Fwd Or Awd?

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-13-06, 04:17 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 67
Fwd Or Awd?

Is fwd better than awd in snow and slush? I usually drive our '98 Camry, but yesterday I had to take our '06 Matrix awd. I was changing through 3 lanes at about 35mph in 9'' of rutted but unplowed snow, which is okay with the Camry but not with the Matrix. The wagon started to slide right,backing off the gas a little did nothing to bring it back, gas and slight left steer did nothing. Tried to steer into the skid and rotated right 45 degrees and nosed into a snowbank. Thank goodness all is well. But the Matrix seemed to handle like a rear wheel drive throughout. Is fwd better in these conditions? Thank you. Regards, Bob.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-13-06, 05:48 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 11,593
AWD/4wd would normally be a good choice in that type of driving (better you than ME, bruddah ). Interesting scenario. The difference between fwd and awd would be that with the fwd there would be a greater ratio of weight on the front wheels. With the awd the ratio of axle weight between the front and back would be closer due to the added weight of the rear differential and wherever the transfer case is mounted, likely somewhere mid-chassis. Will be interested to see others comment. I'm thinking that backing off the gas might have been a mistake; possibly maintaining gas pedal pressure and steering into the skid would have been better.
 
  #3  
Old 02-13-06, 09:15 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 18,774
If everything else is the same, awd should be better than fwd - like a matrix with the same engine, wheels and tires, one awd and one fwd. Start comparing different makes and models and the comparison gets complicated. You may find that your fwd camry is better in the snow than your awd matrix because of other factors. Tires alone are a huge factor.
 
  #4  
Old 02-13-06, 11:22 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 67
Tow Guy and Mitch, Thanks. Regards, Bob.
 
  #5  
Old 02-13-06, 10:03 PM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 361
Originally Posted by jiraphe
Is fwd better than awd in snow and slush? I usually drive our '98 Camry, but yesterday I had to take our '06 Matrix awd. I was changing through 3 lanes at about 35mph in 9'' of rutted but unplowed snow, which is okay with the Camry but not with the Matrix. The wagon started to slide right,backing off the gas a little did nothing to bring it back, gas and slight left steer did nothing. Tried to steer into the skid and rotated right 45 degrees and nosed into a snowbank. Thank goodness all is well. But the Matrix seemed to handle like a rear wheel drive throughout. Is fwd better in these conditions? Thank you. Regards, Bob.
awd is better but you have to learn to drive all over again. Just like 4wd.
 
  #6  
Old 02-14-06, 02:31 AM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 198
Originally Posted by mitch17
If everything else is the same, awd should be better than fwd - like a matrix with the same engine, wheels and tires, one awd and one fwd. Start comparing different makes and models and the comparison gets complicated. You may find that your fwd camry is better in the snow than your awd matrix because of other factors. Tires alone are a huge factor.
Exactly, tires plays a huge factor. Also the curb weight between the Camry and Matrix might play a role, was the Camry a V6 model? 9" of snow is pretty considerable amount of snow and having all your weight over the front drive axles would probably be best in "this" situation compared to having some over the front and rear axles
 
  #7  
Old 02-14-06, 10:20 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 67
The Camry is a 4. The Matrix 4 cyl has 5,000 miles and seems "lightweight" on its 4 tires. The higher center of gravity sure made it seem skittish last night as my wife drove three of us over a plowed but icy rutted road at 15 mph. She felt on edge, as if the wagon might break free and slide any moment. Perhaps the factory tires are not what's needed, but Toyota must think them competent. (I hear talk of maybe sell the Matrix.) If the Matrix's awd is nerve wracking to drive, they should add a stability control, or is such an option not effective? Regards, Bob.
 
  #8  
Old 02-14-06, 10:39 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 18,774
Don't assume the factory tires are good, usually they're just cheap.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes