Which Type of Powertrain Is Right for You?

July 22nd, 2014 by

LandCruiser_ext_none_070_v17ee_hd_032Buying a new or used car is exciting but it can be a bit stressful, too. You have so many decisions to make starting with what type of vehicle you want. Even after deciding between a car, truck or SUV, you still have to determine which style and model you want. When making this decision you have a number of different things to consider including which type of powertrain you want the vehicle to have.

The powertrain is not something most people think about when shopping for a new vehicle, even though it plays a major role in how it performs.

How It Works

The powertrain is a complex system that refers to everything in the vehicle that makes it move, including the engine, transmission and all the components that allow the power to travel from the engine to the wheels. Here’s a simple explanation of how it works.

The engine generates power and sends it to the transmission. The transmission then converts this power into torque using gear ratios and transmits the torque to the drivetrain. The drivetrain then sends the power out through the axels to the wheels making the vehicle move. The type of powertrain the vehicle has determines which wheels turn.

Types of Powertrains

There are four different types of powertrain options to choose from and each one offers different advantages. When you understand a little about the different types of powertrains used in vehicles, it’ll help you determine which type is best for you.

Below is a list of the four different types of powertrains available and a brief description of each:

  • Four-Wheel Drive– With the four wheel drive option you have four wheel traction, which is great for driving in bad weather, off road adventures and pulling trailers, boats, campers, etc. The rear-wheel drive stays engaged all the time but you have the option of using or not using the front-wheel drive based on where you’re driving
  • All-Wheel Drive– This is similar to the four-wheel drive but all of the wheels are pulling at the same time, all the time. You cannot turn the front-wheel drive on or off the way you do with the four-wheel drive powertrain. Therefore, you never have to engage or disengage anything and you’ll find this type in the majority of the smaller cars sold today.
  • Rear-Wheel Drive– The rear-wheel drive is great for pulling heavy trailers and large boats because it gets better traction and it puts less strain on the vehicle. This type of powertrain is used mostly in trucks and SUVs.
  • Front-Wheel Drive– The front-wheel drive gives you more control when driving in inclement weather because the traction is in the front part of the vehicle. This type of powertrain is used mostly in cars and SUVs.

Determining how you plan to use the vehicle will help you decide which type of powertrain will suit your needs the best. We have a wide selection of new and used vehicles here at South Dade Toyota for you to choose from but if you need help you determining which one is best for you, give us a call. We’ll go over the different options with you and help you make a decision you’ll be happy with for a long time.


Posted in Toyota