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I somehow got the impression that the AWD had better overall handling than the RWD because of the Traction Control but now am beginning to wonder if it really makes sense for me.
Here in the SFO Bay Area we do not get snow and I no longer venture to the mountains in the winter so there will be no driving in slush or snow. Rain yes but snow no. Are there any reasons that AWD would make more sense in this situation than RWD. I saw a number of you interested mainly in RWD. Comments very welcome as I need to finalize this in the next day or two. The local dealer will have his factory show car this coming Thursday and hopefully there first shipment within the next week.
 

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AWD is for areas with heavy snow, wet weather. Folks living in areas where there is not a lot of wet weather can make do with RWD as long as accompanied by traction and stability control systems. AWD systems are heavier, more complex (more stuff can go wrong), and give slightly worse gas mileage than RWD counterparts. And they cost more.

If you have to ask yourself whether you *need* AWD, you probably don't need it.
 

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I would think that depending if you don't get a lot of snow, how often do you get heavy down pours of rain, and how often you may be driving in those down pours.

Here we don't get a lot of snow, but there are times that we do get them out of the blue. Most of the time I opt not to drive in it. And there there are times when there's ice, which I don't go anywhere in any of that unless I have to get home, but once I am home I opt not to go out unless I need to.

We do get some down pours during this time of year and throughout the summer. Highway drainage here sucks, so I have opted to go with the AWD because of that. And being close to the mountains and have been in areas of VA during winter holidays when my RWD G didn't particular care for snow or slush at all.
 

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It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it ╮(╯_╰)╭
I would have agreed with you prior to the introduction of traction control and electronic stability programs. Now, not so much. RWD-only is not so much a problem unless you are in the snow, but even then if driven carefully that can be managed. You only run in to major problems in extremely powerful RWD cars like Corvettes, topline Mustangs and Camaros, where stability and traction control systems cannot handle all they power being sent through superwide wheels.

The bigger problem i see now is idiot drivers here in Houston who think they can continue driving in heavy downpours like they drive on a bright sunny day (i.e., 75MPH, weaving in and out of traffic), just because their SUV/truck has AWD or 4WD. These idiots are a bigger danger than a RWD sport sedan driven carefully.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys, That knocked about $1800 off of the MSRP. Clearly don't need it in my situation.
 

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AWD adds weight, wind drag, ride height and complexity to the drivetrain. Don't get it unless you get snow 4 months plus out of the year. If the words "snow tires", "chains" and "winter beater" are in your vocabulary, you may consider it.

Us southerners have no use for them. I'm still puzzled when I see AWD anything here in Texas.
 

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Here's my take on awd/rwd. I grew up driving in the snow in NH, Maine and Vermont. Heck, my driver's ed instructor even took me to an abandoned airport taxiway to teach me skidding skills in snow after I made the request. Now I live where Doyle does in the Bay Area. It never ever snows here. However, I drive to Tahoe every weekend from December through April. It snows A LOT there. So, I have AWD and two sets of wheels for my vehicle (real snow tires plus regular all seasons).

Living where I live, if I had two cars, I'd have one awd and one rwd. If, like Doyle I were never going to the snow, I'd definitely get the RWD car. I've driven both AWD and RWD G37's, M37's and FX/EX 37's. On dry or wet pavement, there is no difference - Infiniti's traction control is excellent.

I tend to hear from some people that AWD gives better control and/or traction, regardless of road surface. Almost always, these people have been to an Audi dealer recently. Audi sells almost exclusively AWD cars. As a result, it is decidedly in the salesperson's interest to convince you that AWD is the only way to go. If you believe them, it narrows the competitive field for them rather dramatically.

I sell both AWD and RWD vehicles. And most of Infiniti's line-up lets you choose whichever you prefer. In Doyle's case, it sounds like RWD is the way to go.

Oh, and one more thing. Tires are what make the difference in traction. AWD doesn't mean spit if you have bald tires, summer tires or racing slicks on your vehicle. The cars I see upside down in the ditch up in Tahoe are almost always AWD. But they're idiots from the Bay Area who think that AWD = ice brakes. AWD may get you going easier/faster in snow/ice, but your brakes work exactly the same way whether you have AWD or RWD. Don't be the upside down idiot. Put good tires on your vehicle if you're going to drive in the snow.
 
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