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4 wheel drive...?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I am going to stay in SLC so I really need to rent a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Anyone know if reserving with hertz an SUV will get me that? I know often you get placed out of your car if you pick an economy one because they run out.

I don't want to get placed out and not be able to ski Alta cause the road is closed and I don't have four wheel drive... Also anyone know why SUVs cost so much more...<g>

pete
post #2 of 26
SUV's obviously cost more because:

1. They cost the rental company more to buy than a small ecomomy car
2. Demand (esp in winter climate areas) is higher

Try Enterprise or National in SLC. I found them to be considerably cheaper than Hertz. When I was in SLC on 2/2-2/6 I actually had two reservations with National....one for an SUV and one for a mid-size. Weather reports said no snow in sight so cancelled the SUV and rode the mid-sized for the four days...no issues at all.

Different story now I know so the SUV is prolly needed.
post #3 of 26
you could try ruggedrental.com

i rented an suv with enterprise and had no issues. i actually upgraded from a compact and they had several on the lot even in the middle of a winter storm.

if you are coming sometime in the next two weeks you probably wont need 4x4 anyway.

another alternative price-wise is to try to reserve a subaru from hertz. i saw a couple on the lot when i picked up my car. more expensive than a car but cheaper than an suv. enterprise in slc doesn't have any subarus.
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Cool idea about the double reservations - I think I will do that.. As for the Subaru that thing any good? I am 6'4" so maybe it's too small.

I see you can rent an AWD pick up truck from Hertz and a mid-size SUV (ford escape) for all about the same price..

Pete
post #5 of 26
subarus are great in the snow. if you watch the train of cars up the canyon its all trucks and suvs and subarus with a few audis thrown in.

as for size, i guess that's your call. i'm 6'4" and don't really consider anything too small except maybe a miata or something.
post #6 of 26
The subaru's are great in the snow, but I've driven several outbacks (1998, 2003, 2006) and at 6'4" found that the seat just doesn't move back far enough. It's only about an inch but it does make it a PITA getting in and out, as well as uncomfortable (but not unbearable) to drive. As a matter of fact, I split driving on a 16 hour trip in a 2003 back in 03 and it sucked but didn't kill me. If you're willing to suck it up to save the bucks they're great in the snow.

I just paid $540 for a Grand Cherokee w/ Thrifty @ the denver airport - I picked it up last thursday @ 11:45PM and dropped it off this morning at 10:00AM. It's a ripoff, but it was worth every penny driving out I70 to Vail on Thursday night on snowpacked roads with falling & blowing snow on the most winding and hilly excuse for an interstate highway that I've ever driven.
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgb View Post
The subaru's are great in the snow, but I've driven several outbacks (1998, 2003, 2006) and at 6'4" found that the seat just doesn't move back far enough. It's only about an inch but it does make it a PITA getting in and out, as well as uncomfortable (but not unbearable) to drive. As a matter of fact, I split driving on a 16 hour trip in a 2003 back in 03 and it sucked but didn't kill me. If you're willing to suck it up to save the bucks they're great in the snow.

I just paid $540 for a Grand Cherokee w/ Thrifty @ the denver airport - I picked it up last thursday @ 11:45PM and dropped it off this morning at 10:00AM. It's a ripoff, but it was worth every penny driving out I70 to Vail on Thursday night on snowpacked roads with falling & blowing snow on the most winding and hilly excuse for an interstate highway that I've ever driven.
I've got to wonder how much cheaper it is to rent a regular vehicle and buy (or rent) chains. $50 for chains vs. $hundreds for a SUV ?

And my 6'7" brother-in-law managed to get into the passenger seat of my Subaru. He complained a lot about ingress/egress. But the biggest complaints were reserved for the dogs who decided to bark in his ear and then lick his face. Not a happy camper :
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by TruckeeLocal View Post
I've got to wonder how much cheaper it is to rent a regular vehicle and buy (or rent) chains. $50 for chains vs. $hundreds for a SUV ?
It's not the same, chains on regular 2 wheels vs. snow tires on 4

Going uphill, the 4 wheel drive wins. You can't go faster than 30 mph with chains on even if the snow's not deep. At that speed, it's a long crawl to Vail.

On downhills, however, chain wins. I've seen too many 4WD on the ditch at the side of the road I lost count. You rarely seen 2WD with chains in the ditch. You begin to wonder why...

[EDIT] Oh, I just noticed you're Truckee "local". Then you're probably familiar with that little recording on the AM radio when chain control is in effect: "Please remember xxx doesn't stop any quicker than yyy" My friend who owns a 4WD chuckled when I recite that recording. "I wish I heard that before I ended up in the ditch (back in NJ!)"
post #9 of 26
There is no difference between AWD and FWD when you're not on the accelerator. Most people in SUVs don't seem to realize that
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post
It's not the same, chains on regular 2 wheels vs. snow tires on 4

Going uphill, the 4 wheel drive wins. You can't go faster than 30 mph with chains on even if the snow's not deep. At that speed, it's a long crawl to Vail.

On downhills, however, chain wins. I've seen too many 4WD on the ditch at the side of the road I lost count. You rarely seen 2WD with chains in the ditch. You begin to wonder why...
I agree that chains and FWD/RWD is not the same as 4WD/AWD. I would suggest that chains are ALWAYS better for traction (which is needed for both going and stopping). And for visitors it's doubly better 'cause it gets them to slow down and drive a little more sensibly. Generally folks who live in snow country know the limitations of their 4WD/AWD vehicles (but I speared my suburban onto a snow plow once) and simply don't go out if conditions are so bad that chains are needed. I don't have any chains (tsk, tsk !). What is truely terrifying is to see second homeowners and visitors driving their SUVs in limited traction situations. Why aren't they scared :
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Why aren't they scared
Because they haven't been around snow long enough to know! (Notice little kids aren't scare of anything?)

A second home owner only goes up there on weekends, 2/7 of the time. It takes some 3 winters to accumulate the same experience as a local, if they live that long, that is.

Have you heard: Good judgement comes from bad experience.
post #12 of 26
4wd would be nice but I would still want great snow tires here.

I have FWD car and routinely pass 4wd on snow days going up th canyon even when chain laws are in effect. Yes I have chains, but I have not once put them on. Yes that is breaking he law but the law is for the LCD of drivers.

So IMO you dont need a 4wd car.
post #13 of 26
Get a Jeep Grand Cherokee at Enterprise. nuff said
post #14 of 26
With springlike conditions in SLC and even the mountains these days an SUV is obviously not needed at this point. Subject to change (hopefully)....
post #15 of 26
I drive a 1994 Subaru Legacy GT Wagon... Awesome ski car and college car..

Driving through the snow earlier this season.... I was cruising at 60-65mph... everyone else had to be doing less than 45mph... No sliding, no spinning.... They are tanks... Put a good set of winter tires on them and they'll go anywhere... Plus, you can't beat 30mpg...
post #16 of 26
On the other hand, my girlfriend's dad tears it up in his '99 Pontiac Montana... He used to dirt track race, though, so he's awesome in low traction situations.. He's never been in a wreck in the snow and he goes faster in his 2wd van than I even dare to in my awd subaru. One day on the way home from the resort, almost everyone was going about 30mph, I was cruising at about 45mph, and he passed me going 60mph.. It was one of the days when the only cars out were 4wd/awd.... except him.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrogen_wv View Post
On the other hand, my girlfriend's dad tears it up in his '99 Pontiac Montana... He used to dirt track race, though, so he's awesome in low traction situations.. He's never been in a wreck in the snow and he goes faster in his 2wd van than I even dare to in my awd subaru. One day on the way home from the resort, almost everyone was going about 30mph, I was cruising at about 45mph, and he passed me going 60mph.. It was one of the days when the only cars out were 4wd/awd.... except him.
I'll reiterate - terrified. Differential speed is dangerous too. And no 'wreck'. Yet : The good news is you appear to be in WV.
post #18 of 26
He's a good driver, plain and simple. He understands what the snow can do... I ride with them to and from the resort most of the time and I've never been nervous about riding with him.
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrogen_wv View Post
On the other hand, my girlfriend's dad tears it up in his '99 Pontiac Montana...
I actually prefer a FWD mini van over 4WD. I never rent 4WD in SLC and only had to ride the bus up LCC once.
post #20 of 26
Yeah.. with the traction control, abs, etc... a front wheel drive will handle most situations as long as you don't screw around.. Now, if you try to go up a slippery hill from a dead stop, you may have some probs, but that's a rare situation.

I like AWD better for the simple fact that if I start to slide, having power going to the rear wheels also can help you straighten up sometimes... I think an even bigger issue than 4WD vs. 2WD is the tires... a 2wd with good winter tread will do better than a 4wd with bald all terrains.


On the other hand, forget about RWD in the snow...
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrogen_wv View Post
He's a good driver, plain and simple. He understands what the snow can do... I ride with them to and from the resort most of the time and I've never been nervous about riding with him.
Yeh, yeh, yeh. Didn't you know that 90% of drivers think they're better than average ? He, and you, are rolling the dice each time your decide you're better than the traffic and speed past them in low traction situations. While you may get away with it, even forever, when your number is up then it'll be a total surprise and it won't be the driver who is responsible. It'll be the vehicle or someone else. Dumb, really dumb. But then you'll read this and not understand the point. So carry on. In West Virginia if you please
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by TruckeeLocal View Post
Yeh, yeh, yeh. Didn't you know that 90% of drivers think they're better than average ? He, and you, are rolling the dice each time your decide you're better than the traffic and speed past them in low traction situations. While you may get away with it, even forever, when your number is up then it'll be a total surprise and it won't be the driver who is responsible. It'll be the vehicle or someone else. Dumb, really dumb. But then you'll read this and not understand the point. So carry on. In West Virginia if you please
I am better than average at driving hell, just google my name and see all the race results pop up. not that this has anything to do with the thread, but I am only here to make smartass comments
post #23 of 26
I guess 30 years of spotless driving, multiple years as a dirt track racer, and a lot of experience driving in the snow do not make someone a good driver. I could have sworn that all that experience would count for something. Guess not.

Honestly, though... Just because he was driving faster than everyone else does not mean he was driving unsafe. That was just a bad assumption on your part. Fact is, most of the drivers around here are afraid of the snow, and have no idea how to drive in it. He does.

And, just because he drove 60mph one day, does not mean he drives that fast in all snow. Anytime he goes out, he finds a safe place to brake-check to get an idea of how slippery the roads are. I've been with him on days that he didn't go over 30mph because the roads were bad.

You know who you really need to worry about? Not him... You need to worry about the teenagers that get out on the snow for the first time and think they are immortal. Those are the one's that are 'rolling the dice'. I live in a college town, and have to deal with this all the time... Hell, I'm afraid everytime I go out around here because of these people driving like idiots.

People feel safe driving different speeds. He feels comfortable driving faster than a lot of the people around here...

Now, on the other hand, the guys here that drive in the Rockie and in places that have chain laws.. You would probably be keeping up with him. I've never been out West, but I imagine that the 'bad roads' we have here are nothing compared to what you have. I mean, we never get our interstates shut down for bad weather... *shrug*

Truckee - I understand what you are saying, and the message is clear. I think you are just making a lot of small assumptions that add up to one big misunderstanding.
post #24 of 26

Invincible meets immortal

Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrogen_wv View Post
I guess 30 years of spotless driving, multiple years as a dirt track racer, and a lot of experience driving in the snow do not make someone a good driver. I could have sworn that all that experience would count for something. Guess not.
Truckeelocal makes a very good point regarding differential speed of vehicles. What's he gonna do when one of those immortal teenagers pulls out of line at 30 mph to pass and doesn't see that 99 Montana closing in at twice his speed? Pin the throttle and do a powerslide around him? Invincible drivers are the most dangerous sooner or later. I used to drive a towtruck - I've seen the carnage!:
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrogen_wv View Post
Truckee - I understand what you are saying, and the message is clear. I think you are just making a lot of small assumptions that add up to one big misunderstanding.
I don't think you understand what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that, based on your posts, your driving skills are questionable. You observe the functionality of your vehicle is good in snow. The vehicle (and 4WD/AWD/RWD/FWD or antilock brakes) is next to irrelevant in the equation. It's the driver stupid ! And it's the driving within the context of the full environment including other drivers and weather conditions. Speeding is just dumb in the examples you write about. Carry on.
post #26 of 26
We aren't talking about my driving skills. I know I'm not as experienced and I'm not comfortable going incredibly fast. I go at a speed I'm comfortable with. That's why when he was going 60mph in his FWD van, I was only going 45 in my AWD Subaru.

And we aren't talking about crowded highways. We are talking about a 2 hour drive and only encountering maybe 30 vehicles. I had left the resort about 10 minutes before them. I passed a couple people that were only going 30mph, Later on, he passed me going 60mph when I was going 45mph... Differential speed (if you mean going faster than the others on the road) is sort of a moot point in this situation.

He rarely passes on two lane roads, he gives plenty of space, and he is cautious. It's not as if he's doing anything 'stupid'. He has full control and is cautious of other drivers.

Most of the 2 hour trip was spent with no one in the rear-view and no one up ahead... the roads are generally desolate around here when the weather gets bad.

I think a bigger issue than his driving is the people out there in the snow with no (or limited) winter driving experience that think they are the God of the road. Those are the one's to watch out for... Sadly, I used to be one, but I have since learned much better.

Really, it's not nearly as serious as you are picturing it.
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