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FWD, RWD and AWD - A Thorough Analysis of the differences

Posted at Mon, May 30, 2016 2:30 PM

If you have ever shopped for a vehicle, it is not uncommon to encounter terminology like FWD, RWD and AWD all of which technically mean different things. If you are in the dark about the differences and which will ultimately serve your needs the best, look no further than this helpful guide below:

Forward/Front Wheel Drive (FWD)

This is a type of vehicle in which the motor is mounted in a side-to-side orientation and its main responsibility is to turn the front wheels to propel the vehicle forward. The front wheels are used for steering the vehicle as well as to receive power from the engine to move forward.


  • It has better traction on slippery or wet roads making it ideal for use in snow or slush.
  • FWD vehicles weigh less as they have lesser number of components; they have more interior space and are generally more fuel efficient.


  • There is a lot of wear and tear in the front tires as they are made to do a lot of work.
  • These vehicles usually have less power and torque which come at a disadvantage for performance oriented drivers.

Rear Wheel Drive (RWD)

The engine in a RWD vehicle is positioned longitudinally. You will find that the axis of the motor’s rotation is perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the rear axle. Many trucks and sports cars use this drivetrain.


  • Preferable handling experience on good road conditions due to a higher generation of torque with generally more noticeable levels of power when driving.


  • A poor choice for climates or areas where heavy snow or icy roads are common as they have a tendency to fishtail under these sets of conditions.

All Wheel Drive (AWD)

Capable of driving through all kinds of terrain and usually combine the positives of FWD and RWD.Power is supplied to all wheels at the same time.


  • Has the best traction of the lot. Safe to drive even through rugged off-road conditions or bad weather.


  • AWD vehicles generally come with a heftier price tag than their FWD counterparts and weigh more, which can affect performance to an extent.

To learn more about the differing drivetrains amongst vehicles and the ways in which they can best match your lifestyle, contact or visit Tim’s Truck Capital.




Tim’s Truck Capital & Auto Sales Inc.

904 Suncook Valley Hwy

Epsom, NH 03234

Phone: 888.659.1537


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