Is AWD REALLY Not Needed???
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Cadillac Escalade, EXT and ESV Forum - 2007-2014 Discussion, Is AWD REALLY Not Needed??? in Cadillac Escalade Forums; Hello. This is my first post and I've been researching this forum and found it to be very helpful. I'm ...
  1. #1
    karprive is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Is AWD REALLY Not Needed???

    Hello. This is my first post and I've been researching this forum and found it to be very helpful.

    I'm currently in the market for a 2012 Escalade and I have a few questions as I do not want to make a decision that I will regret.

    I was originally looking at the AWD Yukon Denali, but as of Labor Day the banks stopped all leases on 2012 models...so, I decided to look into the Escalade and was surprised that the monthly payment wasn't that much higher. I received a couple attractive lease offers on the 2012 RWD Escalade; however, for some reason I feel strange getting a 2WD SUV.

    I live in Los Angeles and the dealer swears that AWD is overrated and not at all necessary...however, this dealer also does not have any AWD versions in stock. In fact, I think there are only a handful of AWD 2012 Escalades left in all of southern California. I'm really only looking at the Base (Standard) and Luxury trims...the leases on 2012 basically ends on the 23rd of this month, so I'm getting close to decision time.

    Can you please tell me if you think I should just go for the AWD (or even wait for a 2013 model) or just take the best deal possible on a 2WD model? Is it true that most in LA just get RWD or does no one want a 2WD truck - which is the reason that so many are still available this late in the year???

    Also, is there anything wrong with getting the Base model (in either 2WD or AWD)? I don't care about the sunroof or MRC and I'll probably add aftermarket wheels anyway (or just pick up some stock 22s).

    I plan on possibly keeping the Escalade after the lease expires, so I'm trying to make the best possible decision...I don't tow anything or go up into the mountains, but I do like driving on sand and would also like to have the option and not be limited in the future.

    Thanks in advance for all advice/suggestions.

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  3. #2
    tony abbott is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is AWD REALLY Not Needed???

    Based on where you live it probably isn't absolutely necessary, but I find even in wet weather it is useful. Also you may want to factor in whether or not you may travel to areas that do get snow, as then it is really useful.Also whether or not you plan on towing a boat out of a slippery marina ramp?...
    However this opinion is coming from an owner who hasn't been without either AWD or four wheel drive in over thirty years!

  4. #3
    Royalton is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Is AWD REALLY Not Needed???

    I had to face the same decision it really depends on where you live and drive. LA you will mostly always be driving on a paved road or gravel so either is fine:

    AWD:
    If you tow a boat and use boat ramps. I've seen 2wd suvs slip all the way into the water on a slippery or short ramp.
    If you live where you get more than a couple snow falls a year.
    If you have to drive on the sand, although most touristy beaches that allow beach driving usually have a hardened sand path that even a car can drive on.
    Better resale value, as AWD is much more sought after than RWD (your dealer is lying to you that RWD is more popular)

    RWD:
    If you want the best gas millage (AWD lowers your mpg by around 1 gallon per hour)
    If you live in a warm area where you don't get snow often.
    You don't need AWD for rain, a good pair of tires is way more important than AWD in rain
    If you want to save a couple $1000 on the MSRP of the car
    It may also have less maintenance cost as AWD systems add more things to go wrong.
    If you like replacing only 2 tires at a time go RWD, w AWD you need to replace all 4 at the same time, as the diameters always need to be exactly the same on all for tires.

  5. #4
    ELUSIVE is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Is AWD REALLY Not Needed???

    There is no way I would ever buy one of these vehicles without AWD. Period.

    1) Resale
    2) Any sort of inclement weather. AWD does helps in the rain. It's not just for snow. I agree tires are important, but AWD helps in the rain. Watch a touring car race in the rain if you don't believe me...you'll see the Audi's and Subaru's lapping the 2wd cars. I know an Escalade isn't a race care...but it helps and in my opinion a lot.

    Just my $0.02

  6. #5
    bruin300 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    I agree with Elusive. Get the AWD. I have always had 4wd or Awd in my Suv's. Also, check with Crestview Cadillac in West Covina and ask for Vic. He may still have some AWD Escalades.

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    karprive is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is AWD REALLY Not Needed???

    Thanks everyone for the responses...I think in my heart, I knew I wanted the AWD, but the quote I received on a RWD Luxury seemed too good to pass up.

    Bruin - thanks for the suggestion on Crestview...I checked their website and saw they have 2 AWDs in stock. I am still hoping to find a Black one, but I will give Vic a call to confirm.

    Anyone have any opinions on the Base or Standard model for 2012? I'm leaning towards the Base trim to keep costs down and I don't need the sunroof, etc., but wanted to make sure I wasn't missing out on something crucial.

    Also, thoughts on Black Raven vs. Black Ice?

    Thanks everyone.

  8. #7
    anhandrew is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Is AWD REALLY Not Needed???

    I would see if you can get the one with navigation. that way you have a stock backup cam. I am a big fan of the dash looking factory and not a after thought... Otherwise it's all about the same standard and base. if you don't need the sunroof it will save you the trouble with any possible leaks down the line. (I also own a 2002 for the last 11 years with no leaks). Buying a new one now you are not buying a first year so you are safe on any updates of any real problems of the early models. I have an 07 and it has been good. Other than the maintenance I really don't have any problems.

    This site is a very good resource. The members are very knowledgeable.

  9. #8
    Cadillac Cust Svc's Avatar
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    Re: Is AWD REALLY Not Needed???

    Let us know what happens at Crestview, Karprive! I'm reachable via email at Katie_Lucille@gmexpert.com if you'd like any further assistance locating the Escalade that's right for you. Thank you very much for considering a Cadillac!

    If you haven't checked out this option yet, Cadillac's Media Archives link gives you specification & pricing details!

    Katie
    Cadillac Customer Service

  10. #9
    concorso is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Is AWD REALLY Not Needed???

    Quote Originally Posted by ELUSIVE View Post
    There is no way I would ever buy one of these vehicles without AWD. Period.

    1) Resale
    2) Any sort of inclement weather. AWD does helps in the rain. It's not just for snow. I agree tires are important, but AWD helps in the rain. Watch a touring car race in the rain if you don't believe me...you'll see the Audi's and Subaru's lapping the 2wd cars. I know an Escalade isn't a race care...but it helps and in my opinion a lot.

    Just my $0.02
    The Audis and Subies may be faster in the rain, but you know where they are not faster or any better then the rwd opponents? Their ability to do a constant 60 mph. Touring cars are racing around a track. An Escalade needs to maintain traffic speeds, thats it, which is at most 85 mph. AWD is not even remotely needed in the rain unless you are on a dock with a boat or you have an extremely steep driveway...and even then...
    On top of that,Id be willing to bet the weight distribution of an Escalade (top heavy) negates any benefit of AWD vs RWD in terms of handling prowess. If you can reach a point in a AWD Escalade, in the rain, that the awd system was beneficial, then you probably need to slow down. I just cant see any benefit of awd in the rain that couldnt be lessened by slowing down, except for the few exceptions given.

  11. #10
    K9Caddy is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Is AWD REALLY Not Needed???

    I agree, I wouldn't worry about AWD unless you get snow in the winter or plan on doing any "off roading".

  12. #11
    ELUSIVE is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Is AWD REALLY Not Needed???

    We can agree to disagree.
    I like traction. The more the better. AWD provides significantly more traction on dry, wet, or snow roads...and I would never ever own such a vehicle that didn't have it.
    You go 2WD and I'll go AWD.

  13. #12
    vipermann1 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is AWD REALLY Not Needed???

    Get the AWD. I am in Los Angeles also. If you goto Big Bear or Mammoth , you will need the AWD traction.
    Dealership is pushing the RWD because they have no AWD. The AWD sell faster and quicker!!!

    Get the AWD!!!!

  14. #13
    karprive is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is AWD REALLY Not Needed???

    Quote Originally Posted by vipermann1 View Post
    Get the AWD. I am in Los Angeles also. If you goto Big Bear or Mammoth , you will need the AWD traction.
    Dealership is pushing the RWD because they have no AWD. The AWD sell faster and quicker!!!

    Get the AWD!!!!
    Thanks...this is what I was trying to figure out...the dealer with the RWD keeps saying that they sell many more RWD units than AWD...but I have noticed online that the few AWD Escalades that they had are now gone.

    It seems like there is no significant negatives to having an AWD Escalade...other than they are more expensive.

    So...for those that said AWD is not needed, if it cost the same, would you still choose RWD?

  15. #14
    karprive is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Is AWD REALLY Not Needed???

    Quote Originally Posted by Cadillac Cust Svc View Post
    Let us know what happens at Crestview, Karprive! I'm reachable via email at Katie_Lucille@gmexpert.com if you'd like any further assistance locating the Escalade that's right for you. Thank you very much for considering a Cadillac!

    If you haven't checked out this option yet, Cadillac's Media Archives link gives you specification & pricing details!

    Katie
    Cadillac Customer Service
    Thanks...I spoke to Crestview and there is currently nothing in stock that I am looking for, but they were very friendly and helpful. I will keep them in mind if I decide to lease a 2013.

  16. #15
    ELUSIVE is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Is AWD REALLY Not Needed???

    Negatives are:
    *More expensive
    *Reduced gas mileage
    *Heavier and therefore could increase stopping distances
    *Need for four tires of the same circumference.

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