What Is All-Wheel Drive? Should I Buy An All-Wheel Drive Car?

2022 Toyota RAV4 All-Wheel Drive
What Is All-Wheel Drive? Should I Buy An All-Wheel Drive Car?

Whether you are buying a new car or not, if you are a car enthusiast, you must have heard about all-wheel-drive cars. From the name, it means you’ll be driving a car with all four wheels. Driving with four wheels has to be better and safer than driving with two, right? Yes and no. 

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Below, this article reviews the details of what all-wheel drive is and see if it is necessary for car buyers to purchase them.

What is All-wheel Drive?

Most of the cars on the market today are front-wheel-drive, while those of the sportier, luxury, and truck variety are typically rear-wheel-drive. With an all-wheel-drive car, power gets sent to all four wheels, creating a lot more traction than just driving with the front or rear wheels.

This means that in slippery conditions, like when you’re driving on a slippery road, your car will be able to accelerate better and will be more stable overall. Don’t get all-wheel drive confused with four-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is most seen on trucks and SUVs that are equipped with it, and the difference is that a four-wheel-drive system cannot vary the individual wheel speeds. 

And since the inside wheels of a car turn slower than the outside wheels in turn, having the vehicle in four-wheel-drive mode on dry pavement can cause it to hop and even mess up some of the internal drivetrain components.

Four-wheel drive is mainly used for off-road situations, while all-wheel-drive systems can be used all the time. It’s one of the reasons Audis are so popular.

Many Advantages of All-Wheel Drive

There are advantages to having an all-wheel-drive vehicle. The car will have more traction in slippery conditions and more grip when turning or accelerating quickly. A car with all-wheel drive and all-season tires will typically have a much better grip than a front- or rear-drive one. 

Disadvantages of All-Wheel Drive

Now that we know traction is the main advantage of having an all-wheel-drive car, it can be a curse as much as it is a blessing. Some drivers with all-wheel-drive cars can tend to get overconfident when driving in hazardous conditions where the all-wheel-drive system won’t help.

For example, having an all-wheel-drive system does not mean that your car will brake better or slow down quicker; that’s the work of good brakes and tires. Also, an all-wheel-drive system has more components that the car has to move, equating to more added weight and a sacrifice in fuel economy. 

Is It Necessary to Buy All-wheel Drive?

Ultimately, it really depends on your location. If you live and drive through slippery road conditions, having an all-wheel-drive system can be handy and even safe for your car. Ultimately, all-wheel drive is suitable for those living and constantly driving through slippery areas. If none of these are your situation, then there’s no need to purchase an all-wheel drive.

Written by Amaefule Precious

A content writer with experience across various niches, and one of them includes interest in writing about cars.

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