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Anyone saying you just need tires is more interested in arguing on the internet...
I don't think that's a fair characterization. What people like me are saying is that if you are driving such that the handling advantages of AWD matter, then you are driving way too fast for the conditions because that AWD isn't going to help you stop or steer.

Now, if you are a winter rally driver, AWD obviously is a giant advantage (not that they would ever think it was a substitute for snow tires though.) And if you regularly have to drive on steep unplowed driveways, like someone said, then I also agree that it's useful (but in that situation I'm not convinced that AWD with all-seasons does better than FWD with snow tires.) If that's your use case, you probably want both.

I just think there's a bunch of people who say that AWD is a "must-have" who have never put on a pair of snow tires in their life, and I think that's an uninformed opinion.
 

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The impact in fuel economy is very small. 1mpg TOPS and that is doubtful honestly.

The added maintenance is so minimal that if you are concerned about an extra $100 of maintenance cost over 100k miles of driving. You shouldn’t be buying a $50k car to begin with.

I am not saying everyone needs AWD. But there is NO reason to not get AWD based upon cost or fuel efficiency. We are not talking about an old 4x4 pickup here.
 

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Even without bad weather, here's another example. We rented a cabin in WV one time that had a long steep gravel driveway. Our FWD Pacifica would not go up the driveway, the front wheels broke traction and it just wouldnt go up. We had to park at the bottom, and put all of our stuff in my brothers SUV and drive it up the driveway in multiple trips, and then leave the Pacifica down in a field across the road. In an AWD Pacifica that wouldn't have been a problem.
Should have backed up the driveway. It would have gone right up and saved you from transferring the gear to the other car. Just sayin......
 

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And to make more of a point- I live in SoCal. I have almost NO need for AWD. The Toyota I had before this, had AWD.

I buy a car to drive- not to limit my driving based on where I normally go. So if AWD is offered, I buy it. Its great with snow, rain etc. and definitely a worthy option to consider.

But I'm not butthurt I can't upgrade my ride to it. I bought the lifetime warranty and they no longer offer that. And that is far more valuable to me than AWD! But if I could have paid more for AWD- I 100% would have.

Anyone saying you just need tires is more interested in arguing on the internet...
Agreed. Always something new and better coming down the pike, every new latest car is eventually the old model, some people on forums just get real butthurt about it lol.

This is not necessarily true. I don't know how the AWD system works but unless it disconnects both sides of the rear drivetrain, it's still going to be rotating and incurring friction losses. The only AWD drivetrains that seem likely to have zero impact on fuel economy to me would be the ones where the rear is just a totally separate electric motor.
Read the press releases from Chrysler about the system. In any event, it will be a very small difference, and well worth the tradeoff.

I just think there's a bunch of people who say that AWD is a "must-have" who have never put on a pair of snow tires in their life, and I think that's an uninformed opinion.
So no, AWD is not a substitute for winter tires, but many many people (Including me) live where running winter tires makes no sense. And an AWD car with winter tires is going to do much better than a 2WD car with winter tires. When it comes to non-AWD cars with winter tires I would actually prefer a RWD car.

For me in my climate, an AWD car on allseason tires makes a ton of sense. Its 50+ degrees here in the winter way more than its below freezing, but we do get snow here and there, and if you travel an hour north or west of DC you get into the mountains and can find snow quick.

I traded my AWD LS460 in on a RWD LS460, because that car had the equipment and colors etc I wanted, but I do miss the AWD. AWD is just a great thing to have in any car.

The Pacifica lights up the front tires at EVERY stoplight in the rain. AWD would be a big help there.

Should have backed up the driveway. It would have gone right up and saved you from transferring the gear to the other car. Just sayin......
That was the first thing I tried, no go. We're talking about a really steep driveway.
 

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So no, AWD is not a substitute for winter tires, but many many people (Including me) live where running winter tires makes no sense. And an AWD car with winter tires is going to do much better than a 2WD car with winter tires. When it comes to non-AWD cars with winter tires I would actually prefer a RWD car.

For me in my climate, an AWD car on allseason tires makes a ton of sense. Its 50+ degrees here in the winter way more than its below freezing, but we do get snow here and there, and if you travel an hour north or west of DC you get into the mountains and can find snow quick.
Yeah, that's fair, it's hard to pick good tires for such varying temperatures.
 

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This is not necessarily true. I don't know how the AWD system works but unless it disconnects both sides of the rear drivetrain, it's still going to be rotating and incurring friction losses.
My understanding from the unveiling video is that the AWD system engages/disengages up by the front of the vehicle, so either the driveshaft is engaged or it isn't. From the graphic shown, it appeared to be a split driveshaft with multiple U-joints to traverse the underside of the vehicle. THIS may be a future pain-point if those U-Joints are not well-engineered, well protected, or both.

Regardless, he touted that it is primarily FWD until certain criteria are met. Unsure if the wheels disengage at the rear axle as well. Ideally, that could improve rolling resistance, but I do not recall specifically if that's the case.

I would like to presume it happens since in this day and age, most AWD systems are complex and computerized allowing for independent application of power to each wheel, and torque vectoring, etc... but again, I do not know for-sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Jalopnic article ...The AWD 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Looks Great And Solves A Major Engineering Problem From 2005 Per article "Chrysler makes a big deal of the fact that this system can not only run entirely in front or rear-wheel drive mode, but it actually features a disconnect at both the Power Transfer Unit and Rear Drive Module. This, Chrysler says, prevents the rear driveshaft from spinning when the vehicle is moving in front-wheel drive, reducing drivetrain losses and improving fuel economy. "
 

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I currently own a 2016 Subaru outback a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. Schedule maintenance costs are the same. I live in North Florida where it rains 125 days Out of the yearBoth have a same brand of yokohoma rain tires. Say model and actually the same size. The outback is clearly the winner in handling weather traction. That being said all wheel drive added minivan sure make my Wife less anxious when driving the Van during heavy rain. The difference between the two is the weight of a vehicle which nobody is discussed as a matter of fact. All wheel drive will improve the handling stability and traction. My four wheel drive bronco handles like **** in the rain with all terrain tires...just sharing my experience. Both v6 out back 26 mpg van 22 mpg... bronco 8 mpg 351 v8
 

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Yea but divide the mpg with the passenger capacity and the Pacifica wins!
 
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