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Discussion Starter #1
Im starting a thread to see if there is a huge difference between the AWD and FWD on icy/snowy conditions on regular roads/highways. Im trying to get some people who have the FWD version to tell me what their experience is with Bad conditions, and some with AWD as well. Im looking to see if it is worth getting the AWD version over the FWD version.

Also want to know if the AWD is on all the time or just when it has to be?

Thanks
 

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You and I are thinking similarly. I will buy a Traverse this spring or sooner and *I* want AWD (never had AWD on any previous vehicle) but of course there is the much greater purchase price and the increased chance of 'something' going wrong. As well all these Lambdas (maybe all GMs) have Stabillitrack (sp?). I am interested in knowing the extra value i.e. safety of AWD in 'regular' driving vs. FWD.
 

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Had a foot of snow in ohio a month ago and I was going down the freeway that was covered going 70mph w/o any issues. I have a FWD. I'm an import guy and was very impressed w/ the handling in the snow at high speeds. My buds also agreed as I transported them to poker night in a blizzard.
 

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6 inches of snow in Seattle today and I have FWD. My tires lost their grip starting up from one light, but otherwise it was OK.

It should be mentioned that here in Seattle we get two snow events a year that quickly melt and re-freeze into ice and we have about a dozen trucks for the whole metro area...and they don't use salt...you get the drift.
 

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FWD is fine, if you don't live where there are a lot of hills. Also, I hear that the Goodyear Fortera tires are the best choice on these Lambdas.
 

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09Enclave said:
Also, I hear that the Goodyear Fortera tires are the best choice on these Lambdas.
I take it these are all season tires?

There is no doubt that with my first winter with whatever Lambda I choose I will purchase dedicated winter tires for the vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Still not sold on the FWD though, wish we had more exp with this car but thats what you get with a brand new car.
 

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Copperbeach - FYI

The Fortera tires that come stock are all season, but the WA DOT considers them to be "traction tires" when the mountain passes require them.

They are some pretty big nubby beasts. I shudder to think what a set of "snow" tires would cost you on this thing.
 

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just bought my 09 awd. test drove about a dozen between different dealers - awd and fwd. i had to have awd - i have jetskis. here is why my wife wanted the awd...

pulling out of the lot in the rain, in a fwd with my wife driving, the front tires would spin. the stability system would catch it and stop the spinning, but keep in mind, there was still an issue of spinning tires and then the computer reducing the throttle until the spinning stopped.

my wife is a passive driver (gets 50mpg average in our toyota prius) - so i can tell you she does not have a lead foot - and the tires should not have spun that easy.

obviously the awd models we drove (and now own) didn;t have tha issue at all.
 

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stumpk said:
Had a foot of snow in ohio a month ago and I was going down the freeway that was covered going 70mph w/o any issues. I have a FWD. I'm an import guy and was very impressed w/ the handling in the snow at high speeds. My buds also agreed as I transported them to poker night in a blizzard.
First of all the little lady let you take HER brand new Traverse to poker night and haul the bro's AND in a blizzard :eek: :jaw:
 

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little lady drives an 07 odyssey EXL-RES and does not like the jump she has to do to enter the traverse. She's not even 5ft tall and loves her van to much anyway. I got the best wife around that understands what golf and poker means to a man.
 

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intotheoh said:
..you get the drift.
Drift! HA! I get it... Snow... eh, yeah, anyway...


My wife drives a FWD Chevy HHR. We've always been extremely pleased with the handling of this vehicle in snow/ice. We get a LOT of ice in the winter, and an occasional snow.

The Traverse though, I'm not sure what to recommend. I have the AWD version, and love it. My reasons were personal, in that I was sick and tired of getting stuck in bad weather from driving 2wd pickups all my life. So no matter what I bought next, it was going to be 4wd or AWD, period. So, I ended up with an AWD Traverse.

The Traverse does seem to have a rather heavy front end, so FWD seems like it would be as good, if not the same as any other FWD crossover or car. The AWD model does have a slightly noticable difference in driving to me, though others say they can't tell. It's not as quick off the starting line, and you can feel the power shifting between wheels in some situations plus a few other nuances. Again, that's just me, and I think I'm a little hyper sensitive to that. And, I like that feel and such of the AWD system. I do wish sometimes I could switch it in and out of 2 or 4 wheel drive though. But it does that shift automatically, so I guess that's a plus for most folks.
 

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I've test-driven both FWD and AWD, but not in snowy conditions. I'd really like AWD (have never had one), even though we don't heavy snow here only once or twice a winter. It rains good, though, sometimes, and I commute on the highway, so wonder if the AWD adds an extra safety margin in wet conditions as well.

BUT that extra $1,800-$2,000 may just be too much to justify in my tight budget. And I am encouraged by the good things I'm reading here and in the other Lambda forums about the performance of FWD.

End result, is I'm probably going to settle for FWD to save the cash, and hope I don't kick myself if I ever slide off the road coming home from work at 1 am! :-\
 

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I live in MN and we get plenty of snow and ice. We just had a snow/ice storm pass through yesterday and our Traverse handled it perfectly fine. Here's my experience with FWD, RWD, 4WD, AWD.

I've driven RWD vehicles most of my life and I've always been able to handle the snow and ice. The only time I put it into 4WD is when the snow is really deep and the plows aren't out yet or when there are ice storms. And with 4WD, it helps to get going from a dead stop. As the saying goes, use RWD to get into trouble and 4WD to get out of trouble. ;)

My wife has driven FWD vehicles with traction control and ESP, Stabilitrack, or whatever each automaker calls their system. I feel that combination is the same as AWD in regular driving conditions (i.e. not offroad, mudding, towing, etc.).

The FWD Traverse with traction control and Stabilitrac is a great handling vehicle. I don't see the need to get the AWD unless I was towing or offroading (and I wouldn't consider the Traverse an offroading vehicle). But the nice thing about the Traverse is that the 2WD and AWD version have the same fuel economy. Which isn't usually the case. I know if I slap my truck into 4WD, the fuel economy drops like a brick. And it's easier and cheaper to work on a FWD system than an AWD system.

But it all boils down to your driving style and experience. If you feel more comfortable and safe with AWD then go for it. My personal style is that I love driving RWD vehicles. My wife's driving style is to drive vehicles with at least FWD and some sort of stability control.

Here's my rating from worst to best for driving in snow and ice:

4. RWD = Takes constant vigilance since the rear end wants to swing out and is challenging on icy roads.
3. FWD = Good enough but will have problems going from a dead stop on icy roads.
2. FWD w/ Stabilitrac = AWD = Great handling vehicles.
1. AWD w/ Stabilitrac = The only thing different than #2 is the better handling while towing on bad roads.

My 2 cents.
 

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I own both a 08 enclave cxl (FWD) and a 09 traverse (AWD). I have spent a lot of time reading the post on tires. I must say that I am extremely unsatisfied with the Michelin Latitude on my 2008 cxl (FWD) This are the 19” rims. I have had the cxl for the second winter now and it has no traction in the snow. The stablitract light come on all the time (it goes off just as quickly). Most people who have the Enclave AWD have not had the traction problems regardless of the tire being used.

The 2009 Traverse (AWD) has no problems in the snow. It also is using the Goodyear Fortera tire. It plows thru the snow.

I believe it is a tire issue. All of the posts where people have the Fortera tire, FWD or AWD, tend to have no problem. There are only 2 tires for the 19” rims (Goodyear eagle or the Michelin Latitude) neither of them have a good wet/snow rating. There is one snow tire for the 19” rims made by Toyo ($275/tire).

The Michelin tire should be a 60,000 mile tire I will be lucky to get to 40,000.

Bottom line: 1) Fortera tires work well with FWD or AWD. 2) Stay away for the 19” rims AT ALL COST. 3) Thinking about the Enclave, get AWD.
 

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I had Goodyear tires on the last Chevy I owned and hated them. 2 or 3 of the originals were out-of-round causing vibration on the highway. Took forever to get GM to change them out on warranty. I was leary about the Fortera's on my 4wd Traverse when I bought it, but now I love these tires. They are smooth and strong in everything I've driven them through so far. I've only got 3000 miles on them so far, so my thoughts are a bit young yet. But, so far I like them. And I agree, any rim larger than 18" is not very useful. 19" or 20" rims destroy the ride of any vehicle like this. I believe the eagle's or Latitude's are more for looks and dry/highway ride than for real use anyway.

I have only one gauge for a tire. Is there a good water path from the center of the tire tread face to the sides of the tire. Many tires are solid or very close on the sides of the tread face. This supposedly makes them smoother and more quiet on highway driving, but gives the tire much less traction and grip in wet or snow. I'd rather put up with a little noise (not that I can hear it anyway with the Fortera's, I can't. And I have good hearing) and get better grip on all road types, than what most other tires provide with no open tread design on the sides of the tread face. That tread style on the Fortera's is what made me try them anyway, even thought I'd had bad luck with previous Goodyear's.
 
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