Paula

AWD vs 4WD

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I am checking out vehicles and i want 4WD. I have also tested AWD. Are they the same, is one better than the other?

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Depends on who you talk to:rolleyes:. I personally prefer a four wheel drive. My wife has a awd suv that has been great and will go anywhere we have tried it but I have never tried it off road. If you do any off road I would suggest 4-wheel drive.

Just one opinion.

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Is there a difference between all wheel drive and four wheel drive?
All-wheel drive is in some ways similar to the full-time 4WD system in that it also sends torque to all four wheels constantly. However, most modern AWD systems don't offer drivers the option to operate in two-wheel drive and, unlike the 4WD systems, the differential between the front and rear axles cannot be locked.
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2 minutes ago, Steve D said:

Depends on who you talk to:rolleyes:. I personally prefer a four wheel drive. My wife has a awd suv that has been great and will go anywhere we have tried it but I have never tried it off road. If you do any off road I would suggest 4-wheel drive.

Just one opinion.

I think your right when it is 4 wheel drive it is made for more off road stuff I think AWD means it is more designed for bad road conditions but less so for off road conditions .

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Of you plan on off roading def go 4 wheel as you can get 4 low and better torque.  For everyday driving AWD handles better.  If you ever make tight turns and have ypur 4 wheel buck, AWD won't do that.  But with AWD it is on all the time , 4wheel you can turn on and off as needed.  

Would say if you off road at all go 4wheel.  If you don't drive a lot on bad roads would also go 4wheel to save fuel money and can turn it off as needed.

If you don't mind the fuel expense and want better handling on daily roads for snow, rain etc, but no real off roading then AWD .  

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I love my wife's Rav4..........it handles great.  Funny thing though, I don't know how they categorize it.  It has a 4wd lock button that we never use 'cause it doesn't need it.  It's a great vehicle on snowy roads, just not for busting through drifts and deep snow.  (actually MUCH better for "just" snowy roads than my Tacoma)

That said, the Rav4 couldn't do what my Tacoma did today.  I had to open a driveway that had been plowed in by the Town Highway Department and motor up a half mile driveway to my buddies place.  12" of snow on the flats, drifts over the bumper and the entrance had to be 3'......No way I'd have tackled that with the Rav4.


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Awd displaces a spinning or skipping wheels energy to the other 3. 4wd does not. Typically a 4 wd usually has a higher clearance. 100% sold on AWD and Subaru. Mine , my previous, my wife’s and eventually my daughter. Wife is getting a new Subaru in the spring. Well never buy another manufacture   Drive them forever , always highly crash rated and better than a 4wd in mph 

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I need 4wd some days to make it in and out of my driveway. 

Out of the vehicles I have tested I like a AWD.

Subaru is not in my budget. I asked a stranger at the store about  his Outback, he loves it and likes the gas mileage but would never feel comfortable going off road with it. 

Tomorrow I am checking out a few more 4wd

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8 minutes ago, turkeyfeathers said:

Awd displaces a spinning or skipping wheels energy to the other 3. 4wd does not. Typically a 4 wd usually has a higher clearance. 100% sold on AWD and Subaru. Mine , my previous, my wife’s and eventually my daughter. Wife is getting a new Subaru in the spring. Well never buy another manufacture   Drive them forever , always highly crash rated and better than a 4wd in mph 

I agree! We have a 14 Forester and are adding a 2019 Outback this summer/Fall!!! Never buying a 4 wd ever again. 

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Genesis 9:1-3 .....The fear and dread of you will fall upon all of the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that moves will be food for you.....

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7 minutes ago, Paula said:

I need 4wd some days to make it in and out of my driveway. 

Out of the vehicles I have tested I like a AWD.

Subaru is not in my budget. I asked a stranger at the store about  his Outback, he loves it and likes the gas mileage but would never feel comfortable going off road with it. 

Tomorrow I am checking out a few more 4wd

Think long term. Guaranteed you’ll drive a Subie 2x as long as most AWD. I parked in the bushes off road in 20” of snow last day of ML season and was far from getting stuck I’m not close minded in many things but Subaru has my attention full swing 

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7 minutes ago, turkeyfeathers said:

I’m not close minded in many things but Subaru has my attention full swing 

I have a friend that won't buy anything else also. They do make good vehicles. To bad they stopped making the Baja. That would have been my choice:

 

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17 minutes ago, turkeyfeathers said:

Think long term. Guaranteed you’ll drive a Subie 2x as long as most AWD. I parked in the bushes off road in 20” of snow last day of ML season and was far from getting stuck I’m not close minded in many things but Subaru has my attention full swing 

Believe me, I do remember you telling me that. 

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18 minutes ago, Steve D said:

A snow blower would be cheaper:taunt:

I know, crazy

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9 minutes ago, Steve D said:

I have a friend that won't buy anything else also. They do make good vehicles. To bad they stopped making the Baja. That would have been my choice:

 

640x480.jpg

Suburu Brat was a good ride for a buddy.

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I was told that Foresters 2012 and under, have chain drives and they are expensive to change or fix. 2013 and up have belt drive.  

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There are less expensive Subaru models than the Forester.  My girlfriend bought a Legacy AWD.  The thing is a tank on the road.  It doesn't have the clearance for off road.  I'm awfully impressed with it though.  AWD and 32MPG.  Pretty hard to beat.

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13 minutes ago, Paula said:

I was told that Foresters 2012 and under, have chain drives and they are expensive to change or fix. 2013 and up have belt drive.  

11 and older were belt engines. Newer ones are chains. The chain engines have had oil consumption issues do to piston rings but subaru has extended the warranty on those and replaces the short block. There good vehicles.

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If your doing anything off road I prefer 4wd. Awd for road only. Also with awd you must replace all tires as opposed to 2 with a 4wd. I drive through some tractor paths and stuff and needed a truck bed anyway so the 4 low comes in handy.

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5 hours ago, Paula said:

I am checking out vehicles and i want 4WD. I have also tested AWD. Are they the same, is one better than the other?

Passenger vehicle, SUV or truck? Sort of makes a difference in whether everyone's advice is relevant to your situation or not. BTW - tires can make all the difference!! As an example, bought a Jeep with all the drive options, manual 4wd lo/hi range and a selector for different road/off road conditions! The OEM all season tires.. suck, so all those bells and whistles are worthless.

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Interesting thread and great comments! Lots of useful information. Love the folks on this site!

I've never owned a Subaru but my brother is on his fourth one and swears by them. In many ways you could say he almost 'drives for a living' as he travels all over central NY as a dentist visiting nursing homes and other adult care facilities. He's paid the same when he's driving as he is when he's delivering treatment, and he clocks about 35k miles a year. All of the routine maintenance is done by the dealer, even the monthly oil changes, and that dealer gives him absolutely top value for the vehicle come trade-in time.

As others have said, it depends on the ground clearance needed. If you need a car get AWD. If you need a truck get 4WD with lockout and hi/lo options. I hear Subaru is coming out with an actual pickup truck. Might be a game-changer, especially if the new plant is located in the U.S. ;-]

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Stay with FWD and slow down.  Enjoy the fuel economy savings. Their are limitations to 4WD and AWD  vehicles as I witnessed coming home during the last whiteout from Rochester on the 513, Saturday after Christmas.

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Subaru is coming out with a bigger suv with third row seating but no truck talk that I have heard. Not much of a market for them.

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I have a Jeep Cherokee now, its oolldd. I need about the same because i use tractor roads and such. I never considered a pick up because of the dogs.

I just have in my head all the good i heard about Subarus and AWD but am worried if it could handle it. One place i go now is pretty rough for my 4WD.

I think i just answered my question, :good:

Edited by Paula
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I pretty much agree with what others have said. We have had both AWD and 4WD vehicles. I will add that in a comparable vehicle the 4WD will get better gas mileage when NOT in 4WD than the AWD drive model will in normal operation. Like on dry roads or Spring Summer and Fall driving. The Engine is turning more on a constant basis in an AWD model. 

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