It’s the version the people who can’t drive believe will save them in slippery conditions, which is all that matters.
I work doing deliveries, and I see this all the time. Some moron gets a 4x4, believing that it will save them from crashing in the wet or snow. And all the while, getting confused when their Honda Pilot or Jeep Grand Cherokee crashes while me and my FWD Mitsubishi soldier on.
Yeah, loads of people thinking AWD helps them drive in the snow, when the only place where it helps is in terms of not getting stuck.
And for the average city/suburbs dweller, as long as you have good tires, you should not have issues with FWD, unless the weather is so crazy that you shouldn’t be going out anyway.
Or if you park in the street and have to deal with the clusterfuck that is streetside parking in a big city during the winter. But that can be fixed with a shovel and traction aids, which are a lot cheaper on the life on the car versus AWD.
I keep a metal shovel and old wood planks in my trunk. All I need to get unstuck. But the best thing is to not get stuck at all. And you shouldn’t even need traction control for that.
My daily has no traction control, no abs brakes, no fancy esc. It’s just an Alero with the 2.2 Ecotec and FWD small car goodness. About a quarter of the vehicles I’ve used during the winter had no traction control or abs. And I end up turning it off on half of the cars that do because it doesn’t help [me]. (I’d consider myself a moderately experienced winter driver).
Alero … small.
America is another world
Aaand more on the topic - is really fast driving on dirt/snow the only point of having AWD in a more or less normal car?
It’s not for speed, but for having more traction on slippery surfaces, for acceleration or when you get stuck.
A 4x4 or AWD system is really just to get going from a standing start and stability in corners.
Even then, a good set of winter tires on a RWD vehicle can be much more capable than all-season tires on a 4x4.
Edit: 2004 Alero
107 inch wheelbase, classified by the EPA as a compact car.
Overall Length is 186 inches.
Maybe by the EPA, but most other sources classify it as a mid-sized sedan.
It’s a whole foot longer than a Honda Civic.
I think my car can be considered to be a compact car though
Mine doesn’t have traction control either. Even if it did, I would’ve disabled it immediately after buying it.
And although it does have ABS, I make it a point to improve my braking to a point where I don’t trigger it at all.
And @findRED19, your Alero is even bigger than my Galant, which was classified as a midsize.
Wheelbase: 103.7 inches Length: 187.8 Inches
So on average being able to go faster without goint into trees. So considering all situations, not only getting out of the snow, AWD DOES make sense, right? I’m asking because I’m a fan of all-time AWD in a normal car - such as Audi’s Quattro or Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD - and I don’t want my world to get ruined (but I didn’t drive any AWD car, only FWD ones, so it’s just theoretical talk for me now)
They can be fun if you enjoy them, but their utility for the average person is definitively way overestimated.
Enough for me, I’m fully aware that FWD is all that most people need in most situations
Edit: aaargh, who the hell at Discourse had the idea to limit likes…
I’d only buy a car with AWD if it were a Subaru 2.5GT or WRX, and 4WD if I wanted something offroad worthy (which I’d love to do if I had the money for a 3rd car).
Awd is also great for putting in supercars and watching morons light up at the intersection only to go off kilter and forget about the lift off oversteer until they totally bin their ride
I maintain the opinion that if you can’t drive a car safely without aides such as traction or stability control, you shouldn’t be driving it at all. Even with them, idiots still find ways to crash, probably by going way beyond their limits, believing the car will save them. But that’s a discussion for another time.
All I’ve got in the Hyundai is ABS and power steering. And while it’s taken me forever to get used to having ABS (literally my first 3 months of using the car were punctuated with the ABS making those wonderful farting noises because I stepped on it too hard), I respect it as an assist.
But if you’re such a shit driver that you can’t drive without traction or stability assistance, you should just stick to bicycles.
I can see the use for AWD, only because I have gotten stuck in the snow in my FWD car, and even at that, I was merely 5 minutes away from being free after a liberal application of sand and accelerator.
No, absolutely not so in the corners. If you send an AWD car into an icy corner at a high enough speed it will happily plow onwards into a tree, just like any WD car. Tires are tires, the grip limits are the same on them no matter the drive. The fact that it’s easier to get a grip on in a straight line and that it’s not so spin-prone in the corners is what makes the owners believe they’ve got more grip in all situations and why you can get cheap used Subaru and Audi parts during good winters.
I realise that AWD or any other drivetrain doesn’t magically add grip in corners - that’s physically impossible. But doesn’t it make better use of that grip? (that’s just guesstimating)
Let me put it this way - Lancia has put the Quattro down in rallying by winning the championship in 1983 in a real wheel drive 037.