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2008 Element EX AWD TRP
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The whole point of AWD is that it is a "no-brainer". Unlike 4WD where you have to decide if you should engage it, unless something malfunctions, you probably won't even know when the AWD is doing its job.

Having driven many FWD, RWD , 4WD and AWD vehicles, I can say that when it comes to on-road performance over a wide range of conditions, AWD overall provides a much more stable and comfortable ride. IMHO, that more than justifies the 1 mpg worst case penalty.
 
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