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FWD vs AWD Cars: Which Should I Buy?

fwd vs awd vehicles| Indyautoman, IN

FWD Vs. AWD: Which One Should You Choose?

The growing car prices remind motorists of the old question: is all-wheel drive profitable? An AWD car is more confident in difficult road conditions, but it also costs more and requires additional payments for maintenance and fuel. This guide will help you answer the main question “Do I need an AWD or FWD car?”

What Are the Types of Drivetrain?

All modern cars can be divided into three groups according to the type of drive:

  • Mono-drive – vehicles with front or rear-wheel drive.
  • 4-wheel drive – SUVs designed to drive off-road.
  • AWD – cars with limited automatic all-wheel drive installed in most crossovers.

Front and Rear-Wheel Drive Cars

Mono-drive cars have the designation 2WD, which stands for 2-wheel drive. These are the most ordinary cars on the roads and highways of Indianapolis and other cities. Some cars can also drive off-road due to their high ground clearance, but most of them will get stuck in the first puddle. Therefore, those who prefer outdoor activities outside paved roads need a vehicle with one of the types of all-wheel drive.

4WD (Four-Wheel Drive)

4WD, by analogy with mono-drive cars, stands for 4-wheel drive. In the automotive tradition, this inscription is equivalent to the 4X4 nameplate on many trucks . This type of all-wheel drive can also be divided into two types:

  • Permanent all-wheel drive, the so-called Full-time, when all four wheels are constantly spinning;
  • Plug-in all-wheel drive, called Part-time, where you can turn on all-wheel drive manually if necessary. Most SUVs have a plug-in drive, so this can significantly save fuel consumption and increase maximum speed.

All-Wheel Drive

And the last type of drive is AWD, which means all-wheel drive . It would seem the same as 4WD, but it is not. In cars with AWD, the rear axle is connected automatically only in case the front wheels slip, for example, on wet pavement or in snow. Therefore, it is incorrect to compare them with SUVs; in essence, it is a more advanced version of mono-drive cars.

AWD Vs. FWD: Fuel and Maintenance

maintenance of awd vs fwd

The price here consists of several components. Firstly, AWD cars have an initially higher purchase price: the cost is an average of 5-10% more than its mono-drive modification. The higher car price with all-wheel drive applies to any class: a full-size SUV, a crossover, or a sedan.

The second part of expenses is the maintenance, which in some cases can significantly exceed the costs of a conventional car. For AWD vehicles older than three years, it is 10-15% more expensive since there are more mechanisms: a transfer case, an interaxle clutch, a second differential, and the second pair of drives, as well as a driveline.

And the last part is fuel. Four-wheel drive vehicles usually have higher fuel consumption, which creates an additional financial burden. Even if you rarely turn on the second pair of wheels, the 4×4 car is heavier, so its fuel consumption can be about half a gallon per 60 miles higher.

Model Range

used BMW with AWD for sale Indianapolis

As for specific models and manufacturers, the more expensive the car, the higher the share of all-wheel drive in sales: for example, a brand like Land Rover or Porsche has 100% AWD SUVs since a wealthy buyer does not mind paying extra for such an option. In budget brands, where the buyer more reverently monitors costs, the share of FWD will be significant.

Among the premium brands, BMW cars look the most attractive in terms of price and quality; all-wheel drive is available for almost all modifications of all models, starting from the basic versions. The situation is similar to the Mercedes-Benz brand. But for Audi and Jaguar, AWD is usually available on powerful engines, so the entry price is high. But if you want to buy a used AWD Audi in Indianapolis , you can still find attractive options.

Which Is Better All-Wheel Drive or Front-Wheel Drive?

FWD cars are usually more fuel-efficient. They also require less maintenance because there are fewer moving parts. If a car break, the parts are typically cheaper and easier to fix. Front-wheel-drive vehicles also tend to have more interior space. At the same time, AWD cars combined with winter tires are the ultimate solution for snowy roads.

Is AWD Worth the Extra Money?

Most AWD cars will have better resale value. They are more capable, and the demand for such cars is higher. But you should not expect to get every penny back. Just tick it as another advantage – AWD cars are easier to sell.

Are AWD Cars More Expensive to Insure?

Insurance for an AWD car will cost more because this system is more sophisticated. If such a car was totaled, it would cost more to replace it than an FWD vehicle.

What Are the Problems With All-Wheel Drive?

All-wheel drive vehicles have more braking and steering concerns. They are prone to wear due to misalignment, aggressive driving, and under-inflated tires. Moreover, if we compare it with 4WD, it has such disadvantages as:

  • The need to determine the moment when rotation is required on all wheels.
  • It produces less torque than a 4WD system.
  • Cannot downshift for torque.

Moreover, cars with AWD have less ground clearance compared to models with 4WD. Therefore, the cross-country ability is somewhat lower.

Do I Really Need an AWD?

do I need AWD

Before buying an all-wheel drive model, you need to weigh the pros and cons if you do not drive on a serious off-road. If you have FWD vs. AWD dilemma, but there is a great used car with front-wheel drive for sale in Indianapolis , you can easily abandon AWD option. At the same time, it is not the best idea to reject a full in favor of a rear-wheel drive. Rear-wheel drive cars are much more complicated to drive, and, on slippery roads, their behavior is the most dangerous.

If you can’t make up your mind, visit Indy Auto Man, and our qualified sales assistants will help you buy the best model for your lifestyle, budget, and needs.