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Did you go with a FWD or an AWD Terrain?


172704 Views 147 Replies 51 Participants Last post by  Copperhead
So, did you go with the Front Wheel Drive (FWD) model, or did you upgrade to the All Wheel Drive (AWD) one? I'm curious to see which model is selling better.

*If you ordered recently or waiting for delivery, please vote!

**If you're thinking about ordering/buying/leasing a Terrain and know which one you're getting, please vote!

I'm not sure which model I'd go for. Instinctively, I want AWD for the added safety, but I live in southern NJ and we don't see that much snow to concern me (though it's nice to have the safety of AWD, do I really want to pay in fuel mileage for something not needed as much - yes I know, AWD helps out in rain too). My mom hates driving in snow/rain and her '05 Saturn VUE has AWD; friends have a '02 VUE I-4 FWD and love it, but the wife wants AWD in her next CUV for the "added safety".
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OK, getting back to the original question, can you explain in laymans terms (for dummies like me) how is AWD different from the FWD when the StabiliTrak is on.
With FWD the rear wheels contribute nothing to either push or pull the vehicle. With AWD the rear wheels apply 10% or more of engine power to the ground.
With AWD , all four wheels will push or pull the vehicle after the VCM detects slippage on the front wheels and tightens the clutches in the rear differential . Some AWD vehicles apply full clutch pack tension to the rear axle from 0 to 5mph just to ensure that wheel spin has a very limited opportunity to occur.
AWD also reduces the 3.6L's torque steer to about nil.
Note too not all AWD systems are equal Some work at preset levels, some adjust front to rear and some detect each wheel for slippage and the computer controls the car to keep it going true.

Many of the higher level cars use the latter system and Haldex is the prime designer of one of these systems. GM has been using them on their best system.

AWD is more for on road traction and should not be confused for use off road in all applications. You can use it on back roads and gravel roads but I would not want to get into a field and heavy muck with it.

In must suburban driving AWD is a help but not a must as most roads are maintained in most of these areas. Now if you live out and do not like plow your drive or just want the extra traction it is a help. As to if you need it or not is something that each owner just has to decide for themselves. Most can get by with FWD and a good set of tires but other may need it due to the lack of skills or have much works conditions to drive in than suburban drivers.

The systems we have on our vehicles here are some of the more basic systems. They work well but are not as complex as say the new system on the Regal GS or Cadillac. I expect the next gen Terrain and Nox to get a much more up to date system. The fact is our vehicle is really an older GM platform and it was pretty advanced when it first came to market but as time moved on so did technology.
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I live in snow country 6 months a year and with all the hills in Marquette Mi. You need all wheel drive to get around safely.
Very interesting that the split is close to 50-50.
Rit said:
Very interesting that the split is close to 50-50.
Probably about the right split. Mostly those is the snow belt would go for AWD while those in the warmer South and
Florida and California don't really need AWD.

My nearest dealer seems to have about 60% AWD on his lot usually. I might consider AWD except the penalty in MPG and additional cost of purchase. Plus, we already have Stabiltrack which seems to suffice.
JayTee2014 said:
I might consider AWD except the penalty in MPG and additional cost of purchase. Plus, we already have Stabiltrack which seems to suffice.
I live in the Great White North, Canada...
As soon as a used AWD Equinox was available at a reasonable cost in better than average condition.
I purchased it.
No regrets, excellent purchase, the Nox loves the snow & ice more than I do.
We live in Central Iowa, rural, and it is 2 miles of gravel roads to the nearest hard road from our house. AWD was pretty much desired as a necessity as opposed to a novelty. Of course, when the snow is really bad or the roads are going thru their spring mud period, the Silverado 2500 gets used more frequently and the Nox sits in the garage.
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