I just returned from a snowboarding trip to Denver area, and we rented
a V6 AWD Saturn Vue. I really liked the vehicle ride, size, style,
and we did need AWD because of blowing snow, but I was a bit
dissappointed with the GM versatrak AWD system. It seemed to be a bit
psychotic, sometimes giviing understeer, other times oversteer. I had
read where the system needs front wheel spin to deploy to AWD mode,
but although you couldn't feel it engage with any clunk or anything,
it wasn't seemless AWD I was hoping for. Has anyone had similar
feelings on this system from GM?
I'd like to be able to "toss" a car rally style into a snowy turn and
power through the turn in a four wheel drift if I want to. Although
the 07 Vue didn't appear to have stability control, the psycho nature
of the AWD system did not really lend itself to such spirited
driving. If you "grandma'd" the vehicle, it would go really well in
the snow, but don't ask for high performance from Versatrack in my
I am a GM fan, but its dissappointing to compare the Versatrack system
to the one in the Toyota RAV4 we rented a few years ago in Canada.
Although the RAV4 was too small, had a sewing machine engine and was
straining to exceed 100kph, its AWD system was freakin' amazing. I
belive it used a viscous clutch sort of transaxle and was always
engaged. It would pull with all 4 wheels instead of 2 or 3 that
appears to be the normal of Versatrak - and it handled really well.
Does GM have a better system for the new FWD based SUVs?