Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
User avatar
Aesma
Topic Author
Posts: 13588
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:46 pm

As far as I can tell I've never driven a rear-wheel drive car, even the Renault Trafic 1 panel van I drove during a summer job was FWD. Yet when looking at cars I'd like to own, I dismiss front-wheel drive ones right away, especially since I started watching Formula One.

I didn't buy my first (and current) car as it was given to me, and at the moment I'm putting money aside to buy a house, so the car of my dreams will have to wait. However a colleague who is into cars has a friend who is giving away an old bimmer, and I couldn't say no, so I should get it Monday. It's a 1989 320i coupe, inline 6, manual.

So I'll be driving a rear-wheel drive car at last !

Do you consider this when choosing a car ?
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
User avatar
ER757
Posts: 3903
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:16 am

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:59 pm

I'm old so I've had the opportunity to own all drive configurations (rear, front, 4WD, AWD). Have been driving AWD vehicles exclusively for the past 15 years or so (mostly Subaru Outbacks). Fits my driving needs nicely. I spend a fair amount of time up in the Cascade Mountains going to sometimes obscure hiking trails and the roads, if you can even call them that, sometimes can be dicey. The Subey handles them with no troubles. And here in the Seattle are we do get the occasional winter snowstorm and they don't exactly do a great job plowing secondary roads, let alone the driveway and parking lots in my townhouse complex. It's like driving through mashed potatoes so the AWD comes in quite handy. So that's what I consider when choosing a car.
 
jetwet1
Posts: 3268
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:42 am

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:11 pm

I look at where the car will be operating, while RWD cars are great on the track, in the real world you never get a chance to hang to rear end out.

As we have a cabin up in the mountains, we have had at least 1 4wd car/truck at all times, right now we have two, though I would not take my 4wd sedan (VW Phaeton) up into the mountains during the winter anyways, instead we load up the Tiguan.

I've owned RWD cars, each set up had it's pros and cons, the 320i is a nice car, you should enjoy it.
 
photopilot
Posts: 3101
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2002 11:16 am

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:04 pm

Well, I've also enjoyed owning RWD, FWD and 4WD vehicles. Each has it's pros and cons in different conditions.

I loved the RWD both because I competed in amateur rally events and IMHO they are just simply more fun to drive. That's said, also considering that ALL my vehicles have been 5-spd manual transmissions. Once you throw an automatic on any drive wheel configuration all bets are off, as you might as well be driving a boat! (but that's another thread)

So much of the RWD / FWD driving benefits depend on how the suspension and handling are set up along with weight bias. A RWD can usually be "thrown" into a corner and if you're good at catching the resulting oversteer, can be lots of fun to drive in a spirited manner. FWD on the other hand tend to understeer and plow thru a corner when pushed too hard. This is by far easier to control for the great masses of drivers who don't usually push vehicles to the limit. It's also generally more forgiving as when you lift suddenly in a corner, the car tends to tuck further into the corner rather than a quick end-swap like a RWD can do if not caught.

4WD / AWD can be a full mixed-bag of handling surprises depending on how the designers set up the central differential. Full locked, limited slip, torque splitting, etc. The best IMHO would be AWD with 3 torsen differentials and a 6-spd manual tranny. Pure heaven.

Given a choice of one and only one car to drive, I'd go RWD with 6-spd or 5-spd tranny with 4-wheel independent suspension so I can tune the chassis.
 
IMissPiedmont
Posts: 6199
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 12:58 pm

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:05 pm

For my type of driving it makes no difference. I prefer rear wheel drive only because I am old and like to think that a transmission or differential can be replaced more easily. Note that I typed "think". When if comes time for a new vehicle, there will be no choice since everything is FWD except trucks and I no longer need a truck.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
User avatar
garpd
Posts: 2539
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 9:29 am

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:39 pm

It all comes down to where you drive, how you drive and the weather, from my experience anyway.

FWD vehicles are efficient in most "normal" road conditions. The weight of the engine gives them good grip in the wet and all but the worst snow and ice. They are generally stable in the bends and if you start to understeer, you can just lift off the accelerator and the vehicle will actually take a tighter line. Do the same in a RWD and you'll likely end up ass end first into whatever is beside the road.

A RWD is next to useless in any snow and/or ice conditions. Sometimes also when it is really, really wet. I see BMWs and Mercedes flail about in those conditions all the time! So if you live in a place that sees a lot of rain, ice or snow and you rely on your car to get you about, RWD isn't the best option.

4WD/AWD will handle most conditions without much upset, however as your engine is powering all 4 wheels all the time, you'll struggle to attain the fuel efficiency of a FWD or RWD vehicle. There are cars on the market which are FWD until you flick a switch. These tend to be more expensive however.
arpdesign.wordpress.com
 
Kent350787
Posts: 1645
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 12:06 am

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:46 am

The first cars I drove were all rear drive. Traction when heavily loaded was great, but could be dicey in bad conditions otherwise. I wrecked my parent's RWD Toyota losing the tail and spinning into a power pole.

My first 3 cars were all FWD - most small cars have been for the last 30 years or so.Fine in most situations, although a greater tendency to understeer in tight cornering, or scrabble for grip uphill on gravel roads....

....which I quite enjoy driving on. I'm onto my third AWD vehicle. FWD in most normal driving, pushing power to the rear wheels if traction lessens at the front - gives some of the fun of RWD, some of the efficiency of FWD and traction at all 4 wheels when needed.

But you do take a fuel economy hit.
S340/J31/146-300/F27/F50/Nord 262/Q100/200/E195/733/734/738/744/762/763/77W/788/789/320/321/332/333/345/359
 
User avatar
Zkpilot
Posts: 4548
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:21 pm

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:53 am

FWD will do the job for most people in most conditions the most economically. It is weak in powerful cars (torque-steer, harder to get power down in corners etc).
RWD suits more powerful cars.
AWD gets the best of both and it's only downside is that it usually weighs an extra 50-100kg more than a 2WD version.
Subaru and Audi are both the real masters of AWD. Several other manufacturers also have AWD systems but a lot of them aren't true AWD and stop working in certain conditions (eg if 3 wheels are on ice but 1 isn't a lot of systems just won't do anything at all).
The improved performance in wet or snow is huge however just remember that in terms of stopping it doesn't matter what _WD you have it will all be the same!
64 types. 45 countries. 24 airlines.
 
steeler83
Posts: 7700
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:06 pm

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:51 pm

After last winter, my wife and I aren't driving anything not AWD. In November, we traded my 8-year-old Hyundai Elantra for a pre-owned 2013 Buick Encore Premium with all-wheel drive.

Leather, heated power seats, heated steering wheel, moon roof, remote/keyless starter, bose sound system, xm satellite radio, all good stuff.  
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
na
Posts: 9793
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 3:52 am

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:09 pm

Simply put:
FWD is the best for small, compact and mid-sized cars up to around 200 hp, and that for most people, in most conditions. And its better than RWD in winter.
RWD is best for any car with more than 200 hp, sportscars, upmarket to luxury saloons/sedans, but virtually nonsense for compact and small ones.
AWD is for people living in the mountains or far out of town, generally only for people which need to drive around everywhere at any time in winter. Its a moneywaster for getting around town and flat country, nonsense for 80% of the people in my home country. It costs more to buy, needs more fuel and is generally more heavy.

My first car aside, all vehicles I had and have were FWD. How often have I passed big Mercedes limousines stuck in snow going uphill! However, the times it was a must for me to drive in severe winter conditions are over.
 
MrChips
Posts: 933
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:56 pm

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:27 pm

Quoting garpd (Reply 5):
A RWD is next to useless in any snow and/or ice conditions. Sometimes also when it is really, really wet. I see BMWs and Mercedes flail about in those conditions all the time! So if you live in a place that sees a lot of rain, ice or snow and you rely on your car to get you about, RWD isn't the best option.

Next to useless? Hardly. I've driven BMWs through the very worst that Canadian winter can throw at you and the only time I ever got stuck was when I got caught in an early snowstorm while still on my summer tires.
Time...to un-pimp...ze auto!
 
User avatar
Aesma
Topic Author
Posts: 13588
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:47 pm

Thanks for your answers. I've got no experience yet with RWD but from the few times I've been around (driving or not) snow in a FWD car, it's not something I would do unless absolutely necessary, I don't even have winter tires on my car, it doesn't snow much here. My company is giving me a car in a couple of weeks and it will be FWD, but if there is some bad snow I wouldn't go to work by car since there is a pretty steep hill, I would just go by foot as it isn't too far.

Even if I were fine driving in the snow (or had a well suited car to do it) I would fear the other drivers ! My house is by the side of a turn and I see cars crashing all the time, even where there is nothing slippery on the ground. I've stopped parking my car in front of the house as it's too risky.

Actually my first time driving on snowed and iced up streets was when passing my driver's license ! Pretty stressful but I got it (not that easy in France).
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
PHLBOS
Posts: 6520
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:38 am

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:57 pm

Quoting MrChips (Reply 10):
I've driven BMWs through the very worst that Canadian winter can throw at you and the only time I ever got stuck was when I got caught in an early snowstorm while still on my summer tires.
   Bingo! That's something that many here (IMHO) have completely overlooked. One can have the best/optimal drivetrain set-up out there; but such can be absolutely useless if one's got the wrong type of tires on.

At least in the U.S.; I've seen many vehicles (including trucks & SUVs) with wider-stance and/or lower-profile tires as standard equipment. While such are great for cornering and handling; they're lousy in snow. In addition to good treads, tires with a narrower stance and higher-profile do much better in snow.

Presently, I've only owned RWD-vehicles (all but one equipped with V8s); & I grew up in New England during the 70s & 80s (when the majority of vehicles on the road were either RWD or RWD-based) and we survived driving through & around snow. Snow tires, tire chains (early on), using a lower gear (even on automatics) and common sense driving habits were keys to reduce the chances of getting stuck.

In Dec. 2013 during a suprise snowstorm, I was able to get my '97 Crown Vic up a slick incline but I had to make sure there was enough room for momentum. OTOH, I saw someone with a FWD Toyota Camry stuggle big time with the same incline.

In another year following a major snowstorm, while driving along I-84 in Connecticut; the only stranded vehicles I saw in the medians (no joke) were Subarus. Proving that just becasue one has AWD doesn't make one 100% invincible in snow.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
mt99
Posts: 6166
Joined: Wed May 26, 1999 5:41 am

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:22 pm

Just a reminder

AWD, RWD or FWD - only makes it easier to "GO" but not "STOP" - some people drive like maniacs during bad weather without realizing this and it can be dangerous as you get over confident..
Step into my office, baby
 
Kiwirob
Posts: 13163
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:56 pm

Quoting na (Reply 9):
RWD is best for any car with more than 200 hp, sportscars, upmarket to luxury saloons/sedans, but virtually nonsense for compact and small ones.

Unless you live on a hill.

Quoting MrChips (Reply 10):

Next to useless? Hardly. I've driven BMWs through the very worst that Canadian winter can throw at you and the only time I ever got stuck was when I got caught in an early snowstorm while still on my summer tires.

I've had a couple of RWD cars, even with studded winter tyres I've never had much fun with them in winter. You must live in a flat part of Canada. It's now becoming unusual to see a new non AWD BMW around my parts, too many hills.
 
User avatar
PITingres
Posts: 1323
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:59 am

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:22 pm

I've driven FWD and RWD, and would never buy an RWD car for everyday use here. Pittsburgh hills aren't generally very high, but grades can be steep with plenty of sharp curves. The old style RWD cars with solid axles were a complete disaster here; the gas pedal becomes the "swing your ass sideways" control. Modern RWD might be a little better, but I'll stick with FWD. I haven't felt the need to go with the weight and expense of an AWD setup, although if I lived on more of a hill I might think otherwise.

So yes, I definitely consider that when buying. RWD would be right out, especially since I prefer small cars and have no burning desire to explore the upper limits of acceleration.
Fly, you fools! Fly!
 
N1120A
Posts: 26605
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:59 pm

Quoting Aesma (Thread starter):
However a colleague who is into cars has a friend who is giving away an old bimmer, and I couldn't say no, so I should get it Monday. It's a 1989 320i coupe, inline 6, manual.

That is a great RWD car to learn on.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
mirrodie
Posts: 6796
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 3:33 am

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:18 am

learned to drive on Buick v8 RWD. then had a FWD buick and a few FWD Altimas.

Bought a Ram Ecodiesel 4x4 several months ago. 2WD and 4WD with an 8 speed transmission. I drive it in RWD 95% of the time and kick in the 4WD rarely. So glad to have RWD again!! And I LOVE my first Pick up truck! 25 MPG mixed! Gotten 32 MPG on highway!

And just drove her in some snow the last few weeks. Handles as I would expect her to! Threw some weight in the rear. All good.

My other car is AWD. I let me wife use it but…..http://jalopnik.com/heres-irrefutable-proof-that-all-wheel-drive-is-worthle-1671708207

I just like REALLY driving with RWD and working the vehicle. I know what to expect. And that is what I appreciate
Good luck with your RWD!
Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
 
vikkyvik
Posts: 12598
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:58 pm

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:49 am

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 12):
common sense driving habits

That's actually the biggest key.

Grew up in New England as well, and always drove FWD cars only. No winter or summer tires, only all-seasons, no snow chains, basically no difference in the cars between winter and summer.

Here in LA, whenever it rains, the freeways turn into demolition derbies. It's like people have never seen water fall from the sky, and have no idea what effect it may have on asphalt and concrete.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
Superfly
Posts: 37705
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:31 am

I prefer rear-wheel drive.
Bring back the Concorde
 
N1120A
Posts: 26605
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:15 pm

I generally prefer RWD, but I've had 2 Mini Cooper S's, which are both FWD, and they have a well deserved reputation for handling. I think lighter cars with the wheels out to the corners are fine with FWD, if done right. Otherwise, RWD is much, much better.

That said, RWD and a car with a suspension tuned for performance absolutely sucks in both snow and rain, but especially in the kind of rain that happens in Southern California. While people like to comment on the infamous issues Angelenos and San Diegans have driving in the rain, there has to be a little context there. First, the warm weather and high volume of cars means that there is a lot of oil that ends up storing in the pavement, and that is pulled up when there is rain, making the roads slick. Also, when we do get rain, it is not just drizzle, it is heavy and goes on for several hours or even days, with little respite.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Rara
Posts: 2309
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:41 am

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:07 am

Quoting na (Reply 9):
How often have I passed big Mercedes limousines stuck in snow going uphill!

And how often have those been blocking the road.    Drives me crazy. Steer your bloody car to the right and free up the road, moron. But all too often they stop in the middle of the road with that typical "if I'm not going anywhere, no-one is going anywhere" attitude.
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
 
User avatar
WildcatYXU
Posts: 3204
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 2:05 pm

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:00 am

Quoting photopilot (Reply 3):
The best IMHO would be AWD with 3 torsen differentials and a 6-spd manual tranny. Pure heaven.

     

Too bad that cars like this are rare around here. Can we get anything else beside some Subaru and Audi models?

Quoting Kiwirob (Reply 14):
You must live in a flat part of Canada.

According to his profile, MrChips lives in Calgary. While not directly in the mountains, Calgary is anything but flat.

Quoting mirrodie (Reply 17):
Bought a Ram Ecodiesel 4x4 several months ago. 2WD and 4WD with an 8 speed transmission. I drive it in RWD 95% of the time and kick in the 4WD rarely.

And since your truck doesn't have the third diff (or any of the other devices now used instead of it), you really should use the 4WD only in bad conditions and at low speeds.
310, 319, 320, 321, 321N, 332, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 753, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, C402, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E45, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, MD82, Saab 340, YAK40
 
PHX787
Posts: 7892
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:46 pm

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:40 am

My old Honda (god bless her soul) was RWD. She was absolutely amazing in rain.
I dont think i'll ever buy a AWD car. I dont want to waste gas.
Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/phx787
 
Superfly
Posts: 37705
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:53 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 23):
My old Honda (god bless her soul) was RWD.

????
Sure about that?
All Hondas are front wheel drive with the S2000 being the only rear-drive car.
Bring back the Concorde
 
CXB77L
Posts: 2613
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:18 pm

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:11 pm

Quoting Aesma (Thread starter):
So I'll be driving a rear-wheel drive car at last !

Do you consider this when choosing a car ?

No. My first car was FWD. My next two (including my current car) are RWD, and my next car might very well be FWD (thinking of buying the new Ford Mondeo at the moment). I don't think in general everyday driving, people are going to notice much difference at all. It's only when you start pushing it to ten-tenths that the RWD's tendency to oversteer vs a FWD's tendency to understeer becomes evident.

Quoting garpd (Reply 5):
A RWD is next to useless in any snow and/or ice conditions. Sometimes also when it is really, really wet.

While I have never driven a RWD on snow, but I dispute that RWD are also "next to useless" in very wet conditions. It's not what you drive, but how you drive it that matters. I make sure to put on the best, grippiest tyres I can afford to buy, and also adjust my driving style to suit the conditions - e.g., not floor the throttle when it's wet. It's common sense, really.

By extrapolating that thinking, if a RWD was equipped with decent winter tyres and chains, and driven properly to suit the conditions, I don't see why it shouldn't cope with snow either.
Boeing 777 fanboy
 
User avatar
pvjin
Posts: 3586
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:52 pm

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:39 pm

Personally I prefer FWD as I currently live in the countryside where roads aren't always in the perfect condition during winters, FWD will simply always be better when it comes from getting point A to point B with minimum effort in slippery roads.

Still, I wouldn't call RWD next to useless in these conditions. Loads of people here drive BMW's and Mercedes all around the year just fine, it just requires a bit more caution. Perhaps if some day I can afford a fancy new Lexus I will go RWD, not much into Germans.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King Jr
 
Kiwirob
Posts: 13163
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:25 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 24):
All Hondas are front wheel drive with the S2000 being the only rear-drive car.

You're forgetting the NSX, Beat and S Series (360, 500, 600, 800)

Quoting pvjin (Reply 26):
Loads of people here drive BMW's and Mercedes all around the year just fine, it just requires a bit more caution.

And loads of those are probably Xdrive and 4matic.
 
Superfly
Posts: 37705
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:32 pm

Quoting Kiwirob (Reply 27):
You're forgetting the NSX,

Oh yes, I forgot about that one.
Bring back the Concorde
 
User avatar
pvjin
Posts: 3586
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:52 pm

RE: FWD, RWD Or AWD?

Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:35 pm

Quoting Kiwirob (Reply 27):
And loads of those are probably Xdrive and 4matic.

Many of the new ones probably are, however I don't think old BMW's and many old Mercs have any of that stuff, yet they are a common sight here.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King Jr

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: art, GBNLY, IH8BY, Thunderboltdrgn and 33 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos