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Old 09-15-2013, 12:16 AM
 
665 posts, read 488,036 times
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I currently have an all wheel drive suv that is nice, but I'm looking for a 4 door sedan or a hatchback. I'd like to know what everyone thinks is a better choice both economically and safety wise with regard to Atlanta terrain and all year weather. All wheel drive or front wheel drive, and why?

I currently do not travel (drive) out of state, but I do plan to do so in the future. When I do decide to drive out of state it will most likely be once or twice a year. I plan to keep whichever car I get for at least 8-10 years. Thanks!
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,844 posts, read 14,516,197 times
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My wife and I both have 7 year old AWD drive vehicles that we bought in Massachusetts before we moved to Atlanta. All of our vehicles up there were AWD. Up there, we needed them for snow and ice.

Here in Atlanta, they are totally unnecessary. AWD costs more due to less fuel economy, have more to maintain, and other than a little better handing on wet pavement, it offers nothing substantial in a climate like Atlanta.

When you buy tires for AWD vehicles, you must buy all 4 at once. This has bitten me many times over the years. Buying 4 tires at a time is a very expensive proposition when you lose one tire. Personally, now that we live in the south, I will never buy another AWD vehicle again. The slight handling advantage isn't worth the added cost.
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:11 AM
 
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Neil's comments are well taken. My current daily driver is AWD but it's got some new system that is supposed to run in front wheel drive most of the time and only transfer power to the rear wheels when needed. It is a major improvement over AWD vehicles I've owned in the past. I like it because I drive on dirt roads and off road fairly often.
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:30 AM
 
329 posts, read 507,184 times
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no need for 4WD or AWD down here. just be extra careful when driving in wet conditions because other drivers don't seem to know how to drive when roads are wet
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 21,892,927 times
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Atlanta's terrain doesn't require anything special. The roads are generally fine, and traction is not an issue most of the year. The only time it might become an issue is the once-every-few-years ice storm which may cover portions of some streets in a coating of ice for a few days, and in that case 4WD and AWD may not give you the traction you need anyway.

In a contest between a moving vehicle and ice, ice generally wins.

(Ancient Minnesota proverb )

I would be more concerned with things like working air conditioning, relatively good "city" gas mileage, and overall durability/maintainability of a vehicle. My 1994 Accord EX does just fine here.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:19 PM
 
913 posts, read 980,555 times
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FWD is fine. Just avoid unecessary driving on the few snow/ice days. Even if you have the AWD, there are too many clueless drivers (rwd people, bald tires, general idiots), hence better to stay off the roads! Also AWD helps you move fwd and maintain stability, but it doesnt help you stop!!!

My car only came in RWD or AWD, in this case i wish i chose the AWD for the extra 1500$.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:27 PM
 
28,113 posts, read 24,639,595 times
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I agree that AWD or 4WD is not necessary here. Nonetheless, when it ices up I'm usually called on to be the errand runner.
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:38 AM
 
665 posts, read 488,036 times
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Thanks, so much for all the input! I really appreciate it.
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:52 AM
 
156 posts, read 205,007 times
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I think more importantly, good quality tires should be the first thing to consider over FWD vs. AWD. That being said, I certainly wouldn't NOT buy a car because it has AWD. If you shop for a car and it has the option of AWD, the gas savings these days vs. 2WD are minimal if anything. My last four vehicles have all had 4WD and my wife's car has AWD, and I will say it's nice to have that extra little bit of security, even if it's only for rainy days. That, and I always have good tires on all my vehicles.
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:54 AM
 
156 posts, read 205,007 times
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Oh, and BTW, It doesn't really matter if you have AWD or 4WD, if it ices (not snow, but ice) down here, nothing will help. That, and you never know if the idiot next to you will come plowing into you.
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