RWD Vs. FWD: What Is The Difference?

A dark gray Jeep parked on rough terrain

RWD vs. FWD: What Is the Difference?


Should I Choose a Car with RWD or FWD?

The joy of buying a new car can sometimes override all the little decisions you need to make. However, those are important decisions you shouldn’t overlook. After all, they can affect your driving experience for the life of the vehicle.

One of those decisions is whether to go with rear-wheel drive (RWD) or front-wheel drive (FWD). What is the difference between them, and why would you choose one vs. another? That’s what we'll cover below.

Whether you're looking for an easy, safe drive or a performance vehicle, at Gill CDJR, we’re dedicated to helping you find the perfect vehicle with the features that best fit your needs and lifestyle. Visit us for a test drive to learn more about RWD vs FWD and discover the difference in your favorite vehicle.

What Is the Difference Between Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) and Front-Wheel Drive (FWD)?

So, what is the real difference between RWD and FWD? The difference between all drivetrains, including all-wheel drive (AWD), is a matter of which wheels the drive power is being funneled to (and into the road).

In rear-wheel drive, the engine’s power goes into the back wheels. That means the front wheels are free to steer the car, making the rear-wheel-drive preferable if you’re looking for a fun drive. Front-wheel drive does the opposite.

In FWD, the engine power is coming out of the front wheels, which means you get a bit more stability. That’s because the engine power is coming out of the front of the vehicle where the weight of the engine is.

RWD vs FWD: Pros and Cons

Now that you understand more about what the difference is between RWD and FWD in terms of their basic construction, let’s talk about the actual pros and cons of each.

Front-wheel drive has several pros and cons. The first and most often touted is that FWD is more efficient in terms of fuel consumption, as the engine power comes straight down through the front wheels below it.

FWD also offers better traction control in virtually all road conditions due to the added weight of the engine above the front wheels, which can also improve crash safety. The main con of FWD is that it has less responsive handling and turning capability since the same wheels that are steering the vehicle are also accelerating it.

The rear-wheel-drive works a bit differently, as the front wheels are steering while the back wheels are accelerating. Because of this, RWD offers better acceleration and overall performance. RWD also offers improved steering and turning due to the front wheels being free to simply steer.

Shop for Your Next Vehicle at Gill CDJR

Learning the basics of RWD vs. FWD is important if you’re shopping for a new vehicle. If you’re looking for a safer and more secure drive, you should go with FWD. However, if performance is the name of the game, you should go with RWD.

To put together the perfect features and settings for your next vehicle, visit Gill CDJR. Our helpful sales representatives are eager to help you craft your next vehicle with the right options to match your lifestyle.