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DaddyinKC
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 12:07 pm    Post subject: All Wheel Drive Reply with quote

Okay, not new technology but I've always been curious why more manufacturers to not have more models with AWD. I recently was looking for new vehicles and the list of AWD is really short. Is the reason strictly the expense of the AWD system or that the customers do not see a need for AWD?

When the MPV needs replaced in a few years, I'd like to get another minivan with AWD, but the choices are very, very slim and the ones that do have AWD are the 'top of the line'.

I guess I'll just have to deal with FWD or talk the wife into a crossover!
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 5:12 pm    Post subject: Re: All Wheel Drive Reply with quote

I used to find it a bit bemusing when they would put AWD on plain cars and then nobody bought them, like the 6000, Camry, Tempo/Topaz, stuff like that.

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subearu
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:59 pm    Post subject: Re: All Wheel Drive Reply with quote

AWD does add cost. Plus, there are so many AWD systems: some part time, some fwd biased, some rwd biased, some with stability control, some with traction control. All of those can add confusion to the consumer as well.

However, there are more cars with AWD (at least optionally) than there were a few years ago. MB C & E, BMW 3 & 5, Lexus IS, Infinity G. Only a few years ago or so it was really some VW's, most Audi's, some Porsche models, Subaru (naturally), and a select amount of minivans from GM, Chrysler, and Toyota.

Of course, there is the arguement that a FWD or RWD vehicle with snow tires can fair just as well or better than an AWD car w/o snow tires.

-Brian

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:22 am    Post subject: Re: All Wheel Drive Reply with quote

subearu wrote:
AWD does add cost. Plus, there are so many AWD systems: some part time, some fwd biased, some rwd biased, some with stability control, some with traction control. All of those can add confusion to the consumer as well.

However, there are more cars with AWD (at least optionally) than there were a few years ago. MB C & E, BMW 3 & 5, Lexus IS, Infinity G. Only a few years ago or so it was really some VW's, most Audi's, some Porsche models, Subaru (naturally), and a select amount of minivans from GM, Chrysler, and Toyota.

Of course, there is the arguement that a FWD or RWD vehicle with snow tires can fair just as well or better than an AWD car w/o snow tires.

-Brian


But I wonder if Mazda had invested in awd for the MPV as Subaru has if we would now been seeing its demise? It often amuses me, as I have commented elsewhere that a company that churns out a new 911 model year in year out that is a refinement over the previous car is a better way to go for the car makers than always desperately trying to create something "new".

I guess it must be the fickleness of fashion in our society, and I must be getting old and staid in my ways.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 3:34 pm    Post subject: Re: All Wheel Drive Reply with quote

Mazda did make the Gen2 MPV with AWD, just not for the North American market. Cost was likely the factor in that decision, IMO.

Subaru's AWD only stance is getting crowded by all the other offerings now out there. Soon they'll either have to shorten up their vehicle generations (switch to 3 year instead of 5 year model cycles) or offer more choices.

-Brian

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 5:03 pm    Post subject: Re: All Wheel Drive Reply with quote

subearu wrote:
Mazda did make the Gen2 MPV with AWD, just not for the North American market. Cost was likely the factor in that decision, IMO.


I guess this is my point, somewhere investing in a product line by not passing on the full costing of the fourwheel drive model and absorbing some of the cost in the other vehicle may be the best for the long term of the product line. Bit the same as a performance model, often very costly for the manufacturer to do but accepted as part of the marketing of the whole range can make a model very "desirable". Just my opinion.

Interesting point about the model cycle, over here first time subaru liberty customers were always happy to purchase again, not necessarily because there was a model change, but because it was a continuation of the fine model produced beforehand. I think of all the manufacturers subaru (apart from their strange front grill at the moment) has maintained there product range without huge steps forward in looks. It was just an excellent package which sold the vehicle.

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gpzjack
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 7:35 pm    Post subject: Re: All Wheel Drive Reply with quote

tribeca = ugly forester = ugly. The forester does have alot of room though..i was surprised by the interior size. I have a legacy..the thing is ridiculous in the snow. Awd is a hard sell when only a small portion of the country could use it for a short period of the year.
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cpapashley
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:51 pm    Post subject: Re: All Wheel Drive Reply with quote

gpzjack wrote:
tribeca = ugly forester = ugly. The forester does have alot of room though..i was surprised by the interior size. I have a legacy..the thing is ridiculous in the snow. Awd is a hard sell when only a small portion of the country could use it for a short period of the year.


So I would have thought that it would have handled well??

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:42 pm    Post subject: Re: All Wheel Drive Reply with quote

I'll give you that the Tribeca has a "special" look. But, I can't agree the Forester is ugly. I do very much like the Legacy though.

AWD offers more than just "snow" traction. It helps in rain and even offers exceptional handling in dry conditions. Selling that point is where manufacturers are going these days.

-Brian

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cpapashley
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:37 pm    Post subject: Re: All Wheel Drive Reply with quote

subearu wrote:
I'll give you that the Tribeca has a "special" look. But, I can't agree the Forester is ugly. I do very much like the Legacy though.

AWD offers more than just "snow" traction. It helps in rain and even offers exceptional handling in dry conditions. Selling that point is where manufacturers are going these days.

-Brian


I must admit that special is certainly a polite term for it, I am surprised it got past the marketing people. Just seems weird, but then again like so many cars that I reflect back on that have become classics it is not always our first impressions that paint the true picture of a car over its lifetime.

Take for instance our gm/holden 74 kingswood, now seen as a car well ahead of its time in the looks department. Yet at the time, it was not that well received...




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Madbrad
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:53 pm    Post subject: Re: All Wheel Drive Reply with quote

^^
That bears a resemblance to the GM NA market midsize cars of the late 60s/early 70s.



Even the Montana and Ford E series vans had available AWD!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:12 pm    Post subject: Re: All Wheel Drive Reply with quote

cpapashley wrote:
...Take for instance our gm/holden 74 kingswood, now seen as a car well ahead of its time in the looks department. Yet at the time, it was not that well received...


My folks had a '71 Holden. I remembered it being very fast for a 6. My father thought it was a toss up between it and the '72 Ford Fairmont (V8 Australian made) in the speed department.

Then: '79 Plymouth Horizon, '88 VW Fox Wagon, '92 VW Jetta GL (DW), '96 VW Golf GL (DW), '97 Jetta GLX - Green, '03 MPV ES - Blue Mica (DW); '15 Hyundai Elantra GT - Titanium Gray Metallic (DW)
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:13 pm    Post subject: Re: All Wheel Drive Reply with quote

My favourite Holden model is the Magroin.

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cpapashley
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:16 pm    Post subject: Re: All Wheel Drive Reply with quote

Madbrad wrote:
My favourite Holden model is the Magroin.


What on earth is that??

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cpapashley
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:18 pm    Post subject: Re: All Wheel Drive Reply with quote

vkc wrote:
My folks had a '71 Holden. I remembered it being very fast for a 6. My father thought it was a toss up between it and the '72 Ford Fairmont (V8 Australian made) in the speed department.


You didn't mean the hoden torana did you. The xu1 won a few bathursts Very Happy , very fast indeed.


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