Practical Features of Front-Wheel Drive Mazdas

By Product Expert | Posted in Mazda3, Mazda6 on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 at 2:14 pm
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Most of the popular and well-loved Mazdas utilize front-wheel drive. the 2014 Mazda3 is one such well-loved option.

Front-Wheel Drive Mazdas

The previous post on the Mazda of Lodi blog looked at a few characteristics of cars that utilize rear-wheel drive (RWD). Among a long list of distinctive features, RWD cars bring more acceleration but less passenger space than front-wheel drive (FWD) cars. In this post, we will look at what is particularly interesting about front-wheel drive Mazdas.

Picking up on a cue from our last post, the drive shaft in RWD cars that reaches from the engine to the back axle decreases the amount of available passenger space in the cabin—trunk space too. Since the powertrain elements in front-wheel drive Mazdas are all contained at the front of the vehicle, much more room for passengers and cargo is opened up.

Driving mechanisms housed at the front of the car do much more than simply allow for greater passenger space though. Since a full-length drive shaft is unnecessary in FWD cars, they tend to be lighter than cars designed with RWD. In addition to powertrain weight, the entire frame of FWD cars can be smaller and lighter. The opportunities to reduce weight at many points of production ultimately lead front-wheel drive Mazdas to be more fuel efficient.

front-wheel-drive-mazdas

Front-wheel drive Mazdas can be built with lighter frames than rear-wheel drive vehicles, like the Mazda6 frame pictured above.

One aspect where FWD cars leave a little to be desired is steering. RWD drive cars exhibit better handling with a division of duty between the rear and front wheels—rear wheels drive and front wheels steer. Since the front wheels carry both duties on FWD platforms, aggressive turns often don’t yield desirable results. In snowy or slippery conditions, however, front-wheel drive Mazdas are preferred. Having the engine weight situated over the driving wheels prevents any unwanted veering or fish-tailing due to poor conditions.

Though books could be written on technical comparisons between RWD and FWD, we hope you learned about what makes the rear-wheel drive Mazda MX-5 and front-wheel drive Mazdas like the popular Mazda3 and Mazda6 unique. Contact Mazda of Lodi today for all your Mazda needs in Lodi, Hackensack, and Clifton, NJ.

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