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I am going to place an order for a new Caliber. I am trading in my '01 Ram 4x4. I would like some opinions on FWD vs AWD. Is it worth going the AWD RT? I was considering the better mpg on the FWD models but I live in Wisconsin and am used to having a 4 wheel drive. I am looking for advantages and disadvantages. I have heard that the tires wear faster on the AWD and you have to replace all together instead of just one or two. Any other issues or concerns?
 

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AWD Pros for the Caliber:
-Increased grip when you need it (The car is FWD until a loss of traction is detected, at which point, the AWD engages. i.e. High powered launches, snow, rain, mud, etc. etc.

-Earlier avalibility.

AWD Cons for the Caliber:
-Increased weight. This causes MPG losses.

-Increased parasitic loss. This causes lower HP & TQ at the wheels, and lower MPG.

-Tire Wear.

-Late availibility.

-AWD System "not able to handle the power of the SRT-4 engine". This could be a problem if you are looking into modifications.

FWD Pros for the Caliber:
-More power at the wheels.

-More MPG.

-Less tire wear.

-More modification options.

-Less weight.

-Cheaper.

FWD Cons for the Caliber:
-Late availibility.

-Less grip in some situations.

-Harder to launch.





You decide. ;):D
 

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scubasprout said:
I am going to place an order for a new Caliber. I am trading in my '01 Ram 4x4. I would like some opinions on FWD vs AWD. Is it worth going the AWD RT? I was considering the better mpg on the FWD models but I live in Wisconsin and am used to having a 4 wheel drive. I am looking for advantages and disadvantages. I have heard that the tires wear faster on the AWD and you have to replace all together instead of just one or two. Any other issues or concerns?
I've lived in Colorado for 29 years, and I've had several AWD and FWD vehicles. I currently own only FWD because I've discovered that a good FWD car with a very good set of winter tires (I use Blizzaks) will out perform AWD with stock tires in the winter. :p

The biggest advantage of AWD is that it will get you going more quickly in snow, but it doesn't help you stop. Most accidents on ice or snow are caused by not stopping quickly enough. Remember, although the brakes stop the wheel; the tires stop the car. :D

Furthermore, most giant SUV AWDs have a high center of gravity; their most stable state is inverted. During a big storm SUV rollovers are everywhere. :eek:

So, if your intent is to win the rally race, go for the AWD. If your intent is to stop on snow, buy winter tires. :eek:
 

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Vision67 said:
I've lived in Colorado for 29 years, and I've had several AWD and FWD vehicles. I currently own only FWD because I've discovered that a good FWD car with a very good set of winter tires (I use Blizzaks) will out perform AWD with stock tires in the winter. :p

The biggest advantage of AWD is that it will get you going more quickly in snow, but it doesn't help you stop. Most accidents on ice or snow are caused by not stopping quickly enough. Remember, although the brakes stop the wheel; the tires stop the car. :D

Furthermore, most giant SUV AWDs have a high center of gravity; their most stable state is inverted. During a big storm SUV rollovers are everywhere. :eek:

So, if your intent is to win the rally race, go for the AWD. If your intent is to stop on snow, buy winter tires. :eek:
The most important part of the equation in every situation is the driver. I have lived in the heart of the snow belt for all of my life and have seen 4wd vehicles barrel by me in the middle of a snowstorm while I progress in a safe way, only to find them in the ditch a few miles down the road while I arrive home safely. I remember one trip last November when there was a sudden slick snow falling. I'd say that 70 percent of the vehicles we saw in the ditch were SUVs while our fwd van was driven with the elements in mind and we kept on the road for the next 80 miles to our home. When I order my Caliber, it will be the FWD model and I will be sensible when I drive through the snow, knowing my limitations.
 
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