FWD vs RWD – What You need to know!

Time and time again, we have customers asking us what the difference is between Front Wheel Drive (FWD) and Rear Wheel Drive (RWD), and how it affects the driving capabilities of their vehicle. Luckily, it’s quite easy to explain. So, we have taken the time to quickly outline the differences and similarities for you in our post today.

Front-Wheel Drive AKA FWD:

The simple explanation of front-wheel drive (FWD) is that it is a vehicle format, where the engine and transmission drive the front wheels and opposed to the rear wheels. One of the major pros of FWD is that the vehicle typically receives better fuel economy and emit less carbon dioxide. Additionally, as native Albertans- FWD can have better control over snowy terrain.

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Advantages of FWD:

• Compared to vehicles of the same size and length, vehicles with FWD leave more space for people at cargo because of its lack of driveshaft, which causes an overall smaller drivetrain package.
• The engine’s output is more efficient in FWD vehicles which means less driveline power loss and more fuel efficiency
• The weight of FWD vehicles is primarily over the front wheels, which can assist in vehicle traction in low acceleration scenarios.

Disadvantages of FWD:

• Slower acceleration speed
• Lower vehicle power and speed
• FWD vehicles are prone to understeer due to the vehicle being quite front/nose-heavy

Our verdict is that if you are happy with a vehicle that is under 300 horsepower and you are not seeking out a sport vehicle that goes from “0-100 real quick” than an FWD vehicle could be suited for you! FWD vehicles are safe, practical and an overall good buy as long as you’re not planning on doing speed racing.

Rear-Wheel Drive AKA RWD

Rear-wheel drive vehicles are powered through the engine driving the rear wheels. RWD provides power and control around fast corners without losing traction. RWD is not as common anymore; however, there are still some sport vehicle options that have an RWD feature.

Advantages of RWD:

• RWD spreads the weight of its drivetrain more evenly that FWD from the front to the rear of the vehicle
• Sturdy and solid- RWD can typically take a lot of abuse without expensive repairs
• RWD drive vehicles are fast! High horsepower. High speed.
• Better stopping due to better weight distribution

Disadvantages of RWD:

• RWD is for dry driving. Unfortunately, RWD vehicles often lack sufficient traction control on slick roads.
• RWD takes practice and if not done well can be dangerous.

Our opinion, if you are in the need for speed and you need a vehicle that can put up with some wear and tear then RWD is probably for you.

Still, need help deciding what vehicle is best for you and your family? One of our experts would be happy to help discuss with you what options best suit your needs. Contact us today!