More Galleries
6 luxury getaways to escape your digital life Step away from your smartphone. No Facebook or Twitter here. These are six places where luxury travel agents send clients looking to unplug and experience the ultimate digital-detox getaway. More
Most reliable cars - Consumer Reports These cars, trucks and SUVs scored best in the magazine's latest survey of vehicle owners. More
Some Converse copycats cost big bucks A few bargain brands got swept up in Chuck Taylor's net, but others cost a pretty penny. More

Special Offer
3 of 4
BACK NEXT
Rear-wheel-drive
Rear-wheel-drive
General Motors says it wants to return Pontiac to its place as the company's performance division. That means more rear-wheel-drive cars like the Pontiac G8 GXP.
Performance enthusiasts tend to prefer rear-wheel-drive cars for a number of reasons. For one thing, taking the transmission out from the under the hood leaves more room for a bigger engine.

For another, the car's front wheels aren't getting yanked around by the spinning forces coming out of the engine. There's no "torque steer," as there is in FWD cars, and there's better steering feel.

Also, with the engine and transmission spread out along the length of the car, RWD cars tend to have naturally better weight balance than FWD cars.

But RWD cars have more of a tendency to "oversteer" in turns. That's when the back end slides out as the car turns. That can be a tricky situation to recover from, says David Champion of Consumer Reports, and can lead to a dangerous spin if not handled properly.

Fortunately, computer assistance can come to the rescue in modern cars.

"Electronic stability control and traction control mitigate that quite a bit," says Dan Edmunds, head of vehicle testing for the automotive Website Edmunds.com. (Dan is not related to Edmunds.com's founder.)

Stability control helps keep cars from skidding sideways in turns. Traction control, which reduces power to the rear wheels if they start to spin, also makes modern RWD cars easier to drive in the snow.

Still, Champion and Edmunds agree, FWD is probably better for really snowy conditions.

NEXT: All-wheel-drive

Last updated May 09 2008: 9:51 AM ET

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.