Which car drive to choose: compare all types
The type of drive is important for all cars. His choice will depend on the cross-country ability and stability of the car on the roads, acceleration speed, fuel consumption and other indicators. We tell you what types of drives there are for cars, how they function and what is better to choose in each specific situation.
Where used: Volkswagen Polo, Kia Rio, Renault Duster, Renault Logan
It is a single structure consisting of an engine, transmission and differential. When driving, all traction is transferred to the front wheels, which cling to the road surface, pulling the entire car behind them. The rear pair of wheels at the same time rolls freely behind. Thus, the torque here is completely transferred to the front axle of the car.
Front-wheel drive vehicles are among the most popular. They own about 64% of the market share. The following advantages provided them with high demand:
fuel economy (consumption is much lower than in cars with other types of drive);
good cross-country ability even on slippery and snow-covered road surfaces;
ease of management.
Another obvious advantage of the front-wheel drive is high stability on the roads. Cars equipped with this system are less likely to skid than rear-wheel drive cars, due to better grip on the surface. That is why front-wheel drive cars are the best choice for a novice driver. They are safer and easier to operate.
Front-wheel drive cars are also distinguished by the compactness of the interior space and the absence of irregularities underfoot. The floor is perfectly flat here, since there is no tunnel for the gearbox and driveshaft.
Where used: Mazda RX-8, VAZ 2107, Infiniti Q50, BMW 3 series 328i.
In this case, the engine transmits all power only to the rear pair of wheels. When driving, they rotate, interlocking with the roadbed, and thus push the car forward. The rear-wheel drive layout includes a transmission, engine, differential and driveshaft.
Such a system is most often equipped with powerful cars (pickups and trucks), as well as various types of sports cars. Accordingly, rear-wheel drive cars are more suitable for professional drivers who know how to maneuver on the tracks. Novice motorists should abandon this option initially.
It will be difficult to drive a rear-wheel drive vehicle without certain skills. Unlike front-wheel drive cars, it often skids on roads, especially on slippery surfaces. It is also necessary to take into account that rear-wheel drive vehicles are quite expensive. In most cases, they are classified as premium cars.
However, despite a number of disadvantages and features, rear-wheel drive cars have their advantages: • instant acceleration from a standstill - much faster than front-wheel drive cars; • easy exit from drifts; • no vibrations when driving.
Where used: Nissan X-Trail, Chevrolet Niva, Skoda Yeti, Volkswagen Tiguan.
All-wheel drive comes in different varieties, let's talk about them in more detail:
Permanent all-wheel drive
In machines equipped with this system, energy from the engine is continuously transferred to the front and rear axles. As a result, all 4 wheels securely lock onto the road, pushing the vehicle forward.
Before buying a car with permanent all-wheel drive, it is important to consider that they consume a lot of fuel - much more than front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive cars. In addition, the vehicles themselves are expensive and heavy in weight. If the car fails, its repair and subsequent maintenance will cost a significant amount.
However, this option is definitely worth considering if you live in a region with prolonged snowy winters. On icy and snow-covered roads, cars with permanent all-wheel drive hold steady and do not go into a skid due to the ability to evenly distribute traction on all 4 wheels. Such cars are also effective when traveling through mountainous and sandy terrain. They are distinguished by good cross-country ability and the ability to accelerate easily (faster than rear-wheel drive counterparts).
All-wheel drive with manual connection
Cars with such a system are equipped with rear-wheel drive. However, energy from the engine can also be transferred to the front wheels if the car is moving on a poor quality road or off-road. To manually connect the all-wheel drive, the driver needs to make a stop. It is impossible to move regularly on such machines with the front axle connected - this will create heavy loads on the transfer case and lead to rapid tire wear.
It is also worth considering that this system consumes a lot of fuel, as well as permanent all-wheel drive. The consumption goes on regardless of whether the transmission is switched on or off. The advantages of this scheme include good off-road terrain and very high reliability.
All-wheel drive with automatic connection
This is the most advanced and promising type of transmission. Its implementation options may be different, but the general mechanism of operation of the automatic all-wheel drive is that one pair of wheels is constantly connected to the motor, and the second is connected to it only if necessary.
Connection often occurs when the car starts to slip. Traction forces in such a situation are automatically redistributed between the wheels. As a result, the car stops slipping. If the road surface is flat and the car is moving steadily, the control will be the same as that of a vehicle with a front-wheel drive type. The main advantages of this mechanism are:
low fuel consumption;
ease of use;
quick exit from the drifts.
When buying a car with automatic all-wheel drive, it is important to pay attention to its equipment with an electronic control clutch. Only in this case, the vehicle will be stable on the roads, and the all-wheel drive option will be connected when it is really needed. Without a clutch, the movement of the car can be extremely unpredictable on turns.