All else equal: RWD or AWD? - AcuraZine - Acura Enthusiast Community

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View Poll Results: RWD or AWD?
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All else equal: RWD or AWD?

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Old 02-07-2018, 11:39 AM
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All else equal: RWD or AWD?

Say you had 2 identical cars, available as RWD or AWD.
Mercedes, BMW, & Kia Stinger jump in my head immediately.
Which would you go with/why?
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:43 AM
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AWD. Traction > *
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:46 AM
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AWD since I drive in snow for a good portion of the year.

RWD if the car never saw snow.
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:51 AM
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Really depends on where you live. Lots of snow obviously AWD. Occasional or no snow definitely RWD.
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Old 02-07-2018, 12:13 PM
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Well, this is Houston, where we have 4 seasons: Summer, December, January & February.
Thinking about a sports/sporty sedan for my next car & a few that I've looked at have both options.
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Old 02-07-2018, 12:16 PM
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awd for the weather here in pa.
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Old 02-07-2018, 12:26 PM
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Well wait... what kind of car? Daily driver? FUN only car? There is no one answer suits all.
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Old 02-07-2018, 12:35 PM
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I have always preferred a RWD car, especially the way it feels as long as I don't have to use it as a DD in the snow. But after seeing what AMG does with the E63 4MATIC, and how easy it is getting all that power to ground I am starting to lean towards AWD. Even for my "fun" car. .
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Old 02-07-2018, 12:37 PM
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This really depends on the type of AWD system because not all systems are created equally. Some send 100% of the power to the rear wheels (weíll use a RWD platform in this case) and only send power forwards when front wheel slip is detected. Other systems are either a constant torque split 50:50/40:60/30:70 Front-Rear. Others can run in 100% RWD or any variation thereof with a press of a button (some recent AMGís are like this).

Living in the snow belt I highly prefer AWD and we do not get enough good weather to justify having a strictly RWD car year round. So my preference is 100% for AWD, but the kind capable of constantly sending torque to the front (so the last 2 types of systems I mentioned) regardless of slip because I feel this helps combat oversteer during heavy cornering in less than perfect conditions.

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Old 02-07-2018, 12:50 PM
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RWD.

I don't know what snow is.
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Old 02-07-2018, 12:56 PM
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^^ Lucky you.....
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:01 PM
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I bought my MazdaSpeed6 right before moving from Arizona to Tennessee thinking we'd get snow here and it'd be worth it for the AWD. If we get an inch of snow here the county shuts down. We had nothing the first year. AWD without bad weather was so boring to me.
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:03 PM
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I went with my heart and said RWD.
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:09 PM
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I live in a place some call Snow Hampshire; I still prefer RWD for year-round driving; folks who claim to need AWD for snow really don't know what they're talking about.

Putting on my Nomex suit and ducking for cover.
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:13 PM
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AWD with snow tires. RWD with the right tires isn't bad but if the option is there, I'd take it.
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by horseshoez View Post
I live in a place some call Snow Hampshire; I still prefer RWD for year-round driving; folks who claim to need AWD for snow really don't know what they're talking about.

Putting on my Nomex suit and ducking for cover.
It's better all things equal but AWD in and of itself does not ensure good snow performnace.
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by flipster23 View Post
rwd.

I don't know what snow is.
+1
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by horseshoez View Post
I live in a place some call Snow Hampshire; I still prefer RWD for year-round driving; folks who claim to need AWD for snow really don't know what they're talking about.

Putting on my Nomex suit and ducking for cover.
Did you ever consider the shocking possibility of snow tires on an AWD car? Come and try to tell me RWD with snow tires will be superior to AWD with snow tires in deep snow. Exactly.

Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
AWD with snow tires. RWD with the right tires isn't bad but if the option is there, I'd take it.
Thank you. Iím so tired of every AWD thread turning into a snow tires thread. Itís like nobody considers you can put snow tires on an AWD car. I was given a fwd ILX with snow tires as a loaner last year during a very snowy day and it was the scariest driving experience of my life. Gave myself enormous gaps and was gentle AF with the accelerator and still I would barely make it into the proper lane due to no traction and had a few EXTREMELY close calls. When I got my MDX back from the oil change (with SH-AWD and all season tires) the experience was night and day. Zero wheel slip when going into intersections. But I donít know what Iím talking about
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:47 PM
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I legitimately can't decide. I think I'd go with AWD, though as mentioned, it depends on the system being employed.

I find I can absolutely mash FWD cars through any corner. In the few AWD cars I've driven, I could do the same... even a bit faster. But I've never been able to push RWD nearly as hard as either of the two. Yes, it is fun... but it also scares the shit out of me.

Also, as fun as it is to let the backend come out a bit, it also kills your tires. I can't help but always think how much a small slide costs me, in terms of tire wear

Now that I think about it more... I would definitely take AWD. Especially with a 6MT.
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:50 PM
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Meh, I've been driving FWD cars for the last 14 years through every shit snow storm you can imagine, and I've never had issues. Or winter collisions. The only nice thing about AWD is getting going from a complete stop. AWD excels in that, hands down. My TL on winter rubber is no match for my tenant's RL with all season tires. He simply destroys me at any set of lights.
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Old 02-07-2018, 01:59 PM
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Awd > *
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:05 PM
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Funny thing, we get maybe 20 days of snow and/or ice here in New Hampshire; with that in mind, prior to ordering my last car I asked myself, "Would I rather drive slower 20 days per year, or would I rather toting around the extra weight and drag of an AWD system 345 days per year?" To me at least, the answer was obvious, RWD baby!
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 1killercls View Post
Awd > *
Depends on the system, but anything Subaru or better is great. Honda AWD? No thanks.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by TacoBello View Post
Meh, I've been driving FWD cars for the last 14 years through every shit snow storm you can imagine, and I've never had issues. Or winter collisions. The only nice thing about AWD is getting going from a complete stop. AWD excels in that, hands down. My TL on winter rubber is no match for my tenant's RL with all season tires. He simply destroys me at any set of lights.
Truth be told this is actually what scares me the most about winter driving. I keep a sufficient gap so stopping isnít what worries me (besides AWD doesnít help with stopping). Rather what freaks me out is trying to merge into traffic and nothing is happening. That is why I swear by AWD.

Originally Posted by horseshoez View Post
Funny thing, we get maybe 20 days of snow and/or ice here in New Hampshire; with that in mind, prior to ordering my last car I asked myself, "Would I rather drive slower 20 days per year, or would I rather toting around the extra weight and drag of an AWD system 345 days per year?" To me at least, the answer was obvious, RWD baby!
So this post is a complete contradiction of your other post. You first state that AWD doesnít help with snow and then admit to driving slower during icy snowy conditions because you realize that your RWD car will not do as well as an AWD car. You also call it snow-hampshire but have 20 days of snow? Lastly you have 20 days of snow and ice and youíre trying to compare that to the 6-8 MONTHS of snow and ice we can get here? Exactly.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:15 PM
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You live in TX. RWD.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:16 PM
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AWD with RWD bias. RWD most of the time with AWD when needed/wanted.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by nist7 View Post
AWD with RWD bias. RWD most of the time with AWD when needed/wanted.
Sure I guess. Torsen quattro is good but Audi looks like they are going to move away from it
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by kurtatx View Post
Depends on the system, but anything Subaru or better is great. Honda AWD? No thanks.
Is Honda AWD even AWD? All these part time slip and grip systems are complete garbage. You literally lug around extra weight for when the system activates for those 10 seconds and then off otherwise. The only exception is those slip and grip systems with a ďlock modeĒ. We own a AWD Veracruz that has a slip and grip system but it has that ďAWD-LockĒ button. I drove to a very snowy unplowed road and drove without the AWD lock on and the car just slipped a whole bunch with traction control going crazy for 10 seconds before finally getting a move on. I then did the same ďtestĒ with AWD lock engaged and the experience was night and day. Zero wheel slip and just took off. Though that AWD lock mode only works until about 25mph or 40km/h. It works for what I expect from it. Iím not corner carving with the veracruz thatís for sure lol.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by RDX10 View Post
Truth be told this is actually what scares me the most about winter driving. I keep a sufficient gap so stopping isnít what worries me (besides AWD doesnít help with stopping). Rather what freaks me out is trying to merge into traffic and nothing is happening. That is why I swear by AWD.
I'm betting that a good 70% of vehicles on the road are either FWD, or some sort of FWD biased AWD system that never works as one would expect it to. RWD is limited to sports cars, which you rarely see in the winter, and trucks, which many have 4x4, but most are running in 2WD mode anyway.

Yet, the majority of the population still seems to get along just fine in their commutes. FWD or RWD.. it's really not an issue. Yeah, you can't just pull out into traffic... but after 5 minutes of driving you realize how much of a gap you most likely need to keep, and other than that, you're back to driving as you always would. It's not like it takes me an additional 30 seconds to accelerate. And it's only on the ice/snow covered intersections where its a problem. The day after it dumps, the roads are fairly clear. No real issues. Some intersections/merge lanes are bad... but definitely still manageable.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by RDX10 View Post
So this post is a complete contradiction of your other post. You first state that AWD doesnít help with snow and then admit to driving slower during icy snowy conditions because you realize that your RWD car will not do as well as an AWD car. You also call it snow-hampshire but have 20 days of snow? Lastly you have 20 days of snow and ice and youíre trying to compare that to the 6-8 MONTHS of snow and ice we can get here? Exactly.
20 days of the roads being covered. I'd believe it. I doubt our roads are any much different. We have snow for 6 months, but the main roads, at least 85% of that time are bare.

You're commenting on a drive system you apparently have very limited/no experience with. I see where Horseshoez is coming from. I see no flaw in his logic.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:31 PM
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is the vehicle a toy that you intend to go sideways in?
if not; AWD for extreme traction from stop light to stop light.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by TacoBello View Post
I'm betting that a good 70% of vehicles on the road are either FWD, or some sort of FWD biased AWD system that never works as one would expect it to. RWD is limited to sports cars, which you rarely see in the winter, and trucks, which many have 4x4, but most are running in 2WD mode anyway.

Yet, the majority of the population still seems to get along just fine in their commutes. FWD or RWD.. it's really not an issue. Yeah, you can't just pull out into traffic... but after 5 minutes of driving you realize how much of a gap you most likely need to keep, and other than that, you're back to driving as you always would. It's not like it takes me an additional 30 seconds to accelerate. And it's only on the ice/snow covered intersections where its a problem. The day after it dumps, the roads are fairly clear. No real issues. Some intersections/merge lanes are bad... but definitely still manageable.
Yes you are correct, you can get around with FWD/RWD in the winter for sure. I just much prefer the ďpredictabilityĒ of AWD. Itís less drama and makes me feel safer/feel better knowing my family is safer.

But moving away from the winter topic for a second, I much prefer AWD for the performance benefits as well (granted it is an actual proper AWD system). There is no arguing that cars with SH-AWD for example are much different handling than their FWD countrpart. A more related example is of the Jaguar F-Type, when it first came out it was only available with RWD. Reviewers were constantly mentioning that it was squirrley as hell, so when Jaguar released the AWD F-Type many reviewers said it felt like a completely different car. So aside from the advantages of AWD in snow, mud...etc there is a definite advantage in performance handling as well IMO.

But it goes back to what you said initially, it really does depend on each persons specific wants and needs.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by RDX10 View Post


Is Honda AWD even AWD? All these part time slip and grip systems are complete garbage. You literally lug around extra weight for when the system activates for those 10 seconds and then off otherwise. The only exception is those slip and grip systems with a ďlock modeĒ. We own a AWD Veracruz that has a slip and grip system but it has that ďAWD-LockĒ button. I drove to a very snowy unplowed road and drove without the AWD lock on and the car just slipped a whole bunch with traction control going crazy for 10 seconds before finally getting a move on. I then did the same ďtestĒ with AWD lock engaged and the experience was night and day. Zero wheel slip and just took off. Though that AWD lock mode only works until about 25mph or 40km/h. It works for what I expect from it. Iím not corner carving with the veracruz thatís for sure lol.


My Jeep is a slip then grip system if you leave it in "auto" mode. Any other mode and it locks into AWD and 4Low locks into 4WD (meaning center diff lock). In warm weather it will mechanically disconnect the rear drive to save gas and it's a notable difference. In the cold, it'll leave the rear drive connected but not send power there unless needed or set for it and the gas mileage suffers dearly. If it is in AWD though, it stays that way regardless of speed. 4WD is only up to about 20mph but only because you can't go that fast in 4Low anyway.

The difference between the AWD slip and grip in the Jeep vs a CRV is the addition of other get out of sticky situation features. That said, having those just means you're all that much more stuck when you need them.
Originally Posted by TacoBello View Post
20 days of the roads being covered. I'd believe it. I doubt our roads are any much different. We have snow for 6 months, but the main roads, at least 85% of that time are bare.

You're commenting on a drive system you apparently have very limited/no experience with. I see where Horseshoez is coming from. I see no flaw in his logic.
Same here. Winter tires are FAR more useful than AWD if you have to pick between the two. If you can do both, it's the best of both worlds.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by RDX10 View Post
So this post is a complete contradiction of your other post. You first state that AWD doesnít help with snow and then admit to driving slower during icy snowy conditions because you realize that your RWD car will not do as well as an AWD car. You also call it snow-hampshire but have 20 days of snow? Lastly you have 20 days of snow and ice and youíre trying to compare that to the 6-8 MONTHS of snow and ice we can get here? Exactly.
No contradiction at all. It is true AWD will accelerate faster in the snow (hence my comment), however, depending upon the skill of the driver and the implementation of the drive system, there are certain winter driving conditions which favor one over the other. As for braking, a RWD car, "all else being equal" will virtually always stop in a shorter distance due to the lighter weight.

As for you fussing about six to eight months of snow versus twenty days; I'll bet you dollars to donuts you don't have snow on the roads for six to eight solid months. Snow on the ground does not equal snow on the roads.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by TacoBello View Post
20 days of the roads being covered. I'd believe it. I doubt our roads are any much different. We have snow for 6 months, but the main roads, at least 85% of that time are bare.

You're commenting on a drive system you apparently have very limited/no experience with. I see where Horseshoez is coming from. I see no flaw in his logic.
Maybe I misunderstood what he was saying. I thought he was saying that they only have snow/ice for 20 days a year I didnít think he meant the roads are covered for 20 days of the year. So if I misunderstood that then I appologize and take back my comment.

As for limited experience this is incorrect. We own a 06 chevy Silverado 4X4 that you can obviously keep in RWD mode, I drove it for 4 months and I seen what that is like even on roads that have been plowed (because even plowed roads tend to have a little bit of ice/snow on them making it very slippery. Furthermore we purchased a 2010 RWD dodge charger that we owned for 5 months last winter that I drove many many many times (it was my brothersí car who ultimately sold it because he said it was unpredictable in the snow). So I do have a lot of experience with RWD drivetrains.


Hereís the thing. I think I sound like Iím saying that you must have AWD in winter or to have a good handling car and that nothing else will work. Thatís not what I am trying to say, rather that all things equal (same tires) AWD has some clear advantages in some conditions and situations. But itís not about what is right and wrong, itís simply about stating my opinion. I tend to get overly passionate when it comed to AWD (I fully admit to being an AWD junkie) and for that reason I sound like Iím shitting on any other drivetrain.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by RDX10 View Post


Maybe I misunderstood what he was saying. I thought he was saying that they only have snow/ice for 20 days a year I didn’t think he meant the roads are covered for 20 days of the year. So if I misunderstood that then I appologize and take back my comment.

As for limited experience this is incorrect. We own a 06 chevy Silverado 4X4 that you can obviously keep in RWD mode, I drove it for 4 months and I seen what that is like even on roads that have been plowed (because even plowed roads tend to have a little bit of ice/snow on them making it very slippery. Furthermore we purchased a 2010 RWD dodge charger that we owned for 5 months last winter that I drove many many many times (it was my brothers’ car who ultimately sold it because he said it was unpredictable in the snow). So I do have a lot of experience with RWD drivetrains.


Here’s the thing. I think I sound like I’m saying that you must have AWD in winter or to have a good handling car and that nothing else will work. That’s not what I am trying to say, rather that all things equal (same tires) AWD has some clear advantages in some conditions and situations. But it’s not about what is right and wrong, it’s simply about stating my opinion. I tend to get overly passionate when it comed to AWD (I fully admit to being an AWD junkie) and for that reason I sound like I’m shitting on any other drivetrain.
The thing is, while AWD may well have some clear advantages in winter weather, it has some drawbacks as well. Personally I'd opt for a shorter stopping distance than a faster stoplight sprint. Then there are the other 345 days of the year where the RWD car will have a decided advantage over the AWD car. To put my comments in context, I had a 530i (RWD) and my neighbor had a 530xi (AWD); my car was easily more tractable than his in anything but snow (and even then the difference wasn't enough to offset the other advantages).
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Old 02-07-2018, 03:05 PM
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To clarify.
Thinking about a sporty sedan for a DD to possibly replace the F150, once we sell our trailer. I need 4 doors & something big enough to carry 2 carseats on occasion.
Looking predominantly at W205 Mercedes C-Class, available in RWD or 4Matic AWD. IIRC, the non AMG 4Matic is something like a 40:60 split F:R, but I haven't found much to specify if it is variable F:R or fixed 40:60. The AMG Sport is 33:66 F:R, again, not sure if fixed or variable.
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Old 02-07-2018, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
My Jeep is a slip then grip system if you leave it in "auto" mode. Any other mode and it locks into AWD and 4Low locks into 4WD (meaning center diff lock). In warm weather it will mechanically disconnect the rear drive to save gas and it's a notable difference. In the cold, it'll leave the rear drive connected but not send power there unless needed or set for it and the gas mileage suffers dearly. If it is in AWD though, it stays that way regardless of speed. 4WD is only up to about 20mph but only because you can't go that fast in 4Low anyway.

The difference between the AWD slip and grip in the Jeep vs a CRV is the addition of other get out of sticky situation features. That said, having those just means you're all that much more stuck when you need them.
Yup thatís what Iím saying. Some part time systems do not allow you to lock it in any situations (CRV, RDX, ESCAPE for example). Those ones that do allow you to lock it are fine and give the best of both worlds. The ones that donít allow you are the garbage systems I was talking about. I recognize that the lock mode turns off at a certain speeds which essentially means you are carrying extra weight around but itís nice to be able to lock it into AWD for slow speed maneuvering.

Originally Posted by horseshoez View Post
No contradiction at all. It is true AWD will accelerate faster in the snow (hence my comment), however, depending upon the skill of the driver and the implementation of the drive system, there are certain winter driving conditions which favor one over the other. As for braking, a RWD car, "all else being equal" will virtually always stop in a shorter distance due to the lighter weight.

As for you fussing about six to eight months of snow versus twenty days; I'll bet you dollars to donuts you don't have snow on the roads for six to eight solid months. Snow on the ground does not equal snow on the roads.
Yes I agree with you. Youíll have to pardon my passion for AWD which tends to come off as stating anything else is terrible.

As for the snow on the ground where you live, I think I misunderstood your comment. As for snow on the ground where I live, I donít mean strictly thick heavy snow, I also meant plowed roads with a thin layer of ice/snow on them, hence my comment about worrying most about leaving after a stop vs actual driving. If that makes sense.
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Old 02-07-2018, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 00TL-P3.2 View Post
To clarify.
Thinking about a sporty sedan for a DD to possibly replace the F150, once we sell our trailer. I need 4 doors & something big enough to carry 2 carseats on occasion.
Looking predominantly at W205 Mercedes C-Class, available in RWD or 4Matic AWD. IIRC, the non AMG 4Matic is something like a 40:60 split F:R, but I haven't found much to specify if it is variable F:R or fixed 40:60. The AMG Sport is 33:66 F:R, again, not sure if fixed or variable.
2018 BMW M5: 600 HP and All-Wheel Drive for $102,600
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Old 02-07-2018, 03:13 PM
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In CA I've stepped out of the house in a t-shirt 11 months of the past year. Give me RWD. I can't imagine my car with AWD.
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