is the fact the tires never skid from starting at a stand still at an intersection.
This is great for peace of mind.

I just did not like it when the traction control would just stop the car a foot from the intersection.

However, I still use snow tires with the 4wd.

2008 Base Rav4, 4 Cylinder, 4WD
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#3 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 10:32 AM
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Thanks for the reply.
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#4 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 12:46 PM
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I was too cheap...

I decided against AWD primarily because I am too cheap...yeah I wanted better gas mileage and a lower overall purchase price, but I also didn't want to be forced into buying 4 tires every time.

If you have not had a 4WD or AWD vehicle, you may not be aware that most tire places (at least here in California) won't let you buy 2 tires at a time (if that is what you need), instead they will require you to buy all 4 because they say they have been sued for transmission damage because all the tires don't match. I do believe this is a valid issue so I'm not trying to say that they are wrong, but I could not get Costco to put 2 tires on my 4WD Suburban even though I could show them that it was not full time 4WD and that I had NEVER actually used 4WD with the vehicle.

I didn't want to deal with that again. Maybe if you are in need of those extra safety features of AWD it would be worth the added maintenance costs, but it isn't for me.
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#5 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 01:01 PM
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Well, tires need to be fixed first. It's not like for every puncture, you'll change a tire.

If one tire needs to be replaced, I would just do that if the other tire on the axle is almost new. If the other tires on the axle is worn out I would change both. if the other tire on the axle is half worn, you also have option to shave the new tire to match although I don't really like this option.

I have 7 puncture in my 4 OEM tires, none have been changed yet.

On a permanet AWD, I would definitely change all 4 if the other 3 tires are worn out.

2008 Base Rav4, 4 Cylinder, 4WD
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#6 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanib View Post
Well, tires need to be fixed first. It's not like for every puncture, you'll change a tire.

If one tire needs to be replaced, I would just do that if the other tire on the axle is almost new. If the other tires on the axle is worn out I would change both. if the other tire on the axle is half worn, you also have option to shave the new tire to match although I don't really like this option.

I have 7 puncture in my 4 OEM tires, none have been changed yet.

On a permanet AWD, I would definitely change all 4 if the other 3 tires are worn out.

All great points, but I think you might be missing part of what I am saying. They would not give me the option to replace 1 or 2 tires regardless of what axel they were on. Their contention was that it was company policy to only replace all 4 tires if they were past a certain tread depth compared to that of the new tire.

My specific case was that I had an alignment issue with the front tires and they had uneven wear. The rear tires were in great shape, and around a year old. I was ok with replacing the fronts because the definitely had a problem, but I was not OK with spending another $500 to replace perfectly good rear tires just because all 4 tires needed matching tread depth.

Probably not a big issue if you are good about maintaining your vehicle, but as the years go by, lots of things can happen...

Just my reason for not wanting to deal with AWD...
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#7 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 01:26 PM
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Just take off the 4WD badge off your car

If they gave me this crap, I would buy the tires and get them aligned somewhere else or take your business somewhere else.

You could also just get the tire/wheel off the car and get them to mount new tires. Do they have a policy about mounting tires without know which car it is going on? i would say they are spare tires for my 2 vechicles.

There is always a way out of these "policies".

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#8 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 02:43 PM
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I live in Atlanta so I will not use AWD 90% of the time but:

1) We have a mountain home in North Carolina where it snows in the winters, and I definitely want AWD for those winter trips

2) We have a lake house in north Georgia where it can also get muddy in summers, and there are some trails that we take back to different fishing spots

2) I liked how the AWD model drove better, especially in sport mode

3) Resale is higher on AWD/4X4 models

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#9 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 03:32 PM
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For 30 years I have been driving FWD / RWD cars. Never felt the need for 4WD / AWD. Until 2008 when I bought a 4WD (FJ Cruiser). Since then, I won't buy a car a 2WD car anymore. It's like ABS or ESP. Once you try it, it becomes a "necessity".
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#10 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 04:30 PM
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I would have appreciated 4WD when I lived in rural Minnesota and Nebraska, especially in winter. RWD cars and trucks had traction and control problems on packed snow and on ice - but that improved greatly with studded tires until Minn. outlawed them.

Where I live in Oregon - 4WD is useful again when having to drive in snow especially in mountains, and also in occasional mud situations.

Jim
2011 Upgraded Base V6 4WD
2007 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT
2002 Craftsman LT1000 V2

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