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What car company has the best AWD system

bosi77bosi77 Posts: 37
Exactly what the title asks^ Also retains to Subaru AWD system and Audi AWD system.
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Comments

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    bosi77,

    Acura has the best AWD system bar none. Next topic ! ;)

    Rocky
  • My title said it all. Jeep and Land Roverare the best when it comes to all wheel drive. Just because subaru advertises about how all of its vehicle have all wheel drive, that doesn't mean that its good. When it comes to off road, military climates, etc. Jeep and land Rover are the rulers.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    Acura has the best AWD system bar none

    I would think owners of Porsche, Mercedes, Audi and BMW AWD cars would argue that point.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Most car companies pedelling AWD systems have several completely different systems, either at the same time or over time. The qualification for "Best" is also dependent on what you are looking for in the system: best for handling, best for snow road travel, best robustness and best for rock crawling all demand quite different systems.

    Subaru has at least two different systems:
    (1) A viscous coupling system used on manual models; it's reactive, but is 50-50 when not locking up.
    (2) Clutch packs on automatic models; it's pro-active, but is 90-10 divide on most models when no wheel is about to slip.

    Audi has used at least three different systems:
    (1) The models in the early years involved manual engaging locking . . . not recommended;
    (2) Torsen system with mechanically pro-active response, but heavy with the complex worm gear etc..
    (3) Haldex system on some if not all models in the last few years . . . lighter but robustness is yet to be long-term observed.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    if I'm going to go to the trouble of having AWD, I want it working all the time. Give me the 50/50 system of the Subarus (or the proactive 90/10 VDC) over any of the FWD systems that only engage the rear wheels when they detect slippage.

    But Subarus don't get traction/stability control to go with their AWD unless you are spending a gazillion dollars.

    NOW, in the gazillion dollar range, we have lots of good systems, although I still prefer the Audi Torsen, which again can be set up to run the wheels 50/50 all the time, or any of a number of other ratios if the manufacturer prefers.

    As for trucks, I still prefer the old-school systems, but those are mostly going away in favor of electronics that decide too much stuff for you. The new Land/Range Rover systems really go over the top, with variable mapping for the throttle and suspension settings and all the rest of the mumbo-jumbo. They are nothing more than a ton of very expensive repairs waiting to ruin your day in the near future, and for what? These $50-75,000 trucks are never going anywhere but the mall anyway, and even if they did, they've got what - 35-series tires on $2000 18" alloy rims? I give those about a minute before the first puncture, and probable rim destruction at the same time.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    As for trucks, I still prefer the old-school systems

    I agree with your whole assessment of 4X4/AWD systems. every new device that is added will be a repair bill. You can expect it to last at least 2 months past the warranty. Then get your wallet out. We had very little trouble with our 4X4 trucks until they added electronic activation of the hi/lo transfer case. And of course ABS is useless with 4 wheel drive. It may be different with continuous AWD. I have never owned one.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Actually the Land Rover ABS system takes into account different terrains and adjusts the ABS system accordingly.

    ABS is only useless off-road if it doesn't know it is off-road. If the ABS computer has different braking algorithms for different surfaces then it does fine.

    For example in sand mode the ABS system actually allows the brakes to lock up for a split second so that sand builds up in front of the tires and you stop sooner.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    Subaru or Audi can claim best AWD systems by far. These two companies have been hard at work on this technology way longer than Honda/Acura or Toyota/Lexus..
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Honda's SH-AWD, is by far the most advanced in the world.

    Rocky
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    Honda's SH-AWD, is by far the most advanced in the world

    Can you be more specific? Has it been used in racing vehicles and proven? I would have to drive it on glare ice to give an assessment for myself. I don't plan on being anywhere near icy conditions now that I am retired. I did my 37 years on ice and snow.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    It's been proven. Go to the acura site and see how it works. It's banned from racing like the quattro system of Audi's from what I understand ;)

    Rocky
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    Go to the acura site

    Do you think Acura will give an objective performance rating? Has any of the car mags done a head to head comparison?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    gagrice,

    Edmunds did a AWD comparo and the SH-AWD won by a landslide pal. How couldn't it ? The system doesn't just send power to the front or rear wheels, it also send torque to the outer wheels that need it most. This uniqueness is what makes it #1 and improves the handling of the vehicle. The RL has a 0.90 g's on the skidpad pal. ;)

    Rocky
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Can you point us in the direction of this comparo?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    british,

    I'll try to find it on inside line, hold on pal.

    Rocky
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    ...just for sport sedans however, not SUV's.
  • dilldill Posts: 31
    I know this is probably going to get alot of negative responses. I read an article about a month ago that said of all the vehicles a particular publication had rated, they were most impressed by the AWD layout and system of the Buick Rendezvous. It was the only CUV/SUV out there that had a completely flat floorplan versus all the others. No hump means greater comfort and more space for the occupants.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Fred Flinstone's car has no hump in the middle, as well. I don't think that's the metric for "best AWD system" that I would use.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Yeah I I agree with you habitat. Acura's SH-AWD is by far the benchmark for AWD systems period. Next Question ? ;)

    Rocky
  • dilldill Posts: 31
    What specifically about Acura's SH-AWD system so good? It would be good to give at least one reason besides your possible bias towards Acura products. Period. Next Quetion?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    SH-AWD is a REactive system. My vote for best AWD system would go to a PROactive system. Subaru comes to mind, but I don't know anything more than the PR hype about Subie's best systems...

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Acura's SH-AWD system is the best IMHO because it not only powers the wheels with the most traction but when going into a turn it sends the most power to the rear wheel that will shoulder most of the g-force load powering you out of a curve and if their is any slippage it won't allow the wheel to turn faster than the others which keeps the tires from squealing and sending you into the ditch or in a spin. If I was a physics major I might be able to explain it better with more statistical detail. ;)

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I agree subie has a good AWD system but better than Acura's SH-AWD ?????? I don't see any evidence of advantages over SH-AWD.

    Rocky
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    We need the hard-core Subie fans to post here, but I believe the Subaru VDCs can shift engine torque side to side like the Honda SH-AWD system. And of course, Subaru had that on production models several years before Acura's SH-AWD. It's just that Subaru doesn't have the PR money to make a big fuss about it like Honda does.

    And honestly, I don't see much advantage in the Honda system over a simple old-school 50/50 viscous center coupling with a limited-slip on the rear axle. The Honda system might see some small weight savings, I suppose, but considering they are only installing it on vehicles weighing near 4000 pounds or even more, I am not that excited.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "SH-AWD is a REactive system. My vote for best AWD system would go to a PROactive system. Subaru comes to mind"

    Please explain your distinction between reactive and proactive as you are using the terms here. I would have thought the best AWD systems would be reactive in that they can vary the amount of power to certain wheels or axles based upon actual slippage input from the cars computers. Now if there is a "pro-active" system that can tell in advance when I'm going to hit a patch of snow or get my left rear wheel stuch in mud, I want to know about it. Not that I'd buy the vehicle, but I'd get the engineers to rig me up a stock trading computer for the hedge fund I'll start. ;)

    P.S. The unfortunate reality with Subaru not getting much credit for anything is that they just don't have an upscale image. My father in law swears by his Subaru Legacy Wagon which he logs 20,000 miles a year in Maine. But it's not a common sight in more affluent areas and doesn't have the demographic support of an Acura, Audi, Mercedes, BMW, etc. to get much press. And they have the aesthetic appeal of a tool belt - which suits my FIL perfectly, but not the neighborhood soccer mom.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Well, my answer to your question has two parts:
    (1) I prefer systems that run ALL the wheels ALL the time, because they don't wait for wheels to slip before engaging, which is my definition of reactive. Audi's Torsen-based system, as well as old-school center-VCs, get my vote here.

    (2) Beyond that, I have been lead by PR hype to believe that some systems are more proactive than others, including Subaru's VDC. I must confess I do not know all the details of this, which is why I need one of the hard-cores to chime in (I assume default torque splits of 50/50 help, as well as yaw sensor input and the like).

    But SH-AWD is proactive in one sense, which I like: when you stop, the computer automatically routes part of the power to the rears until you reach a certain speed, meaning that in hard launches you will have all four wheels trying to get traction. Now unfortunately, the power split in those conditions is like 80/20 I believe, so you don't have MUCH of the power going to the rears, but it reduces the amount of time the system needs to react when the fronts begin to slip. Several magazines testing the RL when it came out stated they could slip the front wheels a lot more than they liked before the vehicle would find traction.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,617
    I prefer systems that run ALL the wheels ALL the time, because they don't wait for wheels to slip before engaging, which is my definition of reactive. Audi's Torsen-based system, as well as old-school center-VCs, get my vote here.

    You hit the nail on the head, Nippon.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I appreciate your answer, but I wouldn't have termed "Full Time 4-Wheel Drive" as a proactive AWD system. If fact, some of them are neither proactive or reactive - it's just on all the time. That's what our old Isuzu Trooper had. Also, if I'm not mistaken full time 4-wheel drive is also the least fuel efficient system compared to "on demand" systems that transfer power as needed. However, I do agree with you that, as in the case of our 2005 MDX (not SH-AWD), the pause until the rear wheels kick in when the front wheels start slipping is a little discomforting.
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