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Old 06-22-2012, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
755 posts, read 1,513,292 times
Reputation: 589

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CF Fam,

My husband and I are buying a new vehicle this weekend. We already have a Lexus RX and are trading in our Passat for something else. We've narrowed it down to a few choices (RAV4 (me), Highlander (us), Pilot (us for the superior nav)). My husband will be the primary driver of this car and he REALLY wants a SUV. I am personally concerned, however, about giving up a car for a dual SUV household with the way gas prices keep rising. At this time, I can't justify spending $10K+ for a hybrid equivalent because it'd take atleast 7+ years to even recoup the cost. Anyway I digress.

The real question is, 2WDs are markedly cheaper than AWD/4WD and get better gas mileage. Do you believe that a AWD/4WD is needed in this area? Do people value AWD/4WD more around here and thus would keep its value longer? Part of me kind of feels like we have suvived this long (four years) with two 2WDs and had no issues so.....But I could be missing something. Responses appreciated!
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:27 AM
 
2,185 posts, read 2,636,630 times
Reputation: 1616
When we got my wife a new car a few years ago before our first kid we got AWD. It's not needed and you'll get by just fine without it, but obviously it could be helpful in a bad snow storm, which we rarely get, but does happen. I remember a few years ago I barely made it home from work one day in my car because a bad storm hit. People were stuck all over the place. So I didn't really made it a point to get AWD when we bought her car but we saw one we liked in our price range that had it and it made me feel a little better about her driving it around with our baby.

So I would say no it's not needed and if the cost diff is very large don't worry about it.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:29 AM
 
518 posts, read 780,662 times
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As long as you have front wheel drive with some form of traction control you will be able to handle any weather that gets thrown our way. I also believe that just about every SUV out there has some form of traction control.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:37 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,733 posts, read 8,917,850 times
Reputation: 3857
All you need are snow tires. And that's true anywhere in the USA. I'm convinced that 4WD/AWD gives people overconfidence and makes them drive too fast, which makes them use the brake pedal (rather than engine braking), which leads to careening off the road. (People in SUVs also drive faster than they should because being high off the ground makes it feel like you're going slower than you actually are.)

I've always had RWD cars here--no problems in the snow.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
5,056 posts, read 5,314,842 times
Reputation: 12475
I've always had front wheel drive vehicles and never had a problem getting around in a reasonable amount of snowfall. Nothing special either - no chains or snow tires.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:43 AM
 
301 posts, read 583,897 times
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We have a 2WD and a 4WD. The 4WD is not necessary IMO. We rarely ever use it.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
755 posts, read 1,513,292 times
Reputation: 589
That is what I wanted to hear, thank you! My husband feels like it'd give more peace of mind to have "in the event of", but the price difference is $1,600+ in addition to the lower gas mileage.

Thanks for all the fast responses, very helpful!
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:13 AM
 
119 posts, read 331,060 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yolli71 View Post
We have a 2WD and a 4WD. The 4WD is not necessary IMO. We rarely ever use it.
our 4wd tahoe stays in 2wd mode 99.9% of the time.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:25 AM
 
1,345 posts, read 3,870,607 times
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Unless you plan specific off road trips in the mud, stick to 2wd.
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:27 AM
 
493 posts, read 1,005,918 times
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With the $1600 you'd save, buy a set of snow tires -- do you have a garage or basement? -- and to make it a lot easier, another set of rims. That way, your husband can change out the tires for you!

I also debated the 2wd/4wd issue. Liked a Subaru but just couldn't get past the poor gas mileage. Then I realized that for nearly 12 years, my Honda Civic got me to work in weather that canceled a lot of school/church/work activities for others. And as a friend said, "If your Honda can't get you there, then you don't need to be out on the roads!" (The Honda's in someone else's life now, but sometimes working from home is the best solution.)
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