: RWD or AWD



skozzy
06-25-09, 03:37 PM
Hi

I am looking at STS's right now. I live in Iowa so I am thinking that AWD is a must but anyone else in the area have issues with the winter and RWD? I am looking at used 05-06's, I find a few AWD but wow the price range I am looking at they have a ton of miles.

Thanks for any input.

Shon

sburgin
06-25-09, 04:02 PM
if you search this forum, you'll find plenty of prior posts seeking this same opinion. Most folks will tell you to insist on AWD - others will tell you that if you must get a RWD, that snow tires are a must. Both opinions are right.

I have a RWD and I do live in the Midwest. Yes, it sucks when the snow is bad - but I can count on one hand the number of times I was uncomfortable driving the car. Also depends on how well you know how to drive in the snow.

Personally - I throw 300 pounds of weight over the back axle, and take it slow.
That's just me...

ifmracin
06-25-09, 04:34 PM
Also from Iowa.
Running RWD, with all seasons............and it sucks.
If this was my only vehicle I would be looking towards some good snow tires, and I probably will at some point anyway once these are due for replacement (which might take a while since I run 20's in summer).

I did take a trip this past winter and got stuck in that really bad storm while coming across 20. I made it just fine while watching FWD cars go into the ditch right next to me.
Being a smart driver is a very important part of it, but I definately had some pucker moments that some better tires could have helped.

chkline
06-25-09, 06:40 PM
Go with the RWD. With all the fuel you will save the rest of the year, you can buy a cheap Jeep for the snowy days!, or a real nice set of snow tires!

c5 rv
06-25-09, 08:36 PM
One my my co-workers bought a STS-4 PEP car last year. He's driven domestic and import FWD cars for years and is now absolutely sold on AWD for Michigan winters.

That said, I drove RWD trucks and SUVs for years and seldom had a problem in the winter. AWD is better, though, and winter tires on my MKZ made a big difference on ice.

hazcaddy
06-25-09, 08:54 PM
I second this previous post: I too have an STS4 PEP car and had never thought much about AWD until buying this car. It provides that extra level of comfort in tough conditions, and the knowledge that I'll get through more than makes up for the 1 or 2 mpg I'm losing the rest of the year.

My next car, whatever it'll be, wil probably have AWD also - I'm sold on it.

Caroutisine
06-26-09, 06:34 AM
The RWD version of the STS is not a good year-round driver if you live in a area that has snowy winters. Snow tires help, but I would take the mileage hit and go with the AWD if you're going to drive it in all seasons.

rnkath08
06-26-09, 12:19 PM
I'm in upstate ny, did speak to a few owners of RWD prior to buying my AWD and there were some storms that their cars couldn't get out of their own way. I also didn't want to have to load the car down and stress so much over tires, in part because I have older teens and should they use the car (okay, they don't much...but still) I wanted them as well equipped as could be and that generation doesn't know much about driving rear wheel. We grew up with it, they didn't. I also plan to keep it 6+ years not trade in very soon or anything.
That being said, my best advice is get awd, but wait, don't rush. There are great deals out there, you just may not have found it yet. My car came from Ohio (I'm in NY) and I found it online thru an auto wholesaler, so just maybe broaden your area to look in and see if you find more options. Good luck!

amgqmp1
06-26-09, 10:32 PM
I'm from Iowa too (West Des Moines). I have a RWD '05 V8 with really low miles (17,400) and it's still running the factory tires (Michelins). It sucked as bad as I expected it would last winter (as a teenager I drove RWD V8 cars year round here, so I'm familiar with the limitations). I also had a Jeep Wrangler to drive, so I tried to put the STS away when the snow would come...but, I do recall driving it extensively on one of the worst days. I made it up Grand Avenue (heading towards downtown Des Moines) going sideways, and I was passing pretty much everyone. Traction control off and the gas pedal down can help at times. I've never gotten stuck in the STS, but it can also barely make it up my driveway when there's an inch of snow (and my driveway is not steep). ;)

I'm leaning towards a set of rims with snow tires, or a 4X4 pickup as a second vehicle for this winter (I sold the Jeep Wrangler).

Even if you went for an STS-4, I'd recommend a set of snow tires for the winter. If it's running the factory Michelins like mine, it will be amusing. They're not the best gripping tires I've ever had...

amgqmp1
06-26-09, 10:38 PM
Personally - I throw 300 pounds of weight over the back axle, and take it slow.

That's what she said? :)

I'm sure the weight does help. I'm weird so my trunk usually just has a few reusable cloth shopping bags, and a snow scraper. You're right about taking it slow though...even an H1 Hummer can slide into a curb. :salute:

next2pool
06-27-09, 02:09 PM
Even though my STS is RWD, I've always been a fan of 4WD for sport sedans. It is there for more than just snowy days. It gives the car a "sure footed" capability in snow, rain or dry if you want to push it.

VineTime
06-27-09, 02:13 PM
I have a 500+ hp STS-V (RWD) and even with the ridiculous power I haven't had to much troubal in the snow with my snow tires. Of course the factory tires got me stuck in the snow once but since then the snow tires have been pretty good. I live in CT so we get some decent snow storms here and I made it through all of them with the RWD. If you live in a place your going to get serious snow and don't have a 4WD forcing you to take the RWD out then your better off with the AWD. If you only get a few days of bad snow the RWD with some good tires is more than adequate.

VineTime
06-27-09, 02:16 PM
Even though my STS is RWD, I've always been a fan of 4WD for sport sedans. It is there for more than just snowy days. It gives the car a "sure footed" capability in snow, rain or dry if you want to push it.

The traction control and stabilty control do a great job of keeping these cars going straight under bad conditions. They just do a bad job of letting you light up the tires.

EChas3
07-02-09, 09:53 PM
If gas mileage is that important, why are you looking at an STS, anyway?

K STS
07-02-09, 10:55 PM
for me, the one second slower 0-60 between RWD and AWD was more than enough NOT to go with AWD.

tigers2007
07-06-09, 02:26 AM
Get the AWD. I drive like an escaped convict on the freeways and I still average 23MPG with the 3.6L V6. One note though -- i strongly recommend hitting the traction control disable button if you must venture into snow as the TC is VERY agressive. When the TC kicks in, the car looses all power. I almost hit a wall on the freeway doing about 60 when I got caught in heavy slush. I smacked the disable button, punched the gas (already had the foot jammed on the gas with no response due to the TC), and pulled myself out of the slush. I also did some wild test driving on fresh gravel and had zero problems with control.

MacMuse
07-08-09, 08:48 AM
I also did some wild test driving on fresh gravel and had zero problems with control.

OK, I'm not proud - I'll say it for the rest of you that just read that...

EEEEKKKK! The paint job ! :holycrap:

EChas3
07-08-09, 03:52 PM
OK, I'm not proud - I'll say it for the rest of you that just read that...

EEEEKKKK! The paint job ! :holycrap:

My wife has always added mudflaps to her cars to help control this issue. They are not available for the STS. The consensus on this site and from many others is that they do not offer much protection based on the design of the car.

Some people contend they are ugly. If they really were functional, I would diasagree. As it is, neither of our STS gives us reason to avoid gravel roads. The car gets dirty but the finish doesn't seem affected at all.

GarryW
07-08-09, 06:43 PM
I live in Chicago and my 2005 RWD SUCKED in the snow! The dealer told me it was the number one complaint and very embarrassing for them. But my 2008 STS-4 AWD is the BEST car I have ever driven in Chicago winters! Do need any more convincing????

tigers2007
07-09-09, 05:53 PM
I bought my '06 AWD in March and only had one time to experience it in the snow, as I stated above, I almost killed the car due to the traction control. It is a nice car overall but I'm hesitant to do any add-on's until I can really rag on this in pure blizzard conditions and make a decision if I want to keep the car. I'm pretty rough on cars as I try to drive them to the limits. Thank God for GMPP. I never thought about the issue of rock damage. GM had to put some type of flex agent into the paint down there. But hell - I only paid $20.5k for this 17k mile car. Why not drive it like an escaped convict?? ;)

amgqmp1
07-12-09, 11:56 AM
I live in Chicago and my 2005 RWD SUCKED in the snow! The dealer told me it was the number one complaint and very embarrassing for them. But my 2008 STS-4 AWD is the BEST car I have ever driven in Chicago winters! Do need any more convincing????

Were you using the stock tires? My '05 V8 RWD feels like it's on ice with the stock tires...and that's in the rain.

I'm caught in one of those internal debates over snow tires on a fresh set of rims for the winter, or buying a 4x4 winter beater for the really harsh days.

skozzy
08-12-09, 05:04 PM
Thanks for all the input! I bought an 06 AWD V8, and for the comment about the gas milage being a problem... No I could car less. All my cars are V8's, my Eddie Bauer Exploder and my 05 T-bird. I did do the test drive of the RWD and the AWD prior to purchase and I just loved the way the AWD held the road compared to the RWD. As for the speed issue between the two...well I am old enough now that is not an issue, I have learned you abuse your car you pay for it, treat it nice and it will last. It is not a race car.

tigers2007
08-12-09, 05:07 PM
Congratulations! I kinda wish I opted for the V8 AWD instead of the V6 AWD that I have but the dealer "gave it away" to me... Just remember, know where the traction control button is. Its VERY agressive. Read my post above about my slush incident.

skozzy
08-13-09, 10:12 AM
Congratulations! I kinda wish I opted for the V8 AWD instead of the V6 AWD that I have but the dealer "gave it away" to me... Just remember, know where the traction control button is. Its VERY agressive. Read my post above about my slush incident.



Will do! Thanks for the heads up!

amgqmp1
08-13-09, 12:57 PM
Congrats! Since I posted my last message in this thread I went ahead and bought a POS 4X4 to use as my "snow tires".

Living in this climate...I think you made the right choice going AWD if you intend to use the STS year round. Mine will just have to stay home when it gets white outside. :)

EChas3
08-13-09, 01:12 PM
One of the auto magazines (forget which) concluded snow tires help a FWD car more than the AWD option and for less money. My wife's RWD STS with Blizzaks may be better than my AWD with OEM Michelin AS but I think that will change when I get better All-Season tires (by November)!

skozzy
08-13-09, 02:31 PM
Congrats! Since I posted my last message in this thread I went ahead and bought a POS 4X4 to use as my "snow tires".

Living in this climate...I think you made the right choice going AWD if you intend to use the STS year round. Mine will just have to stay home when it gets white outside. :)

Congrats on the 4x4! Yeah this will be my winter/daily driver, My 50th Anniversary T-Bird is the toy car and sits all winter and rainy days.