When it comes to deciding on the right system for you, choosing between front-wheel, rear-wheel, all-wheel, and four-wheel drive can seem intimidating. Here we’ll break down each system, so you’ll know the best wheel drive option for you and your family.
Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD)
Rear-wheel drive vehicles send engine power to the rear wheels, propelling the vehicle forward. RWD was the most popular option until front-wheel drive was created in the 1980s. RWD is ideal for cars that need to manage large amounts of power and/or weight, making it a popular option for large trucks, race cars, large performance vehicles, and law-enforcement vehicles. If you have the need for speed and high degrees of control, RWD may be right for you.
Front-Wheel Drive (FWD)
Front-wheel drive is today’s most popular option, and comes standard on all Buicks. Engine power is sent to the front wheels, and thanks to its compact setup, FWD tends to be more fuel efficient and allows more room inside the vehicle. An added benefit is that the weight of the powertrain is centered over the front wheels, offering added traction on slick roads.
All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
All-wheel drive systems typically operate as a RWD or FWD, where the power is pre-emptively sent to both the front and rear wheel axles on every acceleration to avoid any loss of traction, then backs off if there is no slip. No driver effort is needed to activate AWD. You may consider AWD if you live in areas with unpredictable weather or road conditions, or for light off-roading. AWD is available on the Regal, LaCrosse, Encore, and Enclave.
Four-Wheel Drive (4WD)
Often confused with AWD, 4WD is fundamentally different in a few important ways. First, 4WD vehicles usually operate as a RWD with a two-speed transfer case featuring high and low ranges to enhance traction. The majority of 4WD vehicles operate in RWD until the driver activates the 4WD option. Many modern 4WD vehicles will automatically engage the high range when road conditions are slippery, but the low range still requires driver engagement. Look for 4WD if you plan to tackle any serious off-roading trails.
Stop by Wiesner of Huntsville today to put these systems to the test!