Have you ever wondered what "drive type" means when browsing through specs while shopping for a new car? The designation of FWD versus RWD or AWD may seem like alphabet soup at times, but the designation can have a huge impact on the drivability and capability of your next vehicle.

Front-wheel drive (FWD) vehicles are distinguished by the engine power being delivered through the front wheels. This configuration means that the front wheels "pull" the vehicle as a horse pulls a cart. While this is a relatively stable orientation, this also means that the front wheels are responsible for delivering power, steering, and the majority of braking force.

Rear-wheel drive (RWD) vehicles are distinguished by engine power being delivered through the rear wheels. In this configuration, the rear wheels "push" the car. This is comparable to "putting the cart before the horse" and is inherently unstable relative to front-wheel drive. However, this configuration splits the responsibility of handling between front and rear and is thus a better choice for vehicles with high performance expectations. Both options have valuable pros and notable cons, but ultimately, it is a matter of preference.

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