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4 wheel drive??

Nashville, Tennessee
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392 posts
3 reviews
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4 wheel drive??

Coming in Feb.-renting a car in Denver-do we need to rent a 4wheel drive or will a car with front wheel drive do fine? Thanks

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212 posts
11 reviews
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1. Re: 4 wheel drive??

you are traveling up an interstate highway (I-70) all the way. That being said, you can and most likely will run into some wintery driving conditions. A four wheel drive is a luxury, the front wheel drive will serve you well. Forget rear wheel drive.

You can take a look at the roads, and update the current road conditions at this site:


Glenwood Springs...
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473 posts
43 reviews
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2. Re: 4 wheel drive??

As a rule, you should be fine with front wheel drive. They are usually pretty good about keeping the roads clean and plowed. However, all bets are off if a strong storm moves in. It can suddenly change the road conditions and even 4x4's will struggle. The best thing to do should this happen is spend a little time in Denver until they can clear the roads some. I have always driven a front wheel drive and never had a problem (I live on the western side of the state) going over the passes. I do recommend that you drive during daylight hours. The conditions seem to worsen at night and since you are not familiar with the road, it can be very intimidating after dark.

The previous post provided a link to road conditions and it is an excellent resource.

Fort Collins...
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648 posts
31 reviews
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3. Re: 4 wheel drive??

You *should* be ok with front wheel drive, but if a storm comes, front wheel can fail you. I have a 4X4 and even i have had alot of problems on I-70 when a storm hits.Alot of times, the snow just falls faster than the plows can plow. I've also been on I-70 several tr imes when they close it and you are forced to get off onto side roads that are plowed even less,which isn't any fun, especially if you're car isn't doing well in the snowy conditions. I would rent a 4X4 just in case because you never know in colorado!

Fruita, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Fruita, Grand Junction
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6,499 posts
228 reviews
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4. Re: 4 wheel drive??

I used to drive that stretch often in the winter. I always did fine with my front wheel drive but I often saw 4-wheel drive vehicle off the road in the median or ditch. I asked a local State Patrolmen why and he said that many people who fly into Colorado rent or buy 4-wheel vehicles to drive in the mountains but they don't understand the reality. A 4-wheel drive vehicle does not stop any faster than a car. It may give you some higher clearance or traction getting unstuck but if the roads are really bad you are not going to go anywhere. You can also get shuttles from DIA into Vail and since Vail has a wonderful mass transit system & minimal parking, that might be another option.

5. Re: 4 wheel drive??

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Removed on: 21 August 2009, 08:19