Rear wheel drive is making a comeback

Rear wheel drive cars aren’t the most popular choice these days, but more people seem to be considering them again. Back in the glory days of the 1982, only 46.6% of passenger cars in Canada were front wheel drive. By 2001 that number had jumped all the way up to 94.8%, and American numbers would mirror that trend.

The biggest reason for the change, in Canada and parts of the U.S. at least, is that rear wheel drives (RWDs) are bad on snowy roads. Despite that, though, the rush to front wheel drives may be reversing. In 2005, 9.5% of Canadian cars purchased were RWD, which is more than in any year since 1989.

There are a couple reasons that could explain this new trend. First of all, the technology is just getting better. Traction control and stability control mean that rear-wheel drive isn’t nearly as sketchy in the white stuff as it used to be. As important, there are a number of attractive rear-wheel drive vehicles on the road these days that people really want to drive: among them are the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Infiniti G35.


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