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What are the Key Differences Between FWD and RWD?

Front-Wheel Drive vs Rear-Wheel Drive Comparison

Have you noticed that different cars offer different powertrains? Front-wheel drive (FWD), all-wheel drive (AWD), four-wheel drive (4×4), and rear-wheel drive (RWD) are all options for shoppers to consider. Here at U.S. Auto Sales, we will detail the differences between FWD and RWD to help you choose which drivetrain may be better for you.

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Differences in Performance and Fuel-Efficiency

When comparing front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive, you will find significant differences in performance and fuel efficiency due to how they are each engineered. FWD directs engine power to the front two wheels, thus pulling the vehicle forward. Front-wheel drive is very popular due to its impressive affordability. Additionally, FWD provides excellent fuel efficiency for vehicles equipped with it. However, since the front wheels are both steering and pulling the vehicle with the added weight of the engine, its handling may not feel as exciting to some drivers.

Rear-wheel drive, on the other hand, sends engine power to the rear two wheels. This way, the front wheels steer while the back wheels push the vehicle forward. Many drivers enjoy RWD as this drivetrain promotes enhanced responsiveness, making the vehicle nimbler as it turns corners or accelerates. It is also useful for towing, as the weight of the cargo behind it will put more weight on the rear wheels, thus giving those wheels more traction. The downside of RWD is that it does not have as much traction as FWD vehicles in general, especially in rainy and snowy weather conditions.

Which Types of Vehicles Offer FWD and RWD?

So, what types of vehicles offer FWD and RWD? FWD is offered with most body styles, being most common with sedans, hatchbacks, crossovers, SUVs, and minivans. RWD, on the other hand, are often found in vehicles designed to provide high levels of performance, such as sports cars, coupes, trucks, and even some SUVs.

[ COMPARE: Front-Wheel Drive vs All-Wheel Drive ]

Interested to learn more about the drivetrains of vehicles? Check out the U.S. Auto Sales blog for plenty of informative posts! Shopping for your next car? Get pre-qualified online at U.S. Auto Sales!