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All Wheel Drive vs. Front Wheel Drive

Is All-Wheel Drive or Front-Wheel Drive Right for You?

If you’re perusing the market for your next vehicle but can’t seem to decide whether to opt for a front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, Auto Liquidators Plus is here to help you put your decision in perspective. While all-wheel drive fanatics will boast the strength of their ride, front-wheel drive enthusiasts may crush those benefits with their economical alternative.

Auto Liquidator Plus is here to set the record straight, providing you with the advantages and disadvantages of each type of drivetrain configuration so you can make an informed decision on your next vehicle.

The Back Story on Drivetrain Configurations

The history of car drivetrain configurations is a long one, but in summary, cars used to be mostly rear-wheel drive, with the engine located in front and the drive wheels in the back. In the 1920s and '30s, front-wheel drive was introduced, but they were not so popular due to the complexity and cost of manufacturing.

It wasn’t until the '80s that front-wheel drive would gain traction due to its efficiency and fuel economy. With their compact layouts, they are more aerodynamic. Additionally, by the 1980s, front-wheel vehicles were simpler and cheaper to manufacture than rear-wheel drive, which made them more appealing to manufacturers and consumers.

The Expansion of All-Wheel Drive

In recent years, all-wheel drive has become in demand, especially in SUVs and luxury cars. This configuration sends power to all four wheels of the car, providing better traction and stability in poor weather conditions. Additionally, many front-wheel-drive models come with all-wheel drive available.

The Difference Between All-Wheel Drive and Front-Wheel Drive

The main difference between all-wheel drive (AWD) and front-wheel drive (FWD) is the number of wheels that receive power from the engine. In a FWD vehicle, power is sent to the front wheels only, while in an AWD vehicle, power is sent to all four wheels.

Advantages of All-Wheel Drive

All-wheel drive provides several favorable advantages, including:

  • Improved traction and stability, especially in poor weather conditions
  • Enhanced acceleration and handling, particularly on challenging roads such as dirt, gravel, or steep inclines
  • Powerful towing capability
  • Better off-road capability
  • Higher resale value than other configurations

Disadvantages of All-Wheel Drive

Just like anything else in life, all-wheel drive vehicles have their disadvantages, including:

  • More costly than other FWD models
  • Lower fuel economy due to the added weight
  • All tires must be replaced if one becomes damaged to avoid strain and costly repairs

Advantages of Front-Wheel Drive

There are several key factors that make front-wheel drive vehicles a popular choice, including:

  • They are more affordable
  • Tire replacements won’t break your budget, as they can be replaced one at a time
  • Improved fuel economy and efficiency
  • Snow tires can be added for a more economical alternative to all-wheel drive vehicles
  • Easier to handle

Disadvantages of Front-Wheel Drive

While front-wheel drive vehicles are proven reliable, they also have some downfalls, such as:

  • Less capability when navigating challenging weather conditions, such as snow, ice, or rain
  • Winter tires may be necessary and must be changed seasonally to improve the safety of the vehicle

Which Is Best for You?

The best option for you will come down to your priorities. If you are concerned about operating costs and want something more economical, front-wheel drive is more suitable. However, if you are looking for a reliable vehicle that can perform against the harsh climate or want something that will maintain a steady resale value, an all-wheel drive is best.

Check Out Our Inventory

No matter the drivetrain configuration you decide on, Auto Liquidators Plus has the perfect car, truck, or SUV to suit your preferences. Stop by one of our three locations in Dallas, Arlington, and Tyler, TX to browse our expansive selection of quality pre-owned vehicles, or contact us today to learn more!