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Hey, I represent that remark... :thumbs_up:

I won't go without AWD on a new vehicle purchase.....it's a life saver in many circumstances during our Winter season here in Minnesota.
There's days I can't get out of my driveway without AWD (or 4WD).

If your in the snow belt I consider it a necessity....otherwise it's not really needed IMHO.
Besides, that AWD emblem is so cool! ;)
I was on a farm. 4WD was not so available then - would have been very useful in snow, but also in spring when the thaws made our country roads virtually impassible at times because of the mud... still I preferred winter to summer because of the summer heat and humidity and with A/C in cars available only as an expensive add-on accessory and only in some vehicles.

Great people in rural Minnesota! :thumbs_up:
 

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Have the base 4WD w/ oem tires. Did not get stuck or have any issues during last winter. I was on a budget too but would not buy a vehicle without 4/AWD due to the few times safety can really be a concern. I use 4WD lock in heavy snow leaving the neighborhood and it's such a nice feeling not having to worry. In my mind it's one of the few expenses I am willing to put in a vehicle with our budget.

Does not make sense to me to spend less on the Rav to get FWD just to turn around and spend a good chunk of change on winter tires (plus tires are an ongoing expense of you plan to keep her for a while). Granted if I lived where it snowed a lot it would be worth it. Remember AWD is not just for snow, it can help in a lot of situations.
 

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Buying an SUV with FWD is like buying non-alcoholic beer. Why do it??

Seriously, I drove thru 4 snowstorms this spring in my new RAV and was very happy I had AWD. If it snows where you live, get AWD/ 4WD.
 

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We all feel a need to justify our purchases........FWD/AWD/XL/XLE/Limited yada yada.

Purchase what you feel is best for you and your situation......
For me AWD is the only vehicle I'll purchase for an SUV......I've had both and there is no comparison IMHO.
 

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Fair - FWD w/ all seasons
Good - AWD w/ all seasons
Better - FWD w/ winter tires
BEST - AWD w/ winter tires
:thumbs_up: Couldn't say it any better than you did. The difference between all season tires and dedicated winter tires is night and day. AWD may help get you going but it won't help you turn or stop. In addition when you are travelling at higher speeds where you encounter ice or black ice, having winter tires is more important that having AWD. AWD+winter tires is almost like driving in summertime. If you try winter tires just once, believe me you will NEVER go back to all season tires.
 

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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.
Agreed, just more weight, maintenance and potential issues, especially with auto transfer case, diff., CV joints, axles, boots.
 

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Agreed, just more weight, maintenance and potential issues, especially with auto transfer case, diff., CV joints, axles, boots.
Since the quoted post is from 2013 it's likely he's not only decided by now but probably a car or two past the decision.
 

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Since the quoted post is from 2013 it's likely he's not only decided by now but probably a car or two past the decision.
Maybe he settled on a motorcycle - just replace 2 tires with no need to rotate them! >:D
 

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good for him, it is still as pertinent now as then. Thanks for your input.
Except where the previous info isn't correct. Now I have to go back and review it all. Shouda just let it go. :wall
 

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For the 10 dealers within 40 miles of me and out of 1059 2018 gas model Rav4s, there are only 21 FWDs available, all are LEs, my dealer has 3 LEs listed, FWD just isn't in demand or popular here, I've never owned a FWD or 2WD SUV.
 

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Speaking for myself, Doc, I would appreciate any corrections you could make!
Okay I reviewed all 30+ posts. And we've had many other similar threads since this 2013 one with most posters long gone. My general comment is if you live where it snows get 4WD/AWD. The two from CA don't need it unless you live in Truckee like one of our members, or go skiing in the Sierras.

As for the member in CA where they won't let you buy anything but four tires, vanib had the answer
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 vehicles.

There is always a way out of these "policies".
Truth is with RAV4s system you virtually can't hurt it with different diameter tires because 1) it runs in FWD most of the time and 2) the rear drive won't engage if the speed difference exceeds 3%.

ColoradoRav probably had the best overall advice.
Have the base 4WD w/ oem tires. Did not get stuck or have any issues during last winter. I was on a budget too but would not buy a vehicle without 4/AWD due to the few times safety can really be a concern. I use 4WD lock in heavy snow leaving the neighborhood and it's such a nice feeling not having to worry. In my mind it's one of the few expenses I am willing to put in a vehicle with our budget.

Does not make sense to me to spend less on the Rav to get FWD just to turn around and spend a good chunk of change on winter tires (plus tires are an ongoing expense of you plan to keep her for a while). Granted if I lived where it snowed a lot it would be worth it. Remember AWD is not just for snow, it can help in a lot of situations.
Overall I'd agree with
Agreed, just more weight, maintenance and potential issues, especially with auto transfer case, diff., CV joints, axles, boots.
altho all those "extras" haven't proven particularly troublesome over the last nearly five years, at least not enough to not buy a RAV4 4/AWD if you need it.
 

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Agreed, just more weight, maintenance and potential issues, especially with auto transfer case, diff., CV joints, axles, boots.
This is why i went FWD. I came from a very capable AWD SUV (2006 Ford Explorer) and can tell you that the only benefit of AWD is the initial traction from rest. Once rolling, you might as well be driving a RWD car. I can count the number of times the front wheels kicked in unintentionally on my hands in 8yrs of ownership. I had a 2003 Taurus previous to the Explorer and it was like a tank in the snow with good all season tires, winters would have made it that much better.

For this car I wanted to keep it sand box simple, less potential things to go wrong and less maintenance to worry about plus slight improvement in fuel economy. I figure in a couple years when the all seasons wear down I will change to winters on the factory steel rims and get a set of alloys for the spring/summer/fall period.

And for some comments on why would you get an SUV in FWD, easy--- more cargo room and easier to get in and out of compared to a sedan or wagon.
 

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Great minds do think alike ! I too came from an '01 "Exploder" with auto 4WD I had for 14 yrs. Served well, and a little missed but never one to sink a ton into a vehicle. I can count on one hand (less) the number of times I used 4WD, never really sure if it actually worked. A few years back the transfer case gave out with the notorious flashing lights. Ran well, though peripheral items were going. Time to rest her in the pasture, also pretty crappy MPG around town. Come from a long line of RWD, FWD, nary a real problem with snow especially with FWD. Our 'ol '83 Mercury Lynx (Escort) was like a jackrabbit in snow.
I did my research and too wanted to keep it simple, less potential things to go wrong and less maintenance to worry about plus big improvement in fuel economy. Probably near twice around town MPG.
And agreed about why would you get an SUV in FWD, wife has a "10 Santa Fe, V6 FWD!
More cargo room and easier to get in and out of compared to a sedan or wagon..
 

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Yea, the Explorer did a lot of things well but also was like having a high maintenance wife. Heavy on gas and had regular mechanical issues that needed to be fixed from the Rad, Thermostat housing, wheel bearings and ball joints...etc. The final straw for me was the rear coolant line blow out that nearly left me stranded with an overheating engine. This is why I didn't want any extra options on the Rav. No rear cooling lines on this baby!
 

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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.
Agree... I hate AWD. I rarely really need it and it does make you by 4 replacement tires if you ruin one. I had a situation where I had recently bought new tires. I had a flat on the interstate and the tire could not be repaired. The dealer made me buy 4 new tires, even with 3 perfectly good ones. I live in central Illinois and am much more likely to experience a flat tire than a true need for AWD. AWD is a good idea, but the cost and issues with tires are not worth it. IMO.
 
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