Hyundai Vehicles: Do You Really Need Front Wheel Drive?


Many Hyundai vehicles are available with all-wheel drive as an optional feature, but drivers sometimes wonder whether they truly need the added traction that this provides. If you’re debating whether all-wheel drive is worth getting, here’s a look at the trade-offs to help you decide.

All-Wheel Drive Delivers Power to Individual Wheels

The drivetrain in a vehicle determines how power is sent to its wheels, and most models today have one of four setups:

  • Front-wheel drive, which delivers power to the front two wheels
  • Rear-wheel drive, which delivers power to the back two wheels
  • Four-wheel drive, which delivers equal power to all four wheels
  • All-wheel drive, which delivers individualized power based on traction

Of the four variations, all-wheel drive is the only one that actively adapts as your drive to compensate for ever-changing road conditions.

In all-wheel-drive vehicles, the drivetrain directs an individualized portion of the engine’s power to each wheel based on how much traction the wheels have at any given time. Should one wheel start to slip, more power will be directed to the other three in order to compensate. All wheels are continually monitored, and necessary adjustments are instantaneously made.

Because of the adjustments they make, all-wheel-drive systems offer the best traction of any drivetrain. They’re even preferable to four-wheel-drive systems, which provide more grip than two-wheel-drive versions but can’t compensate when one wheel starts to slip.

This unparalleled level of traction is the reason to consider getting a Hyundai vehicle with all-wheel drive.

All-Wheel-Drive Systems Cost a Little More

Admittedly, all-wheel drive does come with some sacrifices. Generally speaking, these drivetrains cost a little more because they’re more complex than front-wheel-only systems. More specifically, you can expect the following costs to be slightly higher on all-wheel-drive Hyundai vehicles:

  • Initial purchase price, because the drivetrain is more complex to build
  • Fuel costs, because fuel efficiency drops slightly
  • Maintenance costs, because there are a few additional parts in the drivetrain

Even when tabulated together, though, these added expenses result in only a slight increase in cost of ownership. The initial purchase price normally goes up by less than $2,000, and the fuel economy decreases by around 1 mile per gallon. Repair costs don’t become relevant until the vehicle is much older, and even then they might not be a factor.

When to Get All-Wheel Drive

If you ever drive during through inclement conditions, all-wheel drive will make your drive easier and could prevent an accident. Whatever nominal increased cost you incur is likely more than justified if you use your Hyundai vehicle in any of the following ways:

  • Driving on non-paved surfaces
  • Pulling boats up wet and slippery boat ramps
  • Going on trips during winter
  • Commuting to work regularly during winter

Illinois’ winter weather can be harsh, so if you ever have to drive during this time of year the feature is advisable.

When to Skip All-Wheel Drive

If you only drive on nice days when roads are dry, you might not need all-wheel drive. Not many people can elect to stay home or take alternative transportation when the weather’s bad, but the feature could be unnecessary if you do have this luxury.

See Hyundai Vehicles with All-Wheel Drive

To see a large selection of Hyundai vehicles with all-wheel drive near Berwyn or Cicero, visit McGrath City Hyundai Monday through Saturday. At the dealership’s 6570 W. Grand Ave., Chicago location, you’ll find lots of new Hyundai vehicles and certified pre-owned models with a variety of sought after features.

Categories: Technology