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Old 05-01-2007, 12:18 PM
 
Location: orlando, fl
453 posts, read 2,029,886 times
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i'm moving to portsmouth, new hampshire from alabama soon and i'm planning on buying a new vehicle when i move. i've been looking at awd cars and 4wd trucks, but i'm a college grad and have a max budget of around 20k, which leaves me only a few options. of course i have plenty of options for 2wd drive cars, but i'm not sure if that would be safe for me to drive, considering that i've never driven in snow or ice (i've only seen 3 inches of snow in my entire life).

so is it very important that i get an awd, or would i be okay with a fwd? if it makes a difference, i'll be living in portsmouth and will be living and working on route 1, which i'm assuming will be plowed and salted regularly.


also, is car insurance considerably more expensive for a 4wd/awd?

thanks
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Old 05-01-2007, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Back in NYS
2,489 posts, read 7,812,412 times
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Hi mrdude! We live up in northern NH and hubby and I both have front-wheel drive vehicles and had no problems getting around up here, even during the Valentine's Day blizzard. My car has new snow tires, his has all-weather tires (or whatever they are called) - on the real snowy days he used my car to go to and from work and had no problems. One day it snowed more than they had predicted when he had his car and he just had to be more careful, but had no problems with his car, either...... I'm sure someone else will be along who can answer your questions more specific to the area you're headed.....Enjoy NH!
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Old 05-01-2007, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Maine
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New England does a great job of keeping the main roads clear even in the worst conditions. Bad winter storms can happen, but the main concern is not so much the roads as power outages.

Unless you're planning on getting off into the backroads, a 4WD won't be necessaryh.
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Old 05-01-2007, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Monadnock region
3,712 posts, read 10,410,316 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdude View Post
so is it very important that i get an awd, or would i be okay with a fwd? if it makes a difference, i'll be living in portsmouth and will be living and working on route 1, which i'm assuming will be plowed and salted regularly.
I learned to drive back in the '70s when from the sound of things winter was a bit worse than lately. We had normal cars with snow tires and everything wsa fine. Even the rare times lately when we've visited during the winter, normal drive with all-weather tires has been perfectly fine. The only reason I could see for needing 4x4 or awd, would be if you're living on a really steep hill and/or a dirt road. and think of how bad the gas usage is with those!
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Old 05-01-2007, 04:39 PM
 
Location: N.H.
1,022 posts, read 3,330,971 times
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Just make sure you have front wheel drive and good tires. NH road crews do an AWSOME job with keeping the roads clean. If you plan on Visiting VT I would say 4 wheel drive, as they never have clean roads. LOL But here you will be fine. Rt 1 is on the coast so there is little snow there. They get it just not alot.
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Old 05-01-2007, 04:40 PM
 
Location: The great state of New Hampshire
793 posts, read 3,016,886 times
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Not a necessity unless you enjoy living life like the prototype soccer-mom and look forward to penetrating your remaining savings to afford the $4/gallon gas we're headed towards.
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Old 05-01-2007, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Cookeville, TN
111 posts, read 449,837 times
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As it was posted earlier. The NH highway department does an excellent job keeping the roads clear. Even the towns do a very good job too. Typically, even during the heaviest snowstorms, if you can get out of your driveway you can get anywhere you need to go. I drive a 4x4 pick-up. Is it necessary? No, but it depends on your lifestyle. If you are a fisherman then I would suggest you have four wheel drive as not all the lakes here have good boat ramps. Some of the ramps are no more than some gravel dumped on the shore line if even that. I've had to pull regular trucks out of the muck on occasion. We used to do a lot of snowmobiling. There were times when we would tow our sleds to an area to ride in. Some of those places are not plowed and can cause some problems if you don't have four wheel drive. You said you are a student so I suggest you get a good front wheel drive vehicle and you will be fine.
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Old 05-02-2007, 06:00 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,479 posts, read 56,030,729 times
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Good snow tires are far more important than which set of wheels are driven. I use snows in sets of four so the handling balance of the car does not change as much. I live in southern NH and have set of worn "all season" tires on the '92 Buick Roadmaster Wagon. Last year it was fine in the March Blizzard driving from DC to New Hampshire but the tires have worn enough that this year was marginal in the snow.

In the past I used Michelin brand tires but I have switched to Nokian I-3 for the summer tires on the '96 Subaru Outback and Cooper snow & mud tires for the winter. I can drive the Subie far faster than sensible in any conditions with these tires. I do like the all wheel drive of the Subaru but I don't think it is manditory. As I said - tires are far more important than which end, or both, of the car is driven.

As you ae moving from Alabama I suggest you contact Tim O'Niell's rally school in Dalton, NH for excellent instruction in winter driving.
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Old 05-02-2007, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Seacoast NH
10 posts, read 45,425 times
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mrdude - many of us have LONNNNNNNNG driveways. Mine's lovely peastone gravel, meaning I can't plow down hard. Its very common. What ends up happening is that AWD friends come over regardless, while 2WD'ers wait for fair weather. The same goes for going to the market, the Pharmacy, the Dr's office, etc.
People w/2wd don't realize when they don't drive, but when I'm out in the BLIZZZZZZZARDS I see mostly 4wd. I just had a friend move from Europe. He went through the same thing. He bought a Subaru Forrester. Japanese cars now go 200K to 300K - why buy new? He bought an AWD (they all are) 2000 or 2001 Forrester with 95K on it AC, Power doodads, CD, etc. in good shape for $5,500. You could keep the other 14K+ in pocket for essentials.
Put it this way - when you hit the gas -- where does the weight shift? The BACK. FWD SPINS the tires. This happens when you're stopped on a side street for example, on an incline, and want to pull out making a left in the snow, frozen rain, or just wet roads. In my pickup I'm always turning on 4WD just for a few seconds in those situations. Second, when you have AWD and are taking an exit, four wheels are "grabbing the road" and decelerating by virtue of the engine slowly churning the wheels slower as its RPMs decrease. This is far better than "dumb" loose wheels, just "rolling" as you turn. For that reason, many SuperCars such as the Porche 959 are AWD - and win races. That car is truly a race-car, and a winner. More "retail" focused cars with nice looks (Ferrari, etc.) do not.
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Old 05-02-2007, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Texas- moving back to New England!
562 posts, read 580,017 times
Reputation: 132
Could also buy yourself an old Toyota Land Cruiser and you will not have any troubles either
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