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AWD vs FWD

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2017 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by lip, May 1, 2012.

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    1. lip

      lip New Member

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      Hi,
      I know there has been some discussions on this but I'd appreciate any additional feedback you can give me...

      I'm in Canada (Toronto area)...obviously we get snow (sometimes a lot).

      I'm undecided between an AWD XLT with 202a and voice nav vs. FWD LTD with voice nav

      The dealer is pushing me to go with FWD XLT as he feels AWD is not really needed. I"m not looking to use it for offroad or towing...more for the stability on bad weather roads...

      Thanks in advance,
       
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    3. deewan

      deewan Active Member

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      City, State:
      Cedar Rapids, IA
      Year and Model:
      2012 Explorer Limited
      Where I live we get a fair amount of snow. This past year, very little. The year before, crazy amounts. I bought the FWD Limited because of the fuel consumption differences and because my other car is all-wheel drive so if I really need it to go out in the snow, I’ve got it.

      During the one and only snow/freezing rain storm we got this year while I had the Explorer (on the day I took delivery), I did get some experience with how the FWD reacts in those conditions. The snow was very heavy and wet, and about 2-inchs deep. I felt that because of the Explorer's size and weight, the FWD model is not very good in fresh snow. I really had to baby the Explorer going up some of the hills and for the first time in years (the last 3 cars I've owned were all-wheel drive) was scared I may have to find an alternative route home since we live in a hilly area.

      I plan on swapping out the all-season tires for winter tires next winter and I am sure that will make a difference. And like I said, where I live the fresh snow is a problem 5-10 times a year max. The roads are plowed quickly. So for those small number of days each year, I was willing to take things a bit slower and in turn save a little money off the purchase price and save money every time I fill up.
       
    4. hosedagain

      hosedagain Member

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      I live just north of Toronto, Newmarket and my Edge is a FWD, I installed winter tires and have no issues with winter driving, even with a AWD you should still have winter tires, didn't want the extra cost of the AWD system at purchase, the extra gas consumption and high maintenance if something goes wrong out of warranty. If you venture north say past Barrie often I would consider AWD or if I did live further north. AWD will get you off the line quicker and maybe straighter but won't keep you out of a ditch.
       
    5. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Year and Model:
      2014 Lincoln MKT AWD
      Welcome to the Forum lip.:wavey: It's nice to see more fellow Ontarians coming on board.
      I live in the Ottawa area and my previous vehicles, all Highlanders, were 4WD.
      When I ordered the Explorer, FWD never even crossed my mind. I like the stablity of AWD and its availability when needed. In all cases I used Winter tires. For my Explorer I swapped the 20" wheels for the base model's 17" steel wheels.
      You didn't say if you were looking at a 2012 or 2013. Apparently the wheels on the 2013 are again different from the previous models.

      Peter
       
    6. spitfisher

      spitfisher Active Member

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      City, State:
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      To the OP, welcome.

      Since mentioned towing, that alone would convince me....and it did!
       
    7. new to ford

      new to ford Active Member

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      City, State:
      Rochester Hills, MI
      Year and Model:
      '11 explorer XLT 202A
      We live in Metro Detroit and FWD has not been an issue, although the Terrain Managment System is a cool feature. If you stick in the city, FWD is fine, unless you go up north in dirt roads in winter.
      Are you leasing or buying? lease might have better residual on AWD. If you are purchasing and plan to sell down the road, the AWD extra cost will be a selling point, since people seem to buy anything AWD. If you are purchasing to drive it to the ground, you will benefit with lower maintenance costs with the FWD.


      We have had FWD vehicles for over ten winters with no issue.

      Although, to be honest, if I would do it all over again, we would go AWD just for the "cool factor", although you lose fuel economy.
       
    8. hosedagain

      hosedagain Member

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      Ottawa winters are much different than Torontos, if I lived in Ottawa I would consider AWD go Senators...ops got further than the Maple Loafs...
      With the first sign of winter the first vehicles in the ditch are usually SUV or CUV, over confident drivers?
       
    9. shoeman

      shoeman Active Member

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      City, State:
      toronto
      Year and Model:
      2011 BORDEAUX LTD FWD
      I live in Toronto and drive a 2011 FWD LIMITED, standard 20 in tires. I have never had an issue with FWD and have never used snowes either. Just drive within the means of the weather and you will not have an issue. Also had a 2009 FLEX LIMITED FWD, same thing.AWD and terrain control is cool, but the 2,500 for AWD not required .
       
    10. lip

      lip New Member

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      Thanks for the replies.

      I'll be purchasing a 2013 XLT, 202a package with voice nav. I'll stick with the 18" wheels.
      I've never considered not getting winter tires, regardless if I get AWD...my dad has an older GMC SUV with 4x4 but he uses mostly the AWD setting in the winter and says he can feel a big difference.

      Next problem will be colour....haha
       
    11. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Good choice. You'll also find the 18" wheels will offer more tire choices and will be less expensive. Also a good choice to use dedicated Winter tires. Many people think they are just for snow but they make a big difference on just cold bare roads. Stopping distances are up to 40% shorter. Have you checked with your insurance complany to see if they offer a discount for using Winters. Mine gives 5% of yearly premium. Good luck.

      Peter
       
    12. JohnnyO

      JohnnyO Moderator Emeritus

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      I have a set of Blizzaks for my wife's Taurus. It goes as good in snow as my 4x4 and probably stops better.
       

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