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September 1, 2015

Which is Better - Front or Rear Wheel Drive?: Part I
By Bob Storck
Recently a friend came up with a list of potential vehicles to replace her ailing clunker. She narrowed the list down to a few very good sedans.

In discussing the differences and merits it was mentioned that the one she was most interested in was rear wheel drive. “No!”, she exclaimed, “I didn’t think anybody built rear wheel drive cars, I assumed all cars were front wheel drive by now! That car won’t work well in winter will it?”

Not long ago all vehicles sold in the US were rear wheel drive. What happened? Was front wheel drive that much better?

The answer is yes but not because front wheel drive offers better driving performance. In reality, manufacturers needed to reduce the size and weight of their vehicles in order to help meet federal gas mileage mandates. But Americans still desire big cars. So the manufacturers found a creative solution.

Front wheel drive is nearly a packaging miracle. It places the entire drivetrain up front which allows as much interior and trunk space as the next size larger rear wheel drive car can.



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