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Best AWD system in the market!

Old 11-14-2014, 08:33 PM
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Best AWD system in the market!

For some regions - AWD cars are mandatory. In Canada (in most provinces) AWD cars much appreciated due to harsh winter. Almost every car manufacturer offers AWD cars. But the question is: which one is the best?

1. Audi's Quattro
2. MB's 4matic
3. Acura's SH-AWD
4. BMW's xDrive
5. Subaru's Symmetrical All Wheel Drive System
6. Mitsubishi's AWS
7. VW's 4motion
8. Lexus, Inifiniti, Mazada, Cadillac and Volvo offer AWD, i am not sure if they use the traditional AWD systems or unique like Quattro and Sh-AWD.

This is not in order. I just named them. If I forgot any manufacturer which makes special AWD system, please add.
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Old 11-14-2014, 10:09 PM
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Found few more...

Nissan's ATTESA
Saab's XWD
Toyota's All-Trac
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Old 11-15-2014, 05:38 AM
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I am prejudice and will say Acura. The experts say: 2014 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD - Road Test Data - Road & Track
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Old 11-15-2014, 06:34 AM
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I was reading an article on MSN a few days ago about the top 10 AWD cars out there and the TL didn't make the list. The MDX made it as a crossover and was the only SUV/crossover on the list. Of course Subaru and Audi were on there, but to my surprise the Taurus limited and SHO was number 3 behind Audi4 and Subaru forester. The WRX was a little further down the line and the MDX was at 9.
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Old 11-15-2014, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by FredS View Post
I am prejudice and will say Acura. The experts say: 2014 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD - Road Test Data - Road & Track
Same here. I find my TL is amazing but I didn't try 80% of these AWDs so I don't want to be biased.
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Old 11-15-2014, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Brock79 View Post
I was reading an article on MSN a few days ago about the top 10 AWD cars out there and the TL didn't make the list. The MDX made it as a crossover and was the only SUV/crossover on the list. Of course Subaru and Audi were on there, but to my surprise the Taurus limited and SHO was number 3 behind Audi4 and Subaru forester. The WRX was a little further down the line and the MDX was at 9.
I know SH-AWD is considered one of the best. I am surprised the TL or TLX didn't make the list.
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Old 11-15-2014, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Brock79 View Post
I was reading an article on MSN a few days ago about the top 10 AWD cars out there and the TL didn't make the list. The MDX made it as a crossover and was the only SUV/crossover on the list. Of course Subaru and Audi were on there, but to my surprise the Taurus limited and SHO was number 3 behind Audi4 and Subaru forester. The WRX was a little further down the line and the MDX was at 9.
I searched MSN and couldn't find the article. If you could provide the link, I would appreciate it. I did do a Google search on this subject and haven't found any objective measures of AWD prowess- the reviews cover most of the features a a 2WD car and then have one sentence referring the the AWD design and the rest is motor size, features, etc.

The answer to best AWD lies with how you're going to use it. Obviously a low car wouldn't be your best bet if you live in an area that gets lots of snow where you need some ground clearance. For that task, the Suburu Outback is not a bad way to go especially with the redesign. Otherwise the TLX would do pretty well in the 1-6" snow scenario with a decent set of tires on it. I'm not so sure about the SHO unless the AWD was redesigned- I saw some videos in the past that showed an SHO spinning wheels and basically stuck. I'm not sure I would trust an SHO on a trip to Mammoth Mountain based on those videos. Have had no problems with Suburu's or Honda Pilots though in the 6-12" of snow environment.
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Old 11-15-2014, 12:25 PM
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I don't know about special, but Chrysler makes a an AWD. The system is found on the 2015 200 v6 model. I understand its the same system as the Cherokee.

Last edited by keith7120; 11-15-2014 at 12:26 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by LaCostaRacer View Post
I searched MSN and couldn't find the article. If you could provide the link, I would appreciate it. I did do a Google search on this subject and haven't found any objective measures of AWD prowess- the reviews cover most of the features a a 2WD car and then have one sentence referring the the AWD design and the rest is motor size, features, etc.

The answer to best AWD lies with how you're going to use it. Obviously a low car wouldn't be your best bet if you live in an area that gets lots of snow where you need some ground clearance. For that task, the Suburu Outback is not a bad way to go especially with the redesign. Otherwise the TLX would do pretty well in the 1-6" snow scenario with a decent set of tires on it. I'm not so sure about the SHO unless the AWD was redesigned- I saw some videos in the past that showed an SHO spinning wheels and basically stuck. I'm not sure I would trust an SHO on a trip to Mammoth Mountain based on those videos. Have had no problems with Suburu's or Honda Pilots though in the 6-12" of snow environment.
Think the article mentioned is actually Kiplingers.com. They are reviewing vehicles however and not awd systems.

10 Best Values in All-Wheel-Drive Vehicles-Kiplinger
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by LaCostaRacer View Post
I searched MSN and couldn't find the article. If you could provide the link, I would appreciate it.
Top 10 All-Wheel Drive Vehicles
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Old 11-15-2014, 04:17 PM
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I think Acura, and the SH-AWD system was just overlooked.

Until recently even Audi's quattro system wasn't anything to brag about. My RDX had a more advanced AWD system than the one in my RS4 which was one of their halo models, and sold at the same time.
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Hyde View Post
I think Acura, and the SH-AWD system was just overlooked.

Until recently even Audi's quattro system wasn't anything to brag about. My RDX had a more advanced AWD system than the one in my RS4 which was one of their halo models, and sold at the same time.
I think so too. Acura's SH-AWD is one of the top AWD system in the market. I am reading everywhere and SH-AWD is considered very high.
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Old 11-16-2014, 12:13 AM
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A few things. Acura came out strong but let the others overtake them. The AWD
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Old 11-16-2014, 12:19 AM
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A few things. Acura did well with the early technology but its lead is gone. Torque vectoring is not uncommon today.The main issue they have is the AWD system does not exist in a vacuum.

Its part of a whole & that whole does not measure up to some other cars that run stronger in the 2x4 configuration & are then converted to a 4x4 system.
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Old 11-16-2014, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by MisterZDX View Post
Thanks! As suspected, not a lot of meat in that review.

Seems like a real review of AWD performance would test vehicles in a number of specific situations and see how they perform. I like the 300 AWD statement: "Imported from Detroit" suggests the AWD system can handle what the weather throws at it. Really? that makes me want to go buy that car. The Taurus has an even more vegetarian statement: Although this isn't our favorite model to drive around a busy urban street, when the AWD is called for in snowy weather or poor road conditions, it's easy to see why the Ford Taurus made the list. I think it's more hard to understand why the CRV/RAV-4/RDX or TL/TLX missed the list.


Performance metrics would be done in a way where HP should not affect the results greatly: snow, mud, irregular terrain, hills, etc. Suburu has been making AWD vehicles for a very long time so it's no surprise it made the list: value, proven AWD performance, reliability, and efficiency.
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:06 AM
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Acura has the best AWD, especially with the RLX SH SH-AWD and new NSX. This should answer your question for the older models.
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Tony Pac View Post
For some regions - AWD cars are mandatory.
No, that's not true at all. Is it nice to have? Absolutely. Is it mandatory? Far from it. You'd only be seeing a handful of car models driving around in Canada during the winter. That's definitely not the case.

And as far as which is best, I remember having this discussion many years ago- it's pretty much impossible to quantify, however, I will say that having pretty much any AWD system in the winter is a blessing

Some are more FWD biased, some are more RWD biased, etc. it depends what you want the system for. Is it for just basic daily commuting? For being a track monster? Etc, etc.
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Old 11-16-2014, 11:27 AM
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That video posted above is cool, however, to be fair, everyone if those vehicles going up the slippery incline have to have the same tires. Who knows what each of those SUVs was riding on. I'd also like to see a subaru do that. They claim their AWD "transfers power from the wheels that slip, to the wheels that grip". By that standard, Subies should do well on that as well.
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Old 11-16-2014, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by TacoBello View Post
No, that's not true at all. Is it nice to have? Absolutely. Is it mandatory? Far from it. You'd only be seeing a handful of car models driving around in Canada during the winter. That's definitely not the case.

And as far as which is best, I remember having this discussion many years ago- it's pretty much impossible to quantify, however, I will say that having pretty much any AWD system in the winter is a blessing

Some are more FWD biased, some are more RWD biased, etc. it depends what you want the system for. Is it for just basic daily commuting? For being a track monster? Etc, etc.
If you live in Montreal and you go up north on a regular basis, you need an AWD. When you go up north and it's snowing or icy roads, believe me you need an AWD vehicle. But I agree with you, it may not be mandatory. It really depends where you live in Canada. lol
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Old 11-16-2014, 01:05 PM
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^^ ...now winter tires are mandatory in some provinces and you would know living in Quebec. I agree that winter tires GREATLY helps in winter conditions although I don't like being forced to have them because quite frankly, a bad driver will cause as many accidents with winter tires and some feel they can drive as fast as they do in the summer because they have winter rubber.

I agree that when it is snowing significantly, they are must but around here, as soon as the event is over, the snow is plowed, roads are salted and are bare. I know that winter tire compounds are softer and thus provide better traction on icy road too and for the record, my daily driver has winter tires because I like the peace of mind....The ILX and the future Lexus won't because they will only drive in the spring, summer and fall when the roads are nice and dry (and the odd winter day when conditions are as described earlier).

...and just so I can say that my post wasn't off topic, I agree that Acura's SH-AWD is quite amazing but other companies are starting to catch up quite fast.
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Old 11-16-2014, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by LaCostaRacer View Post
I searched MSN and couldn't find the article. If you could provide the link, I would appreciate it. I did do a Google search on this subject and haven't found any objective measures of AWD prowess- the reviews cover most of the features a a 2WD car and then have one sentence referring the the AWD design and the rest is motor size, features, etc.

The answer to best AWD lies with how you're going to use it. Obviously a low car wouldn't be your best bet if you live in an area that gets lots of snow where you need some ground clearance. For that task, the Suburu Outback is not a bad way to go especially with the redesign. Otherwise the TLX would do pretty well in the 1-6" snow scenario with a decent set of tires on it. I'm not so sure about the SHO unless the AWD was redesigned- I saw some videos in the past that showed an SHO spinning wheels and basically stuck. I'm not sure I would trust an SHO on a trip to Mammoth Mountain based on those videos. Have had no problems with Suburu's or Honda Pilots though in the 6-12" of snow environment.
That has more to do with the Tires than the AWD system Haven ridden in my friends 450 whp 2013 SHO countless times summer and winter i can say that it works really well
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Old 11-16-2014, 04:54 PM
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^ I agree that tires make a big difference in performance. The video I remember showed an SHO spinning its FRONT tires with the rear axle not doing anything- that is a problem tires may not fix. The problem is with how torque moves from front to rear.

Having owned a Suburu Outback in the past, I couldn't believe what that car could do with the stock Michelin tires on it in the snow. The 5 speed manual (1998) had a 50% front /50% rear split for torque and that worked great in all conditions. I wound up buying the same tires for the second set.

My Pilot had stock Goodyear tires and it was OK in snow, but absolutely sucked in the sand- a new pair of tires made a huge difference in its sand performance. Many AWD vehicles have a 90+ front torque split and there is a slight lag when routing to the rear wheels. I really liked the Suburu solution because it's 50/50 all the time instead of our Pilot's VTM in only gears 1 & 2.

The Mercedes ML also has a great AWD capability and yet that vehicle also did not make the list.
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by LaCostaRacer View Post
^ I agree that tires make a big difference in performance. The video I remember showed an SHO spinning its FRONT tires with the rear axle not doing anything- that is a problem tires may not fix. The problem is with how torque moves from front to rear.

Having owned a Suburu Outback in the past, I couldn't believe what that car could do with the stock Michelin tires on it in the snow. The 5 speed manual (1998) had a 50% front /50% rear split for torque and that worked great in all conditions. I wound up buying the same tires for the second set.

My Pilot had stock Goodyear tires and it was OK in snow, but absolutely sucked in the sand- a new pair of tires made a huge difference in its sand performance. Many AWD vehicles have a 90+ front torque split and there is a slight lag when routing to the rear wheels. I really liked the Suburu solution because it's 50/50 all the time instead of our Pilot's VTM in only gears 1 & 2.

The Mercedes ML also has a great AWD capability and yet that vehicle also did not make the list.
That was the early model sho. I think it was in 2011 or 2012 they changed the diff. Ive seen my friend spin all 4 on dry pavement. It does a much better job transferring front to rear. Still no where near as good as SH-AWD though.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Tony Pac View Post
Best AWD system in the market!
Most all wheel drive systems like Mercedes 4Matic are manufactured for safety reasons, in order for the car to perform better in adverse weather situations.

It's more or less a side effect that they might (or might not, for a variety of reasons) provide better performance in the dry.

Systems like SH-AWD or Quattro+Sport Differential are still unusual systems. Most of us who'd post in sites like this would prefer systems like these because of their sporting pretense.

:-)

Cars like the Sport Hybrid ramp it up even more, so I'd vote for the Acura philosophy.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by fsttyms1 View Post
That has more to do with the Tires than the AWD system Haven ridden in my friends 450 whp 2013 SHO countless times summer and winter i can say that it works really well
When a fair sized county jurisdiction were shopping a replacement for the P71, Ford brought an SHO out so we could see the best they had to offer.

There was a point at which you were just burning rubber, however, and not really keeping up. It was like it had too much HP for what they were trying to accomplish.

These cars had a lot less than 430 HP, and they still lost traction when pushed in Carousel situations, or when you'd try to drop it in Turn 8 at Summit Main.

How much power can you put to the rear in a 5G TLX, anyway?

I get the feeling that it is less than then 70% you could put to the rear in a 4G TL, but it's hard to be sure because of the 20 HP difference.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:38 AM
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Acura. All the other's use brakes to vector torque. BMW and Acura are on par. BMW is dirty when it comes to advertising it.

If you look at the EVO and STI, those are more advanced AWD systems. The SHAWD is a fantastic AWD system for the price.

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Old 11-17-2014, 09:47 AM
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I had a 2009 Forester XT, and I was amazed with the AWD system in that car. My Ridgeline feels good but nothing like the Subaru.
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:33 AM
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Actually, the 4G can transfer up to 100% to either of the rear tires depending on the vector. It will not send 100% to both rear wheels.

SH-AWD - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Originally Posted by George Knighton View Post
When a fair sized county jurisdiction were shopping a replacement for the P71, Ford brought an SHO out so we could see the best they had to offer.

There was a point at which you were just burning rubber, however, and not really keeping up. It was like it had too much HP for what they were trying to accomplish.

These cars had a lot less than 430 HP, and they still lost traction when pushed in Carousel situations, or when you'd try to drop it in Turn 8 at Summit Main.

How much power can you put to the rear in a 5G TLX, anyway?

I get the feeling that it is less than then 70% you could put to the rear in a 4G TL, but it's hard to be sure because of the 20 HP difference.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by keith7120 View Post
Actually, the 4G can transfer up to 100% to either of the rear tires depending on the vector. It will not send 100% to both rear wheels.

SH-AWD - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yes! :-)

It'll send 100% of that maximum 70% to a single rear wheel if it looks like that is what you are asking for.

I do not believe that the TLX is this aggressive, is it?

Driving one, it doesn't feel like it sends as much power to the rear as the 4G TL sent.

With the Sport Hybrid, you've only got about 80 HP on the rear wheels, but it can feel like quite a bit more in a corner because the inside wheel can be using the electric motor in reverse, dragging to help turn the car more quickly.
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Old 11-17-2014, 11:07 AM
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when you talked about AWD, i think Subaru is no doubt the most well known one. i am not sure if it's the best but definitely on the top 3 list.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:12 PM
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SH-AWD is definitely well up there and is one of the best. Sport Hybrid SH-AWD is on another level though. I can't think of any other AWD system that can improves straight line performance, handling, and fuel economy at the same time.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:19 PM
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People understand how the Subaru AWD system works.

They've marketed it to be something that's fantastic but it is low tech to say the least when compared to SHAWD. It does not vector torque actively and uses the brakes to do it. It has symmetrical AWD which is great for people who don't understand why its needed to begin with. It has an Open diff at the axles and a center locking diff which means only 2 wheels are working at any point in time and it uses the brakes to vector torque from left to right. So with a symmetrical system the drivetrain has no variances from left to right and usually balances out the torque without a locking diff. However once you're stuck that changes.

The STI is the only vehicle that subaru builds that has a mechanical diff that can vector torque. There is nothing in the subaru line up that can vector torque and give the driving dynamics SHAWD and BMW have. If you have no issues with reliability and don't care for it go for the BMW. Otherwise SHAWD is the most advanced AWD system at this budget.

The EVO as well vectors torque on both the front and rear diff. Just like the GTR.
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:37 PM
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How many AWD BMW, AUDI , MERCEDES, ACURA, HYUNDAI , SUBARU comparison test has been conducted by car magazines ??? NONE. Magazine cant argue that Acura lack RWD, because they are testing AWD systems. And simple, SH-AWD is so superior.
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by George Knighton View Post
When a fair sized county jurisdiction were shopping a replacement for the P71, Ford brought an SHO out so we could see the best they had to offer.

There was a point at which you were just burning rubber, however, and not really keeping up. It was like it had too much HP for what they were trying to accomplish.

These cars had a lot less than 430 HP, and they still lost traction when pushed in Carousel situations, or when you'd try to drop it in Turn 8 at Summit Main.

How much power can you put to the rear in a 5G TLX, anyway?

I get the feeling that it is less than then 70% you could put to the rear in a 4G TL, but it's hard to be sure because of the 20 HP difference.
The police spec SHO is a little different than the normal SHO you can buy at the dealer. For one it has more HP and TQ than stock. Which is 365hp stock and I believe 350tq stock. The suspension is different as well and the biggest part of the police SHO's downfall. The car is built to go over an 8" curb at 55 mph if I remember correctly with no damage to the car, add the huge skid plates underneath and it really starts to hinder the car. My 2013 SHO has a livernois tune and is right around 425 HP and 380TQ and I have a real hard time breaking the tires loose in a 1/4 mile run. I have broken them free on turns but you wouldn't be pushing the car that hard in snow or ice. The few times I did drive it in the snow it handled it like it was on dry pavement up hills and down with no issues. I have yet to drive my TL in the snow.
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:57 PM
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Brock79 View Post
The car is built to go over an 8" curb at 55 mph if I remember correctly with no damage to the car, add the huge skid plates underneath and it really starts to hinder the car.
I'm sorry, but I find that a little hard to believe. Hitting a concrete curb at 55MPH will destroy any wheel (or at least deform it), suspension arm, etc, unless it's made from unobtainium. Not only that, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to be in any vehicle plowing into a curb at 55MPH. Even a Ford Raptor would suffer damage.
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Old 11-17-2014, 02:51 PM
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:11 PM
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The last time i read about a TL SH-AWD , the Accord was named ad least 15 times , and
RWD 20 Times. At the end i leave the impression it was a test about a Accord and RWD.
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:23 PM
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Some good reads about different AWD systems ... they discuss BMW, Mercedes, Lexus and Audi.

Luxury sedan AWD system review ? part 1 - YouWheel.com - Your Ultimate and Professional Car Resources
Luxury sedan AWD system review ? part 2 - YouWheel.com - Your Ultimate and Professional Car Resources

The review is not so positive on BMW's design and that Mercedes' system has a weak LSD design but seems more positive on the Lexus and Audi designs. Unfortunately they did not include Acura.

Also - I thought this was a fun video sort of promoting Lexus's AWD system (which normally - they hardly talk about - there isn't even really a name for it like Quattro, XDrive or SH-AWD...)


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Old 11-17-2014, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BEAR-AvHistory View Post
A few things. Acura did well with the early technology but its lead is gone. Torque vectoring is not uncommon today.The main issue they have is the AWD system does not exist in a vacuum.

Its part of a whole & that whole does not measure up to some other cars that run stronger in the 2x4 configuration & are then converted to a 4x4 system.
I agree.

The Acura SH-AWD system is still one of the very best in the market even if the lead is now almost gone, too bad Acura does not let it shine with a lineup of cars taking full advantage of the technology.
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