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I was thinking about this on my way from work, how will the FWD RL perform in the snow? and if you put weight in the back of the pickup will it do worse or better than the RWD pickup trucks out there?
 

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I've driven numerous FWD vehicles in snow in the northwest. If you have good winter tires, it's manageable. Even with a load, your FWD truck will still have a lot of weight over the drive wheels, and IMO, it will usually do better than a RWD pickup. But if this is something you think you will be doing a lot of, why not just bite the bullet and get the AWD? Your confidence and capability in snow will be far superior. If you just can't afford a new AWD truck, find a good used RL and enjoy your winter driving!
 

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The difference in having a load in the back (or not) with FWD truck will be traction & drag. Your rear wheels will be planted better with a load, which could help marginally on packed snow (braking & resistance to side slip). But then in heavy snow, you'll find a little reduced ability for tires to "climb" over the deep snow when the rear wheels leave the track of the front tires (as when turning).

Overall, you can expect pretty much what you experience in a sedan with FWD, except with the benefit of greater ground clearance to help with deep snow.
 

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I suppose this question is in response to the forthcoming Gen 2 front-wheel-drive-only option?

The above answers are good, but I'll throw in that even the even the Gen 1 is front-wheel-drive most of the time anyway, and is incredible in the snow.
 

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Yes, but how do you know when those rear wheels are making all the difference and when they're not? My Subaru is FWD-biased too, but when it really counts, the added rear traction is what gets me though the deep snow. I know that because I've pulled the fuse for AWD and played in the snow with just FWD to see what it can do. Eventually, I get stuck.
 

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To clear some confusion the Gen 1 Ridgeline sends power to the rear wheels on any acceleration. This means all 4 wheels work in unison to begin forward momentum. It is FWD during cruise to save fuel. But engages the rear wheels again upon acceleration or slip and it does it fairly seamlessly.

Subaru is even better in that all 4 wheels are always driven. It is not front wheel biased. All differentials are always engaged. There is never any transition.
 

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Want to leave black marks on the pavement with your G1? Pull the VTM-4 fuse, disable VSA, and stomp on the accelerator. ;)

Hold the steering wheel tightly, though. There is a good bit of torque steer that normally isn't experienced when VTM-4 does it job normally each time you accelerate.
 

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Well, for a few months whenever I started my Ridge my VTM-4 would turn off because of a faulty oxygen sensor.

Driving my Ridgeline in 2WD mode provided more spirited performance and I was actually able to spin my wheels a little (something that is all but impossible in 4WD mode)

A 2WD only Ridgeline will be lighter and probably a little more fun to drive.
 

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FWD usually means more understeer without a bigger sway bar in the rear, etc. But then the dynamics of the truck overall will not fool you into thinking it is a sports car without a heavy dose of imagination.
I like how it handles with VTM-4. It is very stable and clings well to the road. The wide turning angle is the major limitation. I sliced a sidewall on a curb last year as a reminder.
 

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FWD usually means more understeer without a bigger sway bar in the rear, etc. But then the dynamics of the truck overall will not fool you into thinking it is a sports car without a heavy dose of imagination.
I like how it handles with VTM-4. It is very stable and clings well to the road. The wide turning angle is the major limitation. I sliced a sidewall on a curb last year as a reminder.
Rollinhonda, don't get me wrong, I am of the opinion that our Ridgelines provide a much better (and safer) option than driving a conventional 4x4 on 4WD high, or even a modern RWD biased full-time 4WD system when driving in the wet or in the snow.

I just feel like it would be a little fun to be able to do a burn out every now and then. With the current full time 4WD Ridgeline that is all but impossible.

I think it is AMAZING how well my 10 year old 06 Ridgeline handles.
 

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I agree, a FWD may be more 'fun' ..there is always some benefit of lowering weight as well, as long it is not done without some forward thinking.
 

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...Subaru is even better in that all 4 wheels are always driven. It is not front wheel biased. All differentials are always engaged. There is never any transition.
Actually, Subaru's AWD systems have varied considerably over time and even between models. Most of the pre-2000 models were FWD-biased with up to 90% of the power going to the front wheels unless the system detected a need for more rear drive. The ATs were/are more sophisticated than the manual trannys which used simple viscous couplings between front and rear drive shafts that responded to any front wheel slippage. I haven't bothered to check details on the current systems with CVTs, but I would be surprised if there isn't still some degree of FWD-biased power delivery under normal driving conditions. This would be expected because the system essentially sends more power to the wheels with the most traction and that's usually the front wheels bearing the engine weight. I may just be using the term FWD-biased to mean something different than you.

One thing that Subies and RL's have in common is the seamless AWD transitions of power splitting between front and rear wheels. I'm anxious to check out the evolutionary improvements with i-VTM4.
 

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OK DOB not to change the subject here but what do you think of Nissans Jukes AWD system and how it works, its very interesting. Edit DogOnBoard, DOB might not have come across wright. Would like to here your take on this different system. And i do respect your comments, sometimes.........:) its all good, sorry if i may have offended you. Go Pack...
 

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I just had a vivid display of the difference between AWD and FWD when it comes to small SUVs, as I drove around in Ottawa's first real snowstorm 2-3 weeks ago. The big difference happens on turns. The unpowered rear wheels inflict a lot of drag, especially where previous vehicles or a plow have left snow compacted. Many vehicles could not turn a corner in this case with FWD.

Of course, one might guess that people who would bother to buy an SUV, but save money by skipping AWD, would make a similar decision about winter tires; perhaps the FWD models that I saw in trouble also had all-season tires.
 

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I just had a vivid display of the difference between AWD and FWD when it comes to small SUVs, as I drove around in Ottawa's first real snowstorm 2-3 weeks ago. The big difference happens on turns. The unpowered rear wheels inflict a lot of drag, especially where previous vehicles or a plow have left snow compacted. Many vehicles could not turn a corner in this case with FWD.

Of course, one might guess that people who would bother to buy an SUV, but save money by skipping AWD, would make a similar decision about winter tires; perhaps the FWD models that I saw in trouble also had all-season tires.
Its mostly drivin habits,not paying attention to ones drivin, speed under the conditions or all the above. Last week we had a couple inches snow fall just before rush hour and within one mile their where 14 SUVs in the ditch. I would say drivin to fast for conditions. Just because one has AWD,FWD,RWD dont mean crap most of the times. Most people think they can drive the speed limit all the time but forget that the posted speed limit is for ideal conditions during the day.
 

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OK DOB not to change the subject here kinda but what do you think of Nissans Juke AWD system and how it works, its very interesting.
Good question. The only reason I'm familar with Subaru AWD is because I've owned 3 of them since 1988. But I really don't know anything about the Juke AWD and would be interested in hearing more. How does it work?
 

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Just wait for the "Ridgeline is no a real truck" crowd get a glimpse of a front wheel drive Ridgeline (3500 lb. tow rating) trying to pull a boat up a slick ramp. I'm sure YouTube will have plenty of examples.
 

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I would suggest that, in most conditions, the correct tire will matter almost as much as AWD vs FWD.

I also think AWD is more important on a high CoG vehicle lie an SUV. A low-clearance FWD car, like my '02 Accord, with proper winter tires, seems more capable in snowy, icy conditions than most SUVs with AWD and all-season tires, as long as the snow doesn't get more than 5" deep. :p
 

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Just wait for the "Ridgeline is no a real truck" crowd get a glimpse of a front wheel drive Ridgeline (3500 lb. tow rating) trying to pull a boat up a slick ramp. I'm sure YouTube will have plenty of examples.
Sorry, dont no how to take this as a good thing or bad. Doesnt matter to me cause I will never buy anything but a 4x4 or AWD vehicle anymore unless I move south. Just wonderin if its pathetic or great.
 

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I would suggest that, in most conditions, the correct tire will matter almost as much as AWD vs FWD.

I also think AWD is more important on a high CoG vehicle lie an SUV. A low-clearance FWD car, like my '02 Accord, with proper winter tires, seems more capable in snowy, icy conditions than most SUVs with AWD and all-season tires, as long as the snow doesn't get more than 5" deep. :p
I may agree with you on this I have said before that back in 02-03 had to make an emergency trip from Southern Maryland to Eastern Shore and back.
I had winter tires on my Acura 3.2 TL trip one way is about 120 miles.
Going it was starting to snow but and getting heavier at this was 4PM time.
Got there it was dark dropped of person took off back to Southern Maryland.
If you do a google from Southern MD to Eastern Shore MD it's like a U and the two destinations would be closer if you could take a boat across the water instead of 120 miles. You have to drive up then cross Bay Bridge to other side.
On the way back Eastern Shore MD does not have accumulations of heavy snow but that night they did same for southern MD but the set up was perfect more than DC that time. The snow plows were getting off road.
I saw at least 40 vehicles on the way back on the side of the road many SUVs. I was only going 12-15MPH but could move I would suspect the SUVs with AWD/4WD had all season tires I was moving they were not.
 
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