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Old 09-23-2007, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Living on 10 acres in Oklahoma
1,188 posts, read 4,964,788 times
Reputation: 1191

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We'll be moving to the Aurora/Denver, CO area from OK within the year. We are getting rid of our 2000 2WD Ford Explorer to buy a new SUV more suited for the CO weather. We're unsure whether we should buy AWD or 4x4. We do plan to go up into the mountains, but will not partake in any off-roading. We've looked at the 2006 Ford Explorer 4x4, Hyundai AWD, Pilot AWD so far...and are pleased the most with the Explorer. From our travels to NM and Utah we know Subaru rules the roost, but we want something bigger than a sedan/wagon for our two large dogs to ride around with us. Is there a significant difference between AWD and 4x4? If so, what are they? Thank you in advance for any input!
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Old 09-23-2007, 01:56 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,014 posts, read 102,621,396 times
Reputation: 33082
If you are not going to be off-roading, go with what you like the best.
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Old 09-23-2007, 02:58 PM
 
95 posts, read 455,776 times
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AWD

Subaru has mid size SUV's

Most manufacturer's have AWD in some fashion now days.

The web site of Subaru, (etc) will explain the advantage of AWD.
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Old 09-23-2007, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Avondale, AZ
1,209 posts, read 4,257,232 times
Reputation: 918
The Explorer is normally rear-drive until you manually select 4-wheel. The Pilot and Hyundai are front wheel drive and automatically engage the rear wheels only when the fronts slip. For general all around driving, the AWD is safer and easier to live with. We used to drive a 4-wheel drive Suburban and on slush/ice the thing was nasty until you engage the 4-wheel. If you were on pavement, it would handle a bit odd. especially around corners. Now we drive an AWD Acura, similar to a Pilot, and it works seamlessly during bad road conditions. Generally the 4-wheel drive systems are better if you plan on serious off-roading. They are usually on truck-based platforms(Explorer,X-Terra, 4-Runner, Tahoe) and will not get as good gas mileage as the AWD car-based platforms(CRV, Pilot, Rav4, Highlander, Huyndai's, Kia's). This is my opinion and there will always be exceptions like the newer Tahoe's and Suburban's where you can select AWD in addition to 2-wheel and 4-wheel modes.
After all that said, Pittnurse said it best, 'Get what you like'
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Old 09-23-2007, 03:26 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,421,010 times
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From a real world driving safety standpoint, the AWD systems are better on the black ice conditions commonly encountered on the roads in CO than the truck-based 4x4 systems. As long as you're not planning on off-roading, the advantages in other nasty conditions (deep and soft stuff, esp) that a 4x4 offers are of limited value to you.

Also, the AWD car platforms will give you better fuel economy than the 4x4 truck set-up.

There's certainly many choices besides Subaru out there ... AWD from MB, Audi, VW, Volvo, and many other excellent performers today.

This is a topic which has been often discussed on this site, so you may want to go back through the archives ....
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Old 09-23-2007, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Living on 10 acres in Oklahoma
1,188 posts, read 4,964,788 times
Reputation: 1191
Thumbs up Helpful info is making this clearer.

I've been trying to research the web on this issue and have been getting a bit confused. I appreciate the opinions...they are so helpful. Especially when they come from experience. Any other opinions and comments are always welcomed!
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Old 09-23-2007, 06:32 PM
 
20,913 posts, read 39,195,706 times
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Your inquiry is one that we get all the time here, lots of info already exists. If you use the search tool provided by this site, and enter keywords like AWD or 4WD or 4X4 or driving or snow, then you will find the consensus is AWD.

Then, use Consumer Reports or "The Car Book" to see which ones have the least repairs, highest reliability and best warranties.
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Old 09-23-2007, 06:57 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,014 posts, read 102,621,396 times
Reputation: 33082
I love my Honda CR-V. It is AWD. We did not get an AWD until we had lived here 23 yrs. We actually had some rear-wheel drive cars that we took into the mtns. You can drive anything on the roads.
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Old 09-23-2007, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Boulder
151 posts, read 665,267 times
Reputation: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittnurse70 View Post
We actually had some rear-wheel drive cars that we took into the mtns. You can drive anything on the roads.
True. But really good snow tires can sure make a difference.
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Old 09-23-2007, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Living on 10 acres in Oklahoma
1,188 posts, read 4,964,788 times
Reputation: 1191
We were worried our 2000 2WD (rear) Ford Explorer would be horrible in CO. We (ideally) like to be economical and take a car to it's bitter end. It would be great not to have to get another SUV (just b/c of a move) BUT safety is first and we don't want to limit our fun outtings in CO and the mountains.
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