Which is better-AWD or traction control?

ld14051January 27, 2007

I am in need of a new car and although I would like both AWD and TC I am not sure I can afford a car with both(I don't want an SUV). If you had to choose one which would be better to have,the AWD or traction control? I live in upstate NY-lots of cold, snow and slippery roads.

Thank you.

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steve_o

Traction control. Face it -- even in upstate NY, you're probably on dry or merely-wet roads most of the time. I live in Minnesota, so I understand :-). You don't need AWD on good roads, but with it you're carrying a lot of extra weight, taking a hit on fuel mileage, and bearing the costs of maintaining or repairing many more parts. Traction control has only a fraction of those drawbacks. Better to spend some money on a good set of severe-weather all-season tires or winter tires.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 12:49PM
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ld14051

Thanks Steve. I have a long drive to work so gas mileage is a concern.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 1:41PM
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wwest

As engine compression braking on adverse roadbed conditions can have severe adverse effects(***), from a safety standpoint, on FWD or front biased AWD vehicles I would first advise you to consider only RWD or rear torque biased AWD vehicles.

Having said that, since FWD is so inherently hazardous in those conditions almost ALL modern day FWD vehicles will be equipped with Traction control, if not both stability control and traction control.

The best of all worlds from a driving safety standpoint would be a rear torque biased AWD vehicle equipped with stability and traction control.

*** On adverse roadbed conditions the front tires' roadbed contact patch should always be reserved exclusively for maintaining directional control of the vehicle. Inadvertent engine compression braking at the front due to your instinctive lift-throttle response to an adverse event can potentially result in loss of control of the vehicle.

Additionally it has now been well documented that engine compression braking will/can interfere with the ABS, Anti-lock Braking System's ability to momentarily release the braking enough and thereby allow the driver to maintain directional control.

Most modern day FWD vehicles have a revised shift pattern that prevents the engine from providing any significant level of braking during a lift-throttle coastdown event.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2007 at 5:26PM
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blue_fastback

AWD is better then traction control. Do you know what traction control does? Traction controls limits the power to a wheel thats spining by partly appling the brakes. It can also start to decrease the amount of power the engine supplies so they wont spin as much. AWD is basicly 4 wheel drive that is on all the time. AWD will get you through the snow much easier then traction control.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 9:26AM
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christopherh

Here in Vermont and Northern New England, Subaru is a MAJOR player. We do drive on snow covered roads much of the time and the AWD that Subaru has is enjoyed by many little old ladies, teachers (as school is rarely closed when it snows) and commuters. They go in snow. And they also go very well in New England's fifth season, mud!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 8:37AM
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