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Old 02-28-2004, 06:11 PM   #1
RiffRaff
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Bragging: 4WD, SUVs, gravel, and the ZX3

Today, after I drove my ZX3 out to the construction site where I work, I noticed something strange. I got the car up the steep, loose-gravel driveway with no trouble at all. Even when I stopped halfway up to open the horse gate, I got rolling again with just a touch of gas. The RAV4 and the Sportage got stuck. The girl who drives the Sportage generally has to open the gate, roll backwards to the paved road, and get a running start up the hill.

Once beyond the gate, I bounce my Focus all around the pasture just for kicks before parking by the construction area. The 4WDs just crawl meekly up to the top of the driveway and park immediately.

The only car that struggles with the terrain is a 1980something Mitsubishi Tin Can with what look like 3" wide, threadbare tires.

I've concluded that the people who built the Focus and the people who do marketing for 4WD compact SUVs really know what they're doing.

Other than "for the handling," "to bump up the curb so I can park on the grass at parties," and "because crashes are unavoidable and it's my duty to protect my family with the biggest piece of metal I can buy," and the occasional "to tow a horse trailer and carry bags of cement,"why do people buy SUVs? Yes, those are all reasons that I have heard or read.


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Old 02-28-2004, 09:08 PM   #2
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Because many americans are pretentious jagoffs who think that having an escalade or some other POS with giant shiny rims is going to impress others.
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Old 02-28-2004, 09:10 PM   #3
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cause there better lookin than a most station wagons an can tow pull go offroading plus offer most the same qualities as a truck with more people room an a dry place to put stuff in the back suck as food
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Old 02-28-2004, 09:11 PM   #4
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such as food
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Old 02-28-2004, 09:14 PM   #5
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And lets not forget the trophy wives and soccer moms with the "Im bigger so if I hit something Im not the one getting hurt" mentalitly.
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Old 02-28-2004, 09:17 PM   #6
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Really? As big a fan as I am of the Focus' handling and sure-footedness, it seems implausible that it did better than an RAV AWD up loose gravel. The RAV and Sportage (I believe) come in FWD economy configurations. Is it possible the ones you compared to were the FWD configurations?

Anyway, the biggest advantage of AWD is when you've got good traction under one or more wheels, and poor traction elsewhere.

For example, my FWD Contour with top-notch snow tires generally does just climbing an icey hill as my friends AWD cars (CRV, Legacy, etc.). But I got stuck just last week, turning around in a driveway: My drive tires were on an icey shoulder rut, and rear tires were on dry pavement. It took me half an hour to extricate myself with cardboard under the drive tires.

Any of my friends' AWD cars wouldn't have even blinked in the same situation.

In your situation, where all 4 wheels have EQUALLY POOR traction, the advantage of AWD over good FWD with traction control is greatly diminished -- subtle, perhaps, but not eliminated.
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Old 02-28-2004, 09:18 PM   #7
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Whoops, sorry, left out a word: "My FWD Contour generallly does just *FINE* climbing icey hills, etc."
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Old 02-28-2004, 09:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by JER'SZX3
cause there better lookin than a most station wagons an can tow pull go offroading plus offer most the same qualities as a truck with more people room an a dry place to put stuff in the back suck as food
Yea cuz nothings more economical than a suburban to go get groceries.
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Old 02-28-2004, 09:38 PM   #9
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Most SUVs are four-wheel-drive, not all-wheel-drive. AWD cars usually kick ass in the snow. The only awd car I've been in that sucked in the snow was a Stealth. Audis, Subarus, BMWs, and Mitsubishis do very well in the snow with the right tires. I think AWD cars handle better than awd suvs in the snow.
I don't know why people think SUVs are better choices than cars. I think a lot of them are just conformists. SUVs are shithaulers.
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Old 02-28-2004, 09:42 PM   #10
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Originally posted by Infra3sv
I think a lot of them are just conformists. SUVs are shithaulers.
I agree, usually the biggest pile of shit is in the driver seat!
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