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Which do you prefer, AWD or 4 wheel drive

  • AWD

    Votes: 6 85.7%
  • 4 Wheel drive

    Votes: 1 14.3%
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Discussion Starter #1
We have a 2004 Pilot and looking to upgrade and will buy used. We are also going to retire from Mass to New Hampshire. Our Pilot is the first 4 wheel drive vehicle we have ever owned and have always had rear or front wheel drive. For those who live in snow country and have gone from 4 wheel to all wheel drive which do you prefer?

For the record we travel to New Hampshire all the time and have only used the 4 wheel drive 2 times so I am sure we could handle either but looking at which is better?

We are looking at either a 14, 15 or 17 are our choices at this time. Trying to stay away from 16 due to first year build.

Thanks
 

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Just to make sure...

Your Pilot is actually AWD until you hit the lock button. That locks the diffs for a 50:50 power split which is what 4WD means.

If you are saying that you've only had to lock it in 4WD two time then please excuse me for making the wrong assumption.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well learn something new today. I always thought it was 2 wheel drive until we selected 4 wheel drive.

So how does a 2016-2020 AWD differ from my AWD 2004 Pilot?
 

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Well learn something new today. I always thought it was 2 wheel drive until we selected 4 wheel drive.

So how does a 2016-2020 AWD differ from my AWD 2004 Pilot?
It has the ability to distribute torque left and right on the rear axle where your 2004 didn't. It's similar to Acura's SH-AWD system but tuned more as a traction aid than a performance device.

Sounds like you bought a good vehicle for what you plan to do. Get snow tires and use the VTM Lock button if you need extra traction from a stop, otherwise you will always have AWD working for you.
 

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There were many similar threads in the early days of the Pilot.
Names of AWD AND 4wd are more marketing, perception, and opinion.
Arguments tend to result. So there is s strong possibility that this thread will be closed.
Lets try and avoid that.
thanks
 

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you want a real 4wd truck DONT use the pilot ... all the pilot does is give you a nice warm fuzzy feeling you wont get stuck as much as the next guy.
 

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There were many similar threads in the early days of the Pilot.
Names of AWD AND 4wd are more marketing, perception, and opinion.
Arguments tend to result. So there is s strong possibility that this thread will be closed.
Lets try and avoid that.
thanks
Rocky you have no idea what you are talking about, your Pilot has ZWD!!!!

Ok, probably shouldn't mess with a moderator. I sincerely apologize.

The whole 4WD/AWD thing really gets people fired up. My personal feeling is that 4WD vehicles have 4LO capability while AWD vehicles do not... So this generally makes most trucks/truck based SUVs/off roaders 4WD and most crossovers AWD.

There are plenty of vehicles that are trying to stretch that criteria (Cherokee Trailhawks with LO, but it's really just locked into 1st gear, Yukon Denalis with permanent AWD but no 4LO capability). Some people will argue systems that are rear biased are 4WD and front biased are AWD (generally follows the transverse/longitudinal engine orientation).

Good luck.
 
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There were many similar threads in the early days of the Pilot.
Names of AWD AND 4wd are more marketing, perception, and opinion.
Arguments tend to result. So there is s strong possibility that this thread will be closed.
Lets try and avoid that.
thanks
Welcome back from your vacation long time no see :p
 

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Rocky you have no idea what you are talking about, your Pilot has ZWD!!!!

Ok, probably shouldn't mess with a moderator. I sincerely apologize.

The whole 4WD/AWD thing really gets people fired up. My personal feeling is that 4WD vehicles have 4LO capability while AWD vehicles do not... So this generally makes most trucks/truck based SUVs/off roaders 4WD and most crossovers AWD.

There are plenty of vehicles that are trying to stretch that criteria (Cherokee Trailhawks with LO, but it's really just locked into 1st gear, Yukon Denalis with permanent AWD but no 4LO capability). Some people will argue systems that are rear biased are 4WD and front biased are AWD (generally follows the transverse/longitudinal engine orientation).

Good luck.
Pathfinder has a nice 4x4 ..not sure bout the newer ones though ...
 

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Pathfinder has a nice 4x4 ..not sure bout the newer ones though ...
Our R50's did. Even the R51 did even though it got some hate for being IRS from the off road community. But the new ones (I guess they are R52?) are just Nissan's AWD system from the Murano.

I'd love an R51 with the V8 but cannot find them and whenever I do the miles are ridiculous.
 

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Rocky and others - how about we just continue with locking and non-locking AWD to avoid the debate? As evidenced by the OP, it's important that we do discuss the capabilities and limitations of the system available in our Pilots.

On that note - @im45us An additional difference is I believe Honda dropped the ability to lock the differentials at some point which was compensated by significantly improved self-distribution programming in the AWD system. Someone will need to correct me if I'm wrong as mine is a 2011 and I haven't been following developments too closely.
 

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Our R50's did. Even the R51 did even though it got some hate for being IRS from the off road community. But the new ones (I guess they are R52?) are just Nissan's AWD system from the Murano.

I'd love an R51 with the V8 but cannot find them and whenever I do the miles are ridiculous.
found one in NJ under 100k for 8 grand

 

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Wait, so what do I have then? Hard to tell if that's an "A" or a "4" before the "WD" on the rear badge. :)

 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well learn something new today. I always thought it was 2 wheel drive until we selected 4 wheel drive.

So how does a 2016-2020 AWD differ from my AWD 2004 Pilo
It has the ability to distribute torque left and right on the rear axle where your 2004 didn't. It's similar to Acura's SH-AWD system but tuned more as a traction aid than a performance device.

Sounds like you bought a good vehicle for what you plan to do. Get snow tires and use the VTM Lock button if you need extra traction from a stop, otherwise you will always have AWD working for you.
Haven't bought a new one yet and ours has a little over 190,000 miles so looking now. Pilot is what my wife drives and I have spent most of my time in a rear wheel drive F150 so not real worried about getting stuck. In my almost 50 years of driving I have never had a car with snow tires but as I get older don't want to chance getting stuck and really don't want my wife getting stuck. I think something like the pilot with all season tires in good shape will almost never, ever get stuck. Decisions, decisions...
 

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To me four wheel drive means the ability to engage, and keep engaged front and rear axle and the ability for a low range ratio. Add to that being able to lock the diffs is a plus. Honda’s system is a part time system controlled by the brain. In the older models you could lock the rear diff in. Newer models not.
 

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Just to make sure...

Your Pilot is actually AWD until you hit the lock button. That locks the diffs for a 50:50 power split which is what 4WD means.

If you are saying that you've only had to lock it in 4WD two time then please excuse me for making the wrong assumption.
This is wrong. That button works in low gear only and is to get unstuck. It won't give you full time 4wd.
 

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We have a 2004 Pilot and looking to upgrade and will buy used. We are also going to retire from Mass to New Hampshire. Our Pilot is the first 4 wheel drive vehicle we have ever owned and have always had rear or front wheel drive. For those who live in snow country and have gone from 4 wheel to all wheel drive which do you prefer?

For the record we travel to New Hampshire all the time and have only used the 4 wheel drive 2 times so I am sure we could handle either but looking at which is better?

We are looking at either a 14, 15 or 17 are our choices at this time. Trying to stay away from 16 due to first year build.

Thanks
I moved from Mass to NH almost 20 years ago. I have pretty much only had AWD. I had one 4wd truck and it wasn't great. It's misleading, 4wd doesn't lock all four wheels. You get one wheel on front and one rear on opposite side. It's basically only two wheels. Unless you have limited slip or locking diffs, you'll never get all wheels going. AWD is best. I've had several CR-V, an 04 pilot, Ridgeline, 17 pilot and now a 19 pilot and a second 04 pilot. All those were better in snow than any truck I ever drove. My 19 had different driving modes and so far you can't stop this car.
 

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found one in NJ under 100k for 8 grand

V8!!! There are plenty of V6 models but I like the unicorns! It was the Durango R/T before the Durango R/T existed! I think it only came on the LE model.

Wait, so what do I have then? Hard to tell if that's an "A" or a "4" before the "WD" on the rear badge. :)

You keep stirring the pot and I'm gonna tell Rocky!

Well learn something new today. I always thought it was 2 wheel drive until we selected 4 wheel drive.

So how does a 2016-2020 AWD differ from my AWD 2004 Pilo


Haven't bought a new one yet and ours has a little over 190,000 miles so looking now. Pilot is what my wife drives and I have spent most of my time in a rear wheel drive F150 so not real worried about getting stuck. In my almost 50 years of driving I have never had a car with snow tires but as I get older don't want to chance getting stuck and really don't want my wife getting stuck. I think something like the pilot with all season tires in good shape will almost never, ever get stuck. Decisions, decisions...
The AWD system in the 3rd gen is superior in that it has torque vectoring on the rear diff and different drive modes that are supposed to help driving in different elements. Pair the system with good snow tires and your only limit is when you start plowing.

You are moving somewhere with considerable snow, why wouldn't you get snow tires? I live in MD so it's not appropriate for the random snowfalls we get but if I lived much further north I'd run snow tires for the added level of safety. Not worth risking things with my children in the car.

I moved from Mass to NH almost 20 years ago. I have pretty much only had AWD. I had one 4wd truck and it wasn't great. It's misleading, 4wd doesn't lock all four wheels. You get one wheel on front and one rear on opposite side. It's basically only two wheels. Unless you have limited slip or locking diffs, you'll never get all wheels going. AWD is best. I've had several CR-V, an 04 pilot, Ridgeline, 17 pilot and now a 19 pilot and a second 04 pilot. All those were better in snow than any truck I ever drove. My 19 had different driving modes and so far you can't stop this car.
Concur that AWD is substantially better until you hit your ground clearance limit. My mom has a Wrangler Willy's Wheeler (limited slip rear with mud terrains) and a GLC300 AWD. She keeps driving the Wrangler in the snow and tells me how scary it is. I keep chastising her for not using the vehicle that is far more superior (the GLC) in the snow. Pickups and Jeeps are better in snow that is 6+" deep, anything below that any AWD crossover is superior.
 
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V8!!! There are plenty of V6 models but I like the unicorns! It was the Durango R/T before the Durango R/T existed! I think it only came on the LE model.


You keep stirring the pot and I'm gonna tell Rocky!


The AWD system in the 3rd gen is superior in that it has torque vectoring on the rear diff and different drive modes that are supposed to help driving in different elements. Pair the system with good snow tires and your only limit is when you start plowing.

You are moving somewhere with considerable snow, why wouldn't you get snow tires? I live in MD so it's not appropriate for the random snowfalls we get but if I lived much further north I'd run snow tires for the added level of safety. Not worth risking things with my children in the car.


Concur that AWD is substantially better until you hit your ground clearance limit. My mom has a Wrangler Willy's Wheeler (limited slip rear with mud terrains) and a GLC300 AWD. She keeps driving the Wrangler in the snow and tells me how scary it is. I keep chastising her for not using the vehicle that is far more superior (the GLC) in the snow. Pickups and Jeeps are better in snow that is 6+" deep, anything below that any AWD crossover is superior.
Yeah ground clearance can make all the difference. So far it hasn't been a problem. They plow pretty good where I live. I can even get through some heavy snow without much trouble though. I wouldn't tackle like a foot deep or anything though lol
 

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Yeah ground clearance can make all the difference. So far it hasn't been a problem. They plow pretty good where I live. I can even get through some heavy snow without much trouble though. I wouldn't tackle like a foot deep or anything though lol
I did. An unexpected lake effect 16" on an unplowed 3-mile deep woods road in upstate NY.

The only thing that (nearly) defeated my Pilot's VTM-4 and Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2s last winter was bottoming out.

How does Pilot with stock tires handle rain and snow?
 
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