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Old 03-01-2008, 06:07 PM   #21
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I have a 2000 4 cylinder Camry and I think that it is fine. That includes climbing the Sierra which is a lot tougher than cruising at 80 mph.

My wife has a 4 cylinder Honda mini-van that is about 500 lb heavier than the Camry and we would have definitely preferred a more powerful engine for that car.

But the Camry is more than adequate with the four.

MB
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Old 03-01-2008, 06:48 PM   #22
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A lot depends on whether you have mountain passes to contend with, or even steep city hills. Also depends on loading. Will she be carrying 3 other adults around?

Ha
Yep, I was perfectly happy with a 4 until I moved to the mountains. Now I drive a 6.
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Old 03-01-2008, 07:16 PM   #23
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2006 Accord with the 4 banger.

Generally two adults in the car and one doesn't count (wife is very happy because she's finally back over 100 lbs).

Loaded with luggage, cross-country trip... no problems. Accelerates fast enough for me, top speed according to the gps was just over 87. Ran like a champ.

I only have 65k miles on the car so far, but it's been running well.
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Old 03-01-2008, 07:18 PM   #24
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4 wheel drive great advertisment. Got americans to waste money on vehicles that well are a bad rough ride weigh so much more and get much less gas mileage.
Hate to say it NewGuy, but like most things, it depends on the use. Around here we have mountains with lots of snow, and hills in the city. We have almost no snowplows in the city, except main arterials. Often after a snowstorm cars are scattered all over the road, but not many Subarus!

4wd Subaru, Audi, and VW coupes and sedans are very popular, and not only for snow. Much better traction starting up a hill in the rain. Also much better traction with high powered sporty cars like the Audi S series, or the Subaru WRX line. I replaced a wrecked Integra FWD with a Subaru AWD, and I would not go back. I wouldn't mind stepping up to an Audi S-4 though; and if I ever get rich I will.

Also, I wonder if any car other than a tiny one should have an automatic trans mated to a 4. If it takes longer to get through the gears, you could lose any gas advantage that there might be in the 4.

Ha
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Old 03-01-2008, 07:52 PM   #25
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We own a 3-liter, six-cylinder, 145 horsepower Ford Ranger which we bought to pull a small, 3500 pound (loaded) 5th-wheel travel trailer. With trailer in tow the Ranger struggles a bit in the hills, but can usually maintain 55-60 mph. When we're not towing it has way more power than we need. We have a friend that tows his nearly identical 5th wheel trailer behind a 4-cylinder 2.7 liter, 150 horsepower Toyota Tacoma; he reports very similar results.

The point is it's not the number of cylinders your car has, but how much the car and its occupants/payload weigh vs its overall horsepower. If you have a big, heavy car hauling big, heavy people and use your air conditioning while driving in the rockies, a 3-cylinder, 1 liter, 55 horsepower Geo Metro is not going to do it for you, but unless you're hauling really heavy stuff (or really heavy people), a 150 horsepower engine is more than sufficient to get you there and back again.

Speaking of my old 3-cylinder, 1 liter, 55 horsepower Geo Metro, it was generally plenty zippy, too. With four adult passengers it didn't do quite so well, and loaded to the rafters and sagging on its suspension as we moved from the San Francisco area up to Washington State it struggled to maintain 45 mph in the mountain passes, but even heavily loaded it got us where we were going.
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Old 03-01-2008, 08:43 PM   #26
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I've driven a 1980 Toyota Corolla over the last 20+ years (4 cylinder, 1.8L). When I'm in the car by myself, it provides me with more than enough acceleration. In fact, it holds its own on freeway climbs in the San Francisco Bay Area, which can be steep. I move over into the left lanes as I'm able to pass more than 50% of the other vehicles. It's been fine in the Sierra's and the Rockies (even fully loaded in the Rockies). I think a lot has to do with the fact its a 5-speed, not an automatic. However, I will say that I easily notice the presence of another person in the car.

My previous car was a Chevy Chevette (4 cylinder, automatic). Let's just say that it was more limited in its acceleration. On long climbs, I periodically had to stop and let it rest (literally).
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Old 03-02-2008, 03:40 AM   #27
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4wd is good for getting out of snowed in parking spaces or pulling away at a stop sign when the road is snow or ice covered,once rolling it has only 4 patches of rubber on the road giving it no advantage over a 2wd vehicle.
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:45 AM   #28
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The only 4 cyl car I ever drove regularly was 1st wife's Mustang II in the '70's, and swore "never again". An anemic little junk pile. Also my mother's Mazda 4 cyl in the '80's, when one opened the throttle all it did was make more noise.

My first 4WD vehicle was an '85 Chevy 4WD pickup. I found it went great in snow, didn't stop so well, to be expected since it weighed 2.5 tons empty. Those who fail to keep that in mind will end up in the ditch.

Current rides are a '03 Buick Century V6 (that's what she wanted) and a '03 GMC Sierra 4WD full-size pickup. We expect to keep both 15-20 years.

I am puzzled by those who think 4WD will help it stop better in snow. Antilock brakes, traction control, stability control are all great but will not violate the laws of inertia.
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Old 03-02-2008, 10:03 AM   #29
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I've driven a 1980 Toyota Corolla over the last 20+ years (4 cylinder, 1.8L). When I'm in the car by myself, it provides me with more than enough acceleration. In fact, it holds its own on freeway climbs in the San Francisco Bay Area, which can be steep. I move over into the left lanes as I'm able to pass more than 50% of the other vehicles. It's been fine in the Sierra's and the Rockies (even fully loaded in the Rockies). I think a lot has to do with the fact its a 5-speed, not an automatic. However, I will say that I easily notice the presence of another person in the car.

My previous car was a Chevy Chevette (4 cylinder, automatic). Let's just say that it was more limited in its acceleration. On long climbs, I periodically had to stop and let it rest (literally).
I had a '81 Corolla hatchback with the 1.8l and a 5-spd manual. That little sucker would fly. Plenty of acceleration, and would run 80-90mph all day long. Oh, and 30+mpg...
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Old 03-02-2008, 01:19 PM   #30
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We have a 2007 Camry LE 4 cylinder. It already has 35000 miles on it because I have used it for several TDY trips for my employer, driving between Lousiana & Tucson, plus several trips between LA & NC to visit family. I am no slow poke behind the wheel, and the 4 cyl. Camry easily deals with highway speeds of 75-85 mph with no sign of strain or struggle. 2 years ago, before we bought our Camry, I rented an 06 Camry 4 Cyl. from Hertz to drive out to Tucson. Out in the desert, I took her up to 116 mph on flat ground before I backed off, and there was still a good amount of pedal to go. I hope Hertz doesn't find out LOL! I expect that 4 cyl. Camry would have no problem with 120-125+. Who knows? What I'm getting at is that today's 4 cyl engines are remarkable compared to just a few yrs ago. A lot of the difference is related to tighter tolerances and engineering standards, as well as innovative transmission and differential gearing. These little powerhouses crank out enough energy to push you along at 80 mph highway speeds while only turning 3500-3800 rpms. We had the same concern when we looked at Camrys, and are not unhappy with the 4 banger. Better fuel mileage than the 6 cyl and I honestly don't think you'll notice the difference except maybe when you do a full-throttle acceleration.
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Old 03-02-2008, 02:11 PM   #31
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4wd is good for getting out of snowed in parking spaces or pulling away at a stop sign when the road is snow or ice covered,once rolling it has only 4 patches of rubber on the road giving it no advantage over a 2wd vehicle.

once rolling 4x4 is much more stable than any 2 wheel drive. i can floor my 4x4 in the snow with barely a flinch . my 2 whhel drive will fish tail like crazy. only stopping is the same. anything pertaining to go isnt close. unless you dont have a true 4 wheel drive. some are just an assist and arent the same
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Old 03-02-2008, 02:36 PM   #32
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Yes a 4x4 is going to have more traction than a 2x4 when accelerating but that advantage disappears once cruising speed is achieved.
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Old 03-02-2008, 02:58 PM   #33
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yes and no, theoretically yes, but under actual conditions in snow with the wheels going over different slush piles and snow etc 2 wheel looses traction and regains it and looses it, can get pretty hairy at times. its not a secure feeling thats for sure when cruising. 4x4 is almost a feel like dry pavement. we just drove 135 miles on deep snow covered highway in early morning before the plows and traffic. it was actaully a pleasure to drive in it with the 4x4. nothing like the feeling in snow in my altima.
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:26 PM   #34
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the big problem with 2 wheel drive is while cruising you are constantly loosing traction and regaining it. dont forget very few 2 wheel drive cars actually can have power even going to 2 wheels. the power shifts to the wheel that slips and leaves the other wheel powerless. posi traction dosnt really help much at all and you wont find that on front wheel drive cars. the other issue is in front wheel drive when that one wheel slips it is also your steering, braking and traction wheels.

i take it you never owned a 4x4 in the snow or you would see there is no comparison when cruising .
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:30 PM   #35
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The problem is that far too many people translate better traction while cruising to better stopping power. At least, the morons around here do.
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:38 PM   #36
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ill be the first to admit you get a false sense of security when in 4x4. because driving those 135 miles in snow felt almost like dry road i had to constantly slow myself down .. stopping can even be worse because of the fact you got a high profile usually , wider tires, and power at all 4 wheels
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:43 PM   #37
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other thing i want to mention is front wheel drive can be extremely dangerous as when the front end slides its not like rear wheel drive or 4 wheel drive where you ease up on the gas and if you have enough room you will straighten out. front wheel drive when it gets away from you is damn near impossible to recover. it requires the use of both feet working gas and brake at the same time. not easy to do without training.


in fact there is a push to have the manuals that come with cars revised. as all these years they still have instructions for steering into the skid and easing up on the gas which were never changed from the rear wheel drive days that can get you killed in front wheel drive cars
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Old 03-02-2008, 07:02 PM   #38
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other thing i want to mention is front wheel drive can be extremely dangerous as when the front end slides its not like rear wheel drive or 4 wheel drive where you ease up on the gas and if you have enough room you will straighten out. front wheel drive when it gets away from you is damn near impossible to recover. it requires the use of both feet working gas and brake at the same time. not easy to do without training.


in fact there is a push to have the manuals that come with cars revised. as all these years they still have instructions for steering into the skid and easing up on the gas which were never changed from the rear wheel drive days that can get you killed in front wheel drive cars

Oh yes front wheel drive in deep snow. Not good at all.

See my post on learning how to drive back in the early 70s with a rear wheel drive car and snowtires.. You know where the car is going and how to love the fishtail!
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Old 03-02-2008, 07:18 PM   #39
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other thing i want to mention is front wheel drive can be extremely dangerous as when the front end slides its not like rear wheel drive or 4 wheel drive where you ease up on the gas and if you have enough room you will straighten out. front wheel drive when it gets away from you is damn near impossible to recover. it requires the use of both feet working gas and brake at the same time. not easy to do without training.
Why on earth would you want to get out of a slide?

My 2001 olds intrigue had selectable traction control. I did spend enough time in empty parking lots to verify that traction control did help, a lot.

I've also been down plenty of fire roads in a front wheel drive where the only way to turn around was to gun it, hit the brakes, and slide around. The biggest fear then was getting the bumpers hung up on the banks on each side of the road.

Growing up, we had a 1970's International Harvester Scout. It's the only real experience I've had driving a 4x4 and it was a pain because you had to get out and lock the hubs. In metroville now and having or not having 4 wheel drive has never been a problem. Snow means gridlock so you just put the car in drive and idle along.
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Old 03-03-2008, 12:10 AM   #40
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i take it you never owned a 4x4 in the snow or you would see there is no comparison when cruising .
I've owned a couple of Subaru's and a couple of Jeeps and when cruising on the highway if you hit a patch of ice or snow the wrong way in a corner you will be in the ditch just as fast whether 4x or 2x. i also notice that 4x4 have a big tendency to understeer which can also put you in the ditch if you arent competent.i see too many people driving like maniacs in bad driving conditions thinking the 4wd will somehow make them invulnerable to danger,well it doesnt always work because whenever there is a big snow its usually the 4x4 SUV's that i see in the ditch.
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