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.Here's a simple equation: AWD>RWD>FWD
True!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.
I think you might be the first person I ever have heard who favours FWD over RWD. But Larry is right, the topic did go off direction.FWD is much nicer. Not everyone is a tire-shredding maniac like Jeremy Clarkson. Power oversteer looks cool....to 15 year olds.
I agree that RWD with an experience driver is fine in the winter.Traction is physics; 60%+ weight up front kills inertia when you turn on slippery surfaces with FWDriven wheels. I do not like the inability of FWD to power out of understeer in snowy conditions. While I have never attempted winter driving in the last of the nose heavy RWD cars, like a Mustang, I do know that having prepared a Fox body Fairmont for AutoX, they are inclined to understeer with really benign rear ends (unless you dig deep for a power slide) at least compared to a semi trailing arm IRS... For the record I have never gotten stuck in 50/50 BMW's with snow tires.
While one could debate winter driving characteristics, I am old school having grown up with RWD in snow, but also getting indoctrinated to the benefits of FWD in snow via 1800 lbs '80 Fiesta. As an aggressive driver however, I like the flexibility RWD allows for getting power to the ground.