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Discussion in 'The BS Topic' started by Dave Nelson, Jan 25, 2021.
I'll echo - on something like that AWD's only benefit comes from foul weather.
You'll get worst gas mileage with AWD due to mechanical losses and dragging the extra weight around.
That said, I got caught in a snowstorm in New Jersey a couple of years ago, the only reason I got through was that I was driving an rental Audi A4 with AWD. Watched all sorts of other vehicles sliding off the road and getting stuck on hills. It also took me 4 hours to get from Basking Ridge to JFK...
The reason for the comparison was when shopping the AWD Camry's were the majority of most dealers 2021 stock. I found some area dealers that had some FWD cars in stock, going to look at today. This means the lucky dealers I visit will hate me before the day is over. I go to the dealers initially without my wife to hammer out the best deal, right before they are ready to throw me out. I will bring my wife back for the final nod as she knows the dance after 45 years and refuses to sit for the negotiations with me and the sales staff.
In general, would repairs on an AWD be more expensive than a FWD? Maybe a consideration.
When my '76 V8 Monza was my daily/only car (in the '80s) we had an ice/snow storm come in about noon (Atlanta) and the bosses didn't cut us loose until about 2:00. Took me hours to get home and I swear I didn't touch pavement once! Glad I had a full tank of gas (weight on the back tires helped, never let it go below a half tank). Clutch out at idle when I had to start after a stop, 215/60 R13 Gatorbacks on 7.5" wheels helped! Was going uphill around pickups with 4WD spinning all 4 tires and not moving. Took about 8 hours IIRC including a stop at my Aunt's house about half way for a bathroom break and a cup of coffee. Heat in the car maxed, wearing heavy coat and gloves and STILL freezing my nads off! Wasn't working the engine much. I doubt it even got up enough to open the 1drilled 80degree thermostat...
Doesn't matter if it's FWD or AWD or 8 wheel drive for that matter if the tires are junk for winter cond. When I worked ay Hyundai the general manager would put Blizzaks on all the Genesis cars. Those cars were a whole new animal in the snow after that. Tires in winter make the difference.
I've only had one AWD vehicle, my current 2008 TBSS, which has been my winter and summer car since I bought it in 2009. I love it. My parents had a FWD 1980 Skylark, and a 1987 Celebrity, both of which I drove from time to time, in all kinds of weather; I like my AWD TBSS much better. The FWD Skylark and Celebrity felt odd in a turn, in snow or rain - so much understeer. My TBSS feels much better to me.
Sure, AWD is good in the snow, but I also find my TBSS feels much better to me in a summer rainstorm, than the Skylark and the Celebrity. It's fun to floor the TBSS on a rainy road and just have it hook up and go.
The TBSS uses a Torsen differential to connect the front and rear axles. One thing I don't like about that is when I spun the splines on the front right axle, the truck wouldn't move. It was trying to transfer all the torque to the axle that wasn't really connected anymore. I don't know if other AWD systems are like that. On the other hand, sheared front axle splines are a known problem on TBSSs, maybe just particular to them.
I'll note here, if you're considering the Toyota Camry, you should really take a peek at the Mazda 6 they are direct competitors with all of their dimensions being within .1" of each other. Mazda has done some really outstanding stuff in the last few years. I haven't gotten to drive the new Turbo engine yet, but it's supposed to be pretty sparky
I need to get a new car for my wife in a couple of months and am 90% sure we're going with a CX5
To add on this, if you're getting a used car, and care about android auto/apple car play, some toyatas don't have it depending on the year you're looking at so keep your eyes on that (if you're getting brand new all Camrys have it)