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2WD VS 4WD Autos

Discussion in 'Community Message Board' started by Whimsy, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. Whimsy

    Whimsy Well-Known Member

    I am shopping for a new car and we were looking at 2 2009 Ford Escapes. One is 2WD and the other is 4W. We have never owned a 4WD vehicle. Any care to share their opinions?

    To be honest I don't normally go out if the weather is real bad. I have a front wheel drive car now with traction control and if I needed to drive in the snow it has always been very steady. If it's icy I just stay in. My office is about 1 1/2 miles from my home and I live in a small town so if I don't go in till they clear the roads it's no big deal.

    The reason we are considering the 4WD vehicle is that they are both used and the interior and color of the 4WD is more appealing to us. Guess what I want to know is are there negatives to owning a 4WD?

    Also, does anyone know if insurance costs are higher or lower than the 2WD? My agent won't be open until Monday and inquiring minds want to know now.
  2. Mbandy

    Mbandy Well-Known Member

    I used to drive 4 W/D vehicles (company Bronco). I can't think of any draw backs mechanically and they do come in handy in the snow.

    Since I didn't pay for the insurance I'm not sure but it could be assumed that because of their "off road" capability the insurance might be higher than a 2 W/D.
  3. MisterD21

    MisterD21 If you take me serious, it's your problem

    Unless you are traveling over rough terrain and poor roads more than 50% of your driving i would suggest you stick with 2wd. Many 4wd vehicles have problems with the 4wd units within 4yrs of use. 4wd vehicles in many cases cost from 1500-3500 dollars more per unit than 2wd vehicles. Then you have to factor in the maintenance costs, repair costs, and replacement costs... they can be a godsend for those who regularly travel poor roadways, and off road terrain, but can also be a headache for them as well.

    Research them a bit more and see if you are more suited for 2wd or 4wd vehicle. I know people who both swear by them, and those who just swear about them... For many it's a love hate relationship... either you love em, or you hate em. Or you love hating them...

    BTW... I have never owned a 4wd vehicle so what i am saying is seconhand from other people i've known who have had 4wd's. Anything i have stated is seconhand info, and i can not confirm it to be true or false.... just things i've been told from various people who have owned them. It is always best to research any significant purchase for yourself. Who knows, you might even find a way to haggle a better price for your vehicle that way....
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009
  4. Mbandy

    Mbandy Well-Known Member

    Good points "D".

    I never had problems with either Bronco I had. That said, our company had a regularly scheduled maintainance program for all our vehicles so they were always kept in top shape. As with the insurance, I didn't pay for the upkeep either.
  5. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Forever Remembered

    My SUV is an 8 cylinder (Northstar engine) and 4WD. I purchased it new in 2007 because I negotiated an excellent deal on it - I had been looking for a 6 cylinder, 2WD. But they made me an offer I couldn't refuse. I've been driving Northstar engines since 1994, so that was nothing new to me.

    Knock wood, no problems. A 4WD generally will give you poorer gas mileage than a 2WD.

    If you don't drive in really bad weather, front wheel drive offers good traction.

    Good luck with your choice. Pucci said to be sure ZsaZsa and Peanut will be comfortable in the vehicle. :)
  6. kakarp

    kakarp Well-Known Member


    I don’t know much about the Escape except that I like the look of them. My wife and I have been Subaru Forester AWD people for years. But about three years ago I thought I would like a larger 4 door front wheel sedan. So my DW unfortunately let me get a Chevy front wheel drive Impala. After three winters of Northeast winters my DW made us get another Forester. I for one am glad I let her make me do it. My DW and I will not own anything other than AWD again. Even on wet roads you can feel the difference. I wish I could tell you what the insurance difference is (if any). But because of an accident I had in my non-AWD car my premium did go up. During the time my Chevy was being fix after the accident last winter I did have a loaner with front wheel, traction control and yes it was better than my chevy with out traction control. But our AWD is SO much better.
    This is our fourth AWD and we have never had any out of the ordinary mechanical issues.

    Just my 2¢ Kevin
  7. KathyC

    KathyC Well-Known Member

    My DD has a 2008 2WD Ford Escape. We live in NW Illinois & get our share of snowstorms which typically give us 6+ inches at a time & she has had no problems getting around. The last 2 vehicles we've had have been 4 WD & we have no problems & no matter what you drive if it is ice, you're in trouble. We always keep up on the regular maintenance of our vehicels & have never had any mechanical issues. Can't say for sure about the insurance but I don't think it has been higher. I think you would do fine with either vehicle so I would choose the 1 that is most appealing to me. Hope you enjoy your new vehicle.
  8. Whimsy

    Whimsy Well-Known Member

    I knew my cruise addict friends would chime in and help me out.

    Mister D, DH was leery because of friends talking about repairs. We would be getting an extended warranty on anything we buy. We live in a rural area so things are little tougher on our cars than just highway miles. Good points to consider though.

    Mbandy, one of the cars we are looking at is an off rental from Vegas. I believe that's where you are, isn't it? Wonder how much 4WD was used there???

    Shipmaven, my present car has the V8 Northstar engine. Going to be hard to say goodbye to that nice bit of power.

    kakarp, my car now has front wheel drive with traction control. We actually try to make it slide in the snow and can't most of the time!

    KathyC, that's the thing about the appealing part of the 4WD vehicle. We like the exterior color better and feel the inside is a bit nicer. Decisions, decisions!
  9. nieciez

    nieciez Well-Known Member Community Sponsor

    Whimsy, I just went through that dilemma this week when I purchased my Highlander. I ended up chosing the 4WD model because I liked the color...,LOL I guess that is a "girl" thing ;) I just called my oldest DD who is an auto insurance agent and she said she is pretty sure the 4wd is a bit more expensive but she said a LOT depends on the driver too. Oh, and my last 4 cars before the Highlander had tracton control front wheel drive and I never had a problem. I got the Highlander for the trunk capacity. And all this snow we just had......I had NO desire to take it out and give it a try in the snow LOL. BUT our driveway has a slight incline down to the garage and my sedans of the past would need to be backed in if weather was coming or I couldn't get out. I don't think that will be a problem now.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2009
  10. suer182

    suer182 Forum Manager Staff Member

    As someone who lives in the tundra 4WD is part of my winter vocabulary. 2WD is summer vocabulary. The only off roading I do is into the Wegmans parking lot.

    This is one of the few times I respectfully disagree with Randy Travis and Helen Reddy. During icy conditions just because you are in a 4WD does not make you Queen of the road, you are not invisible. Being in a 4WD will also not protect you from the other idiot drivers.

    Cars are made to break down, if they did not the auto industry would be in worse shape than it already is. :)

    We get a multi policy insurance discount, something to look into. A 4wd vehicle will be more to insure other wise.

    If the "S" crap is part of your life, and IF you go to a 2WD from an All wheel drive, I strongly suggest once the snow starts to fly, you test your car on your street before you venture out. How a 2wd car handles will be different.
  11. Mbandy

    Mbandy Well-Known Member

    Yup, I am here in Vegas.

    There are some places you can go off roading around here but the biggest collection of suv's I see are on Saturday at the Bettye Wilson Soccer Complex on Lake Mead Boulevard. Gotta love those soccer moms. :)
  12. Jeanie

    Jeanie Well-Known Member

    I guess all depends on ones needs and personal choice. As an auto insurance agent myself, Neiciez daughter hit it on the nail regarding the cost of insurance
  13. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Forever Remembered

    Adding to the insurance comments, I have an absolutely Safe Driver record over a 50 year period. I had been carrying car insurance through Colonial Penn, that became GE and finally, AIG. When AIG took over, my car insurance steadily rose. I got no satisfactory answers. I traded in 2 cars in 2007 when I purchased the SUV (which is not a souped-up model) - one of the cars I traded had an 8 cylinder Northstar engine. Now, I know there's a discount with 2 vehicles, but you'd think insurance would be less changing from 2 vehicles to one? AIG jacked up my premium even more, under the pretext I was driving a "high powered vehicle". I asked whom they thought they were kidding! I called our insurance broker who carries the insurance on our home - to make a long story short, I consolidated policies under one company, and my car insurance was LESS THAN HALF what AIG was trying to hijack me for, with even better coverage. I yanked my auto and umbrella policies from AIG...and told them what I thought of them. This was shortly before everything AIG began to hit the fan.

    Not long after I switched carriers, my SUV was rear-ended (other driver's fault) while I was stopped for a red light. The issue was taken care of immediately.

    My long-winded point is to shop around. Not all insurance companies are equal.

  14. BSeabob

    BSeabob Reinststed due to good behavior-Subject to change Staff Member

    Insurance.... there will be a cost for the 4 wheel drive...always.

    Vegas 4wd rental...can you say tourist in the desert ??

    If you are driving front wheel drive now and go to the 2 wheel on the Ford you will notice a fairly big difference in traction in the snow. You look old enough in your picture to have done that before though lol.

    I agree with 2 wheel vs 4 wheel ..more likely for something to go wrong is still true but normal driving is not likely with today's better transmission.

    at the end of it all when you go to trade you will retain more value with a well looked after 4X4

    All wheel drive is great most use two wheel only until the front is required. $$$ ?

    last but not least. Most of today's accidents of driving to fast for conditions are by SUV 4X4 drivers who think they are not subject to road conditions just because they have 4 wheel drive..... & When you get stuck in a 4x4 it coast you way more to get unstuck cause you are really really stuck. :)
  15. nieciez

    nieciez Well-Known Member Community Sponsor

    That's what we do too...our 3 vehicle, house, umbrella, boat and jewelry are all with the same company, State Farm who we've been with since 1973.
  16. Jeanie

    Jeanie Well-Known Member

    Denise, that is way to go

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