Front wheel drive cars can be awesome. The platform often makes a car lighter and allows for more cabin space. It suits daily drivers and zingy lightweight hatchbacks. There are, however, some cars that are just wrong in front wheel drive. Here are my top 6 Front Wheel Drive Cars That Should Be Rear Wheel Drive.
The AE86 Corolla needs no introduction. Toyota really created a masterpiece with this one. A revvy 4-AGE engine coupled with a manual gearbox and rear-wheel-drive. The car was just fast enough to enjoy all of the power, without getting into too much trouble with the law. What happened to the corolla next was something more akin to a tragedy rather than a triumph. Toyota decided to ditch the rear-wheel-drive platform, at which point the Corolla became everything it shouldn’t be, merging into the hundreds of other boring fwd econoboxes on sale at the time.
In the early 2000s, Hyundai were desperate to shake off their boring image. To do this, they introduced the coupe, also known as the Tiburon. Whilst their ethos is commendable, the muscular looking coupe actually left something to be desired. The economy car platform didn’t really befit the sports car exterior and with a heavy v6 engine up front, the dynamics didn’t quite work. Luckily, the rear-wheel-drive genesis coupe was introduced a few years later, really putting Hyundai on the map with younger buyers.
Audi are famed for their road presence, build quality and stunning looks. If you are looking for a large premium sedan, the Audi A6 will surely spring to mind. Unfortunately, unlike its other German rivals, the A6 is based on the MQB platform, which is predominantly front wheel drive. A car of this price range with a FWD configuration just feels like they cheaped out, favouring low cost over value to the end buyer. A large premium German sedan with the same configuration as an entry-level hatchback just seems wrong. Fortunately, you can still get the Quattro models, with up to 60% of the power going to the rear wheels, which makes it slightly more palatable. In such a vehicle, you want to be pushed along effortlessly and comfortably, rather than pulled. As well as this, the long bonnet and set back cabin actually hints at a rear-wheel-drive platform.
When Volvo released the 240 in the 80s, the world watched in amazement as the unassuming boxy shape competed in touring car races around the world. The Volvos front engine, rear-wheel-drive platform, despite its unassuming exterior, actually made for a very competitive machine. This prior success came crashing down when Volvo introduced its replacement, the S40 and V40. With drive to the front wheels and bland handling, the Volvo was no longer really competitive in racing.
Yes, BMW now make a front wheel drive vehicle, the 2 series Active Tourer. What’s perhaps even more worrying is that the new 1 series, arguably one of their best and most fun vehicles is now front wheel drive. The new front wheel drive 2 series Active Tourer does appear to foreshadow where the company is headed. Hold on to your hats folks, the last company that built its reputation off sheer driving pleasure could be heading downhill. How long will it be before we see a front wheel drive M car I wonder?!
What are your opinions? Let us know in the comments.