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FWD vs. AWD: What’s the Difference?

When you’re picking out your new crossover or SUV, there are a lot of factors to consider. One thing lots of people wonder about is which configuration is best for them, including what kind of drivetrain they should have. Many SUVs these days let you choose between front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) when you’re shopping for your next vehicle. Take a look at what each of those options really means for you and your vehicle!

AWD Honda CR-V for Sale in St. Paul, MN

With a front-wheel drive system, only the front two wheels get power from the engine. You’ll find front-wheel drive as the standard for many cars, crossovers, and SUVs for several good reasons. Front-wheel drive is simpler than all-wheel drive, so it’s easier and generally less expensive to maintain. It’s also lighter, which helps the vehicle achieve better fuel economy. With all the mechanics up front, there’s even a little bit more cabin space inside FWD models.

AWD Honda HR-V for Sale in St. Paul, MN

For anyone who wants to drive an SUV or crossover around town in dry, rainy, or even lightly snowy conditions, a front-wheel drive model works just fine. Modern safety features and technology like anti-lock brakes and traction control make sure that front-wheel drive performs just fine in most weather conditions. In areas that experience some light snow in the winter, putting good winter tires on your front-wheel drive car is really all you need. However, for drivers who routinely deal with icy, snowed-in roads or need extra traction for adventuring, let’s take a look at all-wheel drive.

FWD Honda Pilot for Sale in St. Paul, MN

In an all-wheel drive system, you guessed it, all the wheels get power! A pair of differentials sits at the axles that split the power front and back, distributing power as the all-wheel drive management system directs it. This means that if one wheel starts to slip, the three other wheels can make up the difference. All-wheel drive doesn’t have the same lower gearing that four-wheel drive systems have in order to send vehicles crawling over rocks and creeks, but AWD still provides better traction than FWD in snowy and common off-road conditions.

AWD Honda CR-V for Sale in St. Paul, MN

Any all-wheel drive vehicle has a traction management system set up to control it. The system determines how much power gets delivered to which wheel, based on what kind of traction and conditions it detects. If one of your wheels hits a slick patch and loses traction, the AWD system can send more power to the other wheels to compensate. Sometimes, these AWD systems will operate only part-time, so that the system conserves power when you don’t need the extra traction.

AWD Honda Pilot for Sale in St. Paul, MN

FWD and AWD SUVs For Sale in St. Paul, MN

If you want to learn more about some awesome FWD or AWD models, check out our blog for more information about the Honda Pilot, CR-V, HR-V, or Ridgeline! You can also stop by and visit us here at Buerkle Honda in St. Paul, MN any time. You can take a front-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle for a test drive, and feel free to ask questions. Our sales team is super knowledgeable and friendly, and they’ll make sure that you get answers to all of your questions and concerns. If you’re still not sure what you need, our team will help you figure out the perfect vehicle to fit your lifestyle, needs, and budget. You’ll find lots of great options here at Buerkle Honda, and we’ll help you find the best fit for you in no time! Plus, if you find your new Honda here with us, you’ll be eligible to get the perks of our great Buerkle Rewards program. You’ll get benefits like two free oil changes, two free tire rotations, 5% back on parts and services, and more! We’re located near Minneapolis, Maplewood, and White Bear Lake, so stop by and see us soon!