Why Choose An All-Wheel-Drive Car?
4 October 2016
Today, most vehicles available on the market have been specially designed for city driving on “easy” roads. These models are equipped with two-wheel drive. An all-wheel-drive car, on the other hand, has four driving wheels. It’s a more powerful machine that boasts better traction and optimal driveability. Why choose this type of car?
Understanding all-wheel drive
In general, only the two front wheels of a car are driven. In rarer cases, it’s the two rear wheels. With all-wheel drive, the power of the engine is sent to all four wheels of the vehicle. The transmission thus distributes a certain amount of torque to each tire. The result: the car adheres to the ground better, which is particularly appealing to people who often drive on slippery Canadian roads (whether they’re wet, snowy, or muddy…). The vehicle therefore boasts increased stability.
Depending on the model, we can distinguish between three different types of all-wheel drive:
permanent (we generally find this option on luxury models);
on-demand (on all-terrain models);
semi-permanent (on larger automobiles and SUVs).
A closer look at the multiple advantages of all-wheel drive
With all-wheel drive, the torque is distributed to all four wheels. Thanks to this specificity, the car accelerates better and exhibits better handling. Cornering is also more comfortable. By pressing on the accelerator, all four wheels advance simultaneously: the vehicle gains responsiveness and stability.
Reduced fuel consumption in the winter
Due to its increased weight, an all-wheel drive car consumes more fuel during the year. By contrast, during the winter, the presence of an all-wheel drive transmission improves the vehicle’s responses on difficult roads. The car therefore doesn’t skid, and the engine isn’t excessively strained. All this allows for reduced fuel consumption during the cold season.
Excellent traction on wet roads
Your all-wheel-drive car exhibits great stability on wet roads. Driving is more enjoyable, and the driver can control their vehicle better. With the ability to distribute the torque to all four wheels, there’s a reduced risk of skidding, since each wheel adheres to the ground during acceleration.
Better handling off the beaten path
With all-wheel drive, it becomes possible to go off-roading. Vehicles equipped with this feature can therefore handle unusual roads, such as dirt roads. Driving is smooth, without the risk of getting stuck in the dirt or the sand.
Effective towing capability
An all-wheel-drive car possesses a higher towing capability compared with versions equipped with two-wheel drive (front or rear).
Increased safety in poor weather conditions
Generally speaking, an all-wheel-drive car offers added safety in cases of bad weather and impassable roads. This is particularly true during the winter, when icy or snow-covered roads can become dangerous. Climbing a hill or getting out of a road covered in deep snow is easier.
Choosing all-wheel drive presents undeniable advantages. However, a vehicle equipped with it also has a higher annual fuel consumption. In addition, a model with all-wheel drive generally costs more compared to the same version with front-wheel drive.