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what is the difference between 2wd 4wd and awd. what would be the best for snowy/icy condition and a great family car as well?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Patty Streeter,  at Amanda, A 2 wheel drive vehicle is just that: 2 wheels, either front or rear, propell the vehicle. A 4 wheel drive vehicle is when the driver can decide whether 2 or 4 wheels propel the vehicle by changing the position of a lever or the pushing of a button. An all wheel drive vehicle is propelled by all four vehicles or 2 wheels and the vehicle's computer decides when this change will happen. As far as what is best for snowy or icy condition, the general rule of thumb is either an All Wheel drive or front-wheel drive (2wd) vehicle. Avoid a rear wheel drive vehicle because they are more likely to slip and lose traction because the weight of the vehicle (the engine is heaviest, so the front is where the weight usually is) is in front, therefore taking the traction off the rear tires, where it is needed most. If the conditions are not icy or slippery, it doesn't matter if it is front or rear wheel drive. But when it counts, my money is on the front wheels. Many people who own rear-wheel drive cars (typiclaly trucks and SUVs) will fill their truck beds with weight (usually sand bags) to help with this problem. But why do that if you don't have to? Look for a front wheel or all wheel drive. Subaru offers most of their vehicles in AWD and most passengar cars and some small SUVs (Rav4, Highlander) are FWD. Check out the car configurator on Ask Patty to find cars with different features and then look for a Female Friendly dealer near you! Here is the car configurator: Good luck!

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