The above link points to a story showing that car manufacturers are launching saloons in all-wheel-drive (AWD) or four-wheel-drive to compete alongside ever-trendy SUVs. I thought I’d share some thoughts on this with you…
For context, the rise in popularity of the SUV with their (mostly) AWD of 4WD drivetrains has seen a fall in sales of the humble saloon. In response to this, car manufacturers are offering various saloon models in AWD to compete better with their larger siblings. No easy task, particularly as families prefer the alleged flexibility of an oversized vehicle with a higher-up driving position offering a more commanding view of the road.
Yet when looking at the need of having AWD, it’s difficult to get beyond the fact that it really is dependent on where you live. Quite simply, if you live in a rural area where the roads aren’t paved then yes, you can absolutely benefit from the added traction of an AWD vehicle. Likewise, if you live in an area that sees lots of annual snowfall, then once again, for sure you will be grateful for the better grip of AWD to ensure you don’t slip and slide around on the ice and snow on any journey.
However, should you find yourself living in an urban environment where the roads are paved then the need for an AWD system doesn’t make a lot of sense. The same can be said for cities that don’t have an abundance of snowfall. This basically rules out the overwhelming majority of European cities, particularly on the continent. People often aren’t reminded that he added weight of the AWD system will lead to reduced mileage and often, reduced performance (ie slower 0-60mph times).
As such, I advise anybody who is shopping for a new car to ensure that if their chosen model is indeed equipped with AWD that you do actually want and need AWD. If you’re stuck, get in touch with Car Sleuth to help you!