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Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: Buck
Date: May 03, 2018 07:50PM
Now that I'm looking, I can't believe how many SUVs are 2WD instead of 4WD or AWD. I always thought if I buy an SUV, it will be 4WD; otherwise it's just a big car or van. A friend of mine bought his wife a 2WD Suburban ?!?!?

I wouldn't need it much, but there are several winter days/weeks I'll be grateful for it.

Or does it really matter, other than coolness?
Narrowed the search to Rav4 or CRV, 2012-2015 (Let somebody else pay the initial depreciation)
Time frame: 2 months.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 03, 2018 07:52PM
I heard they are very popular in the South, and almost unheard of here in the North.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: tronnei
Date: May 03, 2018 07:58PM
I've had a FWD RAV4 here in snowy Minnesota for 4½ years. Rarely an issue in an urban area, where streets and highways are well plowed quickly.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: May 03, 2018 08:13PM
Most 2WD SUVs are FWD, so it isn't so bad... The 2WD Trucks and Large SUVs? Yea, they sell those in the South, every once in a while some make it to the North. It is pretty rare.



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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 03, 2018 08:14PM
Had a 2WD a crossover for awhile. Decided not to do it again when it failed to perform well in a very modest snowfall.

Quote
space-time
I heard they are very popular in the South, and almost unheard of here in the North.

Yeah. Went car shopping with someone in Florida a couple of years ago and was surprised to find that every SUV on the lot was 2WD. Saves money on something you're not likely to use, I guess.

...Also saw them a lot out West. Seems that immigrant families frequently pool their money to buy big 2WD SUVs with as few features as can come off the line. Saw them all the time on the 405, packed to the point where seemingly random body parts hung out of every window.



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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 03, 2018 09:21PM
If you just need the extra space, or like being up higher (cars seem to be getting lower and lwoer) but live where theres rarly weather... seems fine?



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: May 03, 2018 09:26PM
It seems penny wise and pound foolish.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: davemchine
Date: May 03, 2018 09:46PM
We bought our daughter a RAV4 and one of the factors was it's AWD system. I had a chance to test drive in the snow and I was very impressed. Nothing to engage, it just works. We have been very pleased with the vehicle. My only complaint would be the road noise. It's pretty loud.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: DinerDave
Date: May 03, 2018 10:05PM
As our generation gets older, the higher seat height of SUV/Trucks is appealing. A 2WD SUV would cost less to produce, and as mentioned above, AWD is a boon in winter climates, not as important down south.
Would I buy one? No. My wife wants a Subaru Crosstrek, similar in size to her Pontiac Vibe, but sits a bit higher and has AWD. That would be great for her western Mass, with the backroad driving she needs to do in winter.

Dave



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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: michaelb
Date: May 03, 2018 10:18PM
my sense is very few folks who buy AWD SUVs really need AWD. There are very few situations that a FWD car with snow tires would find to be impassible. Those rarely involve paved plowed roads. So even in the far north, where it is snowy and icy 3-5x a week, with hills and mountains, there are only usually a handful of days and a handful of drives in which 2WD with not get through. So yes, most folks would be fine with 2wd and if they lived in the north, they should buy snows, regardless of whether they have AWD. If you ski or drive dirt roads or live on a steep hill with a nasty driveway, yes you would benefit by AWD on some days.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: May 03, 2018 10:27PM
We put 235,000 miles a 1991 Ford Explorer that was 2wd. Never really saw where it needed 4wd except a
couple times I got caught in snow while at work. If it was the roads were that bad I stayed home. We always just
considered it a station wagon at a time when you couldn't buy a station wagon. Our 2002 Tahoe Z71 that
we inherited is 4wd and kinda built for off roading with all the skid plates and stuff it has but my wife never
goes off roading. It has 102,000 miles on it.



Grateful11
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: Forrest
Date: May 03, 2018 10:33PM
I wouldn't buy a SUV that's not AWD - I like the extra traction if needed. That said, I agree with michaelb - the smaller FWD SUV do quite well on plowed roads. Much better than my old Mustang.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: May 04, 2018 03:35AM
Never had a 4wd and never had a need for it (but also have never driven in the snow)



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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 04, 2018 06:26AM
....only if......Jeebus takes the wheel.......



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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: billb
Date: May 04, 2018 06:45AM
Many people would not want to be caught dead in one.



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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: ka jowct
Date: May 04, 2018 06:48AM
If I were going to get a car, an SUV would not be a consideration at all.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: May 04, 2018 07:06AM
FWD with good tires (not OEM) should work well unless you're somewhere that gets a lot of snow. My wife had a 4wd Explorer. With the factory tires, she had to use it several times one winter. After putting on some Michelin's, I don't think she ever used 4wd again.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: TLB
Date: May 04, 2018 07:34AM
IMHO 4WD/AWD is extra weight, extra complexity with more things to go wrong, for something that is likely needed helpful 4-5 times a year. I drive a 2WD pickup truck year round in Ohio and I can't count the times I've passed a 4WD vehicle in the ditch or on its side because of the over confidence the extra 2 wheels of "traction" their vehicle provided. Northern Michigan or the UP, I might change my tune. Before the truck, I exclusively drove FWD and they always got me where I needed to be.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: May 04, 2018 07:46AM
I believe it depends on the type of area you live in. I once a guy who drove his 2WD Ford Explorer to visit family in Utah. We had to push his RWD vehicle out of the snow, it was completely useless in the half a foot of snow that fell. He tried to put salt bags in the rear but it didn't help much.

I also visited Virginia once and a snow storm struck, both RWD and front wheel drive cars were stuck and stranded on the road because the sleet had fallen before the snow. People straight up abandoned their cars on the road and walked.

If your call will never leave 60+ degree weather than save yourself the weight and gas mileage. Otherwise, get AWD or 4WD. I like vehicles that let you decide whether to have it in 2WD or AWD. Some are AWD or nothing, some truck based SUV still offer 4WD that you need to turn on and off yourself but they are becoming less common.



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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: CJsNvrUrly
Date: May 04, 2018 08:14AM
We have a 2WD Hyundai Santa Fe Sport in Virginia, where driving in winter weather is seldom an issue. When it is, it's the other idiots on the road that cause us problems. We know how to drive in the stuff. Even when we lived in New Hampshire--where winter weather IS an issue--we never owned AWD or 4WD. You either know how to drive in snow, or you don't. Too many people get AWD/4WD vehicles and drive as though there's nothing on the road, thinking that makes them invincible or something.
Do I sound cranky? I haven't had my morning coffee yet.




bunny smileyCentral VA
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: JPK
Date: May 04, 2018 08:18AM
Unless you are fording through rivers or crawling rocks, everything you think you will benefit from with 4wd can be accomplished through the right tire selection.

For the extra cost and reduced gas mileage I think it is unnecessary for most who have it.

JPK
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: May 04, 2018 08:57AM
Quote
JPK
Unless you are fording through rivers or crawling rocks, everything you think you will benefit from with 4wd can be accomplished through the right tire selection.

For the extra cost and reduced gas mileage I think it is unnecessary for most who have it.

JPK

No kidding,

2WD with snow tires beats 4WD with all-season tires even here with our modest snowfalls.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: May 04, 2018 09:15AM
Quote
CJsNvrUrly
We have a 2WD Hyundai Santa Fe Sport in Virginia, where driving in winter weather is seldom an issue. When it is, it's the other idiots on the road that cause us problems. We know how to drive in the stuff. Even when we lived in New Hampshire--where winter weather IS an issue--we never owned AWD or 4WD. You either know how to drive in snow, or you don't. Too many people get AWD/4WD vehicles and drive as though there's nothing on the road, thinking that makes them invincible or something.
Do I sound cranky? I haven't had my morning coffee yet.

Exactly! No replacement for common sense, or ability.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: May 04, 2018 09:20AM
Just a note to those who think buying a awd car means awd all of the time, it's usually a clutched system of some type, so that fwd is the default until the unit detects wheel slipping, and then the other two wheels engage. I suppose it could also work in reverse, but I believe fwd is the default on nearly every vehicle.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: May 04, 2018 09:35AM
Never had a 4wd and never had a need for it (but also have never driven in the snow)

This.

I do have a FWD sedan, my first ever in decades.

Most people I've know who buy a 4WD do so because of the higher resale value. And the people they sell to buy because of the higher resale value. It has little to nothing to do with actually ever using them off-road or in snow. But it's their money.

I'd say the most people around here never need 4WD in the first place. Some who live farther north could use one a few days a year, and maybe even a FWD would work.

In states were that have real snow (and maybe rain) 4WD is actually practical much of the year. It makes good sense that it's not as popular in the south.

Having an SUV around here means 4WD or it's somehow deficient. Perception, not practicality. Paying more for something you don't need and will likely never use is pennywise and pound foolish, especially if you keep what you drive and don't try to sell it at 50,000mi.




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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: Lux Interior
Date: May 04, 2018 09:44AM
I have a RWD crossover.

I bought it used and the AWD version wasn't available. But I would have preferred the AWD version.

We have another AWD vehicle. When the roads are bad, I just stay home.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: Ammo
Date: May 04, 2018 09:49AM
One thing I just found out about AWDs is that they must be towed on a flatbed tow truck, not a conventional tow truck that just lifts the front 2 tires off the pavement.



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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: May 04, 2018 10:11AM
Quote
mrbigstuff
Just a note to those who think buying a awd car means awd all of the time, it's usually a clutched system of some type, so that fwd is the default until the unit detects wheel slipping, and then the other two wheels engage. I suppose it could also work in reverse, but I believe fwd is the default on nearly every vehicle.


Yes, this is the big difference between AWD and 4WD. 4WD transfers power to all wheels. When you are parking a car in 4WD and the lot has been plowed, you will feel the wheels dragging as all of them are fighting each other to go in the direction each tire is pointed. That is why AWD is preferred by some people, it transfers power automatically when the car's computer detects slippage.



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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: Forrest
Date: May 04, 2018 10:16AM
I'll plug the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD. This model was introduced in 2016 and is still selling today with little change. ALL RAV4 Hybrids are AWD and there is NO impact to gas mileage. The rear wheels are powered by an electric motor that is only engaged when needed. I average 35 mpg during mostly highway driving. The vehicle is quiet and powered by a CV transmission.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: May 04, 2018 10:19AM
While I agree with everything being said about FWD vs AWD - AWD isn't very expensive nowadays. Further, most people don't want to think about tire selection. They just want their car to work. I know, I know, but thats how people think.

---

If you want to talk about impractical vehicle choices, then I'd direct you toward single occupancy large vehicles.



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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: numbered
Date: May 04, 2018 10:25AM
One of the reasons to get AWD in California is regulatory. Chain control is often set at R2:

Requirement Two (R2): Chains required on all vehicles except four-wheel drives or all-wheel drives with snow tread tires on all four wheels. NOTE: four-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles must carry traction devices in chain control areas)

If the weather is bad enough to require chains on all vehicles they will close the highway.

As a result, lots of people get AWD/4WD just to avoid chain control.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: billb
Date: May 04, 2018 12:24PM
Quote
TLB
IMHO 4WD/AWD is extra weight, extra complexity with more things to go wrong, for something that is likely needed helpful 4-5 times a year. I drive a 2WD pickup truck year round in Ohio and I can't count the times I've passed a 4WD vehicle in the ditch or on its side because of the over confidence the extra 2 wheels of "traction" their vehicle provided. Northern Michigan or the UP, I might change my tune. Before the truck, I exclusively drove FWD and they always got me where I needed to be.


and you know that "4wd" vehicle in the ditch had the 4wd engaged ?


If you know how to drive 4wd in the snow you don't even need brakes.
In the hands of an idiot, yes, useless.



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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: May 04, 2018 01:02PM
We get our fair share of snow in my neck of the woods. I had a 2WD pickup when I moved up here, and it was totally useless. I was constantly getting it stuck. Now, I'm strictly 4WD, as are most other truck owners up here. There are also plenty of SUVs with AWD here. I would never switch back to 2WD unless I move to a different, less snow area.

Oh, and with all the state land RV trails around here, 4WD is an added bonus when playin' on the trails.



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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: davester
Date: May 04, 2018 05:22PM
Quote
JPK
Unless you are fording through rivers or crawling rocks, everything you think you will benefit from with 4wd can be accomplished through the right tire selection.

For the extra cost and reduced gas mileage I think it is unnecessary for most who have it.

Partly, but not entirely true. In the mountain states, the police at chain controls will in many cases allow 4WD vehicles with snow tires through but will not allow 2WD vehicles through unless they have chains. It is vastly more convenient in these areas to have a 4WD rather than spend time under the car installing and uninstalling chains.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: davester
Date: May 04, 2018 05:24PM
Quote
Rick-o
I had a 2WD pickup when I moved up here, and it was totally useless. I was constantly getting it stuck.

That's more a function of it being a pickup, which has close to zero weight on the back wheels. This problem doesn't apply to SUVs which have much more balanced weight distribution.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 04, 2018 05:41PM
Quote
mrbigstuff
Quote
CJsNvrUrly
We have a 2WD Hyundai Santa Fe Sport in Virginia, where driving in winter weather is seldom an issue. When it is, it's the other idiots on the road that cause us problems. We know how to drive in the stuff. Even when we lived in New Hampshire--where winter weather IS an issue--we never owned AWD or 4WD. You either know how to drive in snow, or you don't. Too many people get AWD/4WD vehicles and drive as though there's nothing on the road, thinking that makes them invincible or something.
Do I sound cranky? I haven't had my morning coffee yet.

Exactly! No replacement for common sense, or ability.

The "other idiots" and the plows (or lack thereof) and the budget-cutting bureaucrats who refuse to salt the roads are exactly why AWD comes in handy for me in Virginia.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/04/2018 05:41PM by Sarcany.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: May 04, 2018 05:48PM
Quote
davester
Quote
Rick-o
I had a 2WD pickup when I moved up here, and it was totally useless. I was constantly getting it stuck.

That's more a function of it being a pickup, which has close to zero weight on the back wheels. This problem doesn't apply to the original VW Bug which has a much more balanced weight distribution.

Fixed...
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: May 04, 2018 05:50PM
Hey, even with 2-3 hundred pound bags of sand in the box didn't help! I carried a shovel and used it quite often. eye twitch smiley



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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: Buzz
Date: May 04, 2018 08:12PM
BIL moved from So Cal to Connecticut w/ his RWD Ford pickup back in the 90's... moved back before the third winter...



and is happy as a clam w/ his RWD Toyota Tundra, which pretty much stays between So Cal, Vegas, and Phoenix; not much snow/
==
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: rz
Date: May 05, 2018 04:38PM
I had a 2WD Pathfinder for 17 years and never needed 4WD. Of course, I live in Florida.
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Re: Would you buy a 2 wheel drive SUV?
Posted by: fauch
Date: May 06, 2018 07:18PM
Most people never use the 4WD ONCE in the lifetime of the vehicle. I'll never forget one time there was a little bit of snow in NY and I watched for a bit as a lady in a shiny Jeep Grand Cherokee was going nowhere fast trying to park in the snow. After I got bored I went on my way and came back like an hour later and she was still at it. I casually approached her and mentioned that she did of course realize that one of the main selling points on this vehicle was that it was equipped with 4WD which could handle this amount of snow without even breaking a sweat. She told me, "Oh, I don't know how to work that".....
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