Front-Wheel–Drive Power: Is There Such a Thing?

 2016 Lincoln MKX Red

Most vehicles used to be rear-wheel drive, but for several years now, coming out of the 1970s, a vehicle with front-wheel drive was typically cheaper and less expensive to maintain, making them popular. Not only have they been lower in the price, but front-wheel drive vehicles have a reputation for being easier to drive than ones with rear-wheel drive, even though true drivers who know how to handle a vehicle have always preferred a rear-wheel drive model. More powerful vehicles are typically rear-wheel drive models and take advantage of this power to the rear of the vehicle to propel it more effectively.

Even though many higher powered models are rear-wheel drive models, there are several front wheel drive vehicles that offer the pleasure of having a phenomenal engine. With the improvements that have been made a list of the top ten most powerful front-wheel drive vehicles is not limited to hot hatchbacks and lower priced performance cars. This list may surprise you with what you see, but it also may give you an idea of a vehicle you will want in the future.

2016 Lincoln MKX

The MKX shows up making 335 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque which actually tops our list of the highest horsepower front-wheel drive vehicle. This power is brought in by the 2.7-liter twin turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine which is also used in the Ford Edge and F-150 giving you an idea what power this engine brings to the party. Even though it’s the same engine, the Lincoln variant is more powerful than both the other models this engine resides in, interesting that the luxury model went for more power.

2015 Ford Edge

The Edge comes in with 315 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. Powered by the same engine mentioned for the MKX, the Edge actually offers more power than the four-cylinder rear-wheel drive Mustang offers and shows off with amazing capabilities for you to truly enjoy. When the all-wheel drive feature is added to the Edge it becomes a great vehicle for taking out on the trails and finding remote locations to enjoy.

2016 Acura RLX

This luxury leader offers 310 horsepower and 272 lb.-ft. of torque. As the flagship sedan for Acura this large sedan needs some great power and in a class that is full of rear-wheel drive luxury sedans it’s interesting to see one that is a front-wheel drive version. The power comes from the 3.5-liter V6 engine that pulls all the horses it can out to give you a fantastic ride in the RLX.

2015 Cadillac SRX

The midsized luxury SUV shows off with 308 horsepower and 265 lb.-ft. of torque. The SRX was the answer for Cadillac lovers who did not want to have the massive size of the Escalade but still wanted to enjoy and SUV. The power for this awesome ride is provided by the 3.6-liter direct injection V6 engine.   Although a name change across Cadillac is in the works, the SRX may get a new name but will maintain its power and style which helps lead the class.

2015 Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac CTS, Buick LaCrosse

All three of these vehicles share a particular trait, their engine. This allows them all to bring in 305 horsepower and 264 lb.-ft. of torque and be three of the most powerful front-wheel drive vehicles GM has to offer. This engine that is shared across the brands is the Epsilon II 3.6-liter V6 engine. The XTS is the last of the front-wheel drive models for its brand and you can easily see what the hierarchy for this engine is as far as price and features.

2015 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E, XC60 T6 Drive E

These two models from Volvo also share an engine like the GM three. This engine is the 2.0-liter four-cylinder that is both turbocharged and supercharged giving these cars 302 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. What’s really cool here is this engine is small enough to be efficient but powerful enough to make this list. In the S60 the powertrain makes 35 mpg on the highway and still has the horses under the hood to kick some butt.

Lincoln MKS and MKT

Another tie as we see a common thread of engines being used across brands or platforms. The engine powering these two Lincolns is a 3.7-liter V6 that makes 304 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. of torque. If moved up to the all-wheel drive models the engine is a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 that shows up with 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque to become a pair of awesome cars.

2016 Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain

An excellent pair of crossovers from GM that like many of the GM/Chevy SUV and truck models is a twin paring with one having a few more features than the other. With this pair the engine that is put inside is a 3.6-liter V6 that shows up with 301 horsepower and 272 lb.-ft. of torque. There is a smaller choice which comes as the standard offering but only brings 182 horsepower to the party. The larger engine is actually more powerful than the new Camaro’s turbo engine and offers a 3,500 pound towing capacity.

2015 Lincoln MKZ

This model is the upgrade of the Ford Fusion platform and shows up with 300 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft. of torque. The same 3.7-liter V6 engine is found in this car as in the MKS and MKT. The MKZ offers decent fuel efficiency even with this power at 18 city/27 hwy mpg and offers a smaller more efficient choice if you are looking for a fuel savings over a power offering.

2016 Nissan Maxima

The Maxima shows up with 300 horsepower and 261 lb.-ft. of torque on one of the most popular sedans on the market today. Built to have power and referred to by Nissan as the “four door sports car” the Maxima is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that gives off this awesome output. We have loved this car since 1981 and will continue to do so as it seems to love us back with great power and a reasonable amount of fuel mileage.

When you are looking for a powerful model but in a front-wheel drive vehicle, this is the list to check out. With all these models being either a 2015 version or 2016 model you should have no trouble getting a great vehicle to drive and enjoy the excellent power output offered. Roll one of these babies out on the highway to take on the winding curves or shoot down a straight path and show your friends and neighbors the smart choice you made for your new vehicle.

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