LeftieBiker wrote: IssacZachary wrote:
LeftieBiker wrote:Aside from incorrectly claiming that AWD doesn't ever help with turning in slippery conditions, that's a good piece.
With modern traction control and antilock braking, AWD hardly does anything to improve cornering. In fact I've driven vehicles that the AWD/4WD versions cornered worse than the 2WD versions.
If you want good traction in snow and ice, the right tires do a whole lot better job than AWD.
I never wrote that AWD is equal to or better than snow tires. The improved cornering I'm talking about is when a RWD vehicle has an AWD option. Care to argue with that? Sheesh.
And I never said you were wrong in every occasion. Agreed, AWD at times can improve traction during cornering. But only if we're talking about something like an older pickup truck that has a terrible weight ratio between the front and rear wheels.
Generally speaking, RWD is not desireable to the novice driver in the snow because when the rear wheels will start to slide first, leading to the natural reaction of the novice driver of taking his foot of the accelerator pedal, then all the weight shifts forward off the wheels that are sliding, and the next thing you know he's pointed backwards off the road in a ditch.
But I would prefer a RWD vehicle with good weight proportioning and precise pedal control because to me some oversteer is desirable. 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.
But for a novice driver the FWD and AWD cars with more weight in the front are better. Those cars understeer, that is, lose traction on the front wheels first. The natural reaction is to let off the accelerator which may put enough weight over the front wheels to correct the understeer. Under many circumstances the car will still be uncontrollable because your steering wheels don't have traction. But at least you slide straight into whatever you're going to slide into. Hopefully it's a snowbank and not an 18 wheeler.
But regardless. Anyone thinking of buying an AWD for driving in the snow, unless they need to tow a trailer or plow snow, would do better buying a cheaper more fuel efficient 2WD car and putting the extra money towards a set of snow tires.