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Old 11-05-2013, 12:40 PM
 
Location: South Tampa, Maui, Paris
2,268 posts, read 1,432,342 times
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Never owned an AWD car before. Done lots of research, and the "consensus" seems to be that unless you do a lot of driving in snow or mountains, there is no reason to buy an AWD b/c they cost more to maintain. Is this correct? So basically if I buy an AWD and live in Florida, I am wasting my money?

FYI, trying to decide between Honda Accord (cheap to maintain for 10-15 years) and Subaru Outback (not as cheap due to AWD)

Accord benefits
Cheap to buy
Extremely reliable
Cheap to maintain

Outback benefits
Reliable
Better ride
Better handling
Better interior
Better audio
More utilitarian

But if I don't need AWD, then I shouldn't even be looking at Outback. Correct?
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Prosper
6,268 posts, read 12,105,445 times
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Not necessarily. You're not wasting your money, because when you decide to sell, you'll also recoup more money with an AWD car vs front drive.

FL gets a lot of rain and roads can be very slick. I think you might be surprised to how many times an AWD car would be a benefit to have.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:49 PM
 
26,890 posts, read 38,133,169 times
Reputation: 34834
Quote:
Originally Posted by MckinneyOwnr View Post
Not necessarily. You're not wasting your money, because when you decide to sell, you'll also recoup more money with an AWD car vs front drive.

FL gets a lot of rain and roads can be very slick. I think you might be surprised to how many times an AWD car would be a benefit to have.
True. I've had mine help when driving through mud that washed down a big hill. Heck of a mess for about a block.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:54 PM
 
8,402 posts, read 19,532,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
True. I've had mine help when driving through mud that washed down a big hill. Heck of a mess for about a block.
Well, there's once.
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:00 PM
 
8,402 posts, read 19,532,509 times
Reputation: 6764
Quote:
Originally Posted by MckinneyOwnr View Post
Not necessarily. You're not wasting your money, because when you decide to sell, you'll also recoup more money with an AWD car vs front drive.

FL gets a lot of rain and roads can be very slick. I think you might be surprised to how many times an AWD car would be a benefit to have.
The more correct statement is that you'll lose less money on resale with AWD than you will with FWD. AWD will be more expensive to buy and will incur a penalty in MPG over the entire ownership.

I wouldn't spend for AWD if the worst conditions I saw were rain. I've had mostly RWD, with a couple FWD, and never had any issues I didn't intentionally cause.
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:03 PM
lgt
 
469 posts, read 1,062,472 times
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I lived in upstate NY for 3 years and FWD worked just fine for me. As far as recouping more from AWD when you sell, I would think it would depend on where you live. Also AWD gives you less MPG and more moving parts mean more potential problems.
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:07 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,847 posts, read 57,851,863 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinatras View Post

unless you do a lot of driving in snow or mountains, there is no reason to buy an AWD
Correct?
I concur.

living at 4000 feet altitude and/or 40 degrees N. latitude are the cut off
visiting them for a day now and then just doesn't count
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Prosper
6,268 posts, read 12,105,445 times
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AWD cars vs FWD cars or RWD cars, there is a negligible amount of MPG loss with the AWD. It's 1 MPG or less, so not really an issue.

In some cases, AWD (or 4WD for some vehicles) may be a lot easier to sell too. Take Jeeps for example. Most people who buy a Jeep, buy the 4wd versions. It can be incredibly hard to move a 2wd one, no one wants them. Been there, done that.

Most of my vehicles in my life have been AWD, and they've proven their worth. The last time our family had a FWD car was a couple years ago (my then fiance's car.) It iced for a couple days during the winter. We live on a hill, and her car couldn't get up the driveway. Had to leave it in the street for days until the ice melted. She took my Jeep with 4wd to work that week!
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:10 PM
 
Location: NY
8,992 posts, read 14,192,166 times
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In general, I would see no pressing reason to have AWD in Florida. I would not be compelled to buy it. (I live in Buffalo and need due to weather would not even be the deal maker or breaker for me here).

In specific, here, you may like how the Subaru drives better. The Subaru drives far more like a RWD car in normal use. For me, that makes it far more fun, as you can get rid of understeer in turns. Now, I tend to enjoy driving... um... spirited... So this is a factor for me.

My wife and I recently traded an 08 Accord on a 2013 Outback. I really got the Outback because it was the most fun (due to the drivetrain layout) of the vehicles that met my minimum towing requirements.

Not all AWD are set up like the Subaru however, and will drive very differently.

(Some AWD vehicles are FWD unless wheel slip is detected, the Subarus send power to all wheels in normal situations, with maybe some rear bias. I also have an AWD Charger, but it is 100% real wheel drive except in certain conditions and situations (and even then, very rear bias to allow some nice power slides in the slick).
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:15 PM
 
2,393 posts, read 4,858,452 times
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- If I had to pick a state least likely to need AWD, Florida would be it.

- AWD will help you get moving on the flat or going uphill on a very slippery road. It will help not at all going downhill or trying to stop.

- There's a pretty big difference between trying to sell a 2WD Jeep and a 2WD Accord. Pretty much everyone looking at Jeeps wants 4WD, many people buying Accords won't care.
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