What is front-wheel drive vs. rear-wheel drive?

One of the most important features for picking a vehicle is what you prefer for performance. In order to really consider the performance of a vehicle, you have to look at the transmission and drivetrain options. Most cars come with either a front-wheel drive (FWD) or rear-wheel drive (RWD) configuration. Other cars may also have all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive (4x4).

With an FWD vehicle, the power is transferred to the front wheels from the transmission. This allows the car to be pulled forward, and while this isn’t the best for quick acceleration, your car gets better gas mileage. With a turbocharged engine, you can also build acceleration over time, allowing you to pass just as efficiently on the highway as a rear-wheel drive vehicle. RWD refers to configurations where the engine passes power to the rear differential, which allows the car to push forward. This results in instant horsepower and acceleration, which is why sports cars and larger SUVs typically have RWD. However, it doesn’t get the best gas mileage. If you need a car for towing or driving in difficult road conditions, then a rear-wheel drive is the better option.

Want to test drive the latest vehicles and see what cars are best for performance? You can head to Kempthorn Mazda located in Canton for more information, the best specials on new cars, and get the red carpet customer treatment. We’re here to serve you.


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