Front Wheel Drive? Or Rear Wheel Drive?

G51989

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Feb 25, 2012
2,530
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
Translation: Fail Wheel Drive vs Real Wheel Drive ;)

Thats the question. Do you drive a car with RWD? FWD? Or AWD? Or a compensator with 4WD?

Personally I cannot stand front wheel drive cars, I owned a couple of them. And I'll never go back to a fail wheel drive car a again. They have terrible torque steer, burn through front tires very quickly, even with proper rotation. And I've never driven one that didn't have terrible understeer or " plowing " when pushed to the limit. And, terrible in the snow. Far to unpredictable for my taste. Plus whats worse, is you can't have fun with it! Doing parking brake slides for me just isn't as fun as powersliding around in a big ole parking lot.

Myself, I drive a 2001 Porsche Boxster S ( this never gets used. Bought it used a few years ago from a friend who REALLY needed the cash, gets driven a few times a month, fun little car ). A 2010 Crown Victoria ( Fully loaded of course ), and a 2003 500whp ( Won't list mods ) Mercury Marauder.

SO, all of those cars are Real Wheel drive, I just think it feels better. And you can have more fun with it. I love how I can kick out the end and flick the car around at will, and I feel like I have much more control over the car as well.

For me, I will never own a fail wheel drive car again. Which is a shame, lots of cars I'd love to buy only come in FWD.

Plus in my Marauder, I love being able to slide it around corners.

In the Vic, its limited Slip Diff, Studded snow tires ( I only put them on in the winter ), and excelcent traction control system make it great in the snow.
 
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neiltc13

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2006
3,116
6
FWD is fine if you have a sensible engine. Of course you are going to get torque steer if you put enough torque through the wheels.

I drive a 2010 Ford Fiesta with 80bhp delivering 84lb/ft torque and I have never experienced torque steer once.
 

snberk103

macrumors 603
Oct 22, 2007
5,503
87
An Island in the Salish Sea
I've owned both, currently also drive a rear engine/rear wheel drive car.

For the snow I'd pick FWD over RWD though, any day. Never had any real issues with FWD. Also, it's harder to accelerate through a corner in a RWD - in my experience.

Porsches especially can get squirrelly if you accelerate too hard through a corner. Once, many years ago, I read a stat that most Porsches that are written off in a single car accident have damage to back of the car (including the engine - which makes them too expensive to repair in these cases).
 

Dweez

macrumors 65816
Jun 13, 2011
1,248
9
Down by the river
I've owned FWD, RWD and AWD. My preference is AWD. The last RWD was a somewhat overpowered '95 Supra, and it was a blast to have Nascar power on the street. :)
 

senseless

macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2008
1,787
179
Pennsylvania, USA
The first F(ront)WD car that I owned was an 80HP Honda Accord and it was great in the snow. Those early FWD cars were low powered enough that torque steer was not an issue. When you get over 200HP the steering wheel can get away from you.

Most of us have to deal with winter snow so RWD becomes a poor choice. Snow tires are a hassle to change and suck on dry roads. AWD is the best of all worlds.
 

zioxide

macrumors 603
Dec 11, 2006
5,737
3,711
Neither. Symmetrical AWD ftw. I drive an 09 Subaru Legacy and it's awesome. The electronic throttle control adjusts the power to all four wheels constantly and independently depending on the driving conditions. Taking it around a corner feels like it's on a roller coaster track, it goes exactly where you want it to go. It actually turns better when you give it gas. That doesn't happen with FWD/RWD cars. :D
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Feb 25, 2012
2,530
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
Neither. Symmetrical AWD ftw. I drive an 09 Subaru Legacy and it's awesome. The electronic throttle control adjusts the power to all four wheels constantly and independently depending on the driving conditions. Taking it around a corner feels like it's on a roller coaster track, it goes exactly where you want it to go. It actually turns better when you give it gas. That doesn't happen with FWD/RWD cars. :D
Yeah, AWD is nice. But you can't kick your ass end out and powerslide down onramps ;)
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,136
4
I am going to point out that you are comparing a FF family car to a sports car. Not exactly in the same ball park.

The FWD cars understeer not because of the drive wheels but because they design the cars to do that. Most modern cars are designed to understeer at the limit because it is safer and much easier to regain control over the car than an over steer.

The understeer has nothing to do with drive wheels.

Also the fact that you say FWD cars suck in the snow compared to RWD speaks volumes about your complete lack of understanding. For snow you want either a FWD or a AWD. RWD should not be used.
 

zioxide

macrumors 603
Dec 11, 2006
5,737
3,711
Yeah, AWD is nice. But you can't kick your ass end out and powerslide down onramps ;)
Nope, but I can take them at 80+mph in 3rd gear without any slide or loss of grip whatsoever, which is just as awesome. ;)
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Feb 25, 2012
2,530
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
I am going to point out that you are comparing a FF family car to a sports car. Not exactly in the same ball park.
I've driven fast FWD cars, and sure they're fast. But they are they fun to mess around with? No.

The FWD cars understeer not because of the drive wheels but because they design the cars to do that. Most modern cars are designed to understeer at the limit because it is safer and much easier to regain control over the car than an over steer.
Maybe, but any performance FWD car I've ever driven has a good amount of understreer when pressed into a corner, in RWD car, if I start understreeting, I apply more power and kick out the rear.

Also the fact that you say FWD cars suck in the snow compared to RWD speaks volumes about your complete lack of understanding. For snow you want either a FWD or a AWD. RWD should not be used.
They don't suck in the snow, they are unpredictable. And speak for yourself, the only FWD car I've ever owned through a bad winter was a 1993 Honda accord, despite the studded snow tires, it was pretty bad. Sure it had slightly better traction. But the front end was all over the place ( They say just take your foot off the gas if you slip, HA! ).

My Vics and other RWD cars I've had? All Ive ever had to do was put a couple sandbags in the trunk, throw on some studded tires ( They all have LSD ), and I've never had an issue.

Plus, can't do this in an FWD car ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-jcv8bg0O4

Not my personal marauder ( Mine is pushing over 500 to the wheels, posted it in the pictures 2012 thread ), but thats why I go through tires fairly quickly.

FWD might be ok for some, but for me its just to boring.
 

filmbuff

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2011
809
142
My car is RWD. I've driven two cars with FWD and they both sucked to drive. To be fair, those cars still would have sucked if they had RWD. MY car feels great to drive, especially accelerating through tight turns :cool:
 

filmbuff

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2011
809
142
They still make rear wheel drive cars? ;) Most likely a new car is FWD or AWD. Maybe a better shot at RWD for a pickup.
Nice cars are still RWD ;) Pretty much any BWM or Mercedes is RWD unless it is upgraded to AWD, Audis are unfortunately FWD. Mustangs will always be RWD.
 

Chiffs

macrumors newbie
Jun 14, 2012
23
0
I would say if you've driven fwd cars and get constant under steer the reason why are.

Crap tyres
Full alignment is needed
You don't really understand weight transfer and how to push them hard. Civic type r handled like a dream after better tyres and a fast road set up.

Awd cars can be great fun and you sure can get the back end out. My old Nissan pulsar gtir was awesome fun for this as was a friends Mitsubishi evo.

Take a look at British touring cars. All of them are fwd bar a few such as the BMW and Audi. Both can be driven extremely quick and there is not a lot between them both.


Myself personally I enjoy awd, rwd and fwd. currently driving rwd. You just need to know how to drive each type as they all have weaknesses and strengths.
 

RITZFit

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2007
1,269
10
In my Corner
I am going to point out that you are comparing a FF family car to a sports car. Not exactly in the same ball park.

The FWD cars understeer not because of the drive wheels but because they design the cars to do that. Most modern cars are designed to understeer at the limit because it is safer and much easier to regain control over the car than an over steer.

The understeer has nothing to do with drive wheels.

Also the fact that you say FWD cars suck in the snow compared to RWD speaks volumes about your complete lack of understanding. For snow you want either a FWD or a AWD. RWD should not be used.
This. Suspension geometry and setup (and tire choice of course) have a big influence on a car's handling characteristics. Driver ability also plays a huge role. In autox, I've seen capable drivers in fwd cars run circles around drivers in more powerful rwd cars. One has to know how to exploit their car's capabilities.
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Feb 25, 2012
2,530
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
Nice cars are still RWD ;) Pretty much any BWM or Mercedes is RWD unless it is upgraded to AWD, Audis are unfortunately FWD. Mustangs will always be RWD.
Yep, while I could afford MUCH more expensive cars. I love my 2010 Crown Victoria Because, its comfy, its fully loaded. And well, I just like it. ( I like my 500whp Marauder more )

And unlike most cars, it has a Body On Frame build, makes it alot safer. ( And it weighs 2 tons ).

So, for my next daily driver. I'm stuck between Cadillac, Chrysler, and BMW and Merc. Think I might go for a Merc, maybe a mid range AMG model.

----------

My car is RWD. I've driven two cars with FWD and they both sucked to drive. To be fair, those cars still would have sucked if they had RWD. MY car feels great to drive, especially accelerating through tight turns :cool:
What I love about RWD besides the ability to have fun, is that it feels better to be pushed, rather than pulled.

The only two FWD cars Ive ever really enjoyed driving were a 2009 Honda Civic Si 6 speed, and a Dodge Neon SRT 4
 
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Melrose

Suspended
Dec 12, 2007
7,809
392
I've driven both, extensively. I prefer rear wheel drive - it's handles noticeably better imo.

....so says the guy who currently drives a FWD. It's so damned hard to find RWD vehicles these days.
 

steviem

macrumors 68020
May 26, 2006
2,218
3
New York, Baby!
I drive a Focus and don't enjoy it.

Back in England though, my favourite car was my 205 GTi, felt like a rally car and had great lift off oversteer.

I'd like something with RWD though, or an SUV to replace the Focus.
 

TSE

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2007
2,993
611
St. Paul, Minnesota
I have driven a front wheel drive (2001 Acura 3.2 TL), four wheel drive ('93 GMC Sierra Pickup), and all wheel drive ('94 GMC Safari Minivan) regularly my whole life. I live in Minnesota where it snows a **** ton.

The best car to drive in the snow is the all wheel drive. I've never lost control driving in snow with that thing, and it has never gotten stuck.

With that said, I have never driven it in ridiculous amounts of snow before, the most snow I've driven with it is about a foot of unplowed snow. I have been told by my parents that anymore snow than that and it would have troubles since it only has a puny 4-cylinder engine.

I remember a few years ago Minnesota got 2 feet of snow in a very short period of time, even collapsing the Metrodome roof. That night, I drove all the way to a friends house on the other side of town with my '94 Sierra pickup on 4 wheel drive. I didn't go over the snow. I went through the snow. It was so much fun. :D Definitely one of the most memorable nights of my life watching all those dinky Honda Civics and smart cars stuck on the road while I plowed right through the highway.
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Feb 25, 2012
2,530
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
I've driven both, extensively. I prefer rear wheel drive - it's handles noticeably better imo.

....so says the guy who currently drives a FWD. It's so damned hard to find RWD vehicles these days.
They made the Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis up until 2011. Its the cheapest way to get a large Rear Wheel drive car. The only other RWD cars are Chrysler 300s, Dodge Chargers, and BMWs and Mercs.

That is if you want a 4 door, with 2 doors there are still lots of options.

----------

I drive a Focus and don't enjoy it.

Back in England though, my favourite car was my 205 GTi, felt like a rally car and had great lift off oversteer.

I'd like something with RWD though, or an SUV to replace the Focus.
Try a Crown Vic.
 

dona83

macrumors 6502
Nov 26, 2004
317
47
Kelowna, BC
I'd rather have a RWD with proper winter tires for snow, when you're uphill, most of the weight has shifted to the rear wheels. My Corolla was not bad in the circumstance, my Mazda 5 is pretty bad. Meanwhile an old RWD Previa and an MX-5 I borrowed a few times did very well, both with proper winter tires.

Selection of compact RWDs are limited though, and I still love my Mazda regardless.