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Discussion Starter #1
This might seem silly to even consider since we live in the deep south, but I was trying to decide whether to order an AWD or FWD Enclave for my wife....it seems like people have been a bit unhappy with the acceleration/transmission performance with the AWD Acadia (I guess the weight alone makes it a bit more iffy) and even though I know they are working on a transmission software upgrade for the fall this still gives me pause since we rarely get snow...I was just trying to maximize safety for my wife in slick conditions, but I am starting to wonder if AWD is worth it given that the FWD has stabilitrak....anyone else thought about this and have any opinions?
 

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I don't think that the AWD would provide any significant improvements over Stability control from a safety standpoint. The AWD is most useful in providing traction to make the vehicle go under low traction conditions (snow and ice or on boat ramps).
 

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If you plan on towing a lot, then I would strongly recommend going with the AWD. Otherwise,
I'd say go FWD.
 

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The choice for me is the AWD. I currently own an AWD Pacifica that I will be exchanging for an Enclave. While we don't get any snow and hardly even any precipitation around here, we do have a lot of soft sand and gravel areas, and driving an AWD gives me more confidence. I also use it to launch watercraft which has been stated prior as an advantage.
To me the cost difference is outweighed by the benefits.
Using Enclave invoice pricing for the CXL model I want and extrapolating some data from my current ride shows an extra "cost" of only about $414 per year for a four year period. I used invoice prices as it seems most buyers are closer to those than MSRP.

PRICE AWD FWD VAR
Invoice 36255 34255 1870
Distribution 735 735 0
Options 7304 7304 0
Advertising 901 861 40
Sales Tax (with trade) 1745 1681 63
Total Vehicle 44583 42610 1973

MPG Rating 16/22 16/24
AWD Usage Increase 105.3%
Pacifica Actual MPG
For 50,000 Miles 19.5
Pacifica Projected
As a FWD 20.5
Extra Gals of Gas 128.2
Extra Cost @ $4.00 513
Total Cost 2486
Pacific KBB Trade Value 13015 12185 (830)

Overall 4 Yr Variance 1656
Per Year 414

Wayne

Modified to correct FWD invoice price. I had double dipped the distribution cost.
 

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I like the analysis. What is the real cost difference in the long term I would use 6-8 yrs for me. I normally look for 8-10 yrs but for a cost comparision 6-8 is safe.

The cost difference in gas is a good comparision so at 12,500 miles/year you pay is 513 dollars for 4 years.

In Canada the cost difference is larger for AWD closer to $2500 but over 6 years we are taking about $400/year or 4 days in a hotel room/yr
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great math analysis in the prior post - we had a good discussion over on the Acadia board on same topic with a few spirited opinions in either direction but I am still leaning towards paying a little extra for the peace of mind for my wife....
 

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struggled with this too. i pull a 17 ft boat (2500 lbs) 6 times a year, 2 trips to florida and the rest local... live in atlanta... fish in the mountains.. i will be trading a 2wd expedition. never felt i have needed a 4wd in 5 years.... except for a few rainy muddy days in the mountains chasing trout. i found a way to deal with it without getting stuck. i used to pull some boats with 6 cyl gm company cars in the 90's that had fwd... many trips..worked fine unless the boat ramp had seaweed or something unusual...then, i had a buddy sit on the hood... wallah. pulled it right out. i think the towing issue depends on how much you're going to tow. if you have a boat that is close to the 4500 Lb towing capacity, i would recommend awd unless you can get some "forum feedback" that is positive use fwd.

the kicker for me was (not the money) but, performance. i drove an awd twice and (fwd) outlooks, acadia and enclave multiple times. no question, the fwd performs better imo. i had a dealership sales mgr (friend) bring it to my attention initially.
 

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I would really like to get an educated or knowledgable person give why the difference in performance. Is it fixable?
 
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I'm not sure how much this will affect the Enclave, but it's becoming very evident on acadiaforum.net that the AWDs are having MUCH more (or at least more severe) transmission issues than the FWD owners. At first, it was difficult to tel, but as more and more have chimed in, it's pretty clear that, by-and-large, FWD owners report being fairly pleased with their trannys while AWD owners are quite a bit less happy with things. I'm guessing the extra weight and complicated drivetrain is working to amplify the transmission lag issues enough to be an issue w/ AWD. Now GM is in the process of making a second flash update sometime this year that is supposed to help, but it's another thing to be aware of when trying to decide which to purchase.
 

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I read on the acadia forum that Ford had a hand in the AWD being used in the Lambdas. If so, then does anyone know if the FWD transmission is also a joint effort?

Part of the reason we're in the market for a new vehicle is due to a Ford AWD transmission that is showing signs of starting to fail.
 

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Buick's web site seems to show that the AWD option was $2000 more than FWD. Is that not the case in reality?


Reasons in Favor of AWD
1.) It will provide added security in heavy weather (fresh snow on roads that haven't been plowed yet, slippery conditions, etc.)
2.) Perhaps more help with towing heavy items.

Reasons against AWD
1.) It costs more.
2.) May only be of real use a handful of times unless you tow regularly.
3.) Adds more weight
4.) some say it affects performance and makes this particular vehicle feel more sluggish
5.) Eats more gas (an issue with gas prices going through the roof).
6.) This one happens to be a joint effort with Ford and already shows signs of having issues in the Acadia (this really scares me because one of the reasons we're considering a new purchase is because of a Ford inspired AWD transmission)
7.) In bad weather, there is no substitute for careful driving. If someone doesn't know how to drive in snowy weather, an AWD is not going to help them much.

If the only things against AWD were the higher cost and slightly less MPG, then I may still lean towards getting it just for the added sense of safety. However, with all the other things against it, I'm thinking we'll probably just save the money.
 

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I ordered FWD, and the dealer placed the order by mistake for AWD, so I suppose destiny is also one of the reasons for or against. I picked up the car, as I did not want to wait 3 months to have it re-ordered. It cost me $1800 More. (Paid invoice +125) for the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I did order AWD Enclave a couple of weeks ago (AWD with everything except the sunroof)...the new trans flash is coming this fall that I think will help with the 35-55 mph "punch it" issue that some have been bothered about particularly with the little bit extra weight of the AWD...the extra cost and mileage issues did not really bother me that much so I just went with it for peace of mind....we'll see!
 

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wbj said:
I did order AWD Enclave a couple of weeks ago (AWD with everything except the sunroof)...the new trans flash is coming this fall that I think will help with the 35-55 mph "punch it" issue that some have been bothered about particularly with the little bit extra weight of the AWD...the extra cost and mileage issues did not really bother me that much so I just went with it for peace of mind....we'll see!
What is the "new trans flash"?
 

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Don't forget that initial outlay for AWD may be partially offset at the time of resale. AWD will bring a higher price and be more likely to sell. My experience is that the same person who will skimp on options to save money when buying a new car, will want ALL the bells and whistles when buying used.

I like the AWD for the snow.
 

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netmag said:
I read on the acadia forum that Ford had a hand in the AWD being used in the Lambdas. If so, then does anyone know if the FWD transmission is also a joint effort?

Part of the reason we're in the market for a new vehicle is due to a Ford AWD transmission that is showing signs of starting to fail.
honey, if ford built it i dont want it and that is the truth... if i wanted anything to do w/ford i would have bought a ford. give me a break pls... :eek:hno: :sosad:
 

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MsS42 said:
honey, if ford built it i dont want it and that is the truth... if i wanted anything to do w/ford i would have bought a ford. give me a break pls... :eek:hno: :sosad:
The 6 speed transmission used in both Lambda's (FWD or AWD) was jointly developed by GM and Ford. Each manufacturer adds their own touches though so they are not the same.


Refer to http://media.gm.com/us/powertrain/en/product_services/2007/Whats New/07_MY9_MH6.doc

"...The Hydra-Matic 6T70 / 6T75 was co-developed with Ford Motor Company, a process which reduced development time and cost by up to 50 percent for major components. The Hydra-Matic six-speed, however, is engineered exclusively for GM Powertrain applications. The Hydra-Matic 6T70 / 6T75 is produced in Warren, Michigan"
 

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whew,

cause there is a reason they call it ford....

f found/fix
o on
r road/repair
d daily
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Gator - sorry for the shorthand. The "new trans flash" refers to a new software update coming this summer/fall that will alter the gear shifting behavior of the transmission in certain situations. There was already one update earlier this year that apparently made a major improvement over the original programming of the Outlook/Acadia (I can only repeat what I have read, I never test drove one that had not been fixed already). The Enclave of course started production with that revised programming as std.

The new upgrade coming in the next few months I think is more of a set of tweaks/refinements, with one particular area of emphasis being how the vehicle responds when you "punch it" when you are already driving 35-55 mph (e.g. accelerating to merge if you needed to speed up to get in front of a big truck when getting on the interstate)....again I cannot speak from experience, but owners of Acadias have complained of weak response when they are in that type of acceleration situation (others have said it is just a matter of driving style and how much of a lead foot you have!). An engineer who has been working on the problem has been communicating with owners over on the Acadia forum and indicates that we will be pleased with the refinements and lately has been hinting it is closer to being released than maybe originally suggested...

Hope that helps...
 

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WBJ, the Trans Flash, I assume, will apply to the Enclave as well?
 
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