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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wanted opinions on FWD vs AWD options. If you don't plan to off road or drive in snow is it worth it the extra $1k?

I live in Florida so most I'd use for is beach parking for the rare occasion I go. I read somewhere it also costs more in fuel since vehicle would be heavier, is there much a difference? Does it help in the heavy rains we get?

Trying to decide if I should open up option of AWD to be able to have more possible vehicle choices to buy when I get to that stage or stick strictly to FWD. Thanks for advice!
 

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SEL Premium Hampton Grey
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Wanted opinions on FWD vs AWD options. If you don't plan to off road or drive in snow is it worth it the extra $1k?

I live in Florida so most I'd use for is beach parking for the rare occasion I go. I read somewhere it also costs more in fuel since vehicle would be heavier, is there much a difference? Does it help in the heavy rains we get?

Trying to decide if I should open up option of AWD to be able to have more possible vehicle choices to buy when I get to that stage or stick strictly to FWD. Thanks for advice!
If I remember correctly, there really is not much difference for fuel economy between the two. I have always been told AWD will have better resale value, but being from WI might skew that a bit.
 

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Amazing the fuel mileage is the same. After living in FL for 50 years I've never needed AWD and thus never owned one so my option would be skewed too. While the roads get slick from rain with no hills to climb the majority of sliding that occurs is hydroplaning which is related to tires, water depth and speed. However I do agree that resale value of AWD will be higher. A rust free FL car would be an easy sell up north. Downside is more parts, more complexity, thus more stuff to break or go wrong. And of course the higher purchase price and some additional weight.

For what its worth Mazda just announced all their CUVs will be AWD so apparently they believe it should just be standard equipment to make their offerings more appealing.
 

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Have you driven both FWD and AWD HSC's?

Or, have you done a FWD vs AWD test drive in any truck or SUV?

I would suggest you please do that in the HSC and your opinion of the driving experience may sway you toward the HSC you'd like.

Happy to help, yet I'd prefer that you build your own opinion on this before sharing opinion and purchase based on the above comparisons.

YMMV ;)
 

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If your driving style is at all, uh... 'sporty,' then you will easily feel the difference between FWD and AWD, as @fan_f1 suggested.

However, if you are a more staid and methodical driver, you may never expect to need AWD, but it is still insurance against that unexpected slick patch as you round a corner, or that sudden swerve you need to make on a rain-soaked road to avoid a dog. Or, you might head down to the Keys and venture out onto the sand someday, or take a drive up to NC ski country for a winter vacation. Like a parachute, AWD is there when you need it (and a lot less lumpy to sit on.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't think I've ever driven an AWD vehicle so I'll def give it a test drive. I'm just terrible at figuring out if I notice a difference in something or not (second guessing myself) LOL
 

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2022 SEL AWD * Non-Activity
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AWD does provide an additional safety factor in hazardous road conditions, but IMHO more important than that for everyday driving is the feel on acceleration, both straight and cornering. You won't get front tires braking loose or torque steer with AWD. Huge difference in the more powerful engine models.
 

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Nobody, technically, "NEEDS" AWD. I've driven FWD SUVs through horrifying conditions past over a dozen big 4x4 trucks that were 'parked' in the ditch. (Duluth blizzard of the century in November 2019 ... over 3 feet of snow with 65mph winds ... and there was me, driving to Minneapolis like an idiot to put my daughter on a morning flight to Baltimore. 15mph on I35 and no idea if I was still on a road or not.)

The better question is if you want/need the turbo vs. non-turbo engine. It's not a question for us Canucks, since it's AWD Turbo or nothing, but personally, I wouldn't want it without the turbo. The get up and go is phenomenal on the highway!! (Where I spend most of my time.)
 

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2022 Santa Cruz SEL AWD
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This is my first AWD. I live in the flatlands of Texas. We do occasionally have blizzards but normal winters we have mostly snow flurries with little accumulation. The SEL AWD non turbo gets 1 mpg better than the non AWD. It's a $1500 upgrade spread across X years of financing. So I would definitely recommend the AWD option. I plan to pull a small trailer and also would hope the extra AWD features beef up the suspension slightly.
 

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I test drove both the AWD turbo and the FWD NA on the same day.

The AWD is the only way to go as far as I'm concerned.

Torque steer was very noticeable on the FWD version, especially when I nailed the throttle. So much so that I wouldn't want my wife driving it, even though she really liked the little SC.

With the turbo AWD, I never noticed torque steer. Solid performance all the way. (y) :)
 
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