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I live in Minnesota and I’m looking for a new vehicle. I’m thinking of an AWD vehicle like the Highlander or Nissan Murano but am put off by the cost and poor gas milage. They make FWD versions that cost less and are more efficient. Is AWD worth the premium. I currently drive a 2002 VW Passat that handles the snow pretty well.

Urban, Rural, Or A Combination Of Driving Conditions ? I Live Where They Hope Summer Falls On A Week-End And I Need AWD Like I Need Tap Dance Lessons . . .

. . . However, how long are you going to keep it ? If you drive til the wheels fall off that’s one thing. If you’re going to trade in a couple of years then the trade-in or resale value may suffer on a car that is supposed to be AWD like an SUV.

I don’t know a Highlander and a Murano from Ann Landers and Drano, but I think they’re SUVs, Eh ? People might expect them to be AWD.


If you’re happy with the Passat, then you’d be happy with FWD versions of these CUVs. You’d be even happier with a set of winter tires.

The FWD versions of these vehicles are much less desirable than the AWD versions, so they can be difficult to find and even more difficult to sell if you ever wanted to get rid of it. The gas mileage difference between a FWD and AWD vehicle of the same model is usually about 1 mpg combined, so not much of a loss there. If your Passat does well in the snow, keep it unless you have a good reason to want to get rid of it.

"The FWD versions of these vehicles are much less desirable than the AWD versions, so they can be difficult to find and even more difficult to sell "

Hmmm…over 90% of the new Rav4s at the dealer near me (Dallas) are FWD.

You live in a state where they think a 500 foot hill is a mountain. FWD with a good set of tires is all you need.

A set of winter tyres likely will be all you need. AWD or 4WD adds complexity to your car and more possible things to fail. If you don’t need more that you now have, I would not buy the more expensive and more complex AWD or 4WD.

If your FWD Passat does snow well, you probably don’t need AWD.

how often does it snow in Dallas? :slight_smile:

Yep, the FWD Highlander gets whopping 1 MPG better than the AWD version, and there is no difference in milege in the Murano between the FWD and AWD version. So that kinda blows the “poor gas mileage” argument out of the water. The AWD will be more expensive than the FWD model, but they also hold their value better, especially when they get older.

I never could understand the logic of buying a truck or SUV and not getting 4WD or AWD.

Because the green-weenies killed the station wagon. I have a 2WD SUV that carries my kids and all our stuff for weekends and family vacations. I even has the V6 instead the V8 and can tow a good amount, unlike FWD minivans. For a lot of us, the SUV IS the new station wagon.

Usually it snows about once a year, but this year it was 3 times, temps in the 20s…brrrr

But I used fwd GTI in Anchorage for 12 years, no problem, so I bet a fwd RAV4 will do just fine…with winter tires, that is.

My bad. I live where it snows a lot, so this is true in my area. From what I understand, four inches of snow in Dallas brings everything to a grinding halt. To us, four inches of snow is a dusting.