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50K for a luxury/sport car or SUV – what to get?! - Page 7

post #91 of 130
I really don't see why people freak out about RWD/FWD/AWD. I mean, sure, AWD is nice to have during the winter, but I have no problems driving a small VW Polo (not on the US market, but it's smaller than the Golf) with FWD and a 60-70 bhp engine during the Norwegian winter. We have a quite steep hill up to our neighborhood, and during the winter there's a lot of hard-packet snow there. Obviously we use snow tires, but I've seen AWD cars get stuck there, and then driven past them. It's about how you drive, and not what you drive when it comes to snow.
post #92 of 130
^^^I tend to agree. Even rear wheel drive is fine in snow with the proper tires.
post #93 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJay View Post
^^^I tend to agree. Even rear wheel drive is fine in snow with the proper tires.

It's fine 90% of the time but the other 10% you'll be really pissed you got it.
post #94 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by leftover_salmon View Post
It's fine 90% of the time but the other 10% you'll be really pissed you got it.
At least on East Coast roads in major metropolitan areas, if you are not perfectly OK with RWD and snow tires, you should not be on the road and/or in conditions where no amount of AWD, etc. will help you. My neighbor made it through the harshest winter in history here with a 6spd 2006 M3 with summer tires on it. If she can, you can.
post #95 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by username79 View Post
My neighbor made it through the harshest winter in history here with a 6spd 2006 M3 with summer tires on it. If she can, you can.

I find this hard to believe. My hat is off to her.
post #96 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJay View Post
I find this hard to believe. My hat is off to her.

I stopped her one day and said something along the lines of, "that's a beautiful car, and I don't mean to insult your intelligence in the least, but you do know that your tires are for summers only, and the compound hardens in the winter and decreases traction, right?" And she was like, "Yes, I know, thank you, it has excellent balance."
post #97 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by username79 View Post
I stopped her one day and said something along the lines of, "that's a beautiful car, and I don't mean to insult your intelligence in the least, but you do know that your tires are for summers only, and the compound hardens in the winter and decreases traction, right?" And she was like, "Yes, I know, thank you, it has excellent balance."
Wow, more power to her!
post #98 of 130
I had RWD cars with all season tires not even be able to get out of the driveway/parking spots when some snow is on the ground. I also see plenty of RWD cars, as well as FWD drivers taking a turn too fast, fishtail every few hundred yards when some snow is on the ground. If you get more then a few snow days in a year, you and especially your significant other would certainly appreciate the added confidence AWD offers in the snow.
post #99 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmax View Post
I had RWD cars with all season tires not even be able to get out of the driveway/parking spots when some snow is on the ground. I also see plenty of RWD cars, as well as FWD drivers taking a turn too fast, fishtail every few hundred yards when some snow is on the ground.

If you get more then a few snow days in a year, you and especially your significant other would certainly appreciate the added confidence AWD offers in the snow.

I don't doubt for a minute the convenience of AWD, but with a bit of skill and appropriate tires, RWD can be very capable in snow. This is especially true with cars equipped with traction control. I have one with it, and it's better in the snow than my AWD SUV in terms of not fishtailing as well as a few other characteristics.

Again, I don't disagree with the recommendation for AWD, I'm just saying that RWD can be fine in snow with a skilled driver and the right tires.
post #100 of 130
Having the right tires is key. The only time AWD helps is acceleration. Everything else is dictated by your tires: braking, turning, and acceleration, too.

--Andre
post #101 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by username79 View Post
At least on East Coast roads in major metropolitan areas, if you are not perfectly OK with RWD and snow tires, you should not be on the road and/or in conditions where no amount of AWD, etc. will help you. My neighbor made it through the harshest winter in history here with a 6spd 2006 M3 with summer tires on it. If she can, you can.
Where is this? I'm talking about being in Montreal, where we get more snow in an average year than almost any American city gets for its "harshest winter," and because it stays cold, it never melts. Not to mention it's almost as hilly here as in SF. You do NOT want RWD in Montreal. Probably not in Toronto, Syracuse or Buffalo, either. How many times do I have to say it? I've driven RWD cars here (MB 320 SLK, Lexus LS 460), front wheel drive cars here (Nissan Maxima) and AWD cars (Subaru Legacy, Land Rover LR3) and there is a huge difference in how the cars handle in -20c with a sheet of slick snow on the road. The AWD is noticeably better...and all these cars were equipped with winter tires. I've been on all-seasons in winter here and call bullshit on the M3 story unless she's from NY or Baltimore or something.
post #102 of 130
Winter in southern Norway two years ago: http://apimg.no.publicus.com/apps/pb...755&noborder=1 http://apimg.no.publicus.com/apps/pb...6199508&Ref=V2 And a slideshow from 2009/2010. http://www.fvn.no/nyheter/article728591.ece Did people have problems driving? Sure, some did. Did everyone with AWD get around without a hitch? No. AWD will help a little, but it comes down to your tires and your skill.
post #103 of 130
I grew up driving old, RWD drive cars in the Canada. Can you get around in snow like this? Sure thing. However, to think that FWD and AWD do not add significant improved handling vs. RWD is just specious. To begin with, think of the physics. In RWD the motive force is on the light end of the car and it needs to push the heavy (and steering) end. In FWD, the engine rests over the motive axle which is also the steering axle. A good AWD is even better yet, due mainly to the insanely well executed power distribution mechanisms and feedback operated software. Nothing is going to stop all weather related accidents and I am sure a highly skilled driver in a RWD can outperform a bad/low skill driver in an AWD, but there's no way a good AWD system won't help you out, no matter what your skill level is. If AWD were that meaningless, Audi's Quattro system would not have so dominated European Touring races so much that the ruling body banned AWD in 1998.
post #104 of 130
If you buy a perfectly balanced car the weight distribution is not a factor. Most cars are what, like 51-49? I really don't think that this really matters that much. Yes, proper AWD systems like Audi's Quattro are great, but if you know how to drive, you really don't need it. It's a nice thing to have, but there's no guarantee that it will keep you from getting stuck. If you can get an AWD model for the same price as the 2WD model, do it. It's nice to have. If you have to add a premium, I would think twice. At least here in Norway you usually have to drop another $5,000-$10,000 to get the same engine and AWD. Here's an example from Audi A5. Prices are sky high because of the large engine, but that's not the point. Look at how the exact same model with the same engine increases in price if you want AWD. 2.0 TFSI 211 HK 2WD 6 speed manual 99 120 USD 2.0 TFSI 211 HK 2WD\t multitronic 105 385 USD 2.0 TFSI 211 HK AWD 6 speed manual 106 811 USD 2.0 TFSI 211 HK AWD S-tronic 112 788 USD Manual gearbox: $7500 extra for quattro Automatic gearbox: $7400 extra for quattro
post #105 of 130
this debate on front vs rear wheel drive reminded me of an old video i saw of a volvo vs saab in snow. i think it was filmed in sweden... lets just say... front wheel drive is the way to go if you're not going awd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qOf3R1Xp88
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