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Old 09-22-2008, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Houston
6 posts, read 29,202 times
Reputation: 15

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Mercedes sedan (C or E class) vs. Lexus RX 350 (small SUV)?

I am planning to move to Denver in a couple months. I've never driven in the mountains..... how much better would a small SUV be driving in winter conditions, especially when driving to the mountaiins? Both are rear-wheel drive. I would probably get a 2WD in the RX because the AWD is about $2,000 more. We are probably two years away from having kids, so I would prefer to hold off on the SUV until then. However, my wife wants one now & one of her main reasons is for going to the mountains.

For hauling ski equipment, do they make racks that fit on sedans? Or would it be much easier hauling equipment in an SUV?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,150 posts, read 7,221,063 times
Reputation: 2949
Rear wheel drive cars might not be the best. However, put good snow tires on them will make them handle so much better in the snow.

Both cars have roofs so there are going to be racks available for them. But your lexus will probably have a roof rack already so it would be cheaper to outfit.

My focus wagon makes it up there so I am sure you will be fine with either car.
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:20 AM
 
Location: USA
16,809 posts, read 8,650,460 times
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I'd rather have the SUV with 4WD in the mountains. If you are staying on the Front Range either is fine, but if you are going to be in the mountains in winter 4WD is always better.
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6,522 posts, read 10,191,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilot1 View Post
I'd rather have the SUV with 4WD in the mountains. If you are staying on the Front Range either is fine, but if you are going to be in the mountains in winter 4WD is always better.
However, don't make the assumption that many 4WD owners seem to make..."I've got 4WD I can go 75mph on this snowpacked freeway."
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:28 AM
 
Location: USA
16,809 posts, read 8,650,460 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluescreen73 View Post
However, don't make the assumption that many 4WD owners seem to make..."I've got 4WD I can go 75mph on this snowpacked freeway."

Agreed. I've seen that lots of time during ski season. 4WD can't help you brake!
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:35 AM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,182,783 times
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We'd used E class MB's for years, starting with a 300E, for a Denver-Vail commute without any difficulty. I'd say that the 400E was a better car on the dry days due to more HP, but that made it also a little bit more touchy to drive on slick days in the mountains.

We changed over to Audi AWD cars in 1994, starting with a 1987 Audi 4000CSQuattro, and then changed over to a Subaru 1995 Legacy Wagon AWD in 2001.

From a winter driving safety and control standpoint, I wouldn't go back to a RWD only vehicle for the winter months. And that's after 40 accident free years of driving MB's, BMW's, Peugeot's, Volvo's, and other cars that were well balanced and great handling RWD cars that handled the snow/ice conditions very well. There's simply no comparison.

Given your choices of cars, I'd take the RX350 with AWD if you're depending upon it for wintertime transportation.
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:16 AM
 
2,486 posts, read 2,352,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluescreen73 View Post
However, don't make the assumption that many 4WD owners seem to make..."I've got 4WD I can go 75mph on this snowpacked freeway."
The few times I drove on I-70 when it was snowing over the peaks there were so many morons that thought this. I would see SUV after SUV tipped over. I had to stop at one, the others already had assistance.

I drove a colbalt with no snowtires. That was a bad choice. If you have snowtires and know how to accelerate and decelerate in the snow then you should have no problems. YOu have to treat your gas, brakes, and steering very gently.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:28 PM
 
17 posts, read 71,609 times
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i believe the lexus rx is a Front wheel drive car... unless you opt for AWD.
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:08 PM
 
1,176 posts, read 4,034,881 times
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You don't live in this state. Unlike California, maybe 1 percent of RX's are FWD and those are all special orders.

Regardless, for a number of reasons both cars (all three?) suck.
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:48 PM
 
56 posts, read 277,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_LD View Post
Mercedes sedan (C or E class) vs. Lexus RX 350 (small SUV)?

I am planning to move to Denver in a couple months. I've never driven in the mountains.....
If you've never driven in the mountains or on slick, icy or snowpacked roads, I would suggest looking at vehicles with all-wheel drive or at least part-time 4wd. Rear wheel drive can be tough if you don't have experience driving in these conditions, although one can get into trouble in any car by doing things to the extreme, like accelerating, braking, steering.
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