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Discussion Starter #1
TL:DR - basically is AWD worth it over FWD for winter country living?

I'm interested in the EX 2012. Me and my partner are new to the world of SUVs this would be our first one.. We're trying to keep on budget and have noticed that FWDs are a lot cheaper than AWDs. My wife is convinced that we need a AWD because we will move to the country and she thinks it will be essential in the winter months and that AWD is a safer drive as it offers better handling...?

I on the other hand have heard that as long as you have decent winter tyres that it doesn't matter as much and that we would be able to get away with decent winter tyres and FWD even in the snowy months in the country..

Can any body help here...I would love to convince my wife that AWD is unnecessary...she thinks well get stuck in the snow and all that with FWD... however I also prepared to eat humble pie and accept AWD if it really is all that especially for winter country living...

Appreciate any opinions expressed on this..thx
 

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I live in snowy mountains and drove through the snow and ice for decades with RWD and FWD without having an accident or getting stuck (40,000+miles per year in a company car in all kinds of weather). A 4 wheel drive/FWD is a modern day luxury we old folks never had. I've had AWD in an Escape and my CRV for years and they work well. However, AWD only powers the front wheels on them until there is slippage so it has nothing to do with better handling on slick roads. If you know how to drive, the real need for AWD is very infrequent. If you live in snow country, you will notice that most vehicles that end up in ditches are four wheel drive or all wheel drive because the owners are either over confident or inexperienced and trusted AWD to increase their slick road driving ability.

If I were buying used, I would probably lean toward a FWD because they are much cheaper. If I were buying new, I would buy AWD because they retain their value much better and they are far easier to sell.

Being really old and remembering the 50s and 60s, to me a 2 wheel drive SUV is nothing more than a glorified station wagon.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you could tell us where you are located, that would help this discussion
Sorry, we live in Atlantic Canada. Last few winters here have been snowy...

By the way I'm not against AWD or 4WD, I know they can be helpful, but im trying to find out if they are absolutely eessential for the snowy winter in the country. Thank-you
 

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AWD does little for winter "handling" since it is inactive until the front wheels slip.....and that will probably be rare with traction control. AWD will help you get moving from a stop and possibly get you unstuck if you turn traction control off so the front wheels CAN slip a bit. AWD will not stop you from sliding on icy roads and will not help you STOP. I agree with osbornk that AWD can offer false confidence to drivers who don't understand its limitations.

Winter tires good enough to help will normally require changing tires before and after winter so there is an additional cost there.

I'm a southerner who has moved to South Dakota and had a LOT to learn about winter driving. I'm retired so if it's really snowy, I just stay home.

I have AWD. I love my AWD. I wouldn't be w/o my AWD, but, if I had to drive "no matter what" I'd also have both winter and summer tires.
 

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Here in a small town in south central Illinois, midway between Springfield Illinois and St Louis Missouri, we can expect 2-6 snows each season of 2-6 inches of accumulation. Most usually they only last a day or two but sometimes longer. If I clean my driveway and the city/state has been by with the snow plow I will not have any problem driving our FWD. In fact, in nearly 50 years of driving I have never had a problem driving in the snow, slush, and even icy pavements. There is a learning curve that many never learn in how to drive in adverse conditions. Now, back in the day when rear wheel drive only cars were in the majority I did have to put on chains on those rear wheels along with some weight in the trunk. But now nearly all vehicles are at least FWD and that has made a huge difference. I can't begin to tell you how many AWD or 4WD vehicles I have seen stuck in the ditch in winter weather. And that is the driver's fault. Another thought is: "Hey, if the weather is really horrible and you wonder if you should get out in it, well, there's your sign, DON'T!" It is not worth your life and limb to take the chance. Now, having said all of that....... it only money. And if you really think you need AWD then go for it. My experience says no. But that's just me. Good Luck!

P.S. I never buy 'winter tires' either!
 

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If I had it to do over again, I'd look for a FWD vehicle !! It snows probably 60-70"/year here, but the roads are so well cared for that AWD just isn't necessary. Tires are the key IMO, I put new Cooper SRX's on a few montha ago after almost sliding off my driveway on the OEM Bridgestones last Winter. If I were living in a true rural setting I might think differently, but has been said, if it's that bad then stay home !! JMO. Craig
 

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Hi,

I'm in Winnipeg, MB and here we get snow and a lot of icy roads, the AWD is very nice, less slippage at stops and red lights. I believe the AWD is nice if you can afford it, it does add some safety to your drive in bad conditions.....to me it's a bit like insurance....you like to have it but you don't want to use it.
 

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We bought our first CRV last month, a 2016 Touring model with AWD. We moved to Virginia a year ago, coming from outside Buffalo, NY. I owned 4 Jeep Grand Cherokees in a row and clearly the 4WD was an advantage in the winter. The only downside for me was tire wear. I do believe AWD & 4WD vehicles will tend to chew up tires more quickly. It remains to be seen on the CRV. We plan to travel north with our CRV, so for that reason we felt more comfortable with an AWD model.
 

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I specifically bought the CRV because it had AWD with it. I would buy a different car if I didn't want AWD.

As far as does it make a difference, yes. I live somewhere that doesn't do a very good job of clearing streets after snow storms. They don't clear residential unless it is over 6". Maybe it would be a different story if they did a better job of clearing streets.

As far as the option of staying home when it snows. I still work and it is not an option.

Where I live, they really don't stock CRVs that are FWD. Since it snows here, no one really wants them. They are usually a special order. A friend just bought a RAV4 that is FWD as she is moving and it took her weeks to get one.
 

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I seriously doubt if they sell many or any (!) AWD CRV (or Pilots) in Canada. That alone speaks to the added value of AWD.
 
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