Is AWD that effective in the snow?

I drive a 2018 Civic FWD CVT and I have gotten stuck in snow about 5 times last winter using all season tires. I was thinking  just getting the CRV since its awd AND HAS higher ground clearance but in the summer I heard with no snow that AWD gets horrible gas milage.

also I heard AWD with winter tires is the best way to go. With all wheels driving I heard that it will get better traction or something? I mean the Civic has traction control but not sure how it works

14 Answers

  • Jay P
    Lv 7
    1 year ago
    Favorite Answer

    You're glossing over the only part of the vehicle that in in actual contact with the road...the tires!

    A full set of winter tires does wonders for traction. My FWD vehicle, with 4 snow tires, does very well in the snow. My wife's car, which is AWD, and is also equipped with 4 winter tires, does even better...

    AWD vehicles are heavier compared to their 2 wheel drive counterparts and also have more moving parts so fuel economy does suffer due to the added weight and frictional losses. How much more fuel they use depends on the model of vehicle.

  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    Why not try FWD with winter tires instead?  Maybe that is all you need. Just better tires  than what you are driving on now?

    . It is cheaper...than a new car.

  • M.
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    Here is an interesting video that shows some different characteristics of 4WD and AWD:

    Youtube thumbnail

    At the end he says that having the windshield wipers on will have an effect on the system.

    Who would have known?

  • 1 year ago

    All season tires have different tread patterns depending on the manufacturer. If there are no cleats in the tires they won't grip the snow.

    AWD doesn't cause that much mileage loss and is worth having if it snows a lot by you.

    If you can afford another set of steel rims and Winter tires it's worth having them.

    Source(s): Mitsubishi Master Tech
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  • Geo
    Lv 6
    1 year ago

    You're thinking 4 Wheel Drive, they do get pretty bad mpgs. AWD is a FWD vehicle with a rear Coupling that only engages when the front wheels slip. Subarus have the most proven AWD system in the World. But other automakers are joining in because people want them. AWD is the way to go if it rains or snows a lot. ANY slick pavement or dirt or gravel roads are better handled by AWD. And the mpg penalty is minimal. Around 2.

  • Ron
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    A bit of research on your part would inform you of what kind of mileage other vehicles get. A bit of research on your part would help you decide what kind you need for where you live. Either put some real snow tires or stop being lazy and toss some cables on it.

    Of course AWD will be more effective. Going isn't the problem. Stopping is

  • George
    Lv 4
    1 year ago

    Do you believe EVERYTHING you hear?

  • 1 year ago

    My Crosstrek gets 40mpg highway when I baby it. 35mpg highway otherwise. It is ******* awesome in the snow.

  • 1 year ago

    I have a Nissan Pathfinder. It has 2wd, 4wd on demand and low range 4wd. I never got stuck in snow. A lot depends on driving skills, how much snow is involved, and the terrain. No matter what you drive, go easy. people have damaged transmissions by trying to get out of impossible situations.

  • P
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    AWD will definitely keep you from getting stuck and you won't need the winter tires. However if you get winter tires for your Civic it would very likely solve your winter problems without trading your car in since winter tires make a huge difference. It's not just about the tread on the tire, winter tires use a different type of rubber that can better grip ice.  The CRV is a much bigger car and has worse gas mileage than your Civic even without AWD.    Otherwise AWD systems add a little weight to cars which worsens gas mileage, however many cars now use more efficient AWD systems that only reduce your gas mileage by 2-3 mpg.   After going to an AWD car myself I would never go back since it gives me less tire spin in dry\wet\cold conditions too, but I do tend to go with cars with bigger engines.  

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