Author Topic: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!  (Read 16703 times)

JLee

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #50 on: February 12, 2016, 12:08:04 PM »
EXACTLY!

Our weekend weather was like your's today. Can't imagine rushing around to swap tires as often as our weather changes here in the mid-south. ;)

AWD isn't that much more expensive than FWD. 1 mpg penalty on my vehicle and the original cost was ~$1500 more. About what it cost then to buy the automatic transmission versus the 5MT.

Eh, $1500 is still a lot. Around here, the best solution is to go 2WD + all-season and stay home when it's icy. (Although to be fair, that strategy may not work as well somewhere like Asheville.)

Well $1500 when it's new. I have no idea what the difference in price is when the vehicle is several years old.

Still $1500, if not more.
$1500 + less efficient, probably 5mpg less efficient

Modern AWD vehicles don't see a whole lot of fuel economy loss:

2016 Honda CRV (2.4L 4-cyl. CVT Automatic)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 26/33 mpg

2016 Honda CRV (2.4L 4-cyl. AWD CVT Automatic)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 25/31 mpg

2016 Ford Fusion (2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo 6-speed Automatic w/Ecoboost)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 22/33 mpg

2016 Ford Fusion (2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo AWD 6-speed Automatic w/Ecoboost)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 22/31 mpg

2016 Toyota RAV4 (2.5L 4-cyl. 6-speed Automatic)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 24/31 mpg

2016 Toyota RAV4 (2.5L 4-cyl. AWD 6-speed Automatic)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 22/29 mpg

Jeremy E.

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #51 on: February 12, 2016, 12:41:45 PM »
EXACTLY!

Our weekend weather was like your's today. Can't imagine rushing around to swap tires as often as our weather changes here in the mid-south. ;)

AWD isn't that much more expensive than FWD. 1 mpg penalty on my vehicle and the original cost was ~$1500 more. About what it cost then to buy the automatic transmission versus the 5MT.

Eh, $1500 is still a lot. Around here, the best solution is to go 2WD + all-season and stay home when it's icy. (Although to be fair, that strategy may not work as well somewhere like Asheville.)

Well $1500 when it's new. I have no idea what the difference in price is when the vehicle is several years old.

Still $1500, if not more.
$1500 + less efficient, probably 5mpg less efficient

Modern AWD vehicles don't see a whole lot of fuel economy loss:

2016 Honda CRV (2.4L 4-cyl. CVT Automatic)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 26/33 mpg

2016 Honda CRV (2.4L 4-cyl. AWD CVT Automatic)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 25/31 mpg

2016 Ford Fusion (2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo 6-speed Automatic w/Ecoboost)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 22/33 mpg

2016 Ford Fusion (2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo AWD 6-speed Automatic w/Ecoboost)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 22/31 mpg

2016 Toyota RAV4 (2.5L 4-cyl. 6-speed Automatic)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 24/31 mpg

2016 Toyota RAV4 (2.5L 4-cyl. AWD 6-speed Automatic)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 22/29 mpg
2mpg is still 2mpg

JLee

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #52 on: February 12, 2016, 12:45:59 PM »
EXACTLY!

Our weekend weather was like your's today. Can't imagine rushing around to swap tires as often as our weather changes here in the mid-south. ;)

AWD isn't that much more expensive than FWD. 1 mpg penalty on my vehicle and the original cost was ~$1500 more. About what it cost then to buy the automatic transmission versus the 5MT.

Eh, $1500 is still a lot. Around here, the best solution is to go 2WD + all-season and stay home when it's icy. (Although to be fair, that strategy may not work as well somewhere like Asheville.)

Well $1500 when it's new. I have no idea what the difference in price is when the vehicle is several years old.

Still $1500, if not more.
$1500 + less efficient, probably 5mpg less efficient

Modern AWD vehicles don't see a whole lot of fuel economy loss:

2016 Honda CRV (2.4L 4-cyl. CVT Automatic)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 26/33 mpg

2016 Honda CRV (2.4L 4-cyl. AWD CVT Automatic)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 25/31 mpg

2016 Ford Fusion (2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo 6-speed Automatic w/Ecoboost)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 22/33 mpg

2016 Ford Fusion (2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo AWD 6-speed Automatic w/Ecoboost)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 22/31 mpg

2016 Toyota RAV4 (2.5L 4-cyl. 6-speed Automatic)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 24/31 mpg

2016 Toyota RAV4 (2.5L 4-cyl. AWD 6-speed Automatic)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 22/29 mpg
2mpg is still 2mpg

If you said 2mpg less efficient, then I wouldn't have needed to respond. ;)

Jeremy E.

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #53 on: February 12, 2016, 01:04:18 PM »
EXACTLY!

Our weekend weather was like your's today. Can't imagine rushing around to swap tires as often as our weather changes here in the mid-south. ;)

AWD isn't that much more expensive than FWD. 1 mpg penalty on my vehicle and the original cost was ~$1500 more. About what it cost then to buy the automatic transmission versus the 5MT.

Eh, $1500 is still a lot. Around here, the best solution is to go 2WD + all-season and stay home when it's icy. (Although to be fair, that strategy may not work as well somewhere like Asheville.)

Well $1500 when it's new. I have no idea what the difference in price is when the vehicle is several years old.

Still $1500, if not more.
$1500 + less efficient, probably 5mpg less efficient

Modern AWD vehicles don't see a whole lot of fuel economy loss:

2016 Honda CRV (2.4L 4-cyl. CVT Automatic)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 26/33 mpg

2016 Honda CRV (2.4L 4-cyl. AWD CVT Automatic)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 25/31 mpg

2016 Ford Fusion (2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo 6-speed Automatic w/Ecoboost)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 22/33 mpg

2016 Ford Fusion (2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo AWD 6-speed Automatic w/Ecoboost)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 22/31 mpg

2016 Toyota RAV4 (2.5L 4-cyl. 6-speed Automatic)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 24/31 mpg

2016 Toyota RAV4 (2.5L 4-cyl. AWD 6-speed Automatic)
FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 22/29 mpg
2mpg is still 2mpg

If you said 2mpg less efficient, then I wouldn't have needed to respond. ;)
I also think most cars from 2010 and earlier have a bigger difference in MPG between the AWD and FWD models, and since this is a list for smart people most 2016 cars should not be on the list

JLee

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #54 on: February 12, 2016, 01:10:28 PM »
I also think most cars from 2010 and earlier have a bigger difference in MPG between the AWD and FWD models, and since this is a list for smart people most 2016 cars should not be on the list




alsoknownasDean

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #55 on: February 19, 2016, 02:49:45 AM »
Realistically a '10 cars for smart people' list generally includes commonly available, reliable, inexpensive, reasonably small cars. While the cars are going to differ for each country, the general premise behind it is the same.

If the OP really lives in an area where a 4WD car with extra ground clearance (particularly the latter) makes a big difference, then surely something like a CR-V, Rav4 or a Subaru is likely to do the job better than a regular car. Maybe some of the other lesser-known versions are worth considering as well (Ford Escape, etc). That or a beater truck for winter driving and something else for the remainder of the year.

Making Cookies

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #56 on: February 24, 2016, 12:32:15 PM »
No, I remember when I bought my car all those years ago. There was 1 mpg penalty for the AWD and an additional 1-2 mpg penalty for the automatic transmission. I went for AWD 5MT. No trouble out of either systems at nearly 300K though I did replace the u-joints last year (?) for ~$60.

Drive whatever you like but I'm not going to sweat 1 mpg. To me it's splitting hairs. If I wanted to split hairs I'd point out that living in cold parts of the country are going to increase your fuel consumption and your home heating bill, dealing with frequent snows has a cost, switching from winter tires to summer tires has a cost, driving an automatic transmission has a cost, etc.

1 mpg to is the difference of 500 gallons over 300K miles. We make easy, different choices in other parts of my family's life that negates the cost of that fuel.

I'm not going to worry about whether I use this much toilet paper or that much toilet paper. That's about how important I see the difference between AWD and FWD week to week. ;)

Edited for clarity.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 12:42:16 PM by Jethrosnose »

Jeremy E.

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #57 on: February 24, 2016, 01:25:46 PM »
No, I remember when I bought my car all those years ago. There was 1 mpg penalty for the AWD and an additional 1-2 mpg penalty for the automatic transmission. I went for AWD 5MT. No trouble out of either systems at nearly 300K though I did replace the u-joints last year (?) for ~$60.

Drive whatever you like but I'm not going to sweat 1 mpg. To me it's splitting hairs. If I wanted to split hairs I'd point out that living in cold parts of the country are going to increase your fuel consumption and your home heating bill, dealing with frequent snows has a cost, switching from winter tires to summer tires has a cost, driving an automatic transmission has a cost, etc.

1 mpg to is the difference of 500 gallons over 300K miles. We make easy, different choices in other parts of my family's life that negates the cost of that fuel.

I'm not going to worry about whether I use this much toilet paper or that much toilet paper. That's about how important I see the difference between AWD and FWD week to week. ;)

Edited for clarity.
Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well

Making Cookies

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #58 on: March 06, 2016, 08:24:06 PM »
No, I remember when I bought my car all those years ago. There was 1 mpg penalty for the AWD and an additional 1-2 mpg penalty for the automatic transmission. I went for AWD 5MT. No trouble out of either systems at nearly 300K though I did replace the u-joints last year (?) for ~$60.

Drive whatever you like but I'm not going to sweat 1 mpg. To me it's splitting hairs. If I wanted to split hairs I'd point out that living in cold parts of the country are going to increase your fuel consumption and your home heating bill, dealing with frequent snows has a cost, switching from winter tires to summer tires has a cost, driving an automatic transmission has a cost, etc.

1 mpg to is the difference of 500 gallons over 300K miles. We make easy, different choices in other parts of my family's life that negates the cost of that fuel.

I'm not going to worry about whether I use this much toilet paper or that much toilet paper. That's about how important I see the difference between AWD and FWD week to week. ;)

Edited for clarity.
Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well

I'll disagree with you again. I got 81,000 miles out of my last set of miles. AWD likes fresh rear diff oil every 50K miles or so. That costs me about $20 or so. Needs new universal joints every 275K miles (that's how long the original set lasted). Rear axles are still original as we approach 300K miles. MPG penalty for AWD is ~1 mpg on my brand vehicle. About the same for choosing an automatic vs a manual transmission. I went with the 5MT.

I'm guessing the average car owner that discards their vehicles long before 250K would never see any maintenance or repairs except perhaps rear diff oil during their ownership.

So if anyone doesn't want AWD - I get it. Enjoy. I just don't see alot of reoccurring costs to driving AWD at least with the brand we bought many years ago now.

Jeremy E.

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #59 on: March 07, 2016, 07:57:46 AM »
No, I remember when I bought my car all those years ago. There was 1 mpg penalty for the AWD and an additional 1-2 mpg penalty for the automatic transmission. I went for AWD 5MT. No trouble out of either systems at nearly 300K though I did replace the u-joints last year (?) for ~$60.

Drive whatever you like but I'm not going to sweat 1 mpg. To me it's splitting hairs. If I wanted to split hairs I'd point out that living in cold parts of the country are going to increase your fuel consumption and your home heating bill, dealing with frequent snows has a cost, switching from winter tires to summer tires has a cost, driving an automatic transmission has a cost, etc.

1 mpg to is the difference of 500 gallons over 300K miles. We make easy, different choices in other parts of my family's life that negates the cost of that fuel.

I'm not going to worry about whether I use this much toilet paper or that much toilet paper. That's about how important I see the difference between AWD and FWD week to week. ;)

Edited for clarity.
Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well

I'll disagree with you again. I got 81,000 miles out of my last set of miles. AWD likes fresh rear diff oil every 50K miles or so. That costs me about $20 or so. Needs new universal joints every 275K miles (that's how long the original set lasted). Rear axles are still original as we approach 300K miles. MPG penalty for AWD is ~1 mpg on my brand vehicle. About the same for choosing an automatic vs a manual transmission. I went with the 5MT.

I'm guessing the average car owner that discards their vehicles long before 250K would never see any maintenance or repairs except perhaps rear diff oil during their ownership.

So if anyone doesn't want AWD - I get it. Enjoy. I just don't see alot of reoccurring costs to driving AWD at least with the brand we bought many years ago now.
AWD is great, I would prefer it over FWD. However FWD is much cheaper.

A used 2010 Nissan Versa Hatchback with 60,000 miles can be had for $6,500.
Can you get any 2010 AWD hatchbacks with only 60,000 miles for $6,500?

JLee

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #60 on: March 07, 2016, 08:15:18 AM »
No, I remember when I bought my car all those years ago. There was 1 mpg penalty for the AWD and an additional 1-2 mpg penalty for the automatic transmission. I went for AWD 5MT. No trouble out of either systems at nearly 300K though I did replace the u-joints last year (?) for ~$60.

Drive whatever you like but I'm not going to sweat 1 mpg. To me it's splitting hairs. If I wanted to split hairs I'd point out that living in cold parts of the country are going to increase your fuel consumption and your home heating bill, dealing with frequent snows has a cost, switching from winter tires to summer tires has a cost, driving an automatic transmission has a cost, etc.

1 mpg to is the difference of 500 gallons over 300K miles. We make easy, different choices in other parts of my family's life that negates the cost of that fuel.

I'm not going to worry about whether I use this much toilet paper or that much toilet paper. That's about how important I see the difference between AWD and FWD week to week. ;)

Edited for clarity.
Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well

I'll disagree with you again. I got 81,000 miles out of my last set of miles. AWD likes fresh rear diff oil every 50K miles or so. That costs me about $20 or so. Needs new universal joints every 275K miles (that's how long the original set lasted). Rear axles are still original as we approach 300K miles. MPG penalty for AWD is ~1 mpg on my brand vehicle. About the same for choosing an automatic vs a manual transmission. I went with the 5MT.

I'm guessing the average car owner that discards their vehicles long before 250K would never see any maintenance or repairs except perhaps rear diff oil during their ownership.

So if anyone doesn't want AWD - I get it. Enjoy. I just don't see alot of reoccurring costs to driving AWD at least with the brand we bought many years ago now.
AWD is great, I would prefer it over FWD. However FWD is much cheaper.

A used 2010 Nissan Versa Hatchback with 60,000 miles can be had for $6,500.
Can you get any 2010 AWD hatchbacks with only 60,000 miles for $6,500?

Since your previous assertions about the costs of AWD have been disproven, now we're going to talk about a different vehicle altogether and just throw out all relevant comparisons?  That hardly seems reasonable.

Jeremy E.

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #61 on: March 07, 2016, 09:28:30 AM »
No, I remember when I bought my car all those years ago. There was 1 mpg penalty for the AWD and an additional 1-2 mpg penalty for the automatic transmission. I went for AWD 5MT. No trouble out of either systems at nearly 300K though I did replace the u-joints last year (?) for ~$60.

Drive whatever you like but I'm not going to sweat 1 mpg. To me it's splitting hairs. If I wanted to split hairs I'd point out that living in cold parts of the country are going to increase your fuel consumption and your home heating bill, dealing with frequent snows has a cost, switching from winter tires to summer tires has a cost, driving an automatic transmission has a cost, etc.

1 mpg to is the difference of 500 gallons over 300K miles. We make easy, different choices in other parts of my family's life that negates the cost of that fuel.

I'm not going to worry about whether I use this much toilet paper or that much toilet paper. That's about how important I see the difference between AWD and FWD week to week. ;)

Edited for clarity.
Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well

I'll disagree with you again. I got 81,000 miles out of my last set of miles. AWD likes fresh rear diff oil every 50K miles or so. That costs me about $20 or so. Needs new universal joints every 275K miles (that's how long the original set lasted). Rear axles are still original as we approach 300K miles. MPG penalty for AWD is ~1 mpg on my brand vehicle. About the same for choosing an automatic vs a manual transmission. I went with the 5MT.

I'm guessing the average car owner that discards their vehicles long before 250K would never see any maintenance or repairs except perhaps rear diff oil during their ownership.

So if anyone doesn't want AWD - I get it. Enjoy. I just don't see alot of reoccurring costs to driving AWD at least with the brand we bought many years ago now.
AWD is great, I would prefer it over FWD. However FWD is much cheaper.

A used 2010 Nissan Versa Hatchback with 60,000 miles can be had for $6,500.
Can you get any 2010 AWD hatchbacks with only 60,000 miles for $6,500?

Since your previous assertions about the costs of AWD have been disproven, now we're going to talk about a different vehicle altogether and just throw out all relevant comparisons?  That hardly seems reasonable.
My previous post was
"Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well"
I'm still talking about MSRP, I still say tires will go bad faster, there is still potential AWD costs that wouldn't exist in a FWD, and the MPG is still better in a FWD.

JordanOfGilead

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #62 on: March 07, 2016, 11:00:33 AM »
No, I remember when I bought my car all those years ago. There was 1 mpg penalty for the AWD and an additional 1-2 mpg penalty for the automatic transmission. I went for AWD 5MT. No trouble out of either systems at nearly 300K though I did replace the u-joints last year (?) for ~$60.

Drive whatever you like but I'm not going to sweat 1 mpg. To me it's splitting hairs. If I wanted to split hairs I'd point out that living in cold parts of the country are going to increase your fuel consumption and your home heating bill, dealing with frequent snows has a cost, switching from winter tires to summer tires has a cost, driving an automatic transmission has a cost, etc.

1 mpg to is the difference of 500 gallons over 300K miles. We make easy, different choices in other parts of my family's life that negates the cost of that fuel.

I'm not going to worry about whether I use this much toilet paper or that much toilet paper. That's about how important I see the difference between AWD and FWD week to week. ;)

Edited for clarity.
Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well

I'll disagree with you again. I got 81,000 miles out of my last set of miles. AWD likes fresh rear diff oil every 50K miles or so. That costs me about $20 or so. Needs new universal joints every 275K miles (that's how long the original set lasted). Rear axles are still original as we approach 300K miles. MPG penalty for AWD is ~1 mpg on my brand vehicle. About the same for choosing an automatic vs a manual transmission. I went with the 5MT.

I'm guessing the average car owner that discards their vehicles long before 250K would never see any maintenance or repairs except perhaps rear diff oil during their ownership.

So if anyone doesn't want AWD - I get it. Enjoy. I just don't see alot of reoccurring costs to driving AWD at least with the brand we bought many years ago now.
AWD is great, I would prefer it over FWD. However FWD is much cheaper.

A used 2010 Nissan Versa Hatchback with 60,000 miles can be had for $6,500.
Can you get any 2010 AWD hatchbacks with only 60,000 miles for $6,500?

Since your previous assertions about the costs of AWD have been disproven, now we're going to talk about a different vehicle altogether and just throw out all relevant comparisons?  That hardly seems reasonable.
My previous post was
"Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well"
I'm still talking about MSRP, I still say tires will go bad faster, there is still potential AWD costs that wouldn't exist in a FWD, and the MPG is still better in a FWD.
Just because you "say" tires will go bad faster does not make it true. Unless you have locking differentials and are regularly driving your car like you're on a racetrack (i.e. burnouts/tire squeal/breaking traction) there is no reason that an awd platform would wear out tires faster than a fwd or rwd one. It was already stated that the difference in MPG can be negated in most models by opting for a manual as opposed to an automatic transmission, and a base model Subaru impreza ($18.2k MSRP) falls in between the price for a base model ford focus ($17.2k) and the lowest trim level available on a civic sedan ($18.6k). Those are numbers from the manufacturer websites taken today for the 2016 models. AWD isn't necessarily more expensive than FWD, manufacturers have just been adding awd as an "option" on previously fwd or rwd only platforms and charging more for it because it's part of a higher trim package. So no, MSRP on an AWD model of a comparable vehicle is not "probably" $2000 more, it's pretty much average price for vehicles in that class, depending on which manufacturer you choose.
Additionally, the imppreza is probably closer in size to the accord or fusion, meaning it actually costs LESS than its competitors AND is an awd vehicle.
The only valid argument you have is "more moving parts require more maintenance [sometimes]" which has been previously pointed out as only being necessary every 50,000 miles or so if you follow the maintenance handbook provided by the manufacturer.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 11:02:10 AM by JordanOfGilead »

Jeremy E.

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #63 on: March 07, 2016, 12:02:27 PM »
No, I remember when I bought my car all those years ago. There was 1 mpg penalty for the AWD and an additional 1-2 mpg penalty for the automatic transmission. I went for AWD 5MT. No trouble out of either systems at nearly 300K though I did replace the u-joints last year (?) for ~$60.

Drive whatever you like but I'm not going to sweat 1 mpg. To me it's splitting hairs. If I wanted to split hairs I'd point out that living in cold parts of the country are going to increase your fuel consumption and your home heating bill, dealing with frequent snows has a cost, switching from winter tires to summer tires has a cost, driving an automatic transmission has a cost, etc.

1 mpg to is the difference of 500 gallons over 300K miles. We make easy, different choices in other parts of my family's life that negates the cost of that fuel.

I'm not going to worry about whether I use this much toilet paper or that much toilet paper. That's about how important I see the difference between AWD and FWD week to week. ;)

Edited for clarity.
Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well

I'll disagree with you again. I got 81,000 miles out of my last set of miles. AWD likes fresh rear diff oil every 50K miles or so. That costs me about $20 or so. Needs new universal joints every 275K miles (that's how long the original set lasted). Rear axles are still original as we approach 300K miles. MPG penalty for AWD is ~1 mpg on my brand vehicle. About the same for choosing an automatic vs a manual transmission. I went with the 5MT.

I'm guessing the average car owner that discards their vehicles long before 250K would never see any maintenance or repairs except perhaps rear diff oil during their ownership.

So if anyone doesn't want AWD - I get it. Enjoy. I just don't see alot of reoccurring costs to driving AWD at least with the brand we bought many years ago now.
AWD is great, I would prefer it over FWD. However FWD is much cheaper.

A used 2010 Nissan Versa Hatchback with 60,000 miles can be had for $6,500.
Can you get any 2010 AWD hatchbacks with only 60,000 miles for $6,500?

Since your previous assertions about the costs of AWD have been disproven, now we're going to talk about a different vehicle altogether and just throw out all relevant comparisons?  That hardly seems reasonable.
My previous post was
"Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well"
I'm still talking about MSRP, I still say tires will go bad faster, there is still potential AWD costs that wouldn't exist in a FWD, and the MPG is still better in a FWD.
Just because you "say" tires will go bad faster does not make it true. Unless you have locking differentials and are regularly driving your car like you're on a racetrack (i.e. burnouts/tire squeal/breaking traction) there is no reason that an awd platform would wear out tires faster than a fwd or rwd one. It was already stated that the difference in MPG can be negated in most models by opting for a manual as opposed to an automatic transmission, and a base model Subaru impreza ($18.2k MSRP) falls in between the price for a base model ford focus ($17.2k) and the lowest trim level available on a civic sedan ($18.6k). Those are numbers from the manufacturer websites taken today for the 2016 models. AWD isn't necessarily more expensive than FWD, manufacturers have just been adding awd as an "option" on previously fwd or rwd only platforms and charging more for it because it's part of a higher trim package. So no, MSRP on an AWD model of a comparable vehicle is not "probably" $2000 more, it's pretty much average price for vehicles in that class, depending on which manufacturer you choose.
Additionally, the imppreza is probably closer in size to the accord or fusion, meaning it actually costs LESS than its competitors AND is an awd vehicle.
The only valid argument you have is "more moving parts require more maintenance [sometimes]" which has been previously pointed out as only being necessary every 50,000 miles or so if you follow the maintenance handbook provided by the manufacturer.
Even with tire rotation, you will often have some tires going bad before others. With an AWD you are supposed to replace all 4 tires at the same time, rather than merely replace 2.
This is a list of 10 cars for smart people, the Nissan Versa should be on the list, but I can't think of any AWD cars that should make the list. I believe you are saying you can't find a 2010 AWD hatchback with only 60,000 miles in very good condition for $6,500. Something like a 2012 Subaru Impreza MIGHT be able to make the list towards #10 or so, but there will be a lot of better options in front of it. Also, I don't understand why people keep saying AWD MPG can be negated by switching to a manual transmission, manual transmissions are available in FWD cars as well believe it or not.

Jack

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #64 on: March 07, 2016, 01:51:37 PM »
...A base model Subaru impreza ($18.2k MSRP) falls in between the price for a base model ford focus ($17.2k) and the lowest trim level available on a civic sedan ($18.6k). Those are numbers from the manufacturer websites taken today for the 2016 models. AWD isn't necessarily more expensive than FWD, manufacturers have just been adding awd as an "option" on previously fwd or rwd only platforms and charging more for it because it's part of a higher trim package. So no, MSRP on an AWD model of a comparable vehicle is not "probably" $2000 more, it's pretty much average price for vehicles in that class, depending on which manufacturer you choose.
Additionally, the imppreza is probably closer in size to the accord or fusion, meaning it actually costs LESS than its competitors AND is an awd vehicle.


Earlier in the thread, I claimed that the price premium for 4WD persisted even in used cars. In particular, three years ago the cheapest small 4x4 truck I could find in reasonable condition was a 1996 Ford Ranger regular-cab 4x4, inline-4, 5-speed manual truck that cost $3100 when an otherwise-identical 2WD version could have been found for $1500 or less.

JordanOfGilead

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #65 on: March 08, 2016, 06:42:06 AM »
No, I remember when I bought my car all those years ago. There was 1 mpg penalty for the AWD and an additional 1-2 mpg penalty for the automatic transmission. I went for AWD 5MT. No trouble out of either systems at nearly 300K though I did replace the u-joints last year (?) for ~$60.

Drive whatever you like but I'm not going to sweat 1 mpg. To me it's splitting hairs. If I wanted to split hairs I'd point out that living in cold parts of the country are going to increase your fuel consumption and your home heating bill, dealing with frequent snows has a cost, switching from winter tires to summer tires has a cost, driving an automatic transmission has a cost, etc.

1 mpg to is the difference of 500 gallons over 300K miles. We make easy, different choices in other parts of my family's life that negates the cost of that fuel.

I'm not going to worry about whether I use this much toilet paper or that much toilet paper. That's about how important I see the difference between AWD and FWD week to week. ;)

Edited for clarity.
Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well

I'll disagree with you again. I got 81,000 miles out of my last set of miles. AWD likes fresh rear diff oil every 50K miles or so. That costs me about $20 or so. Needs new universal joints every 275K miles (that's how long the original set lasted). Rear axles are still original as we approach 300K miles. MPG penalty for AWD is ~1 mpg on my brand vehicle. About the same for choosing an automatic vs a manual transmission. I went with the 5MT.

I'm guessing the average car owner that discards their vehicles long before 250K would never see any maintenance or repairs except perhaps rear diff oil during their ownership.

So if anyone doesn't want AWD - I get it. Enjoy. I just don't see alot of reoccurring costs to driving AWD at least with the brand we bought many years ago now.
AWD is great, I would prefer it over FWD. However FWD is much cheaper.

A used 2010 Nissan Versa Hatchback with 60,000 miles can be had for $6,500.
Can you get any 2010 AWD hatchbacks with only 60,000 miles for $6,500?

Since your previous assertions about the costs of AWD have been disproven, now we're going to talk about a different vehicle altogether and just throw out all relevant comparisons?  That hardly seems reasonable.
My previous post was
"Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well"
I'm still talking about MSRP, I still say tires will go bad faster, there is still potential AWD costs that wouldn't exist in a FWD, and the MPG is still better in a FWD.
Just because you "say" tires will go bad faster does not make it true. Unless you have locking differentials and are regularly driving your car like you're on a racetrack (i.e. burnouts/tire squeal/breaking traction) there is no reason that an awd platform would wear out tires faster than a fwd or rwd one. It was already stated that the difference in MPG can be negated in most models by opting for a manual as opposed to an automatic transmission, and a base model Subaru impreza ($18.2k MSRP) falls in between the price for a base model ford focus ($17.2k) and the lowest trim level available on a civic sedan ($18.6k). Those are numbers from the manufacturer websites taken today for the 2016 models. AWD isn't necessarily more expensive than FWD, manufacturers have just been adding awd as an "option" on previously fwd or rwd only platforms and charging more for it because it's part of a higher trim package. So no, MSRP on an AWD model of a comparable vehicle is not "probably" $2000 more, it's pretty much average price for vehicles in that class, depending on which manufacturer you choose.
Additionally, the imppreza is probably closer in size to the accord or fusion, meaning it actually costs LESS than its competitors AND is an awd vehicle.
The only valid argument you have is "more moving parts require more maintenance [sometimes]" which has been previously pointed out as only being necessary every 50,000 miles or so if you follow the maintenance handbook provided by the manufacturer.
Even with tire rotation, you will often have some tires going bad before others. With an AWD you are supposed to replace all 4 tires at the same time, rather than merely replace 2.
This is a list of 10 cars for smart people, the Nissan Versa should be on the list, but I can't think of any AWD cars that should make the list. I believe you are saying you can't find a 2010 AWD hatchback with only 60,000 miles in very good condition for $6,500. Something like a 2012 Subaru Impreza MIGHT be able to make the list towards #10 or so, but there will be a lot of better options in front of it. Also, I don't understand why people keep saying AWD MPG can be negated by switching to a manual transmission, manual transmissions are available in FWD cars as well believe it or not.

Um ... you should never be only replacing two tires at a time. If you rotate properly every 5000 miles they will wear evenly (or at least at the same rate/in the same sections of the tires) and need replaced all at once. Even with a 2wd vehicle, as long as all of your tires are the same size the only real "excuse" for only replacing two is you're lazy (never rotated your tires) and can't afford 4 new ones. My wife worked at a shop and literally the only people that would come in with uneven tire wear were the ones that had an alignment issue or never rotated their tires, both of which can be avoided with proper regular maintenance applicable to any car.

Used AWD cars do tend to depreciate slower than new ones though, you've got me there.

Even if you got a fwd manual, you're only looking at 2mpg difference on average. If we are assuming a fwd manual gets 30mpg, that would mean an awd auto gets 28, SOMETIMES (have to keep in mind that with brand new cars, a lot of automatic transmissions are as efficient as or more efficient than their manual counterparts). If we assume a 10gal tank (for the sake of easy math) this would give us 300 miles per tank in the fwd mt and 280 miles per tank in the awd at. If you drive a slightly-more-mustachian-than-average 10k miles per year (again, for easy math, but also not unreasonable), you would buy 333.3333 gal of gas per year in the fwd mt and 357.1429gal in the awd at. That's a difference of 23.8096 gallons per year. If we assume an above-current-market price of $2.5/gal that is a $60 ($59.5239) per year difference. You would have to fill up slightly more than two additional times PER YEAR. Most people would see variations that exceed that in their utilities or medical expenses from one year to the next. $60/year is $5/month and is negligible to the vast majority of people, mustachians included. We are quibbling over pennies when there are much bigger mistakes to make when buying a car than choosing awd over fwd (such as a v6 or v8 as opposed to a fuel-efficient 4-cyl, or choosing a heavy and aerodynamically inefficient pickup/suv over a smaller car).

JordanOfGilead

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #66 on: March 08, 2016, 06:48:33 AM »
...A base model Subaru impreza ($18.2k MSRP) falls in between the price for a base model ford focus ($17.2k) and the lowest trim level available on a civic sedan ($18.6k). Those are numbers from the manufacturer websites taken today for the 2016 models. AWD isn't necessarily more expensive than FWD, manufacturers have just been adding awd as an "option" on previously fwd or rwd only platforms and charging more for it because it's part of a higher trim package. So no, MSRP on an AWD model of a comparable vehicle is not "probably" $2000 more, it's pretty much average price for vehicles in that class, depending on which manufacturer you choose.
Additionally, the imppreza is probably closer in size to the accord or fusion, meaning it actually costs LESS than its competitors AND is an awd vehicle.


Earlier in the thread, I claimed that the price premium for 4WD persisted even in used cars. In particular, three years ago the cheapest small 4x4 truck I could find in reasonable condition was a 1996 Ford Ranger regular-cab 4x4, inline-4, 5-speed manual truck that cost $3100 when an otherwise-identical 2WD version could have been found for $1500 or less.
4wd in a pickup is a different system from AWD in an suv/crossover/family sedan and 4wd pickups are more expensive mostly because the people they are selling to are willing to pay more for 4wd (that they will likely never need) in a truck just so that they can say they have it. Apples-to-apples, awd cars and crossovers tend to be roughly the same price as their 2wd competitors. Pickups are more of a situational item, and honestly don't have much reason to be on a "cars" for smart people list since the only time they would be necessary is in a unique circumstance where their utility would make more money than their efficiency would lose (on a farm, as a landscaper, etc.).

Jeremy E.

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #67 on: March 08, 2016, 07:13:30 AM »
No, I remember when I bought my car all those years ago. There was 1 mpg penalty for the AWD and an additional 1-2 mpg penalty for the automatic transmission. I went for AWD 5MT. No trouble out of either systems at nearly 300K though I did replace the u-joints last year (?) for ~$60.

Drive whatever you like but I'm not going to sweat 1 mpg. To me it's splitting hairs. If I wanted to split hairs I'd point out that living in cold parts of the country are going to increase your fuel consumption and your home heating bill, dealing with frequent snows has a cost, switching from winter tires to summer tires has a cost, driving an automatic transmission has a cost, etc.

1 mpg to is the difference of 500 gallons over 300K miles. We make easy, different choices in other parts of my family's life that negates the cost of that fuel.

I'm not going to worry about whether I use this much toilet paper or that much toilet paper. That's about how important I see the difference between AWD and FWD week to week. ;)

Edited for clarity.
Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well

I'll disagree with you again. I got 81,000 miles out of my last set of miles. AWD likes fresh rear diff oil every 50K miles or so. That costs me about $20 or so. Needs new universal joints every 275K miles (that's how long the original set lasted). Rear axles are still original as we approach 300K miles. MPG penalty for AWD is ~1 mpg on my brand vehicle. About the same for choosing an automatic vs a manual transmission. I went with the 5MT.

I'm guessing the average car owner that discards their vehicles long before 250K would never see any maintenance or repairs except perhaps rear diff oil during their ownership.

So if anyone doesn't want AWD - I get it. Enjoy. I just don't see alot of reoccurring costs to driving AWD at least with the brand we bought many years ago now.
AWD is great, I would prefer it over FWD. However FWD is much cheaper.

A used 2010 Nissan Versa Hatchback with 60,000 miles can be had for $6,500.
Can you get any 2010 AWD hatchbacks with only 60,000 miles for $6,500?

Since your previous assertions about the costs of AWD have been disproven, now we're going to talk about a different vehicle altogether and just throw out all relevant comparisons?  That hardly seems reasonable.
My previous post was
"Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well"
I'm still talking about MSRP, I still say tires will go bad faster, there is still potential AWD costs that wouldn't exist in a FWD, and the MPG is still better in a FWD.
Just because you "say" tires will go bad faster does not make it true. Unless you have locking differentials and are regularly driving your car like you're on a racetrack (i.e. burnouts/tire squeal/breaking traction) there is no reason that an awd platform would wear out tires faster than a fwd or rwd one. It was already stated that the difference in MPG can be negated in most models by opting for a manual as opposed to an automatic transmission, and a base model Subaru impreza ($18.2k MSRP) falls in between the price for a base model ford focus ($17.2k) and the lowest trim level available on a civic sedan ($18.6k). Those are numbers from the manufacturer websites taken today for the 2016 models. AWD isn't necessarily more expensive than FWD, manufacturers have just been adding awd as an "option" on previously fwd or rwd only platforms and charging more for it because it's part of a higher trim package. So no, MSRP on an AWD model of a comparable vehicle is not "probably" $2000 more, it's pretty much average price for vehicles in that class, depending on which manufacturer you choose.
Additionally, the imppreza is probably closer in size to the accord or fusion, meaning it actually costs LESS than its competitors AND is an awd vehicle.
The only valid argument you have is "more moving parts require more maintenance [sometimes]" which has been previously pointed out as only being necessary every 50,000 miles or so if you follow the maintenance handbook provided by the manufacturer.
Even with tire rotation, you will often have some tires going bad before others. With an AWD you are supposed to replace all 4 tires at the same time, rather than merely replace 2.
This is a list of 10 cars for smart people, the Nissan Versa should be on the list, but I can't think of any AWD cars that should make the list. I believe you are saying you can't find a 2010 AWD hatchback with only 60,000 miles in very good condition for $6,500. Something like a 2012 Subaru Impreza MIGHT be able to make the list towards #10 or so, but there will be a lot of better options in front of it. Also, I don't understand why people keep saying AWD MPG can be negated by switching to a manual transmission, manual transmissions are available in FWD cars as well believe it or not.

Um ... you should never be only replacing two tires at a time. If you rotate properly every 5000 miles they will wear evenly (or at least at the same rate/in the same sections of the tires) and need replaced all at once. Even with a 2wd vehicle, as long as all of your tires are the same size the only real "excuse" for only replacing two is you're lazy (never rotated your tires) and can't afford 4 new ones. My wife worked at a shop and literally the only people that would come in with uneven tire wear were the ones that had an alignment issue or never rotated their tires, both of which can be avoided with proper regular maintenance applicable to any car.

Used AWD cars do tend to depreciate slower than new ones though, you've got me there.

Even if you got a fwd manual, you're only looking at 2mpg difference on average. If we are assuming a fwd manual gets 30mpg, that would mean an awd auto gets 28, SOMETIMES (have to keep in mind that with brand new cars, a lot of automatic transmissions are as efficient as or more efficient than their manual counterparts). If we assume a 10gal tank (for the sake of easy math) this would give us 300 miles per tank in the fwd mt and 280 miles per tank in the awd at. If you drive a slightly-more-mustachian-than-average 10k miles per year (again, for easy math, but also not unreasonable), you would buy 333.3333 gal of gas per year in the fwd mt and 357.1429gal in the awd at. That's a difference of 23.8096 gallons per year. If we assume an above-current-market price of $2.5/gal that is a $60 ($59.5239) per year difference. You would have to fill up slightly more than two additional times PER YEAR. Most people would see variations that exceed that in their utilities or medical expenses from one year to the next. $60/year is $5/month and is negligible to the vast majority of people, mustachians included. We are quibbling over pennies when there are much bigger mistakes to make when buying a car than choosing awd over fwd (such as a v6 or v8 as opposed to a fuel-efficient 4-cyl, or choosing a heavy and aerodynamically inefficient pickup/suv over a smaller car).
There are times when 2 of your tires still have a lot of tread when you only need to replace 2. No need to replace all 4 and throw away 2 tires that still have some use. Tires are very bad for the environment. I only rotate the tires on my girlfriends car every 7500 miles per the manual. Name an AWD car that you think should be on this list, and we'll see if I can name 10 FWD cars that are more mustachian.

JordanOfGilead

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #68 on: March 08, 2016, 07:47:06 AM »
No, I remember when I bought my car all those years ago. There was 1 mpg penalty for the AWD and an additional 1-2 mpg penalty for the automatic transmission. I went for AWD 5MT. No trouble out of either systems at nearly 300K though I did replace the u-joints last year (?) for ~$60.

Drive whatever you like but I'm not going to sweat 1 mpg. To me it's splitting hairs. If I wanted to split hairs I'd point out that living in cold parts of the country are going to increase your fuel consumption and your home heating bill, dealing with frequent snows has a cost, switching from winter tires to summer tires has a cost, driving an automatic transmission has a cost, etc.

1 mpg to is the difference of 500 gallons over 300K miles. We make easy, different choices in other parts of my family's life that negates the cost of that fuel.

I'm not going to worry about whether I use this much toilet paper or that much toilet paper. That's about how important I see the difference between AWD and FWD week to week. ;)

Edited for clarity.
Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well

I'll disagree with you again. I got 81,000 miles out of my last set of miles. AWD likes fresh rear diff oil every 50K miles or so. That costs me about $20 or so. Needs new universal joints every 275K miles (that's how long the original set lasted). Rear axles are still original as we approach 300K miles. MPG penalty for AWD is ~1 mpg on my brand vehicle. About the same for choosing an automatic vs a manual transmission. I went with the 5MT.

I'm guessing the average car owner that discards their vehicles long before 250K would never see any maintenance or repairs except perhaps rear diff oil during their ownership.

So if anyone doesn't want AWD - I get it. Enjoy. I just don't see alot of reoccurring costs to driving AWD at least with the brand we bought many years ago now.
AWD is great, I would prefer it over FWD. However FWD is much cheaper.

A used 2010 Nissan Versa Hatchback with 60,000 miles can be had for $6,500.
Can you get any 2010 AWD hatchbacks with only 60,000 miles for $6,500?

Since your previous assertions about the costs of AWD have been disproven, now we're going to talk about a different vehicle altogether and just throw out all relevant comparisons?  That hardly seems reasonable.
My previous post was
"Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well"
I'm still talking about MSRP, I still say tires will go bad faster, there is still potential AWD costs that wouldn't exist in a FWD, and the MPG is still better in a FWD.
Just because you "say" tires will go bad faster does not make it true. Unless you have locking differentials and are regularly driving your car like you're on a racetrack (i.e. burnouts/tire squeal/breaking traction) there is no reason that an awd platform would wear out tires faster than a fwd or rwd one. It was already stated that the difference in MPG can be negated in most models by opting for a manual as opposed to an automatic transmission, and a base model Subaru impreza ($18.2k MSRP) falls in between the price for a base model ford focus ($17.2k) and the lowest trim level available on a civic sedan ($18.6k). Those are numbers from the manufacturer websites taken today for the 2016 models. AWD isn't necessarily more expensive than FWD, manufacturers have just been adding awd as an "option" on previously fwd or rwd only platforms and charging more for it because it's part of a higher trim package. So no, MSRP on an AWD model of a comparable vehicle is not "probably" $2000 more, it's pretty much average price for vehicles in that class, depending on which manufacturer you choose.
Additionally, the imppreza is probably closer in size to the accord or fusion, meaning it actually costs LESS than its competitors AND is an awd vehicle.
The only valid argument you have is "more moving parts require more maintenance [sometimes]" which has been previously pointed out as only being necessary every 50,000 miles or so if you follow the maintenance handbook provided by the manufacturer.
Even with tire rotation, you will often have some tires going bad before others. With an AWD you are supposed to replace all 4 tires at the same time, rather than merely replace 2.
This is a list of 10 cars for smart people, the Nissan Versa should be on the list, but I can't think of any AWD cars that should make the list. I believe you are saying you can't find a 2010 AWD hatchback with only 60,000 miles in very good condition for $6,500. Something like a 2012 Subaru Impreza MIGHT be able to make the list towards #10 or so, but there will be a lot of better options in front of it. Also, I don't understand why people keep saying AWD MPG can be negated by switching to a manual transmission, manual transmissions are available in FWD cars as well believe it or not.

Um ... you should never be only replacing two tires at a time. If you rotate properly every 5000 miles they will wear evenly (or at least at the same rate/in the same sections of the tires) and need replaced all at once. Even with a 2wd vehicle, as long as all of your tires are the same size the only real "excuse" for only replacing two is you're lazy (never rotated your tires) and can't afford 4 new ones. My wife worked at a shop and literally the only people that would come in with uneven tire wear were the ones that had an alignment issue or never rotated their tires, both of which can be avoided with proper regular maintenance applicable to any car.

Used AWD cars do tend to depreciate slower than new ones though, you've got me there.

Even if you got a fwd manual, you're only looking at 2mpg difference on average. If we are assuming a fwd manual gets 30mpg, that would mean an awd auto gets 28, SOMETIMES (have to keep in mind that with brand new cars, a lot of automatic transmissions are as efficient as or more efficient than their manual counterparts). If we assume a 10gal tank (for the sake of easy math) this would give us 300 miles per tank in the fwd mt and 280 miles per tank in the awd at. If you drive a slightly-more-mustachian-than-average 10k miles per year (again, for easy math, but also not unreasonable), you would buy 333.3333 gal of gas per year in the fwd mt and 357.1429gal in the awd at. That's a difference of 23.8096 gallons per year. If we assume an above-current-market price of $2.5/gal that is a $60 ($59.5239) per year difference. You would have to fill up slightly more than two additional times PER YEAR. Most people would see variations that exceed that in their utilities or medical expenses from one year to the next. $60/year is $5/month and is negligible to the vast majority of people, mustachians included. We are quibbling over pennies when there are much bigger mistakes to make when buying a car than choosing awd over fwd (such as a v6 or v8 as opposed to a fuel-efficient 4-cyl, or choosing a heavy and aerodynamically inefficient pickup/suv over a smaller car).
There are times when 2 of your tires still have a lot of tread when you only need to replace 2. No need to replace all 4 and throw away 2 tires that still have some use. Tires are very bad for the environment. I only rotate the tires on my girlfriends car every 7500 miles per the manual. Name an AWD car that you think should be on this list, and we'll see if I can name 10 FWD cars that are more mustachian.
If you have two tires seeing excessively more wear than the other two, are they on the same side of the car or are they both on the front/back? If you don't have directional tires, you should cross the rear ones when you rotate them to the front to save from left or right side wear bias caused by repeated driving patterns. If the two that wear faster are on the front or back, then the rotation intervals are either inconsistent or the driving style is abusive. If properly rotated, a set of tires should be able to last well in excess of 60-70,000 miles and all four should need replaced at the same time.

If we are talking new cars, everything by Subaru is comparable to the cars in the same class from other manufacturers, as I cited above, and all Subaru vehicles (with the exception of the Subaru/Toyota GT86/fr-s/br-z) are AWD. I will concede that you will have to get a car that is slightly older/higher miles if you want a used awd for the same price as fwd, since they tend to hold value longer. I STILL maintain that awd with the proper set of tires gives the driver better ability to control their vehicle than fwd does. If the shopper lives in an area with unpaved roads or where it frequently snows heavily, then awd might be a better choice for that individual. There is a reason WRC (World Rally Championship) cars are mostly AWD, after all.

FYI, the kbb price of a 2010 Subaru impreza base model with 60k miles in a private party transaction is about $10,000 so you've got me there. The only reason not to pick an awd car over a fwd car is the used price, but one could also argue that because the cars depreciate slower, you will get more out of it when you go to sell it.

I don't think the slower rate of depreciation is a good enough reason to entirely exclude AWD from the list though. The new prices are comparable, the difference in fuel economy and maintenance cost over the lifetime of the car are near negligible assuming proper maintenance intervals, and inclement weather capabilities are (arguably, assuming the proper tires) improved with awd. Since mustachians are theoretically only supposed to use cars as an absolute last resort, there is no reason a 2005 impreza with 150k miles (which goes for about $4,000 in my area) isn't a smart choice.

Jeremy E.

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #69 on: March 08, 2016, 08:06:30 AM »
No, I remember when I bought my car all those years ago. There was 1 mpg penalty for the AWD and an additional 1-2 mpg penalty for the automatic transmission. I went for AWD 5MT. No trouble out of either systems at nearly 300K though I did replace the u-joints last year (?) for ~$60.

Drive whatever you like but I'm not going to sweat 1 mpg. To me it's splitting hairs. If I wanted to split hairs I'd point out that living in cold parts of the country are going to increase your fuel consumption and your home heating bill, dealing with frequent snows has a cost, switching from winter tires to summer tires has a cost, driving an automatic transmission has a cost, etc.

1 mpg to is the difference of 500 gallons over 300K miles. We make easy, different choices in other parts of my family's life that negates the cost of that fuel.

I'm not going to worry about whether I use this much toilet paper or that much toilet paper. That's about how important I see the difference between AWD and FWD week to week. ;)

Edited for clarity.
Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well

I'll disagree with you again. I got 81,000 miles out of my last set of miles. AWD likes fresh rear diff oil every 50K miles or so. That costs me about $20 or so. Needs new universal joints every 275K miles (that's how long the original set lasted). Rear axles are still original as we approach 300K miles. MPG penalty for AWD is ~1 mpg on my brand vehicle. About the same for choosing an automatic vs a manual transmission. I went with the 5MT.

I'm guessing the average car owner that discards their vehicles long before 250K would never see any maintenance or repairs except perhaps rear diff oil during their ownership.

So if anyone doesn't want AWD - I get it. Enjoy. I just don't see alot of reoccurring costs to driving AWD at least with the brand we bought many years ago now.
AWD is great, I would prefer it over FWD. However FWD is much cheaper.

A used 2010 Nissan Versa Hatchback with 60,000 miles can be had for $6,500.
Can you get any 2010 AWD hatchbacks with only 60,000 miles for $6,500?

Since your previous assertions about the costs of AWD have been disproven, now we're going to talk about a different vehicle altogether and just throw out all relevant comparisons?  That hardly seems reasonable.
My previous post was
"Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well"
I'm still talking about MSRP, I still say tires will go bad faster, there is still potential AWD costs that wouldn't exist in a FWD, and the MPG is still better in a FWD.
Just because you "say" tires will go bad faster does not make it true. Unless you have locking differentials and are regularly driving your car like you're on a racetrack (i.e. burnouts/tire squeal/breaking traction) there is no reason that an awd platform would wear out tires faster than a fwd or rwd one. It was already stated that the difference in MPG can be negated in most models by opting for a manual as opposed to an automatic transmission, and a base model Subaru impreza ($18.2k MSRP) falls in between the price for a base model ford focus ($17.2k) and the lowest trim level available on a civic sedan ($18.6k). Those are numbers from the manufacturer websites taken today for the 2016 models. AWD isn't necessarily more expensive than FWD, manufacturers have just been adding awd as an "option" on previously fwd or rwd only platforms and charging more for it because it's part of a higher trim package. So no, MSRP on an AWD model of a comparable vehicle is not "probably" $2000 more, it's pretty much average price for vehicles in that class, depending on which manufacturer you choose.
Additionally, the imppreza is probably closer in size to the accord or fusion, meaning it actually costs LESS than its competitors AND is an awd vehicle.
The only valid argument you have is "more moving parts require more maintenance [sometimes]" which has been previously pointed out as only being necessary every 50,000 miles or so if you follow the maintenance handbook provided by the manufacturer.
Even with tire rotation, you will often have some tires going bad before others. With an AWD you are supposed to replace all 4 tires at the same time, rather than merely replace 2.
This is a list of 10 cars for smart people, the Nissan Versa should be on the list, but I can't think of any AWD cars that should make the list. I believe you are saying you can't find a 2010 AWD hatchback with only 60,000 miles in very good condition for $6,500. Something like a 2012 Subaru Impreza MIGHT be able to make the list towards #10 or so, but there will be a lot of better options in front of it. Also, I don't understand why people keep saying AWD MPG can be negated by switching to a manual transmission, manual transmissions are available in FWD cars as well believe it or not.

Um ... you should never be only replacing two tires at a time. If you rotate properly every 5000 miles they will wear evenly (or at least at the same rate/in the same sections of the tires) and need replaced all at once. Even with a 2wd vehicle, as long as all of your tires are the same size the only real "excuse" for only replacing two is you're lazy (never rotated your tires) and can't afford 4 new ones. My wife worked at a shop and literally the only people that would come in with uneven tire wear were the ones that had an alignment issue or never rotated their tires, both of which can be avoided with proper regular maintenance applicable to any car.

Used AWD cars do tend to depreciate slower than new ones though, you've got me there.

Even if you got a fwd manual, you're only looking at 2mpg difference on average. If we are assuming a fwd manual gets 30mpg, that would mean an awd auto gets 28, SOMETIMES (have to keep in mind that with brand new cars, a lot of automatic transmissions are as efficient as or more efficient than their manual counterparts). If we assume a 10gal tank (for the sake of easy math) this would give us 300 miles per tank in the fwd mt and 280 miles per tank in the awd at. If you drive a slightly-more-mustachian-than-average 10k miles per year (again, for easy math, but also not unreasonable), you would buy 333.3333 gal of gas per year in the fwd mt and 357.1429gal in the awd at. That's a difference of 23.8096 gallons per year. If we assume an above-current-market price of $2.5/gal that is a $60 ($59.5239) per year difference. You would have to fill up slightly more than two additional times PER YEAR. Most people would see variations that exceed that in their utilities or medical expenses from one year to the next. $60/year is $5/month and is negligible to the vast majority of people, mustachians included. We are quibbling over pennies when there are much bigger mistakes to make when buying a car than choosing awd over fwd (such as a v6 or v8 as opposed to a fuel-efficient 4-cyl, or choosing a heavy and aerodynamically inefficient pickup/suv over a smaller car).
There are times when 2 of your tires still have a lot of tread when you only need to replace 2. No need to replace all 4 and throw away 2 tires that still have some use. Tires are very bad for the environment. I only rotate the tires on my girlfriends car every 7500 miles per the manual. Name an AWD car that you think should be on this list, and we'll see if I can name 10 FWD cars that are more mustachian.
If you have two tires seeing excessively more wear than the other two, are they on the same side of the car or are they both on the front/back? If you don't have directional tires, you should cross the rear ones when you rotate them to the front to save from left or right side wear bias caused by repeated driving patterns. If the two that wear faster are on the front or back, then the rotation intervals are either inconsistent or the driving style is abusive. If properly rotated, a set of tires should be able to last well in excess of 60-70,000 miles and all four should need replaced at the same time.

If we are talking new cars, everything by Subaru is comparable to the cars in the same class from other manufacturers, as I cited above, and all Subaru vehicles (with the exception of the Subaru/Toyota GT86/fr-s/br-z) are AWD. I will concede that you will have to get a car that is slightly older/higher miles if you want a used awd for the same price as fwd, since they tend to hold value longer. I STILL maintain that awd with the proper set of tires gives the driver better ability to control their vehicle than fwd does. If the shopper lives in an area with unpaved roads or where it frequently snows heavily, then awd might be a better choice for that individual. There is a reason WRC (World Rally Championship) cars are mostly AWD, after all.

FYI, the kbb price of a 2010 Subaru impreza base model with 60k miles in a private party transaction is about $10,000 so you've got me there. The only reason not to pick an awd car over a fwd car is the used price, but one could also argue that because the cars depreciate slower, you will get more out of it when you go to sell it.

I don't think the slower rate of depreciation is a good enough reason to entirely exclude AWD from the list though. The new prices are comparable, the difference in fuel economy and maintenance cost over the lifetime of the car are near negligible assuming proper maintenance intervals, and inclement weather capabilities are (arguably, assuming the proper tires) improved with awd. Since mustachians are theoretically only supposed to use cars as an absolute last resort, there is no reason a 2005 impreza with 150k miles (which goes for about $4,000 in my area) isn't a smart choice.
a 2010 Impreza gets 20mpg in city and 27mpg on the highway, that's very crappy, especially at the ridiculous price of $10,000
reasons a 2005 impreza with 150k miles isn't a smart choice:
1. crappy mpg 20/27
2. expensive for what it is, you can get a 2005 Toyota Corolla with the same amount of miles for cheaper and you'll get 26/35 mpg.

JordanOfGilead

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #70 on: March 08, 2016, 08:17:06 AM »
No, I remember when I bought my car all those years ago. There was 1 mpg penalty for the AWD and an additional 1-2 mpg penalty for the automatic transmission. I went for AWD 5MT. No trouble out of either systems at nearly 300K though I did replace the u-joints last year (?) for ~$60.

Drive whatever you like but I'm not going to sweat 1 mpg. To me it's splitting hairs. If I wanted to split hairs I'd point out that living in cold parts of the country are going to increase your fuel consumption and your home heating bill, dealing with frequent snows has a cost, switching from winter tires to summer tires has a cost, driving an automatic transmission has a cost, etc.

1 mpg to is the difference of 500 gallons over 300K miles. We make easy, different choices in other parts of my family's life that negates the cost of that fuel.

I'm not going to worry about whether I use this much toilet paper or that much toilet paper. That's about how important I see the difference between AWD and FWD week to week. ;)

Edited for clarity.
Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well

I'll disagree with you again. I got 81,000 miles out of my last set of miles. AWD likes fresh rear diff oil every 50K miles or so. That costs me about $20 or so. Needs new universal joints every 275K miles (that's how long the original set lasted). Rear axles are still original as we approach 300K miles. MPG penalty for AWD is ~1 mpg on my brand vehicle. About the same for choosing an automatic vs a manual transmission. I went with the 5MT.

I'm guessing the average car owner that discards their vehicles long before 250K would never see any maintenance or repairs except perhaps rear diff oil during their ownership.

So if anyone doesn't want AWD - I get it. Enjoy. I just don't see alot of reoccurring costs to driving AWD at least with the brand we bought many years ago now.
AWD is great, I would prefer it over FWD. However FWD is much cheaper.

A used 2010 Nissan Versa Hatchback with 60,000 miles can be had for $6,500.
Can you get any 2010 AWD hatchbacks with only 60,000 miles for $6,500?

Since your previous assertions about the costs of AWD have been disproven, now we're going to talk about a different vehicle altogether and just throw out all relevant comparisons?  That hardly seems reasonable.
My previous post was
"Lets add the fact that the MSRP of an AWD model is probably $2,000 more, and tires will go bad faster, with potential AWD maintenance as well"
I'm still talking about MSRP, I still say tires will go bad faster, there is still potential AWD costs that wouldn't exist in a FWD, and the MPG is still better in a FWD.
Just because you "say" tires will go bad faster does not make it true. Unless you have locking differentials and are regularly driving your car like you're on a racetrack (i.e. burnouts/tire squeal/breaking traction) there is no reason that an awd platform would wear out tires faster than a fwd or rwd one. It was already stated that the difference in MPG can be negated in most models by opting for a manual as opposed to an automatic transmission, and a base model Subaru impreza ($18.2k MSRP) falls in between the price for a base model ford focus ($17.2k) and the lowest trim level available on a civic sedan ($18.6k). Those are numbers from the manufacturer websites taken today for the 2016 models. AWD isn't necessarily more expensive than FWD, manufacturers have just been adding awd as an "option" on previously fwd or rwd only platforms and charging more for it because it's part of a higher trim package. So no, MSRP on an AWD model of a comparable vehicle is not "probably" $2000 more, it's pretty much average price for vehicles in that class, depending on which manufacturer you choose.
Additionally, the imppreza is probably closer in size to the accord or fusion, meaning it actually costs LESS than its competitors AND is an awd vehicle.
The only valid argument you have is "more moving parts require more maintenance [sometimes]" which has been previously pointed out as only being necessary every 50,000 miles or so if you follow the maintenance handbook provided by the manufacturer.
Even with tire rotation, you will often have some tires going bad before others. With an AWD you are supposed to replace all 4 tires at the same time, rather than merely replace 2.
This is a list of 10 cars for smart people, the Nissan Versa should be on the list, but I can't think of any AWD cars that should make the list. I believe you are saying you can't find a 2010 AWD hatchback with only 60,000 miles in very good condition for $6,500. Something like a 2012 Subaru Impreza MIGHT be able to make the list towards #10 or so, but there will be a lot of better options in front of it. Also, I don't understand why people keep saying AWD MPG can be negated by switching to a manual transmission, manual transmissions are available in FWD cars as well believe it or not.

Um ... you should never be only replacing two tires at a time. If you rotate properly every 5000 miles they will wear evenly (or at least at the same rate/in the same sections of the tires) and need replaced all at once. Even with a 2wd vehicle, as long as all of your tires are the same size the only real "excuse" for only replacing two is you're lazy (never rotated your tires) and can't afford 4 new ones. My wife worked at a shop and literally the only people that would come in with uneven tire wear were the ones that had an alignment issue or never rotated their tires, both of which can be avoided with proper regular maintenance applicable to any car.

Used AWD cars do tend to depreciate slower than new ones though, you've got me there.

Even if you got a fwd manual, you're only looking at 2mpg difference on average. If we are assuming a fwd manual gets 30mpg, that would mean an awd auto gets 28, SOMETIMES (have to keep in mind that with brand new cars, a lot of automatic transmissions are as efficient as or more efficient than their manual counterparts). If we assume a 10gal tank (for the sake of easy math) this would give us 300 miles per tank in the fwd mt and 280 miles per tank in the awd at. If you drive a slightly-more-mustachian-than-average 10k miles per year (again, for easy math, but also not unreasonable), you would buy 333.3333 gal of gas per year in the fwd mt and 357.1429gal in the awd at. That's a difference of 23.8096 gallons per year. If we assume an above-current-market price of $2.5/gal that is a $60 ($59.5239) per year difference. You would have to fill up slightly more than two additional times PER YEAR. Most people would see variations that exceed that in their utilities or medical expenses from one year to the next. $60/year is $5/month and is negligible to the vast majority of people, mustachians included. We are quibbling over pennies when there are much bigger mistakes to make when buying a car than choosing awd over fwd (such as a v6 or v8 as opposed to a fuel-efficient 4-cyl, or choosing a heavy and aerodynamically inefficient pickup/suv over a smaller car).
There are times when 2 of your tires still have a lot of tread when you only need to replace 2. No need to replace all 4 and throw away 2 tires that still have some use. Tires are very bad for the environment. I only rotate the tires on my girlfriends car every 7500 miles per the manual. Name an AWD car that you think should be on this list, and we'll see if I can name 10 FWD cars that are more mustachian.
If you have two tires seeing excessively more wear than the other two, are they on the same side of the car or are they both on the front/back? If you don't have directional tires, you should cross the rear ones when you rotate them to the front to save from left or right side wear bias caused by repeated driving patterns. If the two that wear faster are on the front or back, then the rotation intervals are either inconsistent or the driving style is abusive. If properly rotated, a set of tires should be able to last well in excess of 60-70,000 miles and all four should need replaced at the same time.

If we are talking new cars, everything by Subaru is comparable to the cars in the same class from other manufacturers, as I cited above, and all Subaru vehicles (with the exception of the Subaru/Toyota GT86/fr-s/br-z) are AWD. I will concede that you will have to get a car that is slightly older/higher miles if you want a used awd for the same price as fwd, since they tend to hold value longer. I STILL maintain that awd with the proper set of tires gives the driver better ability to control their vehicle than fwd does. If the shopper lives in an area with unpaved roads or where it frequently snows heavily, then awd might be a better choice for that individual. There is a reason WRC (World Rally Championship) cars are mostly AWD, after all.

FYI, the kbb price of a 2010 Subaru impreza base model with 60k miles in a private party transaction is about $10,000 so you've got me there. The only reason not to pick an awd car over a fwd car is the used price, but one could also argue that because the cars depreciate slower, you will get more out of it when you go to sell it.

I don't think the slower rate of depreciation is a good enough reason to entirely exclude AWD from the list though. The new prices are comparable, the difference in fuel economy and maintenance cost over the lifetime of the car are near negligible assuming proper maintenance intervals, and inclement weather capabilities are (arguably, assuming the proper tires) improved with awd. Since mustachians are theoretically only supposed to use cars as an absolute last resort, there is no reason a 2005 impreza with 150k miles (which goes for about $4,000 in my area) isn't a smart choice.
a 2010 Impreza gets 20mpg in city and 27mpg on the highway, that's very crappy, especially at the ridiculous price of $10,000
reasons a 2005 impreza with 150k miles isn't a smart choice:
1. crappy mpg 20/27
2. expensive for what it is, you can get a 2005 Toyota Corolla with the same amount of miles for cheaper and you'll get 26/35 mpg.
I never said the Impreza was that efficient, I just suggested that AWD cars should not be excluded purely because they are AWD.
The biggest problem Subaru has with efficiency is their flat-4 engine, not the fact that they're awd.

neo von retorch

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #71 on: March 08, 2016, 08:22:59 AM »
I imagine this back and forth is entertaining you guys, so please continue, but realize that you don't agree, and you're not going to agree at any point. FWD is cheaper, but it's not huge, while AWD is something some people value enough to pay a small premium for. Is it the absolute optimal efficiency vehicle? No - but it's also not a horrible thing for people to spend a little money on - if they're being generally smart with their money.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #72 on: March 08, 2016, 12:35:59 PM »

AWD is great, I would prefer it over FWD. However FWD is much cheaper.

A used 2010 Nissan Versa Hatchback with 60,000 miles can be had for $6,500.
Can you get any 2010 AWD hatchbacks with only 60,000 miles for $6,500?

SX4 maybe
The first step is acknowledging you have a problem, right?

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Jeremy E.

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #73 on: March 08, 2016, 12:48:25 PM »

AWD is great, I would prefer it over FWD. However FWD is much cheaper.

A used 2010 Nissan Versa Hatchback with 60,000 miles can be had for $6,500.
Can you get any 2010 AWD hatchbacks with only 60,000 miles for $6,500?

SX4 maybe
Seems like the SX4 is around $7,000, pretty close, but I've heard bad things about the reliability of Suzukis, I'm not sure if what I've heard is accurate though. If they are as reliable as the Versa, and the cost to fix them is similar, I'll say they would be an okay addition to the cars for smart people list.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #74 on: March 08, 2016, 12:54:24 PM »

Seems like the SX4 is around $7,000, pretty close, but I've heard bad things about the reliability of Suzukis, I'm not sure if what I've heard is accurate though. If they are as reliable as the Versa, and the cost to fix them is similar, I'll say they would be an okay addition to the cars for smart people list.

I shopped one last month when I was in the market for a new (used) car, but it turned out the one I was considering was a salvage. I didn't find any big red flags as far as running costs, but information was fairly sparse to begin with. I ended up with a certified Mazda 3 hatchback, which I'm pretty happy with so far.
The first step is acknowledging you have a problem, right?

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JordanOfGilead

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #75 on: March 08, 2016, 01:53:35 PM »
Now that I think about it, AWD shouldn't be all that necessary. I remember one winter when I over-estimated my ability as a driver, I ended up in a "ditch" that was actually about a 10ft drop off at the corner of an intersection. We had about 8" of snow on the ground and I still managed to get out under my own power.

The car? 1996 Honda Civic DX with a manual transmission and an engine from a Integra GSR (I mention the engine swap because, combined with all of the other "unsafe in the winter" items, it also had significantly more torque than your standard civic). The car had no traction control, no antilock brakes, no power steering, and an open differential. It was on crappy all-season tires (that appeared to be designed for more summer than winter use). If I could get out of a ditch in that much snow in a car like that, there is really no reason to NEED an AWD car... Although one could argue that I wouldn't have gotten into the ditch in the first place if I had power to all four wheels :P

JLee

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #76 on: March 08, 2016, 02:05:34 PM »
Now that I think about it, AWD shouldn't be all that necessary. I remember one winter when I over-estimated my ability as a driver, I ended up in a "ditch" that was actually about a 10ft drop off at the corner of an intersection. We had about 8" of snow on the ground and I still managed to get out under my own power.

The car? 1996 Honda Civic DX with a manual transmission and an engine from a Integra GSR (I mention the engine swap because, combined with all of the other "unsafe in the winter" items, it also had significantly more torque than your standard civic). The car had no traction control, no antilock brakes, no power steering, and an open differential. It was on crappy all-season tires (that appeared to be designed for more summer than winter use). If I could get out of a ditch in that much snow in a car like that, there is really no reason to NEED an AWD car... Although one could argue that I wouldn't have gotten into the ditch in the first place if I had power to all four wheels :P

I would argue that you wouldn't have gone into the ditch in the first place if you had snow tires. :P

Tires are by far the most important factor for winter driving.

Making Cookies

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #77 on: March 21, 2016, 10:00:35 AM »
I imagine this back and forth is entertaining you guys, so please continue, but realize that you don't agree, and you're not going to agree at any point. FWD is cheaper, but it's not huge, while AWD is something some people value enough to pay a small premium for. Is it the absolute optimal efficiency vehicle? No - but it's also not a horrible thing for people to spend a little money on - if they're being generally smart with their money.

If we are going to quibble over the cost of AWD then why aren't we quibbling over the cost of an automatic transmission? On a fair number of economy cars - that slushbox is still something that can cost extra.

On the 2016 Versa Note the slushbox is an ~$1400 extra. Note that this is nearly the same price spread between the Honda HR-V AWD and FWD models.

Still not going to run winter tires here where I live in the south. Too much temp variability in the weather here.

I did the AWD vs FWD "test" this winter again since we own two vehicles - one of each drivetrain configuration. Both running all-season tires, the AWD car was more capable than the FWD in the kinds of weather we get here.

If I lived up north and had snow most or all of the winter or if I lived somewhere flat and snowy I might make different choices.

Here it's hilly, there are episodes where weather happens suddenly (the forecast is for drizzle and suddenly it's snow or freezing rain), we have several months of mud to cope with, and then we get a few snows.

The FWD car won't deal so out comes the AWD car and we can get done whatever we need to do. FWIW recently I was again "off-road" with it again too at a farm and the FWD car would not have traversed the mud, the wet weeds, and uneven ground. We don't live in the city. AWD made it easy even with "all-season" tires.

Again - drive what you want. Clearly winter is a very different thing to people living in different parts of the continent.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 10:12:31 AM by Jethrosnose »

Allison

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #78 on: March 22, 2016, 11:07:01 AM »
Wow. Most people here clearly do not understand the UP. They have this big puddle there, I think it is called Superior. It creates this thing called "Lake Effect Snow". Think Buffalo NY levels of snow.

Folks, it isn't the streets. Those will be plowed sooner than later. It is the parking lots, the driveways, the side roads (and yes, there are a lot of them that aren't paved even aside from the Forest Service roads). Heck, there were years that my Grandpa's driveway in Menominee (southernmost point of the UP) would get holes in it so big during the winter that when we went up the first time in the spring, before we even pulled up to the house we'd park the car barely in the driveway and get out and patch it. This was a gravel driveway. Why? Because we were in a minivan, and it didn't have the ground clearance for the holes.

OP, with a $7500 budget I'd be looking at an older 4Runner, or else Jeep Cherokee (XJ). Both are slightly less reliable than the sun. 4Runner is nicer, Jeep is probably cheaper and there are a lot of them up there. Whatever you get, I would get snow tires. Budget $1k for it, it is worth it. I just did it for the car I bought on Saturday--the tires are getting put on now, on Tuesday morning!

Signed, a guy who drove a Miata year round in Chicago, and who's cousin lives in Marquette and got a 4x4 truck after he said he didn't need one and 2wd snow tires was fine.

I drove a 1988 Mazda 323 through 3 winters in Marquette.  And it was a stick....Hardest part was getting up Main and Front Street in 1st gear.  Although those winters I would drive to Escanaba and the base many times and never got stuck.  AWD or 4WD are not necessary...

Jeremy E.

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Re: 10 Cars for smart people updated list???!
« Reply #79 on: March 22, 2016, 11:50:06 AM »
I imagine this back and forth is entertaining you guys, so please continue, but realize that you don't agree, and you're not going to agree at any point. FWD is cheaper, but it's not huge, while AWD is something some people value enough to pay a small premium for. Is it the absolute optimal efficiency vehicle? No - but it's also not a horrible thing for people to spend a little money on - if they're being generally smart with their money.

If we are going to quibble over the cost of AWD then why aren't we quibbling over the cost of an automatic transmission? On a fair number of economy cars - that slushbox is still something that can cost extra.

On the 2016 Versa Note the slushbox is an ~$1400 extra. Note that this is nearly the same price spread between the Honda HR-V AWD and FWD models.

Still not going to run winter tires here where I live in the south. Too much temp variability in the weather here.

I did the AWD vs FWD "test" this winter again since we own two vehicles - one of each drivetrain configuration. Both running all-season tires, the AWD car was more capable than the FWD in the kinds of weather we get here.

If I lived up north and had snow most or all of the winter or if I lived somewhere flat and snowy I might make different choices.

Here it's hilly, there are episodes where weather happens suddenly (the forecast is for drizzle and suddenly it's snow or freezing rain), we have several months of mud to cope with, and then we get a few snows.

The FWD car won't deal so out comes the AWD car and we can get done whatever we need to do. FWIW recently I was again "off-road" with it again too at a farm and the FWD car would not have traversed the mud, the wet weeds, and uneven ground. We don't live in the city. AWD made it easy even with "all-season" tires.

Again - drive what you want. Clearly winter is a very different thing to people living in different parts of the continent.
We are quibbling about the cost of automatic transmissions. FWD Manual cars are most mustachian.