Before we even go to the topic on which one is better you need to understand the basics. FWD stands for forward wheel drive, which means that the car’s engine is only powering the front axle. That means only the front wheels are being powered while the rear wheels follow. RWD stands for rear wheel drive. RWD is FWD but the opposite. The engine powers the rear axle, which means that the rear wheels push the car forward. There are many advantages and disadvantages of having a RWD or a FWD car.
     Let’s talk about FWD first. In history, when cars were just starting to be made, the engine was traditionally in the front and they were also only powering the front axle. Before the 1960s though, many cars were RWD until one car was made. The 1959 Austin Mini was made. The car packed the engine in the front and was transversely mounted, which gave the Mini a good amount of space in the car. When Mini introduced this car many auto manufacturers saw the potential in making a car FWD. It was not only low in cost to produce but also gave higher MPG as well as an incredible amount of room that a traditional RWD car probably couldn’t provide. Due to Mini stuffing everything in the front of the car, there was no real need for a transmission tunnel, which if you didn't know was needed for RWD cars to successfully plant the transmission in a more sufficient area. With all these configurations, there was much more room in the car. With the 1959 Mini, many other auto manufacturers started doing the same thing Mini did. Nowadays, most cars are forward wheel drive. Most FWD cars have better miles per gallon and perform in a smoother sense. There are obviously some FWD cars that can perform pretty well like the Honda Civic Type R or a Ford Focus RS. If you were to put some money on buying a sports car, you could look at both FWD and RWD options. The cheapest car you can get in the RWD segment is most probably a base Camaro or something like a Fiat 124, but if you were to invest that same amount of money into a FWD car, you could get something like a Veloster Turbo or a Ford Fiesta ST. You could even add some mods as well as a tune to make it the same price as a base Camaro and it would still be cheaper. They have around the same horsepower, but you have to understand that FWD cars are lighter and when I mean lighter like the Fiesta ST is a 1000 pounds lighter than the Camaro. Before buying any car, you have to look at what you are going to use this car for. Mainly for everyone, they buy their car as a daily driver and with that they would want to get something with a higher MPG. Most people that have a budget around the 20s will look at Toyota or Honda, and if you look at those cars, most of them are FWD. Obviously Honda and Toyota have cars that are RWD or AWD, but those cars are a bit more expensive. We are not going to discuss AWD (All Wheel Drive) due to the fact that it is very different compared to FWD and RWD. One big difference between FWD and RWD is availability. If you were to construct a data chart over every car that has either RWD or FWD in 2020, you would see that FWD takes more than 75% of those cars. Producing a FWD car is very inexpensive, so in that case many car companies produce those kinds of cars. Many economy cars and sup-compact cars also have FWD. There is a wide known concept with cars. If you reduce the weight of the car, the car becomes faster. The engine can move the weight of the car a lot easier making the work that the engine has to do easier. That simple concept is used on FWD and RWD cars. The reason FWD cars get better gas mileage is because the weight of the car is lighter. That same concept is put to RWD cars as well. When RWD cars are built, they tend to be heavier than FWD, and that is why RWD cars tend to have worse gas mileage than FWD. FWD cars tend to have better traction on snow due to the fact that most of the weight is leaning towards the front of the car due to the engine being mounted in the front as the transmission. FWD cars have parts that are a lot cheaper than those of a RWD. Due to the assembly of FWD cars, it is a lot cheaper to repair those cars due to the smart design that they have to easily have a way around the car.
     Now let's talk about RWD. RWD cars have been around for a long time and make many appearances in the racing segment. After FWD cars were made, many car designers and car companies started tinkering with the engine layout and the transmission layout. Traditionally engines that are laid out in the front as well as the transmission that are incorporated in the engine tend to be FWD. For RWD, the engine tends to be either mid-mounted or rear-mounted and the transmission tends to be at the end of the engine. When people choose cars that are RWD, they are the buyers that are looking for more of a sportier car rather than a daily driver. That is just one case; there are many RWD cars that aren't meant for the sole purpose of having extraordinary power, some are also luxury cars. RWD mainly represents the sport, luxury sport, and the exotic car segments. The experience you get from a RWD car is very different compared to a FWD car. When you drive a RWD car, due to the immense power that is being put to the rear wheels there is a lot of traction and grip for the rear wheels. That also means you can lose traction if the wheels are put through an immense amount of power that cannot be held to the ground. RWD cars can do well in climates that are hot but due to their easy loss in traction on their rear wheels they don't do as well as FWD cars in other conditions like rain, snow, and etc. RWD cars that have the configuration of a front mounted engine have a lot more problems due to them having more parts as well as more problems. One advantage a RWD car has against a FWD car is the fixability of the transmission. A mechanic can fix the transmission of a RWD car in around 2 hours with easy accessibility which in the FWD car transmission is a lot harder to reach. In a FWD car the transmission is laid out in the engine so you have to disassemble the engine to get to the transmission, which takes a lot of work. One similarity that these cars have is customizability. Most FWD cars and RWD cars can all handle multiple types of modifications as well as different upgrades to make them your own. All thought that fact is true, many people decide to mainly customize a RWD car due to its already high horsepower numbers and the community that follows it. If you see the world of enthusiasts, many of them have cars that are mainly RWD but there are also segments in the FWD cars that are widely popular as well, like the Subarus. In conclusion, in my opinion, I feel like the FWD cars are better than RWD cars. I have more of a practical standpoint rather than what car has higher numbers on the track. FWD cars are cheap and come in many different variations. With all the advantages/disadvantages that both FWD cars and RWD cars have, I think that in all FWD cars are better. You also have to understand that it is my opinion and I am just an enthusiast in the world of cars.


  1. I would love it if y'all could comment. I want to hear all of your feedback!!

    1. You inspire me so much. I love your passion about cars. I can't wait for your next blog!

  2. Wow, I'm glad someone agrees with you opinion. FWD definitely have more pros compared to RWD. Really great work!

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