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Old 11-09-2009, 12:39 PM   #16
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Re: selecting the best used car for my needs

I can. A Lot of how a vehicle handles in the winter is dependent on the driver's skills and abilities. I have driven the same amount of time as MagicRat and in our area we average close to 190" of snow in a season that runs from October to late April.I also have owned close to 25 vehicles in that time. I have definitely "cut my teeth" in experience when it comes to the argument of RWD vs. FWD. I used to be a RWD junkie and have the same views as you...until I got married 13 years ago. That is when I first owned a FWD car. I used to laugh as I drove past FWD and 4x4s on the highways and hills driving my Grand Prix, one of 3 "pre 1982" Monte Carlos, Caprices, Impalas, etc. One of the reasons I attribute to my success in the winter with these vehicles is my driving ability and a good pair of snow tires. ( At the same time I have seen others attempt driving with these same vehicles and not coming even close to the results I experienced.)
I was skeptical as to the performance of FWD in the winter but as I got used to how they are different and adapted to them, along (again) with a good set of snows I achieved the same results as I did with my older RWD. The type of RWD vehicle is important as well. My vehicles tended to do a lot better than other smaller, lighter RWD versions like the Mustang. So choice plays an important role as well.
Also I was offering more choices to the OP for a wider selection of vehicles they could choose from under $10,000. Some sport wagons ( older, first versions) are coming down in price as more modern minivans which are plentiful in supply due to the large amount that were produced. I wasn't saying they are a "fits all" rather an additional choice to consider as their maintenance costs are also low and their mpg is within an acceptable range for the amount of cargo space they offer.
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:09 PM   #17
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Re: selecting the best used car for my needs

PS, none of these vids show snow (the OP specifically said snow), and the idiots in the last vid are horrible drivers. Of course if you plant the gas down in a FWD you'll spin...that's typically why you start from second gear and ease the throttle.

Now let's see how that goes in snow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97NVgvq2SzY

Let's see how this FWD POS gets stuck...oh wait

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ElgttSQ_v4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5C_q6H5RCY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxbCMzen7mY

and now for some good ol' fashioned winter crack-ups that everyone can enjoy - *highly recommend this one

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxwgHGCrrS4
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:51 PM   #18
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Re: selecting the best used car for my needs

Hey everyone,
Thanks for the posts so far! I need to check out those youtube vids.

In the meantime, what are the best websites for finding used cars? Now I'm thinking I don't need anything too big (ie. for transporting my guitar amp), but just enough to bring around my acoustic guitar, so probably a 2-door coupe is sufficient.
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:11 PM   #19
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Re: selecting the best used car for my needs

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Hey everyone,
Thanks for the posts so far! I need to check out those youtube vids.

In the meantime, what are the best websites for finding used cars? Now I'm thinking I don't need anything too big (ie. for transporting my guitar amp), but just enough to bring around my acoustic guitar, so probably a 2-door coupe is sufficient.
As for you finding the right vehicle, you stirred the pot having a few experts fighting for rights making this thread an excellent one, I won't get Involved as to what you finally choose, but will tell you the best place to look in my mind will be " autotrader.com " for finding and compare value for any area once you have selected a vehicle of choice.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:04 PM   #20
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Re: selecting the best used car for my needs

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Puker, what are you talking about? Honestly, when was the last time you drove a FWD car through snow, cause I'm guessing never. I have driven FWD my whole life through Canadian winters and have never experienced ANY of the problems you are talking about. Using YouTube as your encyclopedia is probably your first problem. 1) the engine is overtop of the drive wheels in a FWD car, and because weight distribution is typically biased towards the front, a FWD car is getting much more traction than a RWD car from a stop. You say the weight is shifted backwards, how fast are you accelerating on ice? You aren't, it's a moot point. 2) FWD is simpler and cheaper to maintain/fix, no differentials, driveshaft. 3) For the 99% of the time you don't need 4WD, it is causing rolling resistance/friction on your tires, needlessly eating gas. 4) For people that boast 4x4's are better in winter, I typically pass one every day on my way to work (in my FWD Mazda) that has been overconfident and gone in the ditch. A 4x4 doesn't stop any better in bad weather, and usually stops worse because they are heavy.

A few posts back a guy suggested cars like Vibe, Element, Mazda6, he knows what he is talking about. And some of those even come in AWD if you decide to go that route - just weigh your pros/cons. AWD is heavier, more expensive to maintain/fix and uses more gas, BUT it does enable you to accelerate better in snowy conditions, gives you a little security knowing it's more difficult to get stuck, and is more fun around corners.

If you want cheap, get a FWD with snow tires. Want proof they work, look around Ontario. Massive annual snowfall, 85% of cars are FWD. If you have the extra cash get a car with AWD, it will be beneficial, but keep the snow tires, it's the most important part. If you want to waste money in gas and repairs, get an SUV. Then watch the little FWD 'POS's' fill up at the gas station and leave with $30, while you're stuck putting in $75, thinking 'why did I buy this?'
If we get even a light snow here there are FWD cars sittin in the ditch left and right.

1) No matter what type of car and no matter how fast you accelerate the weight shifts to the back of the car. Simple physics that you're having a hard time grasping
2) Generally yes, though most (and I stress most) FWD cars are imported cars, and the cost of the replacement components is more expensive.
3) Your right one this account, though RWD is still a better option than FWD and it gets just as good, if not better gas mileage.
4) If you don't drive like a complete moron AWD is much better. Much more traction and much better control in bad weather.
5) I'm using youtube to provide examples. Sorry if you've got no better response than to try and bash my source rather than the actual facts presented.
6) Small cars spend less gas to fill up for a few reasons. 1 their smaller and lighter and get better mileage (the point your pressing) 2 they have tiny ass gas tanks (the point your over looking) Of course its gona take more to fill up a 25-30 gallon tank rather than a 10-15 gallon tank.
7) to the bolded. Bull shit. Looking forward to see how you try to prove this.

And one other thing your missing, many of the newer SUVs don't use AWD fulltime. As well as most AWD cars.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:21 PM   #21
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Re: selecting the best used car for my needs

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Originally Posted by xpat70 View Post
Hey everyone,
Thanks for the posts so far! I need to check out those youtube vids.

In the meantime, what are the best websites for finding used cars? Now I'm thinking I don't need anything too big (ie. for transporting my guitar amp), but just enough to bring around my acoustic guitar, so probably a 2-door coupe is sufficient.
maybe a 2000 or 2001 BMW 325i RWD of 4WD

Best places to look are Craigslist, Autotrader, Cars.com and yahoo autos
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:41 PM   #22
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Re: selecting the best used car for my needs

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Originally Posted by akboss View Post
PS, none of these vids show snow (the OP specifically said snow), and the idiots in the last vid are horrible drivers. Of course if you plant the gas down in a FWD you'll spin...that's typically why you start from second gear and ease the throttle.

Now let's see how that goes in snow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97NVgvq2SzY

Let's see how this FWD POS gets stuck...oh wait

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ElgttSQ_v4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5C_q6H5RCY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxbCMzen7mY

and now for some good ol' fashioned winter crack-ups that everyone can enjoy - *highly recommend this one

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxwgHGCrrS4
First one is a guy screwin around in a Mustang on the ice. Second little group is a bunch of idiots drifing in the snow I presume, wouldn't load for me.
Last one is RWD, AWD and FWD cars and SUVs. whatever.

yay more youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0p6bw...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdbLG...eature=related
^ dumb asses thought they could drive a corse in revers lmao. But guess why the FWD car had more grip in reverse? the weight shifter to the drive wheels. RWD car would have less grip in reverse than going forwards. The SUV coulda taken it doin 25 lol was no issue at all.

We can do the youtube war all we want, FWD is still the worst in wet/icy/snowy conditions, hands down.

This is a decent artical on it, http://searchwarp.com/swa51377.htm he doesn't mention weight shifting though.

This argument has been had thousand of times on the internet. A ton of times on here for that matter.

In a FWD car with around a 60/40 weight distribution (front/rear) should have better grip. when you start to accelerate it shifts to around 50/50.
in a RWD car with a 50/50 weight distribution the weight also shifts to the rear while accelerating causeing around a 40/60 weight distribution. Hence RWD gains more grip while accelerating

Weight distribution has less of a shift the slower you accelerate obviously, and returns back to the norm when you start cruising. Thus creating understeer in FWD and oversteer in RWD.

When a FWD car comes into a corner at normal speeds the car will start to under steer and go off the road slightly, much more so at mild-high speeds. Simply because the front wheels have too much to do.

In RWD cars at normal speeds the car has total control due to the front wheels being free to steer while the rear wheels push the car around the corners. Take the corner to fast and you get oversteer, you can correct oversteer, its hard to correct under steer when your sliding off the road.

And just to avoid hearing this argument, if you take a corner going way to fast your more than likely going off the road either way, in RWD you can atleast try to steer the car away from trees and such.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:47 PM   #23
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Re: selecting the best used car for my needs

K got the vids to load finally, first 2 are idiots that think their the shit cause they got their cars sideways in the snow, notice how he has to back off the ice and get traction on the dirt in the first vid.

The last one is a really good driver, guarantee you he can do the same thing in a RWD car.
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:21 PM   #24
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Re: selecting the best used car for my needs

Shpuker- Do me a favor and follow the Community Guidelines of this site. Do not post consecutively in a thread, rather edit your latest post to add more info. The last 3 posts are by you and span only 43 minutes. Consider this a warning.
From the Community Guidelines:
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With each post you have the ability to edit them. Please use this feature. If you feel like adding more to your post or find you made a mistake, please insert an edit note to the message by using the edit feature. Placing back to back posts is considered spam, which can result in your message being removed from the thread.
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:10 PM   #25
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Re: selecting the best used car for my needs

Usually, Shpuker's advice is appropriate and decent, but in this case, it's way off base. It's biased towards his own personal preferences and imo are not the best advice for the OP.

I have driven in snow now for 27 winters. In that time I have owned and driven 25-odd FWD, RWD and 4x4 cars and trucks. FWD is better, especially for the novice.

I am not sure is Shpuker actually talks to ordinary or novice drivers. The VAST MAJORITY of car drivers in the winter want the superior traction and steering of FWD. They PREFER it because it is more predictable, it accelerates better and is easier to handle. Unlike Shpuker and me, they are not car enthusiasts and have no interest in the unpredictability of having the rear end of the car slide around. They simply want the easiest form of winter driving, often without shelling the bucks for 4WD.

I remember with great clarity, when Chrysler started making FWD cars in quantity in '78, GM in '79 and Ford in '81, the average Canadian car buyer was in seventh heaven. Huge quantities of car buyers, sick and tired of sliding around with RWD embraced FWD cars with great enthusiasm because of the superior winter driving performance.

And they have never looked back. FWD is still overwhelmingly preferred here for cars, even though RWD alternatives exist. So, Shpuker, are millions of Canadian FWD car buyers wrong when they prefer it for winter driving? I don't think so.

BMW cars?? Worthless in the snow. Worthless.(Except the SUV's are great with the correct tires). Lots of my friends and neighbors have RWD cars.... but for summertime performance, NOT for winter.

Sure, FWD may not be preferred for Shpuker personally, but for this original poster, Fwd is the way to go.

Imo any deficiencies of FWD stem from the lack of decent snow tires. FWD is good enough that people can get by with all-seasons, although this is often a bad choice.

Finally, there is ONE RWD car that is really good in the snow.... the old VW Beetle. With it's RWD and rear mounted engine.... the weight of the engine was over the driving wheels, just like a FWD car.
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:36 PM   #26
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Re: selecting the best used car for my needs

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2) Generally yes, though most (and I stress most) FWD cars are imported cars, and the cost of the replacement components is more expensive.
Really? So most of the cars produced since the early '80s from GM, Ford, and Chrysler are considered imported? I thought you lived in the US. If that's the case then they aren't imports.

Quote:
4) If you don't drive like a complete moron AWD is much better. Much more traction and much better control in bad weather.
While that may be the case for some people, AWD are generally more expensive to repair . Most people can get by with daily driving and save some money by using FWD. AWD still has some ground to make up and win some more fans over. It still isn't a popular option. One of the vehicles I drive, an '06 Uplander was offered in a AWD option, but was discontinued after only 2 model years due to poor sales. The FWD model lasted 3 more years.
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5) I'm using youtube to provide examples.
That's just as bad as using Wikipedia to cite sources.
Here is an interesting paragraph from a website discussing the various options of AWD, and 4WD:
Quote:
Safety Misconceptions

While 4WD and AWD may maximize traction better than 2WD, that doesn't necessarily translate into making it a safer vehicle. Oftentimes, drivers believe that because they can accelerate in snow just as quickly as on dry roads, they can do the same in terms of cornering and braking. On the contrary, 4WD and AWD do little to aid in cornering and nothing for braking ability on wet, snowy roads. Once moving, the physics of 2WD, 4WD, and AWD systems are pretty much the same. Rather than rely on AWD or 4WD, it's a better idea to think of them as an insurance policy that's there when you need it.

For most consumers, a set of quality all-season tires is a less-expensive alternative to pricey and complex all-wheel-drive systems. Even the most advanced 4WD vehicle will be left spinning its wheels in the snow if the wheels are shod with performance or touring tires.

Take a look at what kind of driving you normally do. Once you determine what type of vehicle best suits your needs, you can assess what type of system you need to get the job done. In some cases it may simply be 2WD with snow tires. In others, you may want to consider a more robust 4WD system with a low-range option.
Source
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:09 AM   #27
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Re: selecting the best used car for my needs

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Really? So most of the cars produced since the early '80s from GM, Ford, and Chrysler are considered imported? I thought you lived in the US. If that's the case then they aren't imports.


While that may be the case for some people, AWD are generally more expensive to repair . Most people can get by with daily driving and save some money by using FWD. AWD still has some ground to make up and win some more fans over. It still isn't a popular option. One of the vehicles I drive, an '06 Uplander was offered in a AWD option, but was discontinued after only 2 model years due to poor sales. The FWD model lasted 3 more years.

That's just as bad as using Wikipedia to cite sources.
Here is an interesting paragraph from a website discussing the various options of AWD, and 4WD:

Source
1) Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Audi, VW, etc...

2) Way to take a statement out of context, I'm using it to support the fact that FWD gets less traction.

3) Even if you suggest him a 2WD option RWD is still the better option.

And to Magic Rat, BMW's are great winter drivers. Not sure where that BS comment came from.


And way to 3 on 1 this crap.
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:36 AM   #28
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Re: selecting the best used car for my needs

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1) Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Audi, VW, etc...

2) Way to take a statement out of context, I'm using it to support the fact that FWD gets less traction.

3) Even if you suggest him a 2WD option RWD is still the better option.

And to Magic Rat, BMW's are great winter drivers. Not sure where that BS comment came from.


And way to 3 on 1 this crap.
Well, lets see here, hmmm. I wasn't taking anything out of context, just addressing some points you made, (not all of them.)
You stated in an earlier post that most FWD cars are imported. I don't know how it is in Colorado, but at least in my area the majority of FWD cars are still made by the Big 3 (GM, Ford, and Chrysler.) This was and still is in some cases a manufacturing town for these companies and the workforce for these are unionized, hence the loyalty to the brand. Parts are still generally less expensive and readily available.
On your 'idea' that FWD gets less traction. With current technologies plus a good set of snows I'd pin a FWD against a 4x4 , RWD or a AWD and see what happens. Chances are if the driver has the ability and experience to drive in the snow , they will do well, if not better.Heck even without some of the current aids to driving like traction control and stability control, the FWD still will perform well.
If the driver is inexperienced in winter driving they should not consider driving a 4x4 or AWD because they could be lulled into a false sense of security that seems to exist that these types of vehicles are better and not pay as close attention to their driving.
Castle Rock Co. gets on average 59" of snow.source. We can get that over the course of 2 to 3 days, and places just a half hour from me can get that in a day . When you start getting over 150" of snow a year then you can come back and discuss the merits of driving in snow and which is better.
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:47 AM   #29
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Re: selecting the best used car for my needs

I've noticed this here, in Northern Michigan and in every state inbetween. Nice try on the you don't get snow BS. Cause even with our small amount of snow FWD cars are never on the road in the winter.

EDIT: and most cars here that are FWD are japanese or European. Hardly any are domestic. Hell most vehicles here period were not made in the USA.
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:23 AM   #30
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Re: selecting the best used car for my needs

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I've noticed this here, in Northern Michigan and in every state inbetween. Nice try on the you don't get snow BS. Cause even with our small amount of snow FWD cars are never on the road in the winter.

EDIT: and most cars here that are FWD are japanese or European. Hardly any are domestic. Hell most vehicles here period were not made in the USA.
Honestly, you must be joking. I know you like RWD cars, and they ARE BETTER IN THE SUMMER, but just think about what you are saying! It's just pure BS. Ford's lineup (FWD): Focus, Fusion, Taurus, Edge, Flex (some have FWD-biased AWD as an option). Chevy: Aveo, Cobalt, HHR, Impala, Malibu, and most of their crossovers. Dodge: Caliber, Avenger, Caravan, Journey. Almost all family-priced domestic vehicles are FWD or FWD-biased AWD. And believe it or not, they don't make these cars and sell them by the boatloads because they are crap!

Again, living in Ontario and through 4-5 months of snowfall every year in typical -20 Celsius weather, 85-90% of Canadian drivers (in more urban areas) are in FWD cars. If you go into the country sure you'll find more trucks, the roads aren't getting plowed so they need to be able to tread through deep snow. I think the OP is in Boston (right?) so while there may be a bit of snow, it's not as much as we would get where I drive.

Shpuker, you have the capacity to give good advice. You just need to think about what's good for the person asking the question, not what you want.

Oh, and someone mentioned the old Beetle being a good winter car cause the weight of the motor was over the drive wheels. Well, this is true for acceleration, but don't forget that now you have NO weight over the front wheels, the ones that are supposed to change your direction when you spin the little wheel in side. So you're right it probably accelerated better, but that's the problem - people associate a car that accelerates well with one that handles snow well. Not true! A car that can corner in the winter is the one you want, and because a FWD car's weight is over the tires that are doing the turning, you'll get much more grip. The tires that are getting power are the ones that control direction - wow, there's a novel idea!

But let it be said that crappy drivers will crash any car in the winter, be it FWD, RWD or AWD/4x4. You could put a good driver in a classic muscle car with all-seasons and they would manage.
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