Does FWD stand for front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive?

I was looking for Kia Souls on the website and I see some of them are marked as FWD. Is that four-wheel drive or front-wheel drive?

Stephanie, Grindstone, N.Y.

The Kia Soul comes only with front-wheel drive, so banish any thoughts that FWD stands for four-wheel drive in this case. FWD is an acronym some use for front-wheel drive, and we can see where it could cause confusion. It becomes clearer when expressed in the same breath as RWD (rear-wheel drive).


The short form of four-wheel drive is 4WD. Many 4WD vehicles today have automatically engaging systems that send power to all wheels only when traction is lost at the main drive wheels, and these are typically described as all-wheel drive (AWD).

Learn more

Answered by Rick Popely on January 9, 2013 in I'm Just Wondering | Permalink

Search Results Search Results for


See if your question has already been asked and answered

Thank You!

Your question has been successfully submitted to It will now be reviewed by our editors and we'll answer it soon if we think it's a useful question. You will be notified via e-mail when the answer is posted. tackles your questions about new cars and the car-buying process. Unfortunately we can't answer questions regarding:

  • Used cars.
  • Most aftermarket products.
  • Mechanical issues. You can visit our friends at Car Talk to discuss your mechanical problems.
Thanks for your interest.


Have our experts answer any of your questions about new cars.

Email us at

Maintenance Advice
Get answers from the
Car Talk Community