Do you really need a vehicle with all-wheel drive?

May 6th, 2019 by

Have you heard that the all-new Toyota Prius will have all-wheel drive in the 2019 model year? It’s a first for this groundbreaking hybrid and quite a few drivers are excited about it. However, is all-wheel drive really a feature you need? Toyota of Orlando is here to break down the ins and outs of this unique features to help you decide if it’s something you should include next time you shop for a new ride.

all-wheel drive

What is all-wheel drive?

First of all, what is it? All-wheel drive is – to put it simply – the ability of a vehicle to send power to all four wheels, whether on demand or continuously. Most vehicles out on the road are front-wheel drive, which means power is only sent to the front two tires on the vehicle. This can be problematic, especially if you’re driving a heavier vehicle like an SUV or a truck and especially if you have a lot of heavy cargo in the rear of your ride.

What are the perks of all-wheel drive? The main benefit of this feature is that it provides your Orlando Toyota with much better traction. Since power is being sent to all four wheels, if one starts to slip, the other three can compensate for it and help you regain traction more efficiently and quickly. This is especially helpful if you’re driving in snow or other slick conditions, or if you’re taking things off the pavement and need a little extra grab for the terrain. This feature can even help in rainy conditions (which we see plenty of here in Orlando).

What are the possible drawbacks of this feature?

However, this feature isn’t for everyone. Here are some things to weigh out if you’re debating getting all-wheel drive on your next Orlando Toyota:

  • These vehicles tend to be more expensive – AWD cars can be up to a few thousand dollars more than FWD vehicles.
  • They’re also more expensive to maintain and repair. AWD systems are more complex than FWD systems because they’re sending power to four wheels, not just two. This means more parts to maintain and repair and subsequently, more costs.
  • They reduce gas mileage. This system means your vehicle is heavier so your engine has to work harder to get it going and this can eat into your fuel economy.
  • Front-wheel drive can sometimes do the job. Here in Orlando, for example, we don’t see snow. EVER. We do get our fair share of rain and we’ve even see frost warnings from time to time, but you’ll never see heavy snow or severe icy conditions in the City Beautiful. Front-wheel drive can handle rain just fine, especially with the advent of anti-lock brakes and traction control to give drivers better handling.
  • You can also opt for winter tires – they’re not as effective in bad winter weather, but they’re still better than winging it in a FWD car all winter long.

Still not sure if you need all-wheel drive? Call us – our Orlando Toyota sales specialists can walk you through the pros and cons again! We’re open seven days a week at 3575 Vineland Road and you can reach us at (407) 298-4500.