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Old 05-18-2011, 12:54 PM   #231
ramblerdan
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Welcome, H2BUCool.

The 2WD and 4WD handle just the same under normal conditions.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:32 PM   #232
SD80
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I did the same kinda thing, traded an 04 AWD on a 10 FWD. Like Dan said, I didn't notice any difference. I felt, in the long run, not needing the car in bad weather, and the extra cost of the additional equipment, maintenance, etc, it would be better for me, and less expensive over time not to have AWD.

Hope you enjoy your new Element.
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Old 08-28-2011, 12:37 PM   #233
silnthowl
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4WD vs. FWD?

Hi Everyone!
I'm still looking for my first Element, and its tougher than I imagined.
Anyway, I wanted to hear people's opinions on how big of a difference the 4WD makes when it comes to winter driving conditions, or some non-extreme off road conditions.
I've been looking mostly at Elements with 4WD but found a nice one without it so I'm wondering.
I've only driven FWD vehicles so far, and the occasional slip and skid on winter ice that almost leads to a fender bender would be a nice issue to leave behind.

If there's already a thread covering this, I couldn't find it, my apologies.
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Old 08-28-2011, 01:42 PM   #234
hopeandpoke
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I have a front wheel drive and live in south michigan, front wheel drive works just fine in the snow.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:05 AM   #235
ramblerdan
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Silnthowl, since you didn't add your location to your profile, I need to ask, where are you located? We get lots of snow here in upstate N.Y., but in my travels here, in Vermont, and the Berkshires of Massachusetts, I've only had the 4WD kick in a few times. Mind you, those few times it was great to have. So it depends on how much snow you get and what kind of driving you do. Regularly drive to resorts to ski or snowboard? Live in a hilly area? Steep driveway?

Also, remember that 4WD doesn't make a lick of difference in road handling while under way or in braking. The roadsides up here are littered each winter with 4WD cars and SUVs whose owners had a false sense of invincibility.
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:22 AM   #236
psschmied
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If you're in an area that gets deep enough snow that FWD isn't adequate to maintain control, making AWD a perceived necessity, think about getting a second set of tires designed for winter driving.

AWD works better when the tires have a fighting chance. AWD moves the wheels, but tires move the vehicle.
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:56 PM   #237
illig
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I would also consider the resale value of your element... if you're thinking about 4WD in your area, it's a good bet that other used car buyers are too

i'm in NYC, and even here (all paved roads, snow cleared within a day or two), folks prefer 4WD/AWD for perceived safety, so they're willing to pay more for a used car that has it

if you don't really care about resale, you can probably negotiate a 2WD model down a bit and buy a good set of snow tires with the savings for even better traction in winter! just remember the adage: 4WD will help you get going faster in the snow, but it won't help you slow down any faster... that's the main reason why you often see jeeps crashed into snow banks in winter
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Old 08-29-2011, 01:11 PM   #238
ramblerdan
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+1 on snow tires. More important than 4WD, IMO.
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:25 AM   #239
Big E
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I saw a wise man on this site once write:
Compared to other 4WD and AWDs options out there... the Element's is comparatively inexpensive and doesn't kill the gas mileage. Why not get it?

Plus resale.
and
Yep, good tires.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:19 PM   #240
Mikement
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Better to have it and not need it - then to need it and not have it. It's nice to have in deep snow. That being said, if you have a good set of tires and halfway decent driving skill, your FWD will work. Pack a small shovel, chains and sand or kitty litter before venturing out in the white stuff. You will lose a few $$ at re-sale but your initial purchase price will be less.
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