It seems the wheel has turned, with more AWDs now being offered as stand alone 2WDs. Recently Toyota RAV4 and Nissan X-Trail were offered in 2WD only, with their ranks recently joined by Mazda and Hyundai announcing two-wheel drive versions of their popular Mazda CX-9 and the Hyundai Santa Fe.
The Mazda CX-9 will be a front wheel drive, offered in Classic and Luxury grades, equipped with a host of impressive features including 18-inch alloy wheels, auto headlamps, cruise control, three-zone climate control, power windows and mirrors plus a leather trimmed steering wheel and gear shift knob.
Safety remains a priority, with all CX-9s equipped with a full complement of safety features, including six airbags, Dynamic Stability Control, Anti-lock Braking System Emergency Brake Assist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Roll Stability Control and a reversing camera.
The front wheel drive CX-9 is offered at $4500 less than their equivalent AWD model, starting at $44,425 for the Classic FWD.
Hyundai have added a petrol 2WD version of its seven seat Santa Fe, cutting between $1000-$3000 from equivalent AWD models.
Other soft roaders now available in two-wheel drive include the Ford Territory, Toyota Kluger, Holden Captiva 7 and Mitsubishi's Outlander.