What's the Difference Between FWD and AWD?



FWD (Front-Wheel-Drive) and AWD (All-Wheel-Drive) are part of a vehicle’s drive system. The purpose of a drive system is to transmit power from the engine to the wheels and enable the automobile to run at a speed specified by the driver.

Being well-informed about the points of difference AWD and FWD display is essential to choose a vehicle that best fits your needs.

FWD and AWD Comparison – Basic Design

In a FWD model, the drive system transmits engine power to the front wheels. So, when you are driving, the wheels pulling your car forward are the front wheels.

In AWD vehicles, power is transmitted to all four wheels. The drive system boasts differentials (devices that produce outputs of varying speeds) positioned at the rear, front, and center to enable such power delivery.

In most AWD models, power is transmitted only to the front wheels. These AWD models are called partial or automatic AWD. The rear wheels receive engine output only when needed. AWD models where power is transmitted to all four wheels are called full-time AWDs.

FWD vs AWD – Characteristics and Usage

Most vehicles on the road are FWD. One of the reasons for the wide use of this drive system is its compactness, which creates more cabin space. Also, the drivetrain system is positioned in the front, which reduces oversteering impact.

The weight of the system is concentrated on the front of a FWD vehicle, which imparts better traction when you drive on slippery roads or climb sloping surfaces such as hills.

AWD vehicles are a great choice if your lifestyle includes frequent off-the-road trips.

AWD cars provide solid grip on loose surfaces that are known for low traction, such as sloppy, muddy, and sand-filled roads. They are also great for driving during harsh weather and changing conditions

FWD vs AWD? Which is the best for you?

The answer depends on the type of roads you plan to drive on, and the weather conditions you are most likely to encounter. A point to remember is that with AWD, especially full-time AWD, fuel efficiency is not optimal. This is because the power required to offer maximum traction sucks out engine energy.

We can give you expert advice for FWD vs AWD based on your lifestyle and needs. We are also an authorized Mitsubishi dealer NY near Freehold, Asbury Park, and Belmar.

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