What Is The Difference Between The Different Drive Types?

The below table shows a comparison of front, rear and all-wheel drive vehicles:




Front Wheel Drive (FWD)

  • Lower kerb weight than RWD
  • Improved payload
  • Better fuel economy and CO2
  • Greater traction if unladen than RWD due to weight distribution
  • Lower acquisition price than RWD
  • Automatic transmission available
  • Lower GTM than comparable RWD
    • Note: towing Front Drive Ratio can compensate

Rear Wheel Drive (RWD)

  • Improved driving and towing dynamics under heavy load
  • Advantages when towing as weight of trailer pushes down on rear axle meaning greater traction
  • More expensive than FWD – acquisitions
  • Higher kerb weight means negative effect on fuel and CO2

All Wheel Drive (AWD)

  • Better traction when in poor road conditions
  • Helps with towing in bad weather and rough terrain
  • Added cost
  • Lower fuel economy