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Old 01-03-2013, 11:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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RWD or AWD

Hello,

I used to own a 300M back at in the 2000-2002 time frame, been driving Audi's (A8/A6/TT AWD) and VW Passats (FWD) recently, and I am seriously considering the 300C (V6) as my next car.

I like my current Passat, but due to the FWD layout (frequent wheel spin with the 2.0T engine) and complete lack of advanced technology options (no HID's, no Adaptive Speed Control, no ventilated seats, no Blind Spot Detection, etc) the 300C is high on my list. I would actually really like the new Audi A6, but it's $20,000 - $25,000 more expensive when equipped similar to an 300C with the Light Group, Safety Tech option and Beats Audio option, and I am currently not willing to spend that much more money to get the Audi (in addition, Audi leases are terrible).

I live in Austin, TX. It rarely rains, and I have seen snow twice in the past 12 years (both times it was gone by the afternoon of the day if came down), so having AWD is not all that important from that perspective. I loved the AWD in my Audi TT, A6 and A8 and hate the FWD in the VW Passat. I have never owned a RWD vehicle, but what I read and hear is that they are much better than FWD systems when power is put to the wheels. There is one AWD 300 available at an Austin dealer, and I have found it difficult to get extended test drives with any of the 300's (AWD or RWD) I have found.

It looks like the AWD system adds about $2,350 to the 300C price tag, so my questions is:

Is the AWD system worth the additional $2,350 over the RWD system when using the car in Texas?
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think that's a matter of opinion. I wish everyday that my SRT8 was AWD. However it may have something to do with the fact I live in Seattle and more than 50% of my driving is in the rain. I will say that when its dry I don't care as much.
I've always thought that a well equipped 300C 5.7 AWD is just about the best 300C made. But then again I bought an SRT8 and not a 5.7 AWD.
In my opinion, AWD isn't really necessary in your area. But then again I've never driven a 300C AWD either... Maybe I'm not the one to ask...
Good luck, you'll love the car either way. I'm about to turn 90k on mine and its been the best car I've ever owned.


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Old 01-04-2013, 07:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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IMHO, I'd say no because the AWD designation is a bit of a misnomer. It's not a full time AWD system and is primarily a RWD setup. Since you will hardly ever see conditions that would engage the AWD feature, I say save your money.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Personally, living in Maine, AWD is a must. I traded a Nissan Titan for a 2012 300C AWD, 5.7 with the bells/whistles. I was a bit hesitant since I know how harsh winters can be here. The 300C is a great AWD-SO FAR-and I love the way it drives in the snow(I DID but dedicated snow tires). However, I do not know of the differences in real life situations-esp. in Texas so I cant help
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have an AWD, live in MI, and see lots of inclement weather almost half the year...rain, snow, ice, etc. I really wanted the AWD option and am happy with it. MD is right, it ain't a "true" all-time AWD drive. In fact, just yesterday, I was messing around in a parking lot and could get about half a donut before the front end kicked in, so there is a delay at times with it engaging, but this is normal. I will say, our driveway has a hill at the end, entering the roadway. I would probably mostly never get out of our driveway with just RWD in the winter!

A hidden cost is the maintenance on this. Recently, after I purchased mine (past June), I had to have the transaxle serviced - the part that controls the AWD powertrain. This was about $700...involves dropping the muffler system,flushing fluids, changing filter, etc; however, my car had about 85K on it at the time and I won't need to service this transaxle until about 120K now. My understanding is that the differential service fee is about the same RW to AW drive....

IMO, if you are mostly in dry weather, do the RWD. There are many days I long for a SRT RWD model...especially after reading MD's posts! Now, you have a 5.7, so we have the lesser HP. But I would love to see a RWD 5.7 and AWD 5.7 race...would there really be that much of difference in general performance? Don't know.....


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Old 01-04-2013, 09:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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This 2006 300C AWD Hemi is my first AWD car.

For you in texas you might have an edge at a light if the road is wet or has sand on it.

Otherwise maybe just for resale.

While I got by with RWD except for 1970 Toronado the AWD is better than I thought it would be for off road 'exploring'. Now that I am old and my legs are no longer strong I let the AWD show me the land.

I am going out again today and there is about 4 to 8" of snow still here in NW CT along with icy frozen snow under that. I will let the AWD get me to where even my studded snows on the RWD's could not before. I have had a place in the VT hills also for 50 years and I used to down hill ski.

The AWD will also climb a steep hill off road on wet grass without tearing up the grass or land.


Last edited by Savage99; 01-04-2013 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I would like to jump in here as someone who just purchased a 2013 300S AWD.

In your area I don't see a real point in getting the AWD model minus feeling safer in the days you get a crazy amount of rain or the off chance you get snow. Keep in mind the AWD doesn't get the 31mpg advertised on the RWD model (AWD is quoted @ 27 highway). So if I were you, no way is the worst gas mpg worth getting AWD in your area.

To address the misconceptions around AWD on the 2013 model. Its does in fact use RWD accept when slippage is detect like all the previous models but there has been some advancements to it. Here are the conditions that will force AWD:
Wheel slippage
Windshield wipers on
traction control off
less then 35 degrees outside.

I found this out because I don't buy into the give me RDW most of the time and AWD only when my wheels spin idea, that's crazy talk. So now that its cold outside my 300s stays in AWD all the time. Huge improvement.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hainesm View Post
I would like to jump in here as someone who just purchased a 2013 300S AWD.

In your area I don't see a real point in getting the AWD model minus feeling safer in the days you get a crazy amount of rain or the off chance you get snow. Keep in mind the AWD doesn't get the 31mpg advertised on the RWD model (AWD is quoted @ 27 highway). So if I were you, no way is the worst gas mpg worth getting AWD in your area.

To address the misconceptions around AWD on the 2013 model. Its does in fact use RWD accept when slippage is detect like all the previous models but there has been some advancements to it. Here are the conditions that will force AWD:
Wheel slippage
Windshield wipers on
traction control off
less then 35 degrees outside.

I found this out because I don't buy into the give me RDW most of the time and AWD only when my wheels spin idea, that's crazy talk. So now that its cold outside my 300s stays in AWD all the time. Huge improvement.
I wonder if gen 1 cars are different?


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Old 01-04-2013, 11:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therealfleen View Post
I wonder if gen 1 cars are different?


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I'm willing to bet yes but not 100% sure.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I say no...not in Texas, as other members have stated...if you will drive in harsh conditions than it is worth it. I live in the midwest and we get a good amount of snow...still love RWD.
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