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As much as I like my Alero, I hate FWD.

Mischief007

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2004
Messages
4,710
Location
London, Ontario, Canada
Car(s)
1995 Chevy Camaro Z28, 04 VW Jetta GLS
The car is fine. I do like it because it is more luxury than what I ever drove. It is even more luxurious than my mom's 03 Taurus SE.

But man, FWD sucks. At 16 I started driving my dad's 88 GMC Safari. Drove it in the winter, summer, rain, snow, you name it. I loved it. Plus it had that nice stance with the front end lower than the rear .

My last two vehicles have been FWD. The Cavalier had 95 HP and this Alero has 140 HP. So yeah, torque steer is a problem, wheel hopping annoys the living crap out of me especially when it is wet (Not being made better that the Alero needs new tires anyway), pulling to the right while accelerating in the wet (tires are spinning at this point), and MY GOD, the steering wheel gets stuck in one position under hard acceleration with the Alero. Literally I have to move it back into position or I'll go off. (Hard acceleration being foot down and redlining it in the first 2 gears). I really miss the 88 Safari with no ABS, no traction control, just a 4.3 L V6 mated to the 4-speed, and mated to a 3.42 rear end. Not once did I get stuck with that van in the snow.

I guess I just found out the hard way that I prefer and have always wanted to drive a RWD vehicle.

It could just that the North American cars are so uncivilized or that GM cars are so uncivilized.

Let me know if you guys have the same type of problems with your FWD vehicles.
 
I know people that would never choose RWD instead of FWD. They say RWD is unsuitable for winter and that FWD is faster and safer in real world.

Obviosly being an RWD-fan I diasgree :) I don't like any understeer (and who does?) and I hate torgue-steer. I had an FWD car (honda) and it was fun, but with RWD (also no ABS or traction control) it's so much more for me :) Driving it in winter may need extra caution, but it's not stressfull or anything... Yes, I did have one accident, but it had nothing to do with rwd (rear ended another guy, didn't notice he was braking). But I can't thing of anything scarier then realizing you lost your traction on front wheels while turning on icy road, and you can't do ANYTHING about it... and that tree/car(add anything here) in front of you is getting closer. Experienced that too.

But I guess it's down to personal preferences. It can be harder for newbee to handle oversteery RWD then understeery FWD. But unless we talk about crazy horsepower figures, they perform similarly with experienced driver.

EDIT: now re-reading my post.. it seems I didn't answer your question :lol: So.. no, I didn't have any big problems with any FWD cars I've driven, at least not at summer.
 
As an everyday drive I prefer a FWD car. When you HAVE to drive, especially in winter, it is just more relaxing and safer (the morning commutes, are just something you "do", you do not want to have to worry about the rear kicking out in every corner).

But I would like to have a RWD as a second car that I could take out when I just wanna enjoy driving...
 
RWD is great fun in winter, I've driven my friend's BMW quite a lot. But as mmap said, FWD is nice and easy as an everyday car. I like both of them.

4WD would be the best, really... There's RWD and FWD, so something for everybody! :lol:
 
I haven't had any problems with fwd nissan, partly cause it lacks power :) but still no. It handles decently and has no noticiable torque steer. I have driven 200+ hp rwd car(no traction control) in winter and i have to say every corner was a challenge =). Little step on the throttle and the back kicked out. But still I would choose rwd because it's horrible feeling when you notice your front wheels are turning but the car keeps on going straight.
 
mmap said:
As an everyday drive I prefer a FWD car. When you HAVE to drive, especially in winter, it is just more relaxing and safer (the morning commutes, are just something you "do", you do not want to have to worry about the rear kicking out in every corner).

But I would like to have a RWD as a second car that I could take out when I just wanna enjoy driving...

I agree on every single word.

Now..if you ask me, I love my Volvo (FWD, traction control). Honestly, on everyday driving you cant feel any understeer. Lets be honest, unless you "floor it" and steer right (or left..) then you'll feel it. Either way, its much safer than a RWD car; RWD cars can be safe if you really know what you're doing. In real life oversteer is not as easy as in Colin McRae Rally. Someone said that FWD's are faster. Well, as a general rule, they're not.
If you want to buy a RWD car, dont buy a crappy one (I suggest not american, anyway). My uncle had a 1993 BMW 325 sedan which I drove a few times. It is amazing, but without traction control and/or ASC (means Anti Skid something...) it was pretty "wild" in the winter.
Just curious, do you have traction control on your alero, mischief?
That Porsche that you want to buy would make a great choice if you just want to enjoy driving (careful in the winter, thats all).
Sorry for this long post. :)

Edit: have you ever considered an AWD car, too?
 
Everything I've driven has been FWD. I'd like to drive a RWD just to get a feel for it. I can understand why RWD fans love it and would dismiss FWD. I guess the best would be to have two cars - one FWD, one RWD lol.
 
RWD can be a bit troublesome in the winter. I remember just last winter we had a huge snowstrom and the people in thier nice bmws or mercedes with low-profile sports tries fishtailing and sliding down steep hills. not to mention how hard it was for them to get out of a parking spot after they got plowed in my a snowplow. fwd seemed to have a lot less trouble. my dad on the other hand had no problems at all with getting stuck or getting out of a plowed in situation....thanks to 4wd, locking diffs, and the chunky tires of his land rover :p
 
I never had any problems in the snow, with my old RWD Volvo 740. Big chunky snow tires are all you need.

It had a turbo and a limited-slip, and I could take long sweeping bends with the tail hanging out in third gear. Or I could take tight turns in town on the throttle. I even did a couple of U-turns on the spot, to get out of traffic jams -- turn the wheels, drop the clutch, and it does a 180 right into the next lane. Let off the gas just enough to catch it, but without letting go entirely, and you can turn it into a big burning start with snow (or rain) rooster tails out the back.

Never got stuck or spun it once.
 
fwd sucks. i had fwd and will never go back. i may seem biased but i hate understeer with a passion. i heard this phrase and its so true, understeer scares the driver, oversteer scares the passenger. plus there is limitless potential to rwd but with fwd you hit a barrier at around 300 hp.
 
Volvo S70:
The Alero does have Traction control. But the traction control is run by the ABS system. It is either on or off.

For winter I'd be buying winter tires so that is not a problem at all. More and more people are becoming educated here that in Canada, a good set of winter tires will help out. My last car, 1991 Cavalier, had a set of winter tires on.

That van that I'm talking about is RWD and I could control it more than my FWD cars. I feel more at home with traditional RWD but I can see the benefits of FWD. I do drive spiritedly which means I will experience damn torque-steer a lot more often. That is also due to uneven halfshafts. Passenger side is 3 times longer than driver side because the transmission is on the driver side.
 
RWD all the way. FWD offers packaging and reduced build costs - they're the only real reasons manufacturers use the layout. I can't comment on FWD / RWD in winter since we only get rain here, none of that slush / ice / snow malarky :)
 
i prefere RWD in the winter time.. modern RWD cars are made to work perfectly in the winter and if you first loose controle in a RWD you can get it back by good throtle controle... in a FWD you only have the E-brake...

for the store run.. a FWD works fine.. but if you drive alot a RWD is the best .
 
My Golf's a FWD (obviously) and I'm used to it but I have a mate who has an old Falcon with the 4.1L 6cyl... Man, I have some fun in that but also when just driving around normally, pulling away from the lights etc, it feels alot more solid... So, the FWD is ok sometimes but for me, RWD is better for more situations...

I'm hoping for my next car to be RWD...
 
I hate FWD too. Think about the weight shifting as you drive a car. When you accelerate, the weight goes to the back, therefore there is more traction at the back. I love my Prelude at 7/10ths, but push it past that and its an understeering thing. It's hard work when it starts understeering too.

A couple of years ago, I had a black ice incident in my VL where I was doing 110km/h on a freeway exit ramp and had a massive slide due to the ice that I couldn't see. The car was terribly out of shape, but using the techniques I had learned in GT4 (believe it or not, GT4 with a DFP is that real, and the skills learned from it has saved my car from being written off more than once!!) I was able to use the weight shifting technique to get the weight to the rear of the car and pull it back into shape, without going off the road. <--That's a true story!!

I could never trust my Prelude in the same situation, so while RWD may be harder work in icy conditions, its the only one of the 2 that I would fully trust. The only reason I own an FWD at the moment is because it was the only sort of car in my price range and class that was worth owning (I looked at Preludes and Celicas, and Celicas are just :puke: ) It'll be back to RWD soon, without a doubt.
 
flyingfridge said:
A couple of years ago, I had a black ice incident in my VL where I was doing 110km/h on a freeway exit ramp and had a massive slide due to the ice that I couldn't see. The car was terribly out of shape, but using the techniques I had learned in GT4 (believe it or not, GT4 with a DFP is that real, and the skills learned from it has saved my car from being written off more than once!!) I was able to use the weight shifting technique to get the weight to the rear of the car and pull it back into shape, without going off the road. <--That's a true story!!

I could never trust my Prelude in the same situation, so while RWD may be harder work in icy conditions, its the only one of the 2 that I would fully trust. The only reason I own an FWD at the moment is because it was the only sort of car in my price range and class that was worth owning (I looked at Preludes and Celicas, and Celicas are just :puke: ) It'll be back to RWD soon, without a doubt.

Black ice is a bitch. Alpine Way thios year up to Thredbo, scariest driving moment I've ever had, but that's off topic :p

Flyingfridge, you do have to admit that the Prelude is a good, solid handling car for a FWD...
 
watto said:
Black ice is a bitch. Alpine Way thios year up to Thredbo, scariest driving moment I've ever had, but that's off topic :p

Flyingfridge, you do have to admit that the Prelude is a good, solid handling car for a FWD...

Yeah, you're right watto, the Prelude is a good solid handling car, most definately, it just isn't as good and never will be as good as a half-sorted RWD car. It's honestly almost enough to make you cry. Honda put such a lovely engine in a solid chassis and build a wonderful looking, comfortable car around it, then pack it with a shitty FWD drivetrain. That engine is such a willing partner once you get it over about 2500-3000rpm, and it just goes like hell. The tourque steer once you hit 3 grand though, is nuts, especially when you have Melbourne tram lines to deal with as well, and they were bad enough in the VL, let alone the tourque steering Prelude.

The fact its FWD is dissapointing. After owning the Prelude I'd just about give my left arm (and I'm left handed :lol:) to drive an S2000. That engine, with VTEC and RWD. MMMM
 
asthenia said:
Big chunky snow tires are all you need.
Exactly! omg. My friend who had an old E-Class (pre-96. Sorry, I don't know the code for it) traded it for a 325iX because she couldn't make it up the hill to her house and felt safer in her new awd BMW. I'm like :shock:. A perfectly good set of winter tyres will get her up that hill faster and safer than the awd BMW with AS tyres. :bangin:

But yeah, for pure driving experiences, RWD can't be beat. Unless you have a 4WD car with variable torque distribution like the Skyline where you can switch to 50/50 while cornering, then switch to RWD on the straights :D
 
NexTourer said:
asthenia said:
Big chunky snow tires are all you need.
Exactly! omg. My friend who had an old E-Class (pre-96. Sorry, I don't know the code for it) traded it for a 325iX because she couldn't make it up the hill to her house and felt safer in her new awd BMW. I'm like :shock:. A perfectly good set of winter tyres will get her up that hill faster and safer than the awd BMW with AS tyres. :bangin:

i back up the snow tires..when my dad lived in Pennsylvania and had a trans am (think american V8 with lots of torque in Pennsylvania with lots of snow)

all he did for the winter was fit chunky snow tires all around and he had no trouble getting through any snow :)
 
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