GRA
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Re: people getting rid of their Leafs/EVs/PHEVs and going back to ICEVs

Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:35 pm

^^^ While I agree with the above post, there are exceptions for regulatory rather than performance reasons to have AWD, like here in California. As most of the state's population lives below 1,000 feet and only has to deal with snow if they go skiing, the highway patrol normally skips right from 'no chains' (R0) to "Chains or 4/AWD with snow tires" (R2), so 2WD with snow tires doesn't eliminate the (legal) need for chains. As accessing some of the ski areas may require ascents followed by descents enroute, you may have to chain and de-chain more than once (sometimes each way), or else wreck your chains and/or tires by driving on bare pavement for considerable distances. BTDT, and bought my first Subaru 4WD wagon 30 years ago as a result. The lack of hassle was easily worth the $1,500 or so extra for 4WD plus a couple mpg less (but still better than the car I was using before that), as I skiied a lot.

That was followed by my current AWD Forester tall wagon/short CUV, for the same reason. I'd personally prefer an AWD wagon (like a Golf All-Road Sportwagen) to a CUV as I almost never drive on unplowed roads and don't drive on jeep trails, so have no need for the extra ground clearance - my first Subie had just 4.5" and only once was that an issue, when I decided to try driving on a road with about 6" or so of fresh snow on it just to see what happened, i.e. I didn't need to. Gave that up as a bad job within 1/4 mile or so (had to back it the whole way). I have benefited from 4/AWD a couple of times getting up steeper snow-covered driveways/roads. My Forester has 7.5" of clearance which is excess for my needs, although it may have allowed me to drive a bit faster on a dirt road or two. I'd be fine with splitting the difference, say 5" to 6" of ground clearance.

There is one other advantage that CUVs may provide compared to more aerodynamic cars (like the Prime/Volt), although it depends heavily on how much the manufacturer emphasizes the 'U' over styling, and that's outwards visibility. Large window area matters to eliminate blindspots at the rear and (right) rear quarters. Some CUV manufacturers throw this advantage away by adding steeper-sloped beltlines and thick and/or sloped B and C pillars, I suspect in many cases for style rather than strength (I'm talking to you, Buick Encore). This may make the vehicles look less boxy, but reduces their safety. Others (e.g. Model X) also slope the rear hatch glass closer to horizontal than vertical, which helps drag/looks but eliminates cargo space and makes looking rearwards (past/around big headrests) often like peering down a long obstructed tunnel. Subaru wagons/CUVs tend to be short on style compared to many of their competitors precisely because the company knows that their customers care more about being able to see out than they care about the vehicle's external appearance - Volvo wagons tended to have the same emphasis. See:https://www.consumerreports.org/cars-cars-with-the-best-and-worst-visibility/

Aerodynamic cars like the Prime/Volt/Ioniq, with rear hatches and windows that are closer to horizontal than vertical provide some of the worst rearward visibility I've seen, and I really hate rear windows split by a horizontal bar. Rear view cameras, especially like the one in the Bolt which can be displayed on the rear view mirror, are one solution to rear view, although that makes you dependent on expensive tech. Eventually AVs and/or 360 deg. cameras with some level of virtual reality may eliminate the visibility issues, but most people who think about safety when driving in snow tend to weigh outward visibility and other safety features a lot higher than exterior styling.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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IssacZachary
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Re: people getting rid of their Leafs/EVs/PHEVs and going back to ICEVs

Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:01 pm

GRA wrote:^^^ While I agree with the above post, there are exceptions for regulatory rather than performance reasons to have AWD, like here in California. As most of the state's population lives below 1,000 feet and only has to deal with snow if they go skiing, the highway patrol normally skips right from 'no chains' (R0) to "Chains or 4/AWD with snow tires" (R2), so 2WD with snow tires doesn't eliminate the (legal) need for chains.

Well, at least that's better than what I've seen in Colorado. The law here at times will allow a 2WD car with snow tires or chains, but an AWD with any tires. So you could have nearly bald summer tires on an AWD and still be legal whereas the 2WD cars have to chain up. Mind you I've pulled a few AWD cars out of snow banks, including a Ford Expedition, in my FWD 1985 VW Golf with either snow tires or chains on. Leave it to law makers to make laws that make no sense. AWD is great and all, and I'm not saying don't get one. But it is a bit overrated in my opinion.

I'd hate having to chain and unchain for several passes, although I have had to many of times. For that reason I once had an Astro van I wanted to put automatic chains on. If I could only figure out how to put automatic chains on a FWD car, I'd do it! I loved driving bus over the Rockies with automatic chains. You just drive by the chain station, flip the switch, and keep on going "chained up". Then once over the pass, flip the switch again and chains off. Chains on... chains off! It was wonderful! The only problem was they didn't work too well in deep snow.
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LeftieBiker
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Re: people getting rid of their Leafs/EVs/PHEVs and going back to ICEVs

Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:23 pm

Ever wonder why race cars are always set up to oversteer? Oversteer means the front wheels lose traction last, which is important to controlling the vehicle to a professional driver because those are the wheels you steer with. As long as you don't lose it so bad that the rear swings out past the radius you can turn with the front wheels you can control the vehicle around a corner by giving it a slight bit of acceleration or simply maintaining close to zero torque at the rear wheels and pointing the front wheels where you need to go.


I think that anyone who knows what oversteer is understands why "race cars" (I don't think that Formula racing cars are set to oversteer, or to understeer, except with driver input) are set up that way. And I started with RWD as a teen, and did some extra-legal racing with RWD. Rather than show how much we know, maybe we should try to stick with more helpful info, like snow tires alone being better than AWD alone.
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