I just picked up the new Saab SUV, a 2005 used car with 5k miles. My previous car, which I kept, is a 1998 Chevy Blazer. Here's the problem:
First of all, from what I can tell from reading a little bit on the subject, the Saab has "on-demand AWD." This means that in normal driving conditions, it is a rear-wheel drive car, but when the rear wheels slip, the front engage to provide better AWD traction.
So, the problem? Well, compared to the Blazer, the Saab SUCKS in snow. Today was the first day driving it with slippery road conditions, and I noticed a couple of things:
1) If the rear tires slip, and spin fast, the front axle will not engage, so you're stuck with 2WD in potentially hazardous conditions.
2) On slippery surfaces, if the rear wheels are not spinning, the front will not be engaged. HEre's the problem with that. What if you are heading into a corner, and your rear wheels are not spinning? You will only be in 2WD. The problem is the front wheels can easier plow when manuvering a corner than if they were engaged, as with the older Blazer.
I've done some searching to find discussions about this, and I cannot find anyone with similar concerns. Am I alone in these findings? Am I missing something? Is there a way to engage the AWD while driving in snow so that it will stay engaged?
My thoughts of this system, after driving on a snow-covered road are that it REALLY SUCKS. The 1998 Blazer 4WD is FAR superior. Am I alone?