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I live on top of a mountain a little east of the poconos

4wd is nice for getting out of my gravel driveway that is really tough to shovel and sometimes it takes the plow a long time to get to us even if we pay someone to do it

thats the biggest difference i have noticed tires being equal

its def a little easier to get out of a snow gravel driveway
 

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2wd 4wd it doesn't really matter.

besides you can always swap a 2wd to 4wd if you felt the need for it.

ive had no issues with snow etc not having 4wd just take it easy on starts or use 2nd gear start.

and +1 to snow tires. but mind you here in NY and I travel upstate during winter Greenville trnpk and mountain rd can be harsh.. I still dont have winter tires and did fine. the element in my eyes performed better in the snow then my ex AWD grand caravan.
 

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Living here in mostly sunny California I probably will never have much of a need having 4WD, I suppose it is just nice to know it is there if it is ever needed.
Good luck on your Element search !
 

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2WD versus 4WD

I have a 2010 EX 2WD but I am considering getting a 4WD. I found an identical one at a dealer in another state. My questions are:

1) What's the difference in gas mileage?

2) Heavier? Does it perform and handle better/worse?

Any answers and comments are welcomed and appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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Threads merged.

According to specs published on the Honda Web site, fuel economy (city/highway/combined) for a 2010 EX auto is 20/25/22 for 2WD and 19/24/21 for 4WD. In other words, a negligible difference. The 4WD adds about 100 lbs. (all weights here). Handling is the same, except of course in regard to traction in slippery conditions.

OTOH, why do you need 4WD in Georgia?

Search term "4WD" also returns these relevant threads:
How does the Element handle Snow/Sand w/4WD?
4WD, limits of
Any 2WD vs 4WD Regrets?
 

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IMHO the best reason to get AWD even if you don't use it is increased resale value... just compare what used elements sell for in your area - ones with and without AWD
You have a point but obviously you did not take in to account the fact that you more than paid that in lost gas mileage over the years.
I have the AWD as well and would have been just as happy with 2wd. Course it probably gets bad mileage either way. What the heck. I still love it even though it's a slow boat to China. I did Moto GP one weekend, rode up and wife took the E. I had my friends say they wanted to eat and drink and didn't want to ride after so I grabbed the E and well, I have an RSX S modded as much as stock will allow, I took a corner and I am quite sure that I was on two wheels as I was pushing off of my friends lap trying to right myself. We weren't even drinking, yet. lol I guess that would be a case of negative transfer. I didn't ever try to hang a corner again after that. I have to remember that I am in the E as sometimes I forget. lol
To me this is nothing more than a city dwellers Ute. My RSX with blizzaks blows by all, including AWD, in the heavy snow without so much as missing a beat. I love it. Tires are everything regardless of what anyone thinks. An AWD vehicle may take off with traction but I guarantee you that it doesn't stop any faster than a regular vehicle. False sense of security that has caused many soccer moms to find out the hard way.
 

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What are the benefits of a 4WD versus not. I live in Los Angeles area and plan to have this car for a long time....
Improved traction overall on slippery roads. Helps the economy by using 5% more fuel, increasing collected fuel taxes, which is spent mostly in the USA, and if the transmission is made in the USA . . . ;-)
 

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FWD or AWD?

I'm buying an element to go surfing in nova scotia (canada), i dont plan on doing any "off roading" but if i want to drive on sand or dirt trails to get to new surf spots i may need AWD. Basically what im asking is if AWD is going to be that much better than FWD. Is it worth all the extra maintenance cost and complications? Not to mention the fact i have a good deal lined up on a FWD 04 y package, should i wait for an AWD?
 

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Im not looking for a vehicle that is safer or better in snow, all you have to do is be more careful and alert and SLOW DOWN with the FWD, but is the AWD going to have better offroading abillities? I wouldnt think much because its mostly about ground clearnance, anyones 2 cents would help.
 

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I'm buying an element to go surfing in nova scotia (canada), i dont plan on doing any "off roading" but if i want to drive on sand or dirt trails to get to new surf spots i may need AWD. Basically what im asking is if AWD is going to be that much better than FWD. Is it worth all the extra maintenance cost and complications? Not to mention the fact i have a good deal lined up on a FWD 04 y package, should i wait for an AWD?
our 4WD Element is our snow vehicle and our beach vehicle. boards and skis inside when we go to the mountains and kayaks or windsurfers on top when we go to the ocean. for the really soft sand, drop the tire pressure down to 14 while on the sand, pump it back up for asphalt. for 90% of our driving i'm sure that FWD would be sufficient, but i'm 1 of those guys that likes to go all the way. <grin>
 

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I live in Socal and I didn't even consider a 2wd, primarily because I go snowboarding almost every weekend down here, so it definitely helps in that kind of weather and condition. the 4wd is nice too for those few rainy days we get here...definitely makes a world of a difference having the 4wd though...i've driven 2wd cars my whole life until now, and wow, can't believe I didn't go 4wd/awd sooner. love it! I'd gladly take the hit on the gas mileage so I can have the 4wd option.

I guess if you're just using the car for commuting around town and it's normally pretty sunny, then it's not really necessary, but if you are willing to spend a little more money up front, I'd say it's definitely worth it. :)
 

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im mostly curious about driving through mud. Obviously not thick mud like mud boggin or anything but little trails leading to cool surf spots. And you think FWD would be fine on soft sand?
 

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In Oregon, in the mountains during winter, 4WD isn't totally necessary. Cars do fine with excellent or good snow tires; my semi-ancient VW Golf TDI has gotten through some moderately bad snow and ice conditions on a set of Bridgestone Blizzaks. But when things get really icy or there's heavy snowfall, 4WD gives one an extra level of safety that the best 2WD/FWD vehicles can't quite match.

And that's not to say that 4WD can get you out of everything because it can't, and overconfidence in the powers of one's 4WD or AWD 'rig' has been the downfall of many an otherwise good driver.

So in my admittedly prejudiced opinion, 4WD isn't strictly necessary - but it's totally worth having. Not to mention the added stability in the occasional torrential rain downpours that plague both the Pacific Northwest and northern Calif.
 

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Not to mention the added stability in the occasional torrential rain downpours that plague both the Pacific Northwest and northern Calif.

For the Honda RealTime 4WD system found on Elements, it only kicks in after front wheels spin without traction. It is delayed engagement, not very useful for the rain. I don't think this system will help with stability in the rain unless you are purposely spinning your front wheels from a dead stop (i.e. stop light), and even then I still get traction from the front wheels before the rear wheels engage. This is on asphalt, however. Mud/trails would be different.
 

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I have used my realtime many more times than I can remember. It takes a minute to kick in but it is like a regular 4WD once it comes in. There's trails I've taken my E up that it couldn't have made it without the realtime.
 

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the most fun part of the AWD element is stepping on it from a dead stop in a foot of snow with snow tires and just moving. no bull**** tire spin, just acceleration. its the only time the car feels reasonably quick, lol.
 
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