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For those of you in snow country, would you consider buying a FWD Ridgeline if it saved you some money? I think I would consider a FWD because a FWD with winter tires still performs much better in snow than AWD with all-season tires.

What I am not clear on is pricing. The AWD option on the CR-V only costs an extra $1,250 which I would gladly pay to get AWD on a Ridgeline. But the AWD option on the Tacoma is $5,035!! Why is the Tacoma 4WD option so much more expensive?
 

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No, I would not buy a FWD-only Ridgeline. On days with bad snow, the truck is the vehicle that I'll take for doubt removal over any other 2WD vehicles available. I have had to park essentially in plowed snowbanks too many times (street is plowed, but parking clear of snowbank intrudes into street too much).

The Tacoma's 4WD system is likely far more robust than the CR-V's AWD.
 

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In Boston I think you would be okay with FWD the great majority of the year, running dedicated winters on separate rims during snow/ice season so they could be swapped at will. As you said, slightly modified, FWD w/ snows is (almost always) greater than AWD w/ '3 season' tires.

I've never had a problem with my '05 Odyssey (FWD of course) running studded tires in the winter here in AK; I have never gotten stuck and have almost always, with rare exception, felt good control. Of course knowing how to drive in winter conditions is key.

I wouldn't personally go to a FWD RL as I expect the rated towing capacity will decrease. For example the Pilot AWD is rated at 5000# but the FWD model is only rated at 3500#. The new RL is supposed to be slightly higher rated but I believe there will still be a significant disparity between AWD and FWD towing capacity. If it wasn't for the AWD RL's greater tow rating I'd just get another (used) Ody and use it as a "work van". (If tow rating is not relevant for your needs this paragraph is moot).

It will be interesting to see the price point difference between AWD and FWD though. For the new Pilot models it's less than 2K.
 

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No, I would not buy a FWD-only Ridgeline. On days with bad snow, the truck is the vehicle that I'll take for doubt removal over any other 2WD vehicles available. I have had to park essentially in plowed snowbanks too many times (street is plowed, but parking clear of snowbank intrudes into street too much).

The Tacoma's 4WD system is likely far more robust than the CR-V's AWD.
I had a 2000 4WD CR-V with the manual transmission, and it did awesome on ice because I could feather the clutch. Wouldn't want to try it with a modern automatic-only CR-V, even with the 4WD (which is hard to find in Texas)

Chip H.
 

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Expect +$1800 just like the Pilot and a 75/25 take rate AWD/FWD (more than $1800 if the AWD is coupled with a stock towing package and 2WD not). Honda wants the FWD mostly to tout the fuel economy numbers (public apparently easily fooled by commercials promising them 24/29 for drivers intending to by a Hemi 15/19 for example). Also the FWD will sell on the base stripper lease.

You might lose some fuel economy gains for slight extra depreciation on 2WD versions, especially in higher trims.
 

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I've owned both Ridgeline and CRV's, both AWD, both winter tires. Winter tires are great, AWD with winter tires is even greater!

I won't buy anything without AWD drive for my winters here in Canada :act035:
 

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I've never had a problem in the snow with FWD and winter tires. That being said, I'd prolly go for AWD for two reasons: 1) it would be the "go-to" vehicle for my wife when making business trips during the winter, and AWD would offer peace-of-mind for both of us, and 2) resale value will be higher with AWD, possibly enough to recoup the initial investment. Only real loss would MPG.
 

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4WD Tacos have substantially different suspensions than 2WD versions. Add in those transfer case, front diff and front axle components (but no center diff, hence no AWD function for pavement), and the big price difference is no surprise...not to mention demand for 2WD Tacos is much lower across most of the US than it is for 4WD models.

I don't know for sure, but I doubt there is much difference in the suspension on a AWD CR-V vs a FWD model. As noted, the CR-V AWD is basically a limited-duty supplemental rear wheel drive system -- much lighter duty than the Taco 4X4. I am thrilled that the Gen2 RL gets a much more robust i-VTM4 system. I would never buy a truck without 4WD/AWD for my Montana adventures!
 

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My limited experience (Japan years ago) says it depends on what kind of winter driving you encounter. On plowed or packed down streets & after small accumulations you'll probably be fine with FWD, as you said. But I can tell you that in DEEP, fresh snow, you may be fine with AWD as long as you're driving in a straight line or shallow curves; BUT if you get your back wheels out of those front wheel tracks very much or for very long, or especially when going up hill, you may severely miss not having those rear AWD wheels clawing their way through that deep snow as well.

I found that in deep snow with FWD, going slow uphill on tight windy roads (or making fairly tight turns), those rear wheels might as well be anchors when they find themselves in fresh deep stuff that has not been knocked down by previous drivers or your own front wheels!
 

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reinhold;1692466 I wouldn't personally go to a FWD RL as I expect the rated towing capacity will decrease. For example the Pilot AWD is rated at 5000# but the FWD model is only rated at 3500#. The new RL is supposed to be slightly higher rated but I believe there will still be a significant disparity between AWD and FWD towing capacity. If it wasn't for the AWD RL's greater tow rating I'd just get another (used) Ody and use it as a "work van". (If tow rating is not relevant for your needs this paragraph is moot). It will be interesting to see the price point difference between AWD and FWD though. For the new Pilot models it's less than 2K.[/QUOTE said:
It will be interesting to see if the FWD RL will be available with the tow package. If so the lighter FWD should have a higher tow capacity than the AWD.
 

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You might lose some fuel economy gains for slight extra depreciation on 2WD versions, especially in higher trims.
FWD depreciation is relative to its lower initial purchase price so resale value may be ok.

When comparing FWD to AWD one needs to consider maintenance costs also. AWD is more complex than FWD with many more components to maintain. Which equates to a higher operating cost.
 

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I always had FWD cars with snow tires here in NW Ohio and have been stuck and had to help many other FWD vehicles get unstuck in the past. With the AWD of the Ridgeline and Mud Terrain tires I couldn't get stuck in snow if I tried and I have tried..lol
I've parked with 3/4 of the truck in plowed snow banks that were above the door sills and had no problems getting out when I wanted to leave. Makes it nice knowing I don't have to worry about finding a "good" clear spot to park, I just park where most other people wouldn't even consider.
So in my area for winter driving you can't beat AWD. Now if you only get the occasional few inches of snow then by all means FWD will be just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
My limited experience (Japan years ago) says it depends on what kind of winter driving you encounter. On plowed or packed down streets & after small accumulations you'll probably be fine with FWD, as you said. But I can tell you that in DEEP, fresh snow, you may be fine with AWD as long as you're driving in a straight line or shallow curves; BUT if you get your back wheels out of those front wheel tracks very much or for very long, or especially when going up hill, you may severely miss not having those rear AWD wheels clawing their way through that deep snow as well.

I found that in deep snow with FWD, going slow uphill on tight windy roads (or making fairly tight turns), those rear wheels might as well be anchors when they find themselves in fresh deep stuff that has not been knocked down by previous drivers or your own front wheels!
This is a good point that I forgot about. I have a 300 foot curving driveway with a steep grade on the curve. My friends with FWD can never make it up my driveway in the snow unless I clear it well. I sometimes have to walk down to the street and drive it up my driveway in reverse for them (more weight on the front wheel helps with traction on a FWD car). Actually one of my friends with an Odyssey got stuck on my driveway going DOWN this past winter and I had to dig her out.

Also in my area we get several 12" storms per year instead of the constant light 3-6" snowstorms that other parts of the US gets, so I think AWD would be useful. Thank you everyone for your insight.
 

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My favorite 2WD stuck story... we have a local road that goes through a corn field for about 1/4 mile and there the road is about 5-6 feet above the cornfield with steep banks on each side. Because of the winds there, snow fills up the steep banks quite a ways out. The highway department uses a very wide scraper to clear the sides of the road flat.

Was driving my Ody in a snowstorm and saw a car off the road on the right, roads were recently plowed so came slowly to a stop on the wide side of the road a good 30 feet behind them. Next thing I know my rightward wheels are sinking 3-4 feet down, gas it to get out but just digging in and we are on the verge of rolling. The roadside looks like it is entirely there, but instead its just a perfectly flat scraped top of a big snow pile. More or less same reason the Volvo was there in the ditch too. An HD2500 and another pickup used chains to yank us both out sideways. Not sure if AWD would have gotten us out (2WD v. 1WD on the top side), but its a funny story.
 

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Anyone living in the snow belt Im sure wouldn't pass up AWD for a FWD, if given the choice. Even with AWD I also would never run winter without proper winter rated snow tires, not the "all seasons" (California Snow Tire to us...LOL!).

If you grew up with winter, you learn how to drive in the varying conditions (generally) regardless of the vehicle. FWD, RWD or AWD, you just have to change your driving style in some cases, and pick your routes, and vehicle spacing etc accordingly. Some scenarios it wont matter what you have, you aren't going anywhere. No matter which one you have get snow tires!!

I have driven all (FWD, RWD & AWD) over my years and through many snowy, closed road winters, and have almost :p always managed to get to where I am going. But apples to apples...AWD with snow tires all the way!!
 

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This is a good point that I forgot about. I have a 300 foot curving driveway with a steep grade on the curve. My friends with FWD can never make it up my driveway in the snow unless I clear it well....
...Thank you everyone for your insight.
Given this specific data for the application/use of the vehicle some of the replies may have been different. But I think we 'snow country' people will still give opinions on driving 'uphill in the snow both ways' no matter what. :act024:
 

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It will be interesting to see if the FWD RL will be available with the tow package. If so the lighter FWD should have a higher tow capacity than the AWD.
This is the opposite case. The Front wheels (with a trailer attached) have less weight on them and don't have the ability to pull as much. you want to have the weight over your drive wheels.

As for the RL, I had one (in part) for conditions when weather just wasn't good and needing to make sure that my son and his mother could get places in snow. I drive a Honda FIT year round with Snows on the wheels in the winter. It does real well when the snow is plowed and even fine up to 3 or 4 inches (of non-wet snow). It's the slushy wet or deeper snow that causes problems that I want to get another Ridgeline for. Nothing Replaces AWD or 4WD but a good set of tires can get you most of the way there (as long as you rely on driving caution, and not just assume the tires will do the work for you).

~SB
 
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