Is a front-wheel-drive car really better in the snow than a rear-driven one? In theory at least, yes. Think of it simply, front-wheel-drive pulls a car along while a rear-driven one pushes it - and with more weight on the front axle, there’s usually more traction too. However, one expert has put it to a practical test.
Johnathan Benson of Tyre Reviews has brought together two rivals: a front-driven Audi A4 40 TDI and a rear-driven BMW 320d to put the theory to the test. Both use automatic gearboxes, and both have similar outputs - making this about as fair a test as you can get.
Both cars even use the exact same size of Goodyear UltraGrip Performance 3 winter tyres, ruling out any questions of rubber making the difference. Funnily enough, width is a topic Tyre Reviews tackled not all too long ago with an interesting conclusion.
In today’s video though, Benson lays out a comprehensive set of tests for both of the German saloons. These include an acceleration run and a hill-start test which may provide the best real-world evidence of all. Following those are a series of handling tests to find the limit of grip, which sounds like a fun one to conduct to us.
Throughout the tests, we also get to see comparisons of the two cars with and without traction control systems enabled - giving you a bit of context as to just how effective (or not) modern electronic assistance can be in snow-laden conditions.
We won’t reveal all the results, as each is best delivered by Benson and his vast knowledge of tyres and grip, but there are a few surprises littered throughout.