Which Automobile Layout Would You Prefer?

FWD-vs-AWD-vs-RWD

Cars in Pakistan are mostly Front-wheel-drive. But if you had the choice of buying a Rear Wheel Drive or an All-Wheel Drive, Which one would you go for? To be able to make a choice, you need to know about the Pros and Cons of having a RWD, FWD and AWD.

vehicle drive types

Rear Wheel Drive

There are two advantages of a RWD. The first is that it gives your car a better balance. Because the Axle is behind, it balances up with the weight of the engine. Giving the car, a better weight distribution. This is why most sports cars are RWD. The second advantage of a RWD is that it requires less repair, and is more durable. For example, if you run over a huge pothole on a RWD, you probably won’t break anything. But on a FWD, the odds of getting the axle damaged are higher. Most German cars are rear wheel drive and they are known for being balanced.

rwd-644

The disadvantage of a RWD is that if the drive shaft and propeller get damaged easily and it costs a lot of money to get them fixed, especially because RWD parts and RWD cars are not so common in Pakistan. RWD easily lose traction in rain and in snow. The engine’s power is transferred to the back wheels (RWD push the car from behind), causing the back wheels to skid and lose traction.

Front Wheel Drive

Front wheel drive are the most common in Pakistan. The major reason being, they are cheaper to build and it’s less expensive to repair them. Since there are no propeller shafts and heavy differentials like the ones in RWD cars, FWD tend to be lighter. Because FWD are light, it makes them more fuel efficient when compared to RWDs. Traction in snow and rain is improved, because the weight of the engine and transaxle are in front, improving the grip of the car on road.

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The bad side of FWD is that they are nose-heavy, which means they are not optimal for handling, especially at high speeds. Front wheels drive pull the car and at the same time steer it. This is not ideal for high performance cars/sports cars. The FWD may tend to steer left or right (torque steer) when given full acceleration. This is why very few performance cars are front wheel drives. The other downside is that front wheel drive are not as durable as RWD because their CV joints and axle can easily get damaged.

All-wheel Drive

All-Wheel drive gives the car the advantage of both RWD and FWD, minimizing the disadvantages. The biggest advantage of an AWD is that it has excellent traction on both dry and wet conditions. This is the reason AWD is preferred by performance minded car enthusiasts as well as the people who don’t want to get stuck in the snow. AWD balance performance with handling and perform better in bad weather.

Acura-RLX-SH-AWD

The downside of AWD is that it is expensive and heavy. AWD cars weigh more and this makes them use more fuel. It costs more money to maintain an AWD car, because there are more components and more things will need servicing.

If you were to choose between FWDs, RWDs and AWDs, which one would you prefer? Do give us a feedback.

Samiullah Sharief

Samiullah Sharief is a car enthusiat. He is passionate about writing blogs and reviews about cars. His hobbies are driving,watching TV Shows like Top Gear, Mega Factories and he follows Popular car magazines. You can reach out to him by tweeting @sami649

  • Guest

    The article is a چربہ because Pakistan where companies sell cars with undersized engines, torque steer is not a reality.

    RWD drive shaft breaking? At most it gets hit, arcs and starts vibrating.

    Differential: FWD cars too have one. It is inside the gearbox housing (called transaxle, the term has been used in the article too). In fact one of the source of losses in RWD cars is torsion of the drive shafts and then losses in the shaft crosses, causing extra fuel consumption.

    Noone talked about the hump in the floor caused by the shaft.

    RWD cars are not common? Bolan? Ravi? Hiace? Mazda? Hilux? Fortuner 2WD? Shehzore? CD-70? FAW XP-V? Daihatsu Hijet? Toyota Cami? Toyota Rush? Suzuki Every? Jimny? Potohar?

    AWD diagram is shown under RWD heading.

    The article lacks the mention of 4WD, which is a different animal than AWD, and 4WD is what I want.

  • Zulfiqar Ali Soomro

    What is the difference between awd and 4wd?

  • Samiullah Sharief

    I was explaining why sports cars are not FWDs hence i talked about torque steer. You are right about it not being a factor for undersized engines (in pakistan). I dont consider RWDs common because, probably 3 out of 10 people might own the cars you have mentioned. Thank you for the feedback.

  • There are sports cars that are front wheel drives. Toyota Celica, for starters. (Yes, you’re probably laughing at the notion but it is a bona-fide sports car). Also, hot hatches. There is torque steer in even the undersized engines, but very negligible. Try accelerating a Suzuki Swift or a Civic – it does move away from a straight line. Sure, that movement is very small, but it is there. It’s even present in the damn 660cc Kei cars. (I was accelerating my dinky Mira yesterday on the Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas Highway and yeah, it moved away and no – the suspension and tyres are all in excellent condition).

  • Guest again

    4WD comes with a dedicated transfer case and center differential.
    The transfer case makes possible the high & low gearing.
    The center differential could be limited slip or locking type.

    The center differential means the amount of torque split between front and rear axles, then there are locking hubs by which torque is split between the 2 wheels on the same axle.

    A 4WD is far more sophisticated than an AWD. AWD is just for good traction in ice or snow, or a little mud that has collected on the paved surface. That is why AWD is seen in commuter vehicles such as Toyota Hiace, Corolla (EE90 and others), but 4WD is seen in rugged off-road machines.

    Rally AWD system is a little different than the AWD present in supercars or normal on-road cars, still it lacks the transfer case selection etc.

  • Bitter_truth

    Come on dudes you guys are replying to each other like fighting mode is turned on. Be a Pro 🙂

  • Sultan Kiani

    If you want to own a RWD in Pakistan, you have to buy Suzuki Bolan, no other option in PKDM manufactured section!

  • Sultan Kiani

    Would you buy an AWD Corolla or okay with FWD if you’re going to drive it on normal roads of Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi etc?

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