Automotive

How important is it to you for your daily driver to have AWD/4WD?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 21st, 2018 11:00 am

Poll: How important is AWD/4WD to you?

  • Total votes: 231. You have voted on this poll.
Couldn't find a way to care less if I tried
 
40
17%
Not very important
 
73
32%
Mildly important
 
35
15%
Very important
 
39
17%
I wouldn't consider anything else other than an AWD/4WD vehicle for my daily driver
 
44
19%

Poll ended at Jan 17th, 2018 12:37 pm

[OP]
Deal Addict
Mar 30, 2010
2870 posts
1173 upvotes
GTA

How important is it to you for your daily driver to have AWD/4WD?

Just curious
136 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 27, 2009
7239 posts
4473 upvotes
Victoria, BC
I'm in Ottawa and I have a Subaru (so AWD) for one car, and another vehicle that is front wheel drive. I definitely prefer the Subaru for winter driving conditions.
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
12072 posts
8363 upvotes
Edmonton
I wouldn't buy another daily driver without it.

C
Deal Addict
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Nov 10, 2015
2243 posts
853 upvotes
Monte Creek, BC
I learned to drive in northern BC and graduated to 4x4 pickups for work. 4wd was nice but you tend to rely on it too much and when you get into trouble with it, you're in deep trouble. I would often have the trucks in 2wd and when I could feel the road conditions were changing for the worse, I would switch to 4wd.
I'm confident enough with my driving that I don't require 4wd anymore. There is also the added cost in the initial purchase, added cost when repairs are required and added fuel consumption due to the additional weight.
4wd has it's place, but I don't need it often enough to justify the cost.
No political content in signatures (Who did I offend?)
Deal Addict
Apr 30, 2015
1103 posts
352 upvotes
SaskBerta
I wouldn't consider switching from my RWD. With a good set of winters, I've never had a problem.
Although I think my cars traction control when it does kick in, is one of the rare systems that actually does its job quite well.

I mainly drive in Sask and Alberta. Occasionally Ontario though.
Member
Mar 29, 2015
229 posts
73 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
I would say that a decision like this is based on experience as a driver. The more experienced drivers will be fine with anything as they are used to the weather and handling conditions the car is put under. For new/inexperienced drivers AWD/4WD may make the daily drive during bad weather easier. Either way I recommend taking winter driving lessons to make sure you are prepared for the odd time you get caught out.

For summer driving I think FWD or RWD is better for fuel economy.
Deal Addict
Jul 21, 2005
1769 posts
879 upvotes
Alberta
Drove RWD and FWD cars most of my life, but got wife an AWD since she was a newer driver. Driving her car around is so much more confident especially where there is a ton of snow and you got to deal with a foot or more of snow in the back alley to turn into your garage. After driving her car in a few snow storms, I just don't see a reason why not get an AWD car given the choice. Bought a brand new Subaru Crosstrek this past summer, loving it in the snow. I don't even get phased by any amount of snow anymore, I just drive through it with confidence, on all season tires.
Sr. Member
May 21, 2008
796 posts
98 upvotes
Ottawa
I drove mostly FWD but after getting AWD, I don't think I would consider anything without it now.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Nov 15, 2017
721 posts
527 upvotes
AWD does not improve braking performance. AWD could give you slightly improved acceleration under non-ideal driving situations, but why you gotta speed? Directly and indirectly, AWD would cost more in the long run. For places with mild winters, the benefit of AWD is that it subjectively feels "better" to drive.

Source: owned an AWD car in the West Coast.
Banned
Jan 9, 2018
151 posts
54 upvotes
At the moment I recently bought a C300 4Matic and to be honest it is awesome AWD system from MB. I had a rental 2017 VW Jetta, that sometimes gets stuck in snow and struggle to move back and forth. But with the 4Matic in the C300 it is a breeze in a pile of snow, so much power. Just love it.
Deal Addict
Jan 8, 2007
2767 posts
1294 upvotes
Calgary
I've had about 30 different cars so far including FWD, AWD, RWD and 4WD. I don't think I would buy another daily driver without AWD/4WD. Same with winter tires. Once you try either of these (especially combined) it's very hard to go back to driving anything else.
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
12072 posts
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Edmonton
jechin1 wrote: I would say that a decision like this is based on experience as a driver. The more experienced drivers will be fine with anything as they are used to the weather and handling conditions the car is put under. For new/inexperienced drivers AWD/4WD may make the daily drive during bad weather easier. Either way I recommend taking winter driving lessons to make sure you are prepared for the odd time you get caught out.

For summer driving I think FWD or RWD is better for fuel economy.
Having AWD doesn’t make an experienced/good driver into a worse driver. It provides power to all 4 wheels. How is that a bad thing under poor traction conditions?

I’ve been driving for decades, with RWD trucks, FWD cars and minivans, and AWD SUV’s. For 3 out of 4 seasons, it doesn’t matter to me one bit. But in the winter... AWD is the way to go. For me.

C
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Jul 30, 2010
2994 posts
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It always seems like the discussion around AWD/4WD and winter tires turns into a "I'm a good driver so blah", but when technology provides consistent and measurable improvement in something (like driving in winter), why wouldn't you be all for it? My daily driver is a FWD Toyota Echo (on winters), but I am dying for an AWD and plan to make it a necessity with all future vehicles. As mentioned, in 3/4 seasons it really doesn't matter. But winter makes a HUGE difference.

When I take my SUV out (also with winters), it is seriously like driving a tank. There is so much control, almost zero slippage, better takeoff, never get stuck on slick ice or deep snow. The positives are just way too many.

Of course, you could get by without; you can get by with a wood stove instead of central heating, or get by without a smart phone too. But why bother? AWD is awesome.
Member
Mar 29, 2015
229 posts
73 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
CNeufeld wrote: Having AWD doesn’t make an experienced/good driver into a worse driver. It provides power to all 4 wheels. How is that a bad thing under poor traction conditions?

I’ve been driving for decades, with RWD trucks, FWD cars and minivans, and AWD SUV’s. For 3 out of 4 seasons, it doesn’t matter to me one bit. But in the winter... AWD is the way to go. For me.

C
I'm not saying AWD makes you a worse driver. I don't know the skill level of the OP or any of you here, but I am saying that to a good driver it doesn't matter. Under poor traction obviously AWD makes it easier to drive, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to drive any other configuration.

Edit: cost is a factor, it's why most cars are FWD and not AWD. To some people this makes a difference. For experienced driver they may forgo the cost because they can handle a FWD car no problem.
Sr. Member
Jul 25, 2015
872 posts
714 upvotes
Own FWD, RWD/4 and AWD. Driving FWD in winter is fine. But why would I if I can afford AWD? My partner has a FWD car that I drive on occasion and I notice a big difference on how it handles in the winter compared to my AWD. Personally when I get a new vehicle, it will be another AWD. I've seen stucked vehicles in my neighbourhood all the time. Never any issues in my car.
Deal Addict
Apr 24, 2014
1217 posts
662 upvotes
Gained confidence driving in less than ideal conditions with less than ideal tires.

Nice to have but not required for my needs. Majority of the "AWD" vehicles you see today are FWD 99% of the time anyways.
Sr. Member
Oct 29, 2009
621 posts
303 upvotes
I had an 2003 WRX (AWD obviously) which was obviously fantastic in winter for getting up to speed at traffic lights, and for generally being confident you weren't going to get stuck anywhere. With good winters and Subaru AWD there was definitely a feeling of being unstoppable in the snow. However for 99.9% of my driving in the GTA (commuting, shopping, taking kids to hockey) I do not miss AWD. I've driven throough some nasty crap in my GTI (with quality winter tires of course) and it has been just fine. It's all the same once you hit the brakes.
Deal Expert
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Oct 13, 2009
21187 posts
10651 upvotes
Iqaluit, NU
Sinasta wrote: Own FWD, RWD/4 and AWD. Driving FWD in winter is fine. But why would I if I can afford AWD? My partner has a FWD car that I drive on occasion and I notice a big difference on how it handles in the winter compared to my AWD. Personally when I get a new vehicle, it will be another AWD. I've seen stucked vehicles in my neighbourhood all the time. Never any issues in my car.
buds,

fwd is a dream in winter compared to rwd. My gf complains about her fwd in the snow. I'll drive that thing to the top of mount everest without a problem

now my rwd beast? lol. that's a different story all together. shit get's stuck on a snowball.
Re: Procurement, Life & RFD
nasa25: say you won it in a raffle. That's what I do with like 86% of my purchases
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Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 17, 2006
6869 posts
5782 upvotes
Burlington
AWD for sure. Even though it might just be one or two days a year. Those one or two days will be the worst days of the year if you are stuck in the snow with no one to help.
Happened to me once, and at least once a year, I have gotten out of my car to help someone stuck in the snow.
If you can afford an AWD in a car that you like, I'd definitely recommend it.
Deal Addict
Dec 4, 2011
1606 posts
1061 upvotes
Montreal
Always had FWD sports cars and did not mind the winter driving so much with good winters.

I have an AWD Golf R now and it would be very hard to go back, so much fun. But it is not a necessity for me.

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