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Old 11-14-2011, 12:49 PM
 
Location: O'Hara Twp.
4,239 posts, read 6,012,622 times
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Was thinking about getting a smallish cheap SUV. Wanna save some monehy so thinking about skipping the AWD. Think Kia Sorento FWD with few if any options. Or maybe a Chevy Equinox or VW Jetta Sportwagon. Any idea if these things go in the snow. We do get a fair amount of snow (Pittsburgh) but don't put on snow tires. The point is to get a cheap car with some room in the back. Thoughts?

 
Old 11-14-2011, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
13,983 posts, read 15,986,717 times
Reputation: 12603
Used Honda Fit.

Front wheel drive is fine in the snow, snow tires are cheaper than AWD.
 
Old 11-14-2011, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,955 posts, read 17,641,684 times
Reputation: 7193
AWD is an expensive drive system (more so than true 4 x 4 ! ) that should not be first choice.

A good FWD and good tires will do a better job for most people in ordinary snows.

If you need more than that buy a good set of CABLE chains to get you around.

Otherwise, be smart, stay home..........
 
Old 11-14-2011, 02:29 PM
 
14,780 posts, read 35,868,142 times
Reputation: 14352
FWD is absolutely fine for the vast majority of people in bad weather. When it hits the point that having AWD is a necessity to go somewhere, which isn't very often, most would be better off staying put anyway. Even in that case, a set of dedicated snow tires on cheap steel rims will make the average FWD car a beast in the snow compared to most modern "soft" part time AWD cars running on all-season tires.

Except for people where massive snowfall is a regular occurence, you are basically paying extra for a permanent loss in fuel economy for the 1% of the time you will actually take advantage of the AWD.
 
Old 11-14-2011, 02:49 PM
Status: "On The Lookout" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,387 posts, read 61,750,545 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
FWD is absolutely fine for the vast majority of people in bad weather. When it hits the point that having AWD is a necessity to go somewhere, which isn't very often, most would be better off staying put anyway.
RWD is absolutely fine for the vast majority of people in bad weather. When it hits the point that having AWD is a necessity to go somewhere, which isn't very often, most would be better off staying put anyway.

perspective.
 
Old 11-14-2011, 03:05 PM
 
14,780 posts, read 35,868,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
RWD is absolutely fine for the vast majority of people in bad weather. When it hits the point that having AWD is a necessity to go somewhere, which isn't very often, most would be better off staying put anyway.

perspective.
Absolutely. I didn't state that, because the OP's question was FWD vs. AWD, but you are correct. Though I do personally think the limit of "fine" for most people is higher in a FWD than a RWD.
 
Old 11-14-2011, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,608 posts, read 3,140,616 times
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Sometimes I wonder what people did anytime before the 80's when the vast majority of cars were RWD. Did people just stay at home in any kind of bad weather? I am sure cities like Pittsburgh had people going to work in winter?
 
Old 11-14-2011, 03:56 PM
Status: "On The Lookout" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,387 posts, read 61,750,545 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asubram3 View Post
Sometimes I wonder what people did anytime before the 80's when the vast majority of cars were RWD.
A bag (or two) of sand in the trunk is plenty.
Good sense is the main thing.
 
Old 11-14-2011, 04:22 PM
 
70,815 posts, read 71,189,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asubram3 View Post
Sometimes I wonder what people did anytime before the 80's when the vast majority of cars were RWD. Did people just stay at home in any kind of bad weather? I am sure cities like Pittsburgh had people going to work in winter?
winter was really horrible before front wheel drive. we didnt even have radial tires yet and snow tires back then sucked.

we threw a sand bag in the car and the car handled like crap but basically we really didnt travel when the weather was ugly.
 
Old 11-14-2011, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,155 posts, read 44,709,521 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robrobrob View Post
Was thinking about getting a smallish cheap SUV. Wanna save some monehy so thinking about skipping the AWD. Think Kia Sorento FWD with few if any options. Or maybe a Chevy Equinox or VW Jetta Sportwagon. Any idea if these things go in the snow. We do get a fair amount of snow (Pittsburgh) but don't put on snow tires. The point is to get a cheap car with some room in the back. Thoughts?
Any one of these would work, but would really suggest you think about getting some snow tires, the snows will do more good than AWD most of the time.

Two points though, and IIRC Pittsburg is pretty hilly - going uphill with FWD means you lose weight off the drive wheels so it won't go as well as AWD/4WD. Going downhill can be tricky too as if you start to skid, it's counter-intuitive, but you have to get ON the gas a bit, otherwise if you lift the front end will dig in, and the rear come around. Matter of fact if a FWD starts to come around on you, you have to get on the gas regardless of hill or no. I'm not saying floor it and if you have something dead ahead then, D'oh, don't gas it - but in general handling a skid with FWD requires a different technique from RWD.
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