Q:

What is the advantage of having a front-wheel-drive car?

A:

Quick Answer

Cars with front-wheel drive offer better gas mileage and traction. Because the differential and engine are both at the front of the automobile, the power goes into the front wheels, and the weight in the front provides greater stability.

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Full Answer

Another benefit of front-wheel drive is that the cars are generally smaller and do not weigh as much, contributing even more to fuel economy.

There are also some disadvantages to front-wheel drive. The weight distribution is not even throughout the car, making acceleration and braking more difficult. Rear-wheel drive advocates say that rear-wheel drive makes those two processes more even. However, on icy roads, rear-wheel-drive cars are much more likely to spin out and go out of control.

Because both front- and rear-wheel drive have some pluses and minuses, manufacturers devised all-wheel drive. These are heavier cars, making the fuel economy suffer a bit. These cars don't accelerate as quickly, even though their price points are higher. On the other hand, the cars are more stable, and they offer greater balance. Making the choice among the three drive systems boils down to a matter of personal preference in the areas of driving safety, gas mileage and overall handling on the road.

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