2WD versus AWD SUV: Which is best?

All wheel drive just has to be better right?

For that two-wheel drive. Vs. all-wheel drive is the classic SUV dichotomy and the default presumption is all-wheel Drive is better, but the truth is a lot of this really depends upon you and how you'll be using the vehicle. Mary'S question about this is pretty typical. I'M looking for a good SUV, I've been told or wheel drive is a better safety choice, as there is more control in braking I'm doing a lot of driving between a low dollar and Sydney and often have the grandchildren with me. So this is obviously a concern. Can you help okay, so there's a bit of myth-busting? We have to do here and some simple advice: upfront. If you want to go off-road, adventuring exploring on fire trails, whatever get the all-wheel drive, you do not want to be in a position where you go down. Some fire trail to an idyllic campsite where you can burn the dinner and commune with nature, listen to the kids bitch about not having Wi-Fi all night long and then it rains in the morning and you can't actually get home because two wheel, drive plus muddy ascent, Equals fail, regular trips to the snow, launching a boat on a ramp rural property with a driveway from hell all excellent reasons to own the all-wheel drive. But if you want an SUV really only to act in the capacity of a de-facto family station wagon - and that's all you want it to do - you probably don't need all-wheel drive. In fact, if you've had a car all these years and you're getting an SUV and you don't plan on driving any differently, two wheel drive is going to be fine. Goodness me look at the time it's bullshit, busting o´clock. The first thing to remember is that plenty of SUVs are only two-wheel drive in essence, moderately camp Qashqai and Honda's exceptionally, gay HIV, for example, are two-wheel drive only and the base models of plenty of other SUVs like the Mazda cx-5 Kia, Sportage and Hyundai Tucson the Base models are all front drivers at this point. We better put Subaru in a box on its own. That company only does all-wheel drive and it's a unique ish selling proposition. In fact, Subarus symmetrical all-wheel drive is an excellent system and, together with their involvement in rally, it rocketed them from a herbal hippie obscurity in the 1990s to where they are today swimming happily in the mainstream. In Subarus case, all-wheel drive really does mean all the wheels are driving all the time, but in the majority of the rest of the market, not so much we'll get to that now most all-wheel drive systems are on demand, meaning they are predominantly overwhelmingly two-wheel drive for The vast majority of their operational lives, all-wheel drive, is only invoked when there is front wheel spin when the front wheels lose it. That'S the demand for on demand or wheel drive. So let's be perfectly clear. Your common notionally all-wheel drive SUV just driving down the road. Normally is doing so under the tractive effort of just the front wheels if they're not threatening to spin the rear wheels are not threatening to drive most of these on-demand systems statistically never engage all-wheel-drive 99.9 % of the time. They'Re, just two-wheel drive, in fact 99.9 %. Would be one kilometer in every 1000 kilometers and I really don't think they're doing that much all wheel driving sure you can lock all-wheel drive in manually if you see Kim Kardashian's ass up ahead, lubed up with Sun Tan Lotion, I'd be locking in all-wheel drive. If you want to make it across without slipping into the crack - and he was never heard from ever again - locking in all-wheel drive is also a really good idea in that rain. Overnight camping scenario, we discussed a bit earlier, but it's really a bad idea. At other times, especially on high traction surfaces, we're driving in all wheel, drive, we'll start scrubbing out the tires and potentially break the transmission good safety tip there leave it in auto. You have to remember that the front end of the car and the rear end follow slightly different paths. When you drive around curves, therefore, they travel different distances. Therefore, they need to turn at different rates if you lock them together by pressing that button and traction levels are high, there's an excellent chance. You will brake something expensive. Subaru gets around this problem with a viscous coupling just behind the gearbox. It'S a bunch of precise hardware swimming in very thick viscous silicon fluid, and the upshot is that it allows the front and the rear prop shafts, to turn at different rates without blowing up. However, you can turn the viscous coupling into an AED of sorts by fitting different sized tires front and rear, even slightly different, all by abusing the crap out of it generally by attempting hardcore off-roading when that's really not the vehicles remit, apart from additional traction in slippery Conditions, the purported advantages of all-wheel drive for ordinary drivers are pretty much fluff. All wheel drive used to be a huge contributor to overall dynamic Stability. The then, when the dinosaurs all died out and Twitter was invented, cars came with a bunch of other stability, enhancing technology like electronic stability control and that's pretty much leveled the playing field by making two wheel drive vehicles just as stable in most driving scenarios, people say All-Wheel drive gives you more grip, but this is unmitigated. Bullshit grip is a function of rubber on the road, it's not a function of which wheels are driving. What all-wheel drive does, however, is reduce the tractive effort at each wheel for any given throttle input, in other words, all-wheel drive makes it more likely you'll be able to maintain traction in slippery conditions when equivalent two-wheel drive systems would be spinning their tips off. Like a pole, dancer on crack Mary is under the impression that all-wheel drive helps under brakes on the highway. I do not know why people have told her that, but they have the truth is actually pretty different. In fact, many on demand or wheel drive systems have braking algorithms that disengage the all-wheel drive to avoid feedback effects and thereby boost stability under braking, so two-wheel drive under brakes out II does that and frankly, with electronic brake-force distribution and all the other high-tech brake systems? It'S pretty hard to see the drive line, contributing anything to overall retardation when the chips are down. The other thing most people don't realize. I guess, is that all wheel drive is generally interlocked out so that it cannot be engaged automatically at speeds over about 60 kilometres. An hour in most of these vehicles, this makes good engineering sense, because all-wheel drive is a response to wheel, spin and wheel. Spin in typical SUVs never occurs at those higher speeds in general. At those higher speeds, the earing does not allow sufficient torque at the wheels to invoke wheel spin. It just doesn't happen in the context of ordinary driving around the suburbs and on the highway. All wheel drive offers no particular advantage as you step up through the range in most SUVs like cx-5 sport tires Tucson, the bigger engines come with beefier Drive lines and those drive lines are packaged with all-wheel-drive, there's nothing wrong with all-wheel-drive, and it does make it a Little less likely to invoke runaway wheel spin in the wet when the traffic lights go green, but it does cost you significantly more money. They have to build a transfer case in there, a rear prop shaft, the rear, diff, a couple of rear axles and all the control architecture. None of that is free, of course, and the Tucson active petrol is a good example. In two-wheel drive it's $ 4,000 cheaper than the Tucson active diesel and that additional cost is probably 50/50 split between the engine and a driveline. The rest of the car is the same, nor is there a particular benefit for towing. All-Wheel drive doesn't really help, especially for conservative towing assignments well inside the vehicles. Maximum total limitations. All-Wheel drive will help. Of course, if you have to get a boat up, a slippery boat ramp, sometimes you're not going to have a choice. Of course, if you buy a Subaru SUV, you're going to get all-wheel drive, but I hope you now know enough about this issue, at least to make an informed choice. I'M John Cadogan. I hope this helps and thanks for watching you