Front-Wheel Drive vs Rear-Wheel Drive: Pros and Cons of Front-wheel and Rear-wheel drives

Creating a better drivetrain system is just as important as, how to create a good engine. A better drivetrain system can transfer the drive from the engine to the drive axles with minimum losses.

So it is important to choose a good drivetrain system for making high-performance, economy vehicles.

What is meant by a drivetrain system?

A drivetrain system means a group of components that are used to transmit the engine drive to the wheels. Which includes the transmission, driveshafts, axles, and wheels.


The motor vehicles that we can see today are mainly using the following types of drivetrain systems.
✓ Front-Wheel Drive
 ✓ Rear-wheel drive
 ✓ All-wheel drive
 ✓ Four-wheel drive

Out of these, most of the vehicles use front-wheel-drive or rear-wheel-drive systems.

In the early days of the automobile, rear-wheel-drive vehicles were most common, the front-wheel-drive system was a later discovery.

Front-wheel drive

In this system, the drive from the engine is transferred to the front wheels only. The engine and the transmission system are combined together to form a single unit located in the engine room, over the front wheels.


   The compact structure will reduce the overall weight of the vehicle and also be no need for too much space.
   The low weight improves fuel efficiency. The compact structure will increase the cabin space, so it is the best option for economy-type cars.
   The overall energy loss is comparatively low due to friction, compared to the rear-wheel drive.
   It will provide better traction even in slippery areas because the majority of the weight is in the front portion.


   The unbalanced weight of the vehicle creates some problems like torque steer, understeer, etc. The vehicle tends to veer right or left during sudden acceleration, which is called torque steer.
   The steering experience will slightly disappoint compared to the rear-wheel-drive because the drive is on the front wheels.
   The front-wheel drive is not suitable for heavy vehicles because its load-carrying capacity is minimal.
   It also has worse performance during acceleration compared to rear-wheel drive.

The economy-type cars commonly use the front-wheel-drive system.

Rear-wheel drive

In this type, the drive from the engine is transferred to the rear wheels only. So it requires separate components for transmitting the drive to the wheels, and also needs a large area to accommodate it.



   It will provide a smooth steering experience. Because the engine drive is only in rear wheels.
   The front engine and rear differential arrangement balance the overall weight of the vehicle.
   It provides a good grip on the road during sudden acceleration than front-wheel drive.
   It is capable of carrying heavy loads and provides better performance in acceleration.


   It provides better traction in dry conditions, while in slippery or in the snow its traction is poor. Because it is like pushing the vehicle from the rear rather than pulling.
   Due to the heavier weight and frictional losses, it provides less fuel efficiency than front-wheel drive.
   It consumes a lot of space to arrange the entire drivetrain assembly. It decreases the cabin area also.

Luxury cars, sports cars, SUVs, and heavy vehicles are using a rear-wheel-drive system.
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