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plemieux
04-23-2012, 11:27 AM
Guys, I am looking to buy a CX-5 Touring with Bose/Moonroof pkg. I am trying to decide between FWD and AWD. I live in Loudon, TN which is near Knoxville. Terrain is hilly & mountainous. We get lots of rain but generally only average 10-12" of snow. Ice is rare but not out of the question. I am really trying to justify the cost of AWD. Is it really worth it? I have never owned a car with AWD so I guess you can't miss what you never had. To the current owners, was AWD a big deal to you? I am sure in northern latitudes it is a must. Here in the south not so much. However, I do plan on towing small personal watercraft and a buddy of mine said AWD is nice when you are backing in and pulling off from a boat ramp but not completely necessary.

Final question, can you actively switch off AWD to save fuel or is it on constantly with no control?

Thanks! :)

http://www.insanejournal.com/userpic/8342270/94461

OutdoorJunkie
04-23-2012, 11:54 AM
Your buddy is right. I tow a 14 foot bass boat and live in Ohio. AWD was a must for me because I hunt, fish, hike, camp, etc... I have been through the town you live in once during winter. In my opinion the AWD is well worth the money because of the mountain sides around the area as well as it makes towing much better. The AWD is built into the traction/stability control. So you cannot turn it on or off it is automatic when needed which is nice because you dont need to guess if you do need it. So until it kicks in you are in FWD. You cant even tell if it kicks on but you can tell the difference is the way is drives. It is definitely worth the extra money in my opinion especially if you do alot of outdoor activity's and tow a small boat. Also check out these videos to help you decide. Hope I could help.

http://youtu.be/MJH_fyArew4
http://youtu.be/H_b06FYls1g

mazdadude
04-23-2012, 12:47 PM
Deciding between the FWD vs. AWD is an even harder decision on the CX-5. This is because of the fact that the AWD makes very little impact on the MPG's on the CX-5, as compared to other AWD vehicles in this catergory. In addition, the seamless operation of the AWD is also nice to have, as it is only there when it is needed.

However, your car will weigh a little more, you will use a little more fuel, it will be a little bit slower, and you will pay a little more for insurance. That being said, driving on ice, snow, and boatramps will be less stressful.

Tough decision... (whistle)

ManMachine
04-23-2012, 02:47 PM
If you have survived the past winters without an issue, then IMO there's no need to pay for AWD. Even in the cold north, most people would do fine with winter tires without AWD.


Guys, I am looking to buy a CX-5 Touring with Bose/Moonroof pkg. I am trying to decide between FWD and AWD. I live in Loudon, TN which is near Knoxville. Terrain is hilly & mountainous. We get lots of rain but generally only average 10-12" of snow. Ice is rare but not out of the question. I am really trying to justify the cost of AWD. Is it really worth it? I have never owned a car with AWD so I guess you can't miss what you never had. To the current owners, was AWD a big deal to you? I am sure in northern latitudes it is a must. Here in the south not so much. However, I do plan on towing small personal watercraft and a buddy of mine said AWD is nice when you are backing in and pulling off from a boat ramp but not completely necessary.

Final question, can you actively switch off AWD to save fuel or is it on constantly with no control?

Thanks! :)

http://www.insanejournal.com/userpic/8342270/94461

smithsm1984
04-23-2012, 05:44 PM
It sounds like you probably don't need AWD. It's nice to have when it snows, but it also becomes one of those "if you have it, you're gonna use it" things. About five years ago I had a 4WD Jeep Cherokee that was slightly lifted, and whenever it snowed I went about my business like normal. But there wasn't a single of those times where having 4WD was actually necessary - I could have just waited a day to go to the store when the roads were plowed. Or I could have bought snow tires.

Tree Castle
04-23-2012, 05:58 PM
I live just east of you, and AWD is a requirement for me if I want to get off the mountain I live on. My last car was a FWD Mazda3, and I just didn't have the confidence in it. Of course there was no problem this past winter.

CX-SV
04-23-2012, 06:11 PM
The fwd vs awd decision is less difficult for SUV buyers living somewhat close to ski country in the western US. The higher resale value of the awd/4wd SUV means means much of the MSRP cost difference is recovered at resale.

V8toilet
04-23-2012, 06:16 PM
If you drive a FWD vs an AWD over the course of 100,000 miles the FWD will cost you $492.61 less in gas than the AWD assuming the price stays the same. :D

OutdoorJunkie
04-23-2012, 06:58 PM
The fwd vs awd decision is less difficult for SUV buyers living somewhat close to ski country in the western US. The higher resale value of the awd/4wd SUV means means much of the MSRP cost difference is recovered at resale.

CX-SV is right, AWD and 4x4s hold there value much longer and higher. IMO as stated earlier it is well worth it

inodes
04-24-2012, 10:49 AM
I didn't have a choice. Going Diesel here means going AWD. Going GT means going AWD.
The fuel difference is minimal between the two.

For us, insurance costs get reduced. Why any insurance company would increase costs for an AWD is beyond me....
Safety is key....
See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV18ZBXwwYM

But biggest benefit to me for AWD apart from the safety benefit is for going to the snow.

We don't worry about snow tyres in Australia. But by law the CX-5 FWD would have to carry snow chains at all times. The CX-5 AWD is exempt from carrying snow chains. I was sick a tired of carrying snow chains in my Mazda 3. Such a pain - and never wanted to put them on for fear of screwing alloys.

inodes
04-24-2012, 10:52 AM
If you drive a FWD vs an AWD over the course of 100,000 miles the FWD will cost you $492.61 less in gas than the AWD assuming the price stays the same. :D

But the $492.61 extra would pay for itself in the first situation where the AWD would help you escape a dangerous situation.
And it would also be paid in insurance premium savings in the same period (if your 100,000 is over 6 years lets say)

geocord
04-24-2012, 11:26 AM
I have had a 4wd SUV for almost 10 years in the Chicago area. I have probably turned on the 4wd once or twice a winter for one day(unless I forget to turn it off). I am looking at the CX-5 FWD. Initial cost, increased maint cost, extra weight which translates into slower performance and less MPG. I also have a V8 pickup which is RWD only and have never had a problem even in snow. I grew up in Michigan driving RWD cars with no ABS, Trac Control, Brake Assist, etc and managed to live through it. I tow a boat with my pickup and never had a problem on the ramps with slippage.

Bottom Line: It is nice to have on the rare occassion but it is not necessary to get around. The resale value where you live(somewhat temperate) wouldn't be that big a deal RWD vs AWD IMO. That is why, if I buy the CX-5, I will buy the FWD for the better MPG and the little extra pep....not really to save money at purchase which is also a plus.

I have to temper all my comments with the fact that on extremely bad days I do have the luxury to not have to commute if I choose and I don't really go off roading at all. Hope this helps in your buying decision.

OutdoorJunkie
04-24-2012, 04:16 PM
Why any insurance company would increase costs for an AWD is beyond me....
Safety is key....


You need to talk to your insurance company. My insurance stayed the same because they said it was safer but because it was so new it would not go down.

CX-SV
04-24-2012, 04:30 PM
Comparing insurance costs for most is not apples to apples comparison, usually people are replacing an older vehicle with a new and much more expensive (higher replacement cost) vehicle.

As nice as AWD is in snow country it does not have near the safety benefits of systems including ABS, VSC, BA, EBD. Safety experts and insurance companies know this and realize importance especially with higher CG vehicles like SUV's.

plemieux
04-24-2012, 04:32 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys. I do not yet know what path I will take (AWD or FWD.) It may all come down to price and availablility in the end. Regardless, I will post pics of the new CX-5 when I finally pull the trigger on it. :)

CodyZoom
04-26-2012, 01:27 PM
I grew up in Buffalo, NY which is notorious for it's snowy conditions. We had FWD or RWD vehicles growing up and did just fine. I bought the AWD just because I like to play in the snow as much as possible! With a set of winter tires on, most FWD cars do just fine in snow. Like someone else said, I find excuses to use the AWD like blazing my own trail during trips to the ski resort.

When you're 50 years old, are you going to regret getting the AWD? probably not... I say do it!

snadboy
05-03-2012, 07:35 AM
The best way to determine if you want it or not is also to test drive both and see if you notice a drive difference in going up hills, accelerating, taking corners each will perform differently for each driver and one feels more in line with the way you drive. Personally I love all wheel drive especially in the twists and turns, you can feel the difference and for me having all wheel drive is important because I leave for work before the plows hit the roads. Again it is a personal preference neither is right or wrong, just choose what it is right for you! :)

thegrapeguy
05-03-2012, 08:51 AM
Well I am 50 years old and I'm glad I got the AWD. I survived the last 2 years with a FWD Honda Odyssey and just plain drove slow and steady. The stock tires on these new cars are hardly good in snow and I learned that the hard way when the first winter with my Odyssey I got stuck in the mountainous hills of Upstate NY. The minivan could not make it up the darn road so I had to do a K turn and go back. Then I could not get up the other side of the valley I was in. I had to rock back and forth gaining speed to finally get over the crest of the hill.

I do not think I would have been stuck with the Mazda CX5 AWD. Even though it's tires are not snow tires I believe the AWD would make up for it. I definitely don't want to fart around with a set of snows to put on every year.

In your locale the chances of using the AWD are less than mine but there will be a time or two when you will use it and you will be glad you got it. That being said the real wrestle is with the extra mile or 2 of MPG you'll get and the difference in pep from the extra weight and the savings on the purchase price. Hence the reason for your post.

I test drove the FWD Touring and AWD Touring side by side and found little difference in pep and cornering. I'm sure there is some difference but I did not get out into the hills and really "work" it. Right now for me the difference is psychological. I feel better that I have that extra little perk. However I'm paying for that extra perk. In the end it really makes me happy that I have it If I didn't get the AWD I think I would always regret it. But I would still survive without it. Would the car be that much "unsatisfying" without it?

nizzy1115
05-03-2012, 10:12 AM
I too have only driven FWD cars and I live in the chicago land area. I only once had an issue with my mazda3 but that was going up a steep hill that was also at a very good slope across the road (passenger side high, drivers side low) and the road was packed with about 4-5 inches of snow. TC off and lots of tire spin but I got up it. 95% of all snows the roads are plowed just find that a bicycle could drive down them. I'd rather get the better gas + less maintenance + less up front cost with FWD over AWD. Now if you live in rural mountain country then by all means get AWD. If your a typical city/suburban driver stick with FWD.

densitywave
05-24-2012, 09:45 AM
My friend's father always used to say "4WD/AWD just gets you stuck deeper and farther away".

I live in the Midwest and could not justify AWD for the handful of bad-weather days every year. I also had my heart set on the 6-speed manual, so AWD was not an option.

mazdadude
05-24-2012, 01:39 PM
My friend's father always used to say "4WD/AWD just gets you stuck deeper and farther away".
That quote made me laugh outloud! Love it!

inodes
05-24-2012, 07:51 PM
and you will pay a little more for insurance.

Still can't understand the concept of charging more for the AWD model. It's ludicrous.
Everyone knows in crash avoidance, rear-wheel drive is better than all-wheel-drive which is better than front-wheel-drive.

The safety benefits of AWD caused insurance to be lower in most cases in Australia. I dare say that it's common place to have lower insurance in Europe as well.

If insurance companies in the US did their research, they would realise they are incorrectly penalising.

mazdadude
05-24-2012, 08:06 PM
Still can't understand the concept of charging more for the AWD model. It's ludicrous.
Everyone knows in crash avoidance, rear-wheel drive is better than all-wheel-drive which is better than front-wheel-drive.

The safety benefits of AWD caused insurance to be lower in most cases in Australia. I dare say that it's common place to have lower insurance in Europe as well.

If insurance companies in the US did their research, they would realise they are incorrectly penalising.

There are lots of variables involved, but from what I understand, it all boils down to the statistics. In this case, as you mentioned, the AWD may be safer in some respects. However, the insurance company looks at the cost of claims, in addition to the probability that there will be a claim. Perhaps the AWD vehicle has greater cost to repair, it has higher replacement cost, maybe the AWD driver puts the vehicle into a situation that a FWD person wouldn't, etc. etc. I would love to see side by side what the cost to insure each version would be.

cymx5
05-24-2012, 08:31 PM
I think you're very well justified in getting it.

I gave Texans hell when they used to tell me 4WD was manditory for them because of the bad rain they get. BWAHHAHA what a joke.

BUT, since you live in a region where you could easily find yourself off road, on various grades of incline AND possible poor road conditions, I'd say it's worth it. Like someone mentioned, it holds its value if or when you decide to move on to a new vehicle.

inodes
05-25-2012, 12:49 AM
There are lots of variables involved, but from what I understand, it all boils down to the statistics. In this case, as you mentioned, the AWD may be safer in some respects. However, the insurance company looks at the cost of claims, in addition to the probability that there will be a claim. Perhaps the AWD vehicle has greater cost to repair, it has higher replacement cost, maybe the AWD driver puts the vehicle into a situation that a FWD person wouldn't, etc. etc. I would love to see side by side what the cost to insure each version would be.

Your point is valid.
I believe there would be very little difference between repairing the two models when it comes to a crash.

I suspect any difference in insurance costing in Australia at least, would come to the AWD model costing more to purchase (and therefore replace in a new for old write-off).

jsp
05-31-2012, 01:28 PM
Still can't understand the concept of charging more for the AWD model. It's ludicrous.
Everyone knows in crash avoidance, rear-wheel drive is better than all-wheel-drive which is better than front-wheel-drive.

The safety benefits of AWD caused insurance to be lower in most cases in Australia. I dare say that it's common place to have lower insurance in Europe as well.

If insurance companies in the US did their research, they would realise they are incorrectly penalising.

Here with the snow we see much more 4WD/AWD/SUV vehicles in the ditch than regular cars, probably because they feel safer and aren't careful enough. I'd see that as a good reason for a premium on the AWD insurance.

njaremka
05-31-2012, 01:36 PM
Here with the snow we see much more 4WD/AWD/SUV vehicles in the ditch than regular cars, probably because they feel safer and aren't careful enough. I'd see that as a good reason for a premium on the AWD insurance.

that's because they are retarded for thinking that AWD is a substitute for snow tires / common sense. i've literally driven circles around AWD vehicles with all-seasons in my protege with snow tires.

do you need AWD? no.

can it be helpful in bad weather? only with the right tires.

nizzy1115
05-31-2012, 01:44 PM
For whatever reason most people I bump into think that AWD helps you not slide off the road and stop faster in the snow. They are reluctant to believe me when I say that all it helps you do is accelerate faster in snow.

I've only been in one situation where I could have really used AWD, but I did manage with FWD. It was a stop light on a steep incline that was also sloping at least 25-30*to the side. Snow storm of the century and the road had not been plowed yet with about 1ft of slippery mushed down slush. Had my mazda3 with all seasons and TC off and was fighting sliding down the slope as I accelerated trying to make it up the hill. Not that I could have gone anywhere too fast as every other car infront of me was having the same if not worse problem than me. I was LOL'ing at the honda civic with summer rims/tires on. I dont think he made it up, or the old mustang with bald rears...

I'd rather take the lower price + +lower weight + lower maintenance costs + lower gas costs of a FWD over AWD car. These crossovers have deep treads which make snow travel much easier than most FWD cars.

armydrum3
05-31-2012, 02:27 PM
I chose the AWD because I spend a lot of time camping, hunting, and fishing...having AWD is certainly no substitute for common sense and smart driving, but I find myself going places that I could get to with a FWD, but where AWD/4WD is a safer bet.

So far in driving mine, there seems to be little impact on fuel economy vs. the CX-5 FWD.

CX-SV
05-31-2012, 03:22 PM
I chose the AWD because I spend a lot of time camping, hunting, and fishing...having AWD is certainly no substitute for common sense and smart driving, but I find myself going places that I could get to with a FWD, but where AWD/4WD is a safer bet.

So far in driving mine, there seems to be little impact on fuel economy vs. the CX-5 FWD.

Agreed, and resale value is usually better too (being a SUV in US market).

MPG difference is small (apples to apples comparison of top-selling auto tranny versions per EPA ratings) is 1 mpg, city/highway/combined.

thegrapeguy
05-31-2012, 05:26 PM
Agree with Army and CX-SV - I'm into the surf sports and drive on sandy beaches at times and no thanks to FWD on sandy beaches. I've seen many FWD's get stuck and need a tow and have yet to see an AWD need a tow. I agree that tires are a bigger factor in snow but comparing apples to apples each car having the same tires, the AWD adds a measure of grip to get out of slippery situations. And definitely having AWD doesn't mean one can go "faster" or travel with more "grip" in slushy conditions.

edhchoe
11-22-2013, 05:36 PM
I am fine with my FWD cx5 but I don't want to argue with my MRS. She wants a AWD, the end of story.

Rob Ciniello
11-23-2013, 10:48 PM
I think that bottom line is snow tires are the real key. I don't do any off roading or hauling. It is all up to the driver in the end. Awd doesn't make you you invincible. To me it's nice to have but not necessary unless you off road or drive in major terrain. Fwd with a pair of snows along with good common sence when driving is the best way to go. You can still haul a small boat or trailor with a fwd by te way

aelaan
11-24-2013, 12:01 AM
I once watched one of those car shows on TV and a statement was made: AWD or 4WD is only getting you stuck farther from the road.... I also know the CX5 is not an all terrain vehicle so for me FWD is good enough. Remember in snow a AWD drive vehicle stops just as slow as a FWD - if it is muddy roads or snow/ice all I can say is: Think of investing in some good Winter tires or M/S level tires.

Dr_Watson
11-24-2013, 02:45 AM
If you have a choice of FWD and change to winter tyres or AWD and donīt change tyres, always choose the FWD option!

xtrailman
11-24-2013, 03:52 AM
I watch a video recently showing a hill climbing test with a kuga.

With winter tyres on the fwd version it climbed further up the slope than the awd with summer tyres.

However when the awd was fitted with winter tyres, it left the fwd in its wake and reached the peak.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfuE00qdhLA

Its a shame the cx-5 system isn't as good as the Nissan Xtrail, which detects slip in less than one rev of the wheel, and is fitted with all season tyres.

It would be nice to see a test with the new Xtrail.

neelkc12
11-25-2013, 10:30 AM
AWD, EBS and all other gizmos I have on my 2014 AWD CX-5 - Grand Touring are all good - First for your piece of mind . You stand a confident drive in foul weather.
Second - The drive feel is much better . Other than that you need to be mindful while driving . Cannot really trust these electronics. They need time to kick in ( probably milliseconds) . Why I am saying these ? Had the first snow on the road -Not even an inch. But was really cold . Was coming down a moderate hill , say 35 degrees incline at 30 MPH . The car went for a a slight twist/mini-slide suddenly ( BLACK ICE?) . I had to remain calm and managed to stay straight with my steering . No light flashed or anything like that ! I do not believe anything from the car kicked in to stabilize it .

craigo
11-25-2013, 02:42 PM
AWD, EBS and all other gizmos I have on my 2014 AWD CX-5 - Grand Touring are all good - First for your piece of mind . You stand a confident drive in foul weather.
Second - The drive feel is much better . Other than that you need to be mindful while driving . Cannot really trust these electronics. They need time to kick in ( probably milliseconds) . Why I am saying these ? Had the first snow on the road -Not even an inch. But was really cold . Was coming down a moderate hill , say 35 degrees incline at 30 MPH . The car went for a a slight twist/mini-slide suddenly ( BLACK ICE?) . I had to remain calm and managed to stay straight with my steering . No light flashed or anything like that ! I do not believe anything from the car kicked in to stabilize it .


No system can overcome the laws of physics. These systems are often promoted as safer, but AWD and TCS really only helps with accelerating on low grip surfaces and at least one tire has something to touch. If you start to slide, there is nothing that can be done until rubber meets a surface it can grip.

Monterra
11-26-2013, 06:21 PM
Steep snowy/icy hills require AWD with dedicated winter tires IMO. FWD or RWD limited slip w/dedicated winters is probably next best and def. better than most ppl w/AWD and shitty 3/4+ worn out A/S's who are convinced they don't need winter tires because of an AWD system which is stupid and wrong. I didn't even bother to see how my nearly new Toyos would do because I can't dick around, travel 40 miles one way and need to make it into work blizzard or not.

phoned
11-26-2013, 06:33 PM
^^ This. The stock Toyos were actually pretty good accelerating on ice (didn't try stopping though). However I always use winter tires and will never go back. If you can afford a vehicle like the CX5 with AWD... you can afford winter tires. Actually in places with significant snow everyone should get winters.

vroom
11-26-2013, 06:44 PM
^^ This. The stock Toyos were actually pretty good accelerating on ice (didn't try stopping though). However I always use winter tires and will never go back. If you can afford a vehicle like the CX5 with AWD... you can afford winter tires. Actually in places with significant snow everyone should get winters.

True, and this is why they are mandatory in Quebec starting December 15 of every year. Every province in Canada should do the same IMHO.

madar
11-26-2013, 07:48 PM
What counts in bad weather is what's between your vehicle and the road, and that's your tires. All seasons don't have the same traction as winter tires on snow/ice no matter what you drive.

Nodnerb
11-26-2013, 08:24 PM
True, and this is why they are mandatory in Quebec starting December 15 of every year. Every province in Canada should do the same IMHO.


What counts in bad weather is what's between your vehicle and the road, and that's your tires. All seasons don't have the same traction as winter tires on snow/ice no matter what you drive.

100% agree!!!!!

bluefan
11-27-2013, 05:49 PM
The stock Toyo's I find okay, but after driving to Steinbach from Winnipeg and back again today, I'll definitely be investing in some winter tires. Accelerating from a stop is fine, but turning and stopping is an issue.

Nodnerb
11-27-2013, 06:19 PM
Yeah, well today isn't the best day to be driving in Wpg. lol I start my commute home in 10 minutes and expect it will take at least an extra half hour to get home from downtown. Snow tires don't work miracles, but they are better.

IHeartGroceries
12-09-2013, 03:33 PM
Lot of wisdom in here, regarding hazardous winter driving. Something folks down here in North Texas just don't have (wisdom), as evidenced by the horrendous traffic conditions found over the weekend, during our big ice storm.
But, boy, if you have a 4X4 pickup, by God you can get where you need to go. lol! Idiots.