In Winnipeg, is AWD or FWD Better?

January 16th, 2015 by

Winnipeg can be a very, shall we say, an interesting place in which to drive. It can be warm and sunny one day and then we’re in the middle of a snowstorm the next.

In Winnipeg, you need to be prepared.

So we asked Brent Sayles, the general manager of Crown Nissan, if it’s better to purchase a vehicle with All-Wheel Drive or Front-Wheel Drive. His response was intriguing.

“It really depends on the conditions in which you drive,” Sayles explained. “All cars newer than 2012 have a traction control system regardless of being front wheel drive or all-wheel drive, making them substantially safer than previous years without the system.

“However, more important than choosing AWD or FWD is the having a good set of winter tires for winter and an all season or summer for summer.”

That’s interesting for a number of reasons. No. 1, MPI has a wonderful program that helps any driver purchase a new set of winter tires. The MPI Get-a-Grip Program is available at Crown Nissan. No. 2, no matter who you ask at Crown Nissan, they’ll essentially tell you exactly what Sayles will tell you.

We posed the same question to product advisor Greg Hafichuk that we did to the GM and we got an almost identical answer.

“It really is a personal choice,” he said. “But either choice will offer good vehicle dynamics to get you through a Winnipeg Winter.
“Nissan Intuitive All Wheel Drive will drive the car 95 percent front wheels, and 5 percent rear wheel, until traction is compromised. At that point, sensors will detect and “intuitively” transfer power to the front and rear wheels at a 50/50 ratio. You also have the option to lock the transmission into AWD which will send torque to front and rear at a 50/50 ratio. Front Wheel Drive will pull your car through snow, and with the extra weight of the engine in the front of the vehicle, it will give you superior traction.

“However, I would suggest you add a set of winter tires, which have better low temperature traction because of more rubber in the tire. With winter tires on your Nissan, you will have an unbeatable combination for our severe winter conditions. Every member of the staff at Crown Nissan can explain all of these options, in detail, to assist you in making an informed decision.”

Well, that certainly makes it simple. Just head down to Crown Nissan at 700-1717 Waverley St., and have a chat with any member of the sales staff. Getting behind the wheel of a brand new Nissan will make you winter driving a lot more enjoyable.

The Dilawri Automotive Group
Founded in 1984 by Ashok Dilawri, the Dilawri Automotive Group has more than 400 employees and includes seven Winnipeg-based car dealerships. It also provides customers with the Waverly Auto Mall (WAM) Collision Center, a 24-bay glass, paint and auto body center; D-MAX, a 14-bay detailing center; and GAS Performance, a specialty aftermarket and performance accessory showroom with the largest inventory of custom wheels and tires in Winnipeg. The Dilawri Automotive Group has been named one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies.

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