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Old 04-20-2015, 09:01 PM
 
7 posts, read 6,237 times
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Hello,

I moved to Reno about 2 years ago from New Orleans where 2 wheel drive was plenty enough. I have only driven sedans until now. I went SUV/Crossover shopping last week and all SUVs seem to be available only with AWD.

I understand that past 2 winters have been mild but usually how bad does it get in Reno and on the I-80 pass? Is having AWD considered a necessity? I do frequent California (about one to two times a month). I have never felt the need for an AWD in past two years I have lived here. Do you think it is worth investing a little more in an AWD car at the expense of lower mileage?

Any suggestion/input is highly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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Old 04-20-2015, 10:18 PM
 
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You mentioned visiting CA once or twice a month -- do you have flexibility in the timing of your trips? If I-80 is closed due to snow or ice, can you wait a day or two without causing a problem with your job or interfering with some other situation? Also, do you have any interest in getting to or from the ski slopes in the winter?

For me, I think an AWD is worth the added expense. I haven't looked at resale values but my guess is that most used car buyers would want this option.
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Old 04-20-2015, 11:16 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
30,893 posts, read 13,428,225 times
Reputation: 21991
AWD shouldn't effect your gas mileage all that much, my husband has a 2006 BMW AWD and gets around 27-28 mpg on the freeway. When I lived in Reno I was around 600 ft above town and our streets weren't plowed, I needed AWD a number of times, that may not be the case if you are downtown and never need to go anywhere else.
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Old 04-21-2015, 04:46 PM
RFF
 
Location: Sparks, NV
165 posts, read 195,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uday029 View Post
I understand that past 2 winters have been mild but usually how bad does it get in Reno and on the I-80 pass? Is having AWD considered a necessity? I do frequent California (about one to two times a month). I have never felt the need for an AWD in past two years I have lived here. Do you think it is worth investing a little more in an AWD car at the expense of lower mileage?

Any suggestion/input is highly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
It truly is up to you to decide if you really need AWD. I've driven non AWD vehicles all my driving years here in Reno/Sparks (My wife has AWD). I've only needed AWD/4WD a handful of times. Snow tires have given either my RWD or FWD vehicles an easier time driving around this area. Chains are a snap to install.

You say you go to CA once or twice a month. Unless you like the thought of putting on chains, I'd opt for an AWD vehicle. AWD vehicles now have decent gas mileage 30+mpg (Subaru). Their FWD or RWD counterparts get maybe 1-2 mpg more. If you were to sell your AWD vehicle, then you'd have an easier time in our area.

Like hotfeet said, if you ski/board/shoe, and are an active person, then AWD is for you.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:50 AM
 
1,176 posts, read 2,751,595 times
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You'd still need chains when there are chain controls. AWD a bonus, I agree. Just one of many factors in deciding what car to buy. Where in California would you drive to? If L.A. area, for example, you might take 395 or 95.
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Old 05-12-2015, 02:34 PM
 
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Nope.

FWD with good tires is recommended, but AWD/4WD is just a waste of money unless you live in Siberia.

Northern Nevada only gets a few weeks of snow a year anyhow.

Keep in mind studded tires are legal here if you really feel you need more traction.
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Old 05-12-2015, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
30,893 posts, read 13,428,225 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samoi137 View Post
You'd still need chains when there are chain controls. AWD a bonus, I agree. Just one of many factors in deciding what car to buy. Where in California would you drive to? If L.A. area, for example, you might take 395 or 95.
It is very rare that you need more than mud/snow tires with AWD /4WD during chain control, in probably 200 trips over the pass in the 14 years I lived in Reno with a 4WD I never had to use chains
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Old 05-12-2015, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
30,893 posts, read 13,428,225 times
Reputation: 21991
Quote:
Originally Posted by otakmew View Post
Nope.

FWD with good tires is recommended, but AWD/4WD is just a waste of money unless you live in Siberia.

Northern Nevada only gets a few weeks of snow a year anyhow.

Keep in mind studded tires are legal here if you really feel you need more traction.
good luck if you live in a residential area that isn't plowed, those few weeks of snow can feel like a lifetime. I wouldn't sell a 2WD just because I was moving to Reno but if I was buying a different car it would definitely be 4WD
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Old 05-16-2015, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Northern CA
35 posts, read 65,495 times
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AWD is designed to help keep you on the road. It was design to help give the driving wheel (meaning the wheels(s) with power or grip) the ability to keep the vehicle going in the intended direction. Anyone with knowledge knows to have a 4 wheel vehicle in really adverse conditions. I got so tired of listening to customers come in complaining they couldn't traverse deep snow without getting stuck. Read the manual folks . BTW I grew up in Chicago and have experienced some deep snow (like 1966 and 1979).
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Old 05-20-2015, 03:35 PM
 
11 posts, read 7,181 times
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I have lived in Reno for over 18 years. We used to have winter here where it snowed. But like you said the last few winters have been basically spring weather, but don't forget to account for ice not just snow.

From my personal experience, it is worth it to me to have because in all the years I have driven my Subaru (over 10 years) I have NEVER gotten stuck or NEVER slipped or skidded on ice - always griped the road. I can't tell you the countless times I have seen non AWD vehicles stuck in the road etc., never me with my Suby, and I would drive out early morning (4/5 am) with both snow and ice on the road (this is too early for the roads to be plowed) and it was cake every time. One time I drove it in almost a foot of fresh snow in the early am and that car didn't even flinch. No special tires, just all weather. Keep in mind I am a good driver while not grandpa slow, I don't speed or drive recklessly (I have also never been in an accident).

I have been driving a Toyota sedan for the last two years and let me tell you, even though there wasn't much snow for the last few years, when the road is icy I have slipped and slid NUMEROUS times (all close calls, but no accident) so with that being said, I sold my Toyota last month and bought a CRV with AWD because I miss the traction I had.

Especially if you frequently plan on going over the pass to California in winter, unless you are a glutton for punishment.
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