does the front wheel drive bother you? - Mercedes CLA Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 02-27-2013, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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does the front wheel drive bother you?

I've been talking to some people about the CLA and it seems like most car guys blow it off because its FWD.

Does that bother you at all?

Also for the 4Matic. Are the 4Matics usually rear wheel drive bias?

I'm assuming the CLA 4Matic will be FWD bias?
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post #2 of 41 Old 02-27-2013, 04:39 PM
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Personally I do like RWD moreso than FWD, but this is the auto enthusiasts in me talking. Though I don't think FWD are necessarily bad. For my children, I would prefer FWD over RWD because it is far safer.

In terms of the CLA, I will wait for the 4Matic.

Last edited by 4Matic; 02-27-2013 at 04:41 PM.
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post #3 of 41 Old 02-27-2013, 05:12 PM
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Rear wheel drive vehicle i believe handle much better than front wheel drive especially when it has to do with performance. I dont think rwd cars handle too well all year round. So it depends really what your using your car for. As a family vehicle i would prefer fwd.
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post #4 of 41 Old 02-28-2013, 11:06 AM
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Here's a simple equation: AWD>RWD>FWD.

The only time RWD is better is on a track for drifting. I am also going to get the AWD CLA.
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post #5 of 41 Old 02-28-2013, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Here's a simple equation: AWD>RWD>FWD
That equation is debatable, Depends for what purpose. I noticed that AWD don't handle as well as RWD. Whenever I car shop and test drive an AWD vehicle I tend to get turned of by the poor handling of the AWD. But for sure FWD is at the bottom of the food chain.
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post #6 of 41 Old 02-28-2013, 01:41 PM
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RWD may have better handling but it's too unstable and causes oversteer. With AWD you may sacrifice a bit of handling but you have far more control/traction so you don't crash.
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post #7 of 41 Old 02-28-2013, 01:54 PM
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There are many good reasons why Mercedes went with FWD for the CLA250. I think when you consider the people they're targeting with this car, a good number of wont care if it's FWD, RWD or AWD. I heard FWD setup are cheaper to produce and they get better gas mileage...maybe those are some more reasons why Mercedes decided to start the CLA as a FWD being it's cheapest sedan.
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post #8 of 41 Old 02-28-2013, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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The RWD/FWD vs AWD debate is different depending on what car you are referring too.

Some AWD systems are RWD most of the time while others are FWD most of the time. Some AWDs are 50/50 front and rear all the time.

Cars that are true AWD and 50/50 split experience some understeering which is what makes people think RWDs handle better. Handling is subjective, it depends if you are referring to lap times or referring to the driving characteristics (turn in, stability during turns, oversteer/understeer) or if you are just talking about pure driving enjoyment.

The 4Matic in the CLA is most likely front wheel drive biased. So its basically a FWD unless the car feels like the rear wheels need power to help it through. Generally when traction in the front is lost during turn in (understeer) it will send a certain percentage of power to the rear to help it through the turn.

Personally I think AWD (RWD or FWD bias) is a better rounded car over a RWD or a FWD. But some RWDs will still perform better vs a FWD bias AWD vehicle.

Keep in mind the base CLA being FWD doesn't mean it will be a bad handling car. There are some FWD vehicles that exhibit very little understeer through enginnering and design of the chassis and suspension.
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post #9 of 41 Old 02-28-2013, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfrp View Post
The RWD/FWD vs AWD debate is different depending on what car you are referring too.

Some AWD systems are RWD most of the time while others are FWD most of the time. Some AWDs are 50/50 front and rear all the time.

Cars that are true AWD and 50/50 split experience some understeering which is what makes people think RWDs handle better. Handling is subjective, it depends if you are referring to lap times or referring to the driving characteristics (turn in, stability during turns, oversteer/understeer) or if you are just talking about pure driving enjoyment.

The 4Matic in the CLA is most likely front wheel drive biased. So its basically a FWD unless the car feels like the rear wheels need power to help it through. Generally when traction in the front is lost during turn in (understeer) it will send a certain percentage of power to the rear to help it through the turn.

Personally I think AWD (RWD or FWD bias) is a better rounded car over a RWD or a FWD. But some RWDs will still perform better vs a FWD bias AWD vehicle.

Keep in mind the base CLA being FWD doesn't mean it will be a bad handling car. There are some FWD vehicles that exhibit very little understeer through enginnering and design of the chassis and suspension.
True!

Well aren't FWD cars usually known to be better handling cars? Aside from RWD cars from Porsche and cars like the FR-S and BRZ that have amazing handling.

I guess an AWD, FWD bias vehicle like the CLA isn't so bad after all.
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post #10 of 41 Old 03-01-2013, 10:43 PM
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To answer the original question, "Does the CLA being FWD bother me?," the answer is actually that it's what first interested me in the new model. All handling isn't on nice dry roads with good gripping surfaces. A lot of my driving here in central Maine is on slippery roads from November into April every year, and for that FWD easily beats RWD. I say that having driven FWD, RWD, and 4WD here over the years. FWD is almost as good on snow as 4WD if the vehicles are equipped with decent snow tires.
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