What is the Difference Between FWD and AWD?

By Product Expert | Posted in Tips and Tricks on Monday, January 27th, 2020 at 9:48 am
Driver angle of a white car driving in a city

Front-Wheel Drive vs All-Wheel Drive Comparison

As you shop for a vehicle, you’ve likely have come across the terms front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD). FWD and AWD are two different drivetrains which each being found in many vehicles. What’s the difference between FWD and AWD? There are different benefits from owning each, so let’s see how these drivetrains compare.

[ READ MORE: When Should You Get Your Tires Rotated? ]

Pros and Cons of FWD

FWD is the most common drivetrain out there. From old vehicles to current models, FWD has been available to drivers for decades. Why do drivers continue to buy cars with this drivetrain? It comes down to affordability and efficiency. This drivetrain is the cheapest for manufacturers to produce, thus making FWD the cheapest for drivers to purchase. In addition, FWD is known to be more fuel-efficient than other drivetrain options. This is due to the fact that only the front two tires are powered by the engine.

Now you’re probably wondering why some drivers would rather pick a different drivetrain. While FWD is good for drivers on a budget, it poses a risk during weather conditions like rain. Also, vehicles with FWD cannot easily travel off-road. Since only the front tires are powered, if one loses traction, it can be hard for the vehicle to regain the grip it needs.

Rear angle of a car driving in rain

Pros and Cons of AWD

AWD is the opposite of FWD for many reasons. This drivetrain powers all four wheels rather than just two. Since it is newer technology, this drivetrain is a bit more expensive and less efficient. However, handling tough road conditions are made much easier as the vehicle would be able to hold traction better.

Many AWD drivetrains combat its flaws by engineering this system to adapt to the road. For instance, if you are slipping, the wheels with the best grip will get engine power. While cruising, the front two wheels can get power and act like FWD. Of course, this flexibility can depend on the brand making that AWD drivetrain.

So which drivetrain should you choose? That depends on how you plan on driving your next vehicle. If rain and travelling off-road isn’t an issue for you, you may as well save the extra cash and get a vehicle with FWD. However, if traction has been a problem or if you plan on travelling off-road, we recommend buying a used vehicle with AWD. For help finding the right car with the right drivetrain for you, contact us here at OkCarz.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Adjust Payment Terms ×

We want to help you find the perfect car that fits your budget. Please adjust the options below so we can estimate the most accurate monthly payments.

Estimated Credit Score or Interest Rate

Desired Loan Term (months)

How much will you put down?

All tax, title and vehicle registration fees are additional. See dealer for complete details.