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#4517106 - 09/15/17 02:08 PM AWD vs. FWD in warm weather
FirstNissan Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 929
Loc: KY
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!
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#4517114 - 09/15/17 02:14 PM Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan]
HoosierJeeper Offline


Registered: 11/23/16
Posts: 1276
Loc: 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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#4517120 - 09/15/17 02:19 PM Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan]
raytseng Offline


Registered: 12/11/08
Posts: 2333
Loc: 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.


Edited by raytseng (09/15/17 02:21 PM)

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#4517121 - 09/15/17 02:19 PM Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan]
Bgallagher Offline


Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 3159
Loc: 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.
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#4517126 - 09/15/17 02:23 PM Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan]
Virtus_Probi Offline


Registered: 06/25/15
Posts: 3970
Loc: 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.
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#4517127 - 09/15/17 02:23 PM Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan]
TheKracken Offline


Registered: 04/18/17
Posts: 515
Loc: 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.
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#4517129 - 09/15/17 02:25 PM Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan]
Oro_O Offline


Registered: 09/20/14
Posts: 1351
Loc: 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.

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#4517133 - 09/15/17 02:30 PM Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan]
HemiHawk Online   sick


Registered: 03/09/16
Posts: 835
Loc: 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%.
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#4517187 - 09/15/17 03:56 PM Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: Virtus_Probi]
madRiver Offline


Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 3537
Loc: 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.

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#4517190 - 09/15/17 04:03 PM Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan]
camrydriver111 Offline


Registered: 07/01/14
Posts: 1488
Loc: 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...???
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#4517200 - 09/15/17 04:09 PM Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: camrydriver111]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 12638
Loc: 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.
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#4517208 - 09/15/17 04:14 PM Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan]
Alex_V Offline


Registered: 04/10/16
Posts: 1155
Loc: 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.
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#4517237 - 09/15/17 04:55 PM Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: HemiHawk]
donnyj08 Offline


Registered: 08/12/12
Posts: 3030
Loc: 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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#4517272 - 09/15/17 05:52 PM Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: FirstNissan]
PimTac Offline


Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 4259
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
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.
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#4517288 - 09/15/17 06:19 PM Re: AWD vs. FWD in warm weather [Re: HoosierJeeper]
Leo99 Offline


Registered: 03/30/14
Posts: 3041
Loc: 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.
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