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Which Drivetrain Should I Pick for a Car?

Front-Wheel Drive vs All-Wheel Drive vs 4-Wheel Drive vs Rear-Wheel Drive

If you are shopping for your next car, you’ll have a lot more than make and model to choose from. Along with selecting the right vehicle at the right price, you will want to make sure you are also selecting the right drivetrain for your driving needs. See which drivetrain you should consider picking for your car with our drivetrain comparison.

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Front-Wheel Drive

Front-wheel drive, also known as FWD, is the most common drivetrain you will find in modern vehicles. With FWD, the front two wheels receive engine power and pull the vehicle forward. This drivetrain is a great choice for commuters looking for an affordable drivetrain and would like to maximize their fuel economy. A variety of body styles, like sedans, hatchbacks, crossovers, SUVs, and trucks, offer FWD as an option for drivers.

Rear-Wheel Drive

Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is similar to front-wheel drive in that only two wheels receive engine power. However, unlike its counterpart, RWD vehicles send engine power to the back two wheels. Since the front wheels are used for steering and the back wheels propel the car forward, many coupes, sporty vehicles, and some trucks will offer RWD.

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All-Wheel Drive

Unlike FWD and RWD, all four wheels receive engine power with all-wheel drive (AWD). AWD is a drivetrain growing in popularity as it helps the driver maintain traction in slippery road conditions like rain and light snow. Some AWD systems also offer an intelligent feature of only sending power to the rear wheels when needed and switching to FWD when unnecessary, helping maximize fuel efficiency as much as possible. AWD is often found in SUVs and crossovers. Some sedans, hatchbacks, and minivans are also beginning to offer this popular drivetrain with manufacturers making some recent additions.

4-Wheel Drive

Like AWD, 4-wheel drive (or 4WD) gives all four wheels power. The difference between AWD and 4WD is that 4WD is more suited for challenging terrains like mud or sand, making the drivetrain a top pick among those that wish to go off-roading. If you are looking for a vehicle with 4WD, we recommend exploring various truck models.

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Curious to explore more tips for finding your next vehicle? Check out the Broadway Credit blog for much more posts like this! Also, reach out to us and we will help you find the vehicle that meets your needs and fits your budget.