Ask the Expert: The fuel costs and safety benefits of Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive

EnCompass Magazine

EnCompass asks about the fuel costs and safety benefits of Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive.

EnCompass: How does basic AWD work?

Chad: An AWD system splits engine power between the rear and front axles as needed. AWD may rely on the front wheels as the main drive wheels in regular driving conditions, but will transfer power to the rear wheels for better traction in tougher road conditions.

EnCompass: How does AWD affect a vehicle’s fuel efficiency?

Chad: It knocks one or two miles per gallon (mpg) off the fuel economy estimates. Since an AWD system adds more moving parts to the vehicle, that tacks on more weight, and that means the engine must work a bit harder. It’s a marginal difference, but one which buyers need to be aware.

EnCompass: What value does the SH-AWD system add?

Chad: Honda/Acura is the first manufacturer to develop SH-AWD, a system that transfers power uniquely to an outside rear wheel as needed. When turning, more power is transferred to the outside rear wheel to increase traction, while maintaining overall stability. This comes in handy, especially during Colorado winters.

EnCompass: Nothing in life is free, and because AWD and SH-AWD come at an extra cost, is it worth it?

Chad: Any AWD system is worth the extra money, particularly for drivers in Colorado weather. Today’s AWD systems—whether they’re the standard system or SH-AWD—kick in as you need them and do some of the thinking for you, making you a smarter, safer driver. Safety does have a price in cars, but it’s worth it. AWD also increases the resale value of a car.