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What is the difference between front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive: the difference, advantages and disadvantages of each

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What is the difference between front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive: the difference, advantages and disadvantages of each
What is the difference between front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive: the difference, advantages and disadvantages of each

Among car owners, even today, disputes about what is better and how front-wheel drive differs from rear-wheel drive do not subside. Each gives his own arguments, but does not recognize the evidence of other motorists. And in fact, it is not easy to determine the best type of drive among the two available options. Here it is necessary to conduct a detailed analysis, compare the key properties and focus on the shortcomings of each of the drives. We must not forget that the drive is an important part of any car, so each buyer must decide for himself which type is right for him. And for this it is necessary to distinguish between these systems and know their main differences.

What is a drive and what can it be?

Initially, you need to determine what this node is, how it functions and what it can be. A running car engine, when driving on the road, transmits torque to the wheels. On which wheels of the car the rotational energy “gets”, that type of car drive isbasic.

The drive of the car can be rear, front and full. The latter option is also divided into several types depending on the number of axles on the machine. However, in our article we will take a closer look at how front-wheel drive differs from rear-wheel drive.

The final choice of any type of these automotive drives directly depends on many nuances. This is the type and condition of the road surface on which it is planned to constantly move, the driving style preferred by the driver himself, the brand of the selected car, and a number of other factors. And only by identifying such small features for yourself, you can answer the question of which is better: front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive.

Rear wheel drive

Rear wheel drive car
Rear wheel drive car

This transmission option is a specific device in which the rotational movement that is transmitted from the engine goes only to the rear wheels. In such cars, the engine is located mainly in the front. Then there is a gearbox, a driveshaft and a rear axle, which is considered to be the leading one. This type of drive is classic, because initially, without exception, only the rear wheels were driving. That is, in streaming production there were rear-wheel drive cars. Front-wheel drive versions of cars were "born" and became popular much later.

Popular models of rear-wheel drive cars are: Dodge Magnum, Dodge co-platform - Chrysler 300, "American" Cadillac CTS, Jaguar S-Type, Lexus GS, Opel Omega,Mercedes C-Class in the back of W203, BMW "troika" in the back of E30.

Pros of rear wheel drive cars

rear wheel drive car
rear wheel drive car

Rear-wheel drive cars undoubtedly have many advantages. Here are some facts about why rear-wheel drive is better than front-wheel drive. The most important and main advantage of rear-wheel drive vehicles is their high productivity. This means that when the throttle is pressed and the car starts to pick up speed, the weight is transferred to the rear, as a result, the load on the front wheels is significantly reduced. This helps increase the traction of the drive wheels and reduces the likelihood of slipping, especially during the start of the course or hard acceleration.

Another advantage of a rear-wheel drive car is the higher handling of the "iron horse". This happens due to the fact that the front wheels only set the line of motion. Rear-wheel drive cars have a smaller turning radius. That is, it is much easier to enter turns on them, and also, thanks to a more even distribution of the mass of the car, it is much easier to control it. Well, another indisputable advantage of a car with rear-wheel drive is the high driving comfort due to the fact that vibrations from the running engine of the car are almost not felt in the cabin.

Cons of RWD cars

Advantages and disadvantages of rear-wheel drive
Advantages and disadvantages of rear-wheel drive

The disadvantages of these cars include a high risk of skidding in rainy, foggy or snowy weather, as we already mentioned in the article above: the drive rear wheels can often slip onslippery or wet road surfaces. By the way, because of this feature, rear-wheel drive cars are used for so-called drifting.

When cornering a car with rear-wheel drive, the engine needs a lot more effort, because the turning front wheels, as it were, slow down the rear wheels. It also increases the car's skid. It is worth noting that the arrangement of rear-wheel drive cars, namely the presence of a cardan shaft, significantly reduces the usable free area in the car. Well, one of the significant drawbacks of rear-wheel drive cars is their more complex design. This entails an increase in the final cost of repairing the vehicle. Just this nuance in many cases is the main one when choosing a car, and therefore the difference between front and rear wheel drive is obvious, so the first option is considered more in demand.

Front wheel drive

Front wheel drive car
Front wheel drive car

In a front-wheel drive car, the driving force of the motor is directed only to the front wheels, which are both guiding and driving. Such machines have a simpler structure, so you can buy them at a more affordable price.

The first cars with a front transmission appeared at the beginning of the last century, for example, the Cord L29, which was created by the American company Auburn Automobile in 1929. These elegant designs have been popularized through innovation.

Pros of front wheel drive cars

In addition to the fact that cars are simple and you can buy them at a lower cost, theythere are other benefits as well. These include significant directional stability of the car and the spaciousness of the cabin, which is achieved due to the absence of a cardan shaft and a tunnel for it. A front wheel drive car is less prone to skidding on slippery roads. True, experts advise getting out of such difficult situations in a different way to drive a car than to those who have a car with rear-wheel drive. This means that the best option is to press the gas pedal and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid.

Cons of front wheel drive cars

front wheel drive car
front wheel drive car

The lack of a quick start is considered to be the negative side of such machines, because the car starts to slip due to the increased load on the front wheels. Due to the fact that they perform two actions at the same time, their device is more prone to wear and therefore requires more frequent repairs. For the same reason, the steering angle of a front-wheel drive car is reduced. Well, in such cars, the vibrations that appear due to the operation of the engine become more noticeable, and when accelerating, the steering wheel trembles noticeably (if there is no power steering).

Which drive is safer?

Many experts are constantly arguing about the difference between front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive. A front wheel drive car is much easier to drive and harder to skid. Based on this, it is best to buy a front-wheel drive "iron horse" as your first car.

On the other hand, skidding in a rear wheel drive car is easily corrected by releasing the throttle - ifrelease the gas, the car will return to a predetermined trajectory.

The advantages of rear-wheel drive over front-wheel drive in this situation are obvious. Indeed, to get out of a skid on a front-wheel drive, you need much more experience and skill. To get out of this situation on the rear wheel drive, you just need to release the gas pedal. Experts say that rear-wheel drive immediately shows the driver all the insecurity of a slippery road. And the front-wheel drive until the last moment hides it from the driver. Despite this, even for rear-wheel drive there is a speed limit, after which its reset is not able to stabilize the movement of the car.

Which drive car is the most passable?

Before determining which drive is better - front or rear, consider the features of the device. Initially, we note that the drive wheels of cars with front-wheel drive are more pressed to the ground under a large engine mass, which reduces slippage. Also, the drive wheels of cars with front-wheel drive are steering, so that the driver can set the direction of traction.

When the drive wheels slip, the driver of a front-wheel drive car can pull the car out of the snow captivity with the front wheels. The rear wheels will follow the same path as the front wheels. So which drive is better - front or rear - in winter? The second drive option behaves worse in this situation - the rear of the car starts to demolish, and it is quite difficult to control this process.


Cars with rear and front wheel drive on slopes
Cars with rear and front wheel drive on slopes

What is the difference between front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drivewhen going up a steep slope? A car with the first type of transmission climbs a slippery slope much more confidently than the second option. The front drive wheels can slip, but still they pull the car uphill, and the rear-wheel drive in such a situation starts to slip and turns the car around, no matter how you hold the steering wheel. The king of slippery and steep climbs, of course, is "His Majesty" four-wheel drive, which pulls the car without slipping.

Which car accelerates faster?

The difference between rear and front-wheel drive is that on dry pavement, a rear-wheel drive car accelerates many times faster than a front-wheel drive car. During acceleration, the mass of the car is transferred to the rear axle, while the front wheels are unloaded. Therefore, the front-wheel drive during acceleration allows strong slippage.

Which drive is better?

Which drive accelerates faster?
Which drive accelerates faster?

Having considered the differences between rear-wheel drive and front-wheel drive, we can conclude that the second type wins in many respects. It is also more profitable in terms of fuel consumption. On average, driving a front-wheel drive car is more economical than driving a rear-wheel drive car. The difference can be up to 7%.

Rear-wheel drive cars do not have drive shafts, so the maximum turning radius of the steering wheels will be larger, and the turning angle will be smaller, which is very appropriate in city conditions.

It is actually difficult to say objectively which drive is better - front or rear. Many manufacturing companies note that front-wheel drive cars are much cheaper to manufacture. Therefore, they come true at more affordable prices.

Lower cost is the main advantage of front wheel drive over rear wheel drive. We can safely say that due to the low cost, the first type of transmission is considered the most common. Front-wheel drive cars are produced more often than rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive cars combined. The second reason for the great popularity of front-wheel drive is its ease of use on slippery roads.

Front-drive cars are much more affordable, more economical. They are structurally simple and less demanding on the skill of the driver. Experts recommend using rear-wheel drive only if you have a decent driving experience behind you and now you want not just to drive a car, but to get a lot of pleasure from the very process of driving a car.

Car behavior on corners

The difference in car handling on corners will be due to the different structure. Front-wheel drive cars carry a fairly large load and set in motion the entire structure of the car. To fulfill all the duties assigned to them, the front wheels are equipped with various components and parts that take up a lot of space under the hood and next to the hubs. Due to these technological features, the wheels of a front-wheel drive car do not have the same turning amplitude as a rear-wheel drive car. Therefore, the first variant of cars in a turn tends to straighten out, which leads to a skid of the front axle, especially on slippery or wet road surfaces.

Rear-wheel drive cars,on the contrary, due to the larger steering angle of the wheels, they easily enter turns. However, if the throttle is applied at high speed, the rear axle may not be able to handle the high torque. As a result, the wheels will slip, losing traction.

Rear and front wheel drive vehicles have many advantages and disadvantages. In different situations, these cars behave differently. Therefore, they should be managed in a certain way. We came to the conclusion that the main thing is not how you drive your car, but how you can drive it.

So, now you know which cars are better - with front or rear wheel drive. The pros and cons of both types of transmission are discussed in the article.

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