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Old 04-04-2013, 04:34 PM
 
15,861 posts, read 21,919,843 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHICAGOLAND92 View Post
I'm a teen driver (17) and will soon be getting my grandad's old Camry. He told me to help pick out some cars for his replacement. Of course I'll be driving it from time to time, so it would be to my benefit to pick out something I like as well .

I came across the Pontiac G8. It's decent on gas, offers a lot of power, and is very sporty. The main problem I can think of is it's RWD. I've never driven a RWD vehicle before so I don't know the driving differences, but I've always been told RWD cars are horrible for the winter. Living in the Chicago area, winters get pretty harsh; however, I've seen plenty of RWD cars all around, so it can't be that bad, right?

Does anyone have any experience with RWD vehicles in the winter? Are they really that much worse than FWD? All responses are appreciated.

Of course everybody already posted all the good suggestions for you. I am sort of late, but here's the thing.
I come from a country that has Dakota style winters.
I come from a city that was situated on 7 hills, so the easiest way to not get lost was to - always walk down the hill, and you'll be downtown. Steep hills.
I come from the country where ALL cars were manual and ALL cars were RWD.
I come from the country, where tires were crappy and retreads and only rich ones had studdies. Winter tires were "what's that?".
I come from the country, where winter road maintenance was to shovel some salt on it here and there.
I come from the country, no, from a VERY old city, where half streets were paved with polished granite cubes. Called cat foreheads. Shiny slippery. Top that with wet snow or 2 inches of ice.
You know what? We drove winter time just fine. Slowly, cautiously, but drove.
I said it lost counts and will repeat myself. It's not what you drive. It's how you drive. Learn how to drive on snow and ice, and you will have no trouble. Maybe go to a course on that. But with modern tires available here, winter or studded ones, under little bit of training and sane driving technique - you can drive anywhere. Mof, just watched Russian evaluation of Chrysler 300 SRT with over 400 bhp, tested on deep Russian snow road. Rear wheel drive. Guy was going 100 in a heartbeat.

Like I said, you need to LEARN how to drive and do no stupid. That's it.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:21 PM
 
238 posts, read 560,705 times
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The heavy,full sized RWD cars could go thru snow quite well as they were heavy and had the weight distributed more evenly.....................EXAMPLE......MY 68 Plymouth Fury I bought new

The lighter, smaller cars were WORTHLESS in snow..............EXAMPLE....the 72 Cuda 340 I bought new

Difference of day and night between the two !
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
18,412 posts, read 32,742,032 times
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The OP will get all kinds of opinions about with is best (RWD versus FWD). I have a lot of driving on ice and snow experience (have lived over 30 years in the interior of Alaska). I also drive manual and automatic-transmission automobiles and trucks, FWD, RWD, 4WD, and AWD.

FWD is superior to RWD when driving on ice and snow: uphill, downhill, or flat ground. But as others have said, both the right tires for road conditions and driving experience, are very important. For details about all the drive systems mentioned above:
What Is Best For Winter Driving: RWD, FWD, AWD or 4WD?

Last edited by RayinAK; 04-04-2013 at 11:08 PM..
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:28 AM
 
Location: NH
3,364 posts, read 2,937,984 times
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AWD is amazing in both the rain and snow and would be my #1 choice. I had an AWD car that drove better on a snow covered road than my 4WD Jeep but the only plus to the Jeep was the ground clearance. I have to admit though that I prefer a RWD car over a FWD car in the snow anyday.

I think a RWD is much easier to control. FWD car in the snow will pull you straight forward vs where your tires are pointed many times. In a RWD car if I am slowly sliding toward a ditch or something all I have to do is goose the gas pedal and it will kick the rear end around and straighten me out according to the direction my tires are pointed. I learned how to drive in NH winters when I was 15 in my 66 Mustang. That car was horrible in the snow but gave me a good backround for learning how to control a car in inclement weather.

I think people are spoiled with FWD cars today and think RWD are so bad because they dont know how to control them. I guess the days of heavy RWD and manual transmissions cars are a thing of the past and the new thing is lightweight FWD automatics...ugh.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:39 AM
 
458 posts, read 1,115,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mustangman66 View Post
AWD is amazing in both the rain and snow and would be my #1 choice. I had an AWD car that drove better on a snow covered road than my 4WD Jeep but the only plus to the Jeep was the ground clearance. I have to admit though that I prefer a RWD car over a FWD car in the snow anyday.

I think a RWD is much easier to control. FWD car in the snow will pull you straight forward vs where your tires are pointed many times. In a RWD car if I am slowly sliding toward a ditch or something all I have to do is goose the gas pedal and it will kick the rear end around and straighten me out according to the direction my tires are pointed. I learned how to drive in NH winters when I was 15 in my 66 Mustang. That car was horrible in the snow but gave me a good backround for learning how to control a car in inclement weather.

I think people are spoiled with FWD cars today and think RWD are so bad because they dont know how to control them. I guess the days of heavy RWD and manual transmissions cars are a thing of the past and the new thing is lightweight FWD automatics...ugh.
FWD is still much better in the snow than RWD...

What really matters is the tires though. Anything with snow tires will be better than anything with all seasons IMO. AWD still can't brake for sh*t in all seasons and it's been proven that a FWD with snow tires will corner better than AWD with all seasons.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,479 posts, read 55,991,223 times
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I started driving in upstate NY in a Desoto with a Hemi engine, RWD and effectively no brakes. After that I could and still can drive just about anything. I suggest you put a set of FOUR good snow tires (I prefer Nokia brand) on the Camry and spend the winter on parking lots learning to DRIVE. A rally school like Tim O'Neill's would be a great help.

As far as your Grandpa's care is concerned he should get what he wants. For all around driving and great winter driving I am partial to Subaru's. If he wants fun he should try a just off lease Mini Cooper S.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:23 PM
 
Location: NH
3,364 posts, read 2,937,984 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engineer_Guy View Post
FWD is still much better in the snow than RWD...

What really matters is the tires though. Anything with snow tires will be better than anything with all seasons IMO. AWD still can't brake for sh*t in all seasons and it's been proven that a FWD with snow tires will corner better than AWD with all seasons.
I have to disagree with you. The AWD subaru I had outperformed any FWD car I have ever owned by far in both rain and snow. It out performed my 4WD Jeep as I said too, the only thing it lacked was ground clearance.

I have a 2012 Passat right now and love it but it does not perform in inclimate weather the same as my AWD did. Once I get rid of this I will be going to Audi for an AWD. My mom bought a FWD car years ago for the same reason you just stated (the dealer sold her on it)..she couldnt even get up her driveway in the snow so she ended up trading it for the AWD model and never had any problems. Thats just my opinion from experience anyway.

I am not saying RWD is better in the snow, I just enjoy driving a RWD more in the snow because I know how to control the vehicle better if I start sliding.You are correct though the tires are what makes a huge difference.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,706 posts, read 96,186,398 times
Reputation: 29804
For those responding directly to the OP, just know that four winters have come and gone since he posted....
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
18,412 posts, read 32,742,032 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
For those responding directly to the OP, just know that four winters have come and gone since he posted....
That's a lot of driving on ice and snow already.
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