What is all-wheel drive and is it right for you?
Simply put, all-wheel drive is designed to help your car perform better in certain driving situations. It distributes power where needed to give the best traction, without any action taken by the driver.
Note the words “perform better”, because it’s more about performance than safety.
For instance, an AWD vehicle will drive better in snow, ice, or mud and allow you to go faster in those conditions too, but it does not help you stop, especially on ice or on slippery road conditions.
Who Needs It
AWD is a must for drivers in wintery climates where poor driving conditions are the norm. Also if you are a serious off-road driver, four-wheel drive is going to be better for you. If you live down south, in sunnier climates, it’s not a must, even though having AWD is not bad for anybody. Here’s why. Four-wheel drive vehicles generally sit up a little taller, giving drivers a better view of the road ahead, and enhance the driving experience.
How Much It Costs
Not too long ago, only pricey high-end cars came with all-wheel drive, like Audi’s famous Quattro system. But the cost is coming down and it’s more common thanks to automakers like Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD. While AWD equipped vehicles do cost more, usually you’ll get that premium back in resale value especially with the high demand for it.
In some models, you may lose 1 to 2 miles per gallon in fuel economy, but in other cases, there’s no loss at all when driving on roads that are dry.
So to sum things up, if you can afford it, all-wheel-drive is great to have on any vehicle, especially if you battle the elements.
Photo Credit: SubaruTags: all-wheel drive