There are a lot of things to be thankful for during the holidays: family, good food – and all-wheel drive. That’s right, if you own an all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle you’ll be thankful for it every time the snow flies.
Front-wheel drive (FWD) vehicles send power and traction to the front wheels. Most vehicles on the road today are FWD only. This setup is fine during the summer months but is not ideal for driving in snow or rain. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) vehicles are mostly a thing of the past and are only used in some performance cars and trucks. This design is the worst for traversing foul weather – a rear-wheel drive truck in the snow can quickly become a bobsled.
In a four-wheel drive system – the type that is usually found on trucks – the rear wheels power the vehicle until the driver selects 4×4. These systems should not be driven on dry paved roads or differential damage may occur. On the other hand, AWD systems send power to all four wheels all the time and can be driven in any kind of conditions.
All-wheel drive is the best choice for slippery roads that are covered in rain, snow or ice. These systems are not designed for heavy off-road use, however. If you plan to venture across rocks and streams, a 4×4 is what you are looking for.
All-wheel drive vehicles use a center differential that splits power from the transmission to the front and rear axles. Each wheel has a speed sensor, which relays information to the control module. When the module detects a wheel slipping, it sends more power to the wheel with the most traction to help the vehicle remain stable.
Kia offers its Dynamax Full-Time AWD system in both the Sportage and Sorento. Dynamax is a very complex system that uses more than just the traditional wheel speed sensors for input to the control module. With Dynamax, the module uses inputs from many different sensors and an electronic hydraulic motor to distribute torque to the proper wheels. It also includes a “lock” mode, which distributes the power 50/50 to the front and rear when the going gets really tough.
Competition for the Kia Sportage includes vehicles such as the Subaru Forester, Honda CRV and Toyota Rav4. While these vehicles all have AWD, the Sportage offers more standard features and a better price than any of the competitors. The same goes for the Sorento and its competition, which includes vehicles such as the Dodge Journey, Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot. In addition, Kia vehicles use some of the most advanced AWD technology to help you traverse any kind of weather.
Before you make that next trip to the mountain, make sure you have a vehicle that can handle wintertime weather conditions like a beast. Head down to i25 Kia today and take an AWD for a spin – you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one.
- Posted by agency-it
- On January 19, 2016