Rear passenger angle of a white SUV driving on a highway towards a sunrise

Front-Wheel Drive vs All-Wheel Drive Comparison

Differences Between FWD and AWD

Considering purchasing a vehicle? Before you decide on a model, you should determine which drivetrain you require. While there are several options, two of the most common drivetrains are front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD). What’s the difference? Which one is right for you? To help you pick, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of both options.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of FWD

Front-wheel drive, otherwise known as two-wheel drive (2WD), is the most common drivetrain available. With this drivetrain, the front two wheels are the only ones that will receive engine power.

FWD is a great option for drivers that wish to save money at purchase and save money at the gas pump. Since this drivetrain is a cheap option for manufacturers to make, it is affordable for drivers to purchase. In addition, it helps vehicles maintain high fuel efficiency since power is limited to the front two tires.

The downside of FWD is traction on slippery road conditions. When driving in rain or snow, while the driver must take extra precautions to maintain handling, they must be a little more cautious with FWD. Additionally, FWD vehicles cannot handle off-road travel, so drivers are better off sticking to the roads.

Advantages and Disadvantages of AWD

AWD is known as the counterpart of FWD for many reasons. Instead of two wheels, all four wheels will receive power from the engine. Now, how does this impact drivers?

Rear driver angle of a car driving in rain

When it comes to driving on slick conditions, drivers must still be mindful of driving too fast. However, AWD does help enhance traction to the road as four wheels are being powered rather than just two. It is also a newer technology that is being carefully improved upon by car manufacturers today.

The disadvantages of AWD come down to price and efficiency. Due to the technology being newer, AWD is often available as an optional drivetrain and will cost more to manufacture. Additionally, with more power being required from the engine, you are likely to find fuel economy ratings being a bit lower than with FWD. Manufacturers are working on getting around this, however, by modifying their drivetrains to become smarter and more adaptable to how much power is required of the engine at that moment. Granted, this varies on the brand and how new the model is.

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Can’t decide between FWD or AWD? Contact us at U.S. Auto Sales and we will help you find the vehicle that fits your needs and budget.