Front-Wheel Drive vs. Rear-Wheel Drive

August 26th, 2016

It’s pretty amazing just how differently cars can be made… thankfully, these two driving systems aren’t nearly as easy to mix up as four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. That said, what are the differences between front-wheel drive (FWD) and rear-wheel drive (RWD)? Why would someone want to pick one over the other? Does it even matter? Here, we’ll go over each one and compare them.

Rear-Wheel Drive

Let’s kick things off with RWD. With this system, your stock wheels’ power is coming from the rear. RWD offers quite a few advantages. For one, it’s built sturdier than front-wheel drive, making it less susceptible to damage when driving over curbs… though we recommend not taking advantage of this! The heavy, sturdy RWD system also brings more balance to your car because its drivetrain is spread evenly between the front and rear, which means better handling. This is why many race cars and high-performance vehicles like the 2016 Hyundai Genesis are rear-wheel drive.

One of the main disadvantages of rear-wheel drive, however, is that it has poor traction in bad weather such as rain or snow. It can lose control quite easily when driving through slick or wet roads. For this reason, many people with rear-wheel drive vehicles do not drive them when the weather is bad.

Front-Wheel Drive

In the area where RWD fails, FWD tends to do much better. FWD vehicles, such as some versions of the Dodge Caliber, tend to get much better traction; the control is much better because the front wheels are pulling the car forward, rather than having the rear wheels push the car through the slippery road.

This system in general is also much more simple and lightweight. Since it doesn’t add too much weight to the car, a car with FWD will typically be less expensive. The lesser weight also helps cars get better gas mileage! So, FWD cars end up being less expensive… if you’re careful. As mentioned earlier, FWD is more fragile than RWD. You’re more likely to crack or break something by driving over a pothole or another road hazard. Luckily, you know who has your back if you happen to crack your OEM wheels, right? 🙂 Even so, it’s always best to be careful. An additional disadvantage of FWD is that it can be quite hard to handle at high speeds. FWD cars are heavy in the front, making it difficult to keep straight and steady as you’re accelerating forward.


No matter which driving system you choose, we’re here to help you pick out the OEM rims you need. Feel free to give us a call toll free and we’ll be more than willing to help you out!


Until next time,
– Kathy


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