GMC Acadia Forum banner
1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Already posted over on enclave forum, but thought I would ask this larger audience over here since I will eventually face same question when I order my 08 acadia (ordering an enclave for my wife soon so first priority is deciding for that one)....I am interested in anyone who went back and forth about buying AWD vs FWD and what the considerations were...we live in the south so snow is not a big deal but I like idea of AWD for slick conditions (between rain and ice/slush, we get a lot of slick days)....but am not sure if it is worth it over FWD with Stabilitrak given that it seems people are complaining about the extra weight of the AWD affecting transmission performance with the V6....anyone have any helpful thoughts? Thanks...I drive a 4WD Expedition and my wife drives a minivan with FWD, so the "in-between" AWD is a not something I have driven a lot...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,577 Posts
I've had two AWD Saturn Vues over the past 4 years and didn't feel that it helped *that* much on the road or even in the snow. It wasn't worth sacrificing gas mileage for again, so when purchasing my Acadia, it was a no-brainer for me. I wanted FWD.

(Edited to add: I do live in the Chicago area and we get plenty of rain, snow and ice here.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
I live in the southwest, not much snow and not much rain, but I liked the idea of AWD for added stability for when we travel out of the area. I ended up with a FWD, I could not find a AWD model in the color / options I wanted, and did not want to order, so I saved some money and went with the FWD. Now if I was somewhere that it snowed and rained alot, I would have gone for the AWD and waited for one. And after thinking about it, I think in 4 years there were maybe two times where the AWD of my previous car came in handy, but I still would have been fine without it, so I don't think I will even notice I dont have it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
Here in Washington AWD is almost a must IMO. After owning a Subaru Outback in 1999, AWD was one of the main consideration in my purchase of the Sierra Denali that did have AWD. When I traded that in the first must have form me was AWD. I wouldn't want to have anything else in as wet, and sometimes icy area as I live.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
In the Denver area, almost all of the Acadias on the dealer lots are AWD. You can find FWD in the base SLE models. I've driven FWD vehicles in the snow around here for years without any problems, so I'll probably order a 2008 with FWD to save some cash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
Are there any problems towing with FWD? Is there reduced traction on the front wheels as a result of the tongue weight on the hitch? If so, would AWD even make a difference?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
OK if I read all the info it sounds like AWD does not make a difference to anything?

or have we just not got the whole story.

What would GM say about AWD vs FWD?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
tschmut said:
Are there any problems towing with FWD? Is there reduced traction on the front wheels as a result of the tongue weight on the hitch? If so, would AWD even make a difference?
i think the only way that AWD would help is if you were towing a boat and launching and taking it out of the water were the launch ramp is VERY SLICK. When i take my boat out of the water with the yukon i switch to 4 wheel LOW and shift all the way down to 1 to take my boat out of the water. We have a very wet and very steep hill to climb with 5000 pounds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
Canuck said:
OK if I read all the info it sounds like AWD does not make a difference to anything?

or have we just not got the whole story.

What would GM say about AWD vs FWD?
Sorry but I don't follow your conclusion???? It makes quite a bit of difference, especially on wet pavement, or if you have black ice in your area. Then there is that feeling of being pulled around by your front wheels that I for one don't like. Then there is the added traction on gravel roads if you ever drive on them. Also if you ever have standing water that you hit at a high speed, that is significant. In an instant the traction that is supplied to the rear wheels just may save your life. Then there is snow, which anybody that actually drives in it will tell you there is a HUGE difference, especially in places that the snow tends to freeze after a slight thaw, or there are roads that have a steep grade. Now that is not to say that front wheel drive vehicles can't do just fine in certain snow conditions, but I for one have watched MANY front wheel drive, as well as four wheel drive vehicles loose traction and end up in the ditches in western Washington while I just cruised on by in an all wheel drive vehicle. So yes there is a difference and thats just not my opinion. They would not make and sell something like all wheel drive to so many people if it didn't. Given the need it is a fabulous option to have if you want to spend the extra money. Also go look in your local body and fender shop during the winter months after a big storm and see what kind of cars they are fixing. The money you save by having an AWD vehicle will in the long run save you money spent on collisions. Insurance included. Also if I am not mistaken you may actually get a break on your insurance if you have AWD, but not sure on that one. Now if you live in Arizona or New Mexico I will admit that AWD is not as necessary as it is for those of us up north, but when you need it, you will be happy to have it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
Rollin' Thunder said:
tschmut said:
Are there any problems towing with FWD? Is there reduced traction on the front wheels as a result of the tongue weight on the hitch? If so, would AWD even make a difference?
i think the only way that AWD would help is if you were towing a boat and launching and taking it out of the water were the launch ramp is VERY SLICK. When i take my boat out of the water with the yukon i switch to 4 wheel LOW and shift all the way down to 1 to take my boat out of the water. We have a very wet and very steep hill to climb with 5000 pounds.
I missed that one. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
542 Posts
We went with FWD. We are in Seattle and get rainy days and sometimes snow. Never had a problem with just FWD cars up here. Would be nice on the 2-3 days a year we have snow but hey thats my excuse to stay home on snow days. We ultimately chose FWD for the extra gas mileage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Dan-M said:
Canuck said:
OK if I read all the info it sounds like AWD does not make a difference to anything?

or have we just not got the whole story.

What would GM say about AWD vs FWD?
Sorry but I don't follow your conclusion???? It makes quite a bit of difference, especially on wet pavement, or if you have black ice in your area. Then there is that feeling of being pulled around by your front wheels that I for one don't like. Then there is the added traction on gravel roads if you ever drive on them. Also if you ever have standing water that you hit at a high speed, that is significant. In an instant the traction that is supplied to the rear wheels just may save your life. Then there is snow, which anybody that actually drives in it will tell you there is a HUGE difference, especially in places that the snow tends to freeze after a slight thaw, or there are roads that have a steep grade. Now that is not to say that front wheel drive vehicles can't do just fine in certain snow conditions, but I for one have watched MANY front wheel drive, as well as four wheel drive vehicles loose traction and end up in the ditches in western Washington while I just cruised on by in an all wheel drive vehicle. So yes there is a difference and thats just not my opinion. They would not make and sell something like all wheel drive to so many people if it didn't. Given the need it is a fabulous option to have if you want to spend the extra money. Also go look in your local body and fender shop during the winter months after a big storm and see what kind of cars they are fixing. The money you save by having an AWD vehicle will in the long run save you money spent on collisions. Insurance included. Also if I am not mistaken you may actually get a break on your insurance if you have AWD, but not sure on that one. Now if you live in Arizona or New Mexico I will admit that AWD is not as necessary as it is for those of us up north, but when you need it, you will be happy to have it.
I was summarizing what I thought I heard and was looking for other views.

I live in Ontario Canada but not uup North we get some snow and some rain. I plan to travel so I was leaning towards AWD but at $3,000 I was not totally sold. I will continue to listen to the input for more info.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
Sorry I missunderstood.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
659 Posts
And then for us skiers and winter mountain vacationers (at least those who hit the winter mountains heavily in CA) there are those light to medium snow conditions where the highway patrol does a road stop and you either have to have AWD with M&S tires (and chains available in case it gets to the next stage) or if 2wd you have to put your chains on to proceed. There are generally several times each winter that AWD saves me having to deal with chains when the snow conditions are reasonable (or light) but the state politics are not...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,577 Posts
Dan-M said:
Now that is not to say that front wheel drive vehicles can't do just fine in certain snow conditions, but I for one have watched MANY front wheel drive, as well as four wheel drive vehicles loose traction and end up in the ditches in western Washington while I just cruised on by in an all wheel drive vehicle.
Not that I'm picking on any of your points, because they are all very good. But I thought this comment was kind of funny because here, in the northern burbs of Chicago, it's typically the 4x4 and AWD vehicles that are off the road in the ditch because they think they can drive like the weather is dry and sunny since they have AWD. OOOPS.

Having said that, when I shopped for my first Vue four years ago I was adamant that I had to have the AWD. And on the second Vue, I settled for AWD because that's what they had on the lot with the rest of the options I wanted. So I've had AWD vehicles for the past 4 years and just didn't think they performed THAT well in the snow and ice, that I would be willing to once again sacrifice gas mileage and pay more for a vehicle to have AWD.

I think it's a personal choice. Everyone here is going to post their take on AWD vs. FWD and then the original poster will have to weigh that out and make up their own mind. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
The Acadia is my only vehicle so the AWD is a no brainer for me. It's nice to have that little bit of insurance of AWD even if it's not needed too often. To each his own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
tschmut said:
Are there any problems towing with FWD? Is there reduced traction on the front wheels as a result of the tongue weight on the hitch? If so, would AWD even make a difference?
Towing on the road is fine with FWD. Pulling a heavy boat out of the water on a slippery ramp is another matter. With the extra weight on the hitch there is reduced traction on the front wheels exactly at the time you actually need more. I have seen FWD vehicles at boat ramps going absolutely nowhere because they did not have enough weight on the front end. AWD will definitely be appreciated at the boat ramp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
I agree with Webraven.

I am another Chicago area resident who bought FWD, to save money and improve gas mileage.

My last car was an Audi Quattro that I owned for 6 years, and my car prior to that was a 4x4 blazer.

They were nice in the snow, but not really a necessity. And a huge gas hog.

I'll let you know how it goes here next winter!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Great responses so far - very helpful on pro and con. Looks like I am not only one who was at least thinking about this choice.

One follow up - I know AWD costs more and it hurts mileage a little bit, but for those who have driven both FWD and AWD how much do you think the extra weight of the AWD actually makes it more sluggish?

The reason I ask is that if it does not really affect performance then it seems like you just have to decide whether you want to pay few extra thousand and lose 1-2 mpg for the extra benefits of AWD....which I think I would be fine doing as long as it is not going to make the vehicle noticeably more sluggish on acceleration....

Anyone have thoughts on any other cons/negatives of AWD besides mileage hit and extra cost?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,577 Posts
I never found my AWD Vues to be sluggish at all. But the vehicle never got the gas mileage it was advertised to get and it got way worse mileage than my Acadia does now (of course, my Acadia is FWD).

Typically, on my AWD Vue, I would see 15 or 16mpg around town and maybe 21 or 22mpg on the highway. With my Acadia I get about 18 or 19mpg around town and 24 or 25 mpg highway. For me, that is a pretty big improvement.

Plus for the added cost of AWD, I just didn't think I was benefiting that much from it in the winter. *shrugs* I could see if you plan on towing very heavy boats, etc. and need that extra grip to get it out of the water, then AWD would probably be the choice for you. But I have no intention of doing anything like that. My FWD pulls my pop-up camper just fine. In fact, you barely realize there's anything attached to the vehicle!
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top