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AWD vs. FWD in warm weather #4517106
09/15/17 02:08 PM
09/15/17 02:08 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,004
MO
FirstNissan Offline OP
FirstNissan  Offline OP

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,004
MO
Hi, my brother is looking at buying a new SUV. He is looking at a front wheel drive versus all Wheel drive RAV4, The question is he lives in Texas and sees warm weather only. The all-wheel-drive is in a color that he wants hence the question. As far as long-term reliability and overall operating costs, is there a significant difference?
Thanks!


2017 Toyota Sienna (Hers)
2017 Toyota Sienna (His)
Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan] #4517114
09/15/17 02:14 PM
09/15/17 02:14 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,303
WI
HoosierJeeper Offline
HoosierJeeper  Offline

Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,303
WI
Not familiar with RAV4s, but I'm guessing for 4wd they use a PTU unit instead of a normal transfer case. So for extra maintenance, you have the rear diff, PTU, rear diff/PTU (not sure what it would have) and a pair of CV axles out back. So it's just a few more things to change fluid in.

I'd go AWD without a doubt. I used to live in FL and used to buy 4x4s, just to have the capability if needed. One time I didn't get 4WD and I regretted it.


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Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan] #4517120
09/15/17 02:19 PM
09/15/17 02:19 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,408
CA
raytseng Offline
raytseng  Offline

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,408
CA
Originally Posted By: FirstNissan
Hi, my brother is looking at buying a new SUV. He is looking at a front wheel drive versus all Wheel drive RAV4, The question is he lives in Texas and sees warm weather only. The all-wheel-drive is in a color that he wants hence the question. As far as long-term reliability and overall operating costs, is there a significant difference?
Thanks!


For a RAV4, the long term operating cost difference is mainly are going to be the MPG hit. Depending on which year, this might only be a 1-2MPG hit.

If your brother does happen to have tire issues, you do need to have matching tread on tires, so that's the oly other big consideration.
If the buying price is practically the same and he likes the color, get the AWD.

All the other mechanical stuff is MINOR and not going to add up to any signficant cost. At most you have to expect to put out an extra $50 or $100 for a fluid change at 30k miles. Beyond that, there's no extra expected cost of ownership.

Last edited by raytseng; 09/15/17 02:21 PM.
Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan] #4517121
09/15/17 02:19 PM
09/15/17 02:19 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,159
Boston, MA
Bgallagher Offline
Bgallagher  Offline

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,159
Boston, MA
Considering you probably don't get much snow and traction from a stop isn't a huge concern I would go with the 2wd. That being said if the AWD is in the color go for it. Only difference for you is a loss of MPGs and more fluids to change.


2017 Chevy Traverse - 28k - Delco Dexos 1 and PF63
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Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan] #4517126
09/15/17 02:23 PM
09/15/17 02:23 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 4,966
New England
Virtus_Probi Offline
Virtus_Probi  Offline

Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 4,966
New England
This is going back a ways, but I ended up with a $3500 repair to the AWD system on my 2006 RAV4. The local Toyota specialist saw the same issue all the time and told me the power transferred to the back way too fast in the rather basic AWD system when the front wheels started to slip and cracks would start to develop due to the sudden stress...I had a good pic of the damage, but probably left it on an old work computer.
I'd hope that Toyota has addressed this, but FWIW...I believe it was especially bad on the V6, which is not a RAV4 option anymore.


2014 Forester XT, 95000 miles
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Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan] #4517127
09/15/17 02:23 PM
09/15/17 02:23 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 515
Fort Worth TX
TheKracken Offline
TheKracken  Offline

Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 515
Fort Worth TX
I am moving to Texas in a few weeks and I have a AWD sienna mini van and a 4x4 toyota truck. Not too worried about it since id rather have the capability. Also resale value on awn/4x4 tends to be a bit better.


2011 Prius 96k miles RLI 5w20
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Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan] #4517129
09/15/17 02:25 PM
09/15/17 02:25 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,550
Seattle-ish, WA
Oro_O Offline
Oro_O  Offline

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,550
Seattle-ish, WA
On the Rav4, the maintenance penalty is not as high vs. a RWD/AWD configuration. He's pretty much only going to pay the mpg penalty.

When the AWD axles are the front, when coupled with the more complex front suspension and steering, you get more wear to the 1/2 shafts, boots, and other suspension components. They will often require replacement between 100k and 200k miles.

Since his AWD "bonus" axles are the rear, this is greatly reduced as his FWD maintenance is unchanged. I have Audis and other AWD vehicles since the mid 90s and the benefits on dry pavement are there, too. Unless he's into hypermiling, go with the AWD.

Quote:
This is going back a ways, but I ended up with a $3500 repair to the AWD system on my 2006 RAV4.


That's depressing. My mother had a company Rav4 from that vintage and it was NOT an impressive car from a driver's perspective, though it did make it to 100k w/o issue at all. Hers was a 4 circa 2009/10,and saw a lot of winter miles in Oregon, Idaho, and Washington mountains in winter. I understand the quality is much better on them lately.

Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan] #4517133
09/15/17 02:30 PM
09/15/17 02:30 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,038
PA,US
HemiHawk Offline
HemiHawk  Offline

Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,038
PA,US
aren't the 2wd models typically significantly cheaper? In the past looking at cross overs and such i've found that to be true. On top of the cheaper maintenance others have layed out about.

One thing I would be a littler concerned with is resale, but that might be a moot point as you're paying less to begin with. I'd go 2wd in texas for a Rav4 100%.


2016 Nissan Frontier Pro4x
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1995 Mustang GTS
Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: Virtus_Probi] #4517187
09/15/17 03:56 PM
09/15/17 03:56 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 4,354
New England
madRiver Offline
madRiver  Offline

Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 4,354
New England
Originally Posted By: Virtus_Probi
This is going back a ways, but I ended up with a $3500 repair to the AWD system on my 2006 RAV4. The local Toyota specialist saw the same issue all the time and told me the power transferred to the back way too fast in the rather basic AWD system when the front wheels started to slip and cracks would start to develop due to the sudden stress...I had a good pic of the damage, but probably left it on an old work computer.
I'd hope that Toyota has addressed this, but FWIW...I believe it was especially bad on the V6, which is not a RAV4 option anymore.


Sister traded her 4 cylinder 2008 RAV4 in with Toyota's garbage Awd design. She had an estimated $3000 repair because Toyota Care gave no leeway on their 9 yr warranty/unlimited mileage on admitted bad diff, she called 4 days past.

She is quite happy with 2017 Crv.

Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan] #4517190
09/15/17 04:03 PM
09/15/17 04:03 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,657
Canada
camrydriver111 Offline
camrydriver111  Offline

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,657
Canada
I wouldn't pay extra cost upfront and ownership cost just for a specific color. That's just silly.

Unless there is some sort of benefit of 4x4 in warm weather...???


BITOG or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Extended OCI
Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: camrydriver111] #4517200
09/15/17 04:09 PM
09/15/17 04:09 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,442
NE,Ohio
Rand Offline
Rand  Offline

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,442
NE,Ohio
Originally Posted By: camrydriver111
I wouldn't pay extra cost upfront and ownership cost just for a specific color. That's just silly.

Unless there is some sort of benefit of 4x4 in warm weather...???


on some there is. I'm not familiar with the RAV4 system.

on subaru there is a major handling advantage. vs fwd.


2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2.0T
Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan] #4517208
09/15/17 04:14 PM
09/15/17 04:14 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,202
Campbellsville, KY
Alex_V Offline
Alex_V  Offline

Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,202
Campbellsville, KY
Assuming he's not expecting to need the AWD much: If he plans to use it and trade it in around the usual 100-140K, AWD. If he intends to keep it and be responsible for the maintenance for quite a while after the warranty expires, FWD.


To quote a friend, "Synthetics, man."

'85 GMC C3500, 454, 132K
'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 173K (totaled 2018, in rehab)
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Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: HemiHawk] #4517237
09/15/17 04:55 PM
09/15/17 04:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 3,041
Cincinnati
donnyj08 Offline
donnyj08  Offline

Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 3,041
Cincinnati
Originally Posted By: HemiHawk
aren't the 2wd models typically significantly cheaper? In the past looking at cross overs and such i've found that to be true. On top of the cheaper maintenance others have layed out about.

One thing I would be a littler concerned with is resale, but that might be a moot point as you're paying less to begin with. I'd go 2wd in texas for a Rav4 100%.


+1 in Texas go FWD and save the coin all the way around.


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Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan] #4517272
09/15/17 05:52 PM
09/15/17 05:52 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 8,294
...
PimTac Offline
PimTac  Offline

Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 8,294
...
For resale value, AWD crossovers sell better than their front wheel drive counterparts. Also, just because your brother lives in Texas doesn't mean he will only drive in Texas.

Today's all wheel drive systems are helpful in rain and in certain road conditions like mountain passes. Torque vectoring is the new buzzword for today's crossovers.


Cannot see signatures any longer so it doesn’t matter.
Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: HoosierJeeper] #4517288
09/15/17 06:19 PM
09/15/17 06:19 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,826
NJ
Leo99 Offline
Leo99  Offline

Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,826
NJ
Originally Posted By: HoosierJeeper
Not familiar with RAV4s, but I'm guessing for 4wd they use a PTU unit instead of a normal transfer case. So for extra maintenance, you have the rear diff, PTU, rear diff/PTU (not sure what it would have) and a pair of CV axles out back. So it's just a few more things to change fluid in.

I'd go AWD without a doubt. I used to live in FL and used to buy 4x4s, just to have the capability if needed. One time I didn't get 4WD and I regretted it.


Maybe the new Rav4s are different but I've never touched the rear diff, PTU, or CV axles in my old Rav4. Only reason I touch the transfer case is because it leaks and needs a top off every few months.

Just an observation but I see more old FWD Rav4s on the road than AWD ones or at least a much higher percentage of them compared to 10 years ago when they newer. The 2004 era Rav4 AWD have tinted windows in the rear and the FWD do not, so it's easy to notice for me. This leads me to think the FWD last longer and my AWD Rav4 is an outlier.

As mentioned before, it's all about the delta between purchase price and sale price when you sell it. If AWD cost $1000 extra and you can get $600 more for it when you sell it compared to FWD, is the $400 over how many years worth it for the color? The AWD also gives you some extra traction in the rain. The AWD gives my wife extra peace of mind.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles (RIP)
2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
2004 Rav4 370,000 miles
2015 Camry 70,000 miles
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