Tesla AWD vs RWD (All Wheel Drive & Rear wheel Drive Compared)

Tesla AWD Vs RWD

You might be thinking about buying a Tesla car to experience a unique driving experience. But the Tesla’s innovative technology has unraveled several models with different drivetrains and performance. A Tesla car can either comes with a rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

In short, the main difference between Tesla RWD and AWD is the former has a single motor on the rear axle while the latter has one motor over the front axle and the other over the rear axle.

These drivetrains define the performance of each Tesla model. Besides that, they come with some advantages and disadvantages. We wrote this article to help you pick a perfect Tesla model that suits your situation.

Comparison Features between Tesla AWD and RWD

Choosing between Tesla AWD and RWD can be a daunting experience for many electric car enthusiasts. Most people want to be free from range anxiety after making their decision.

But all Tesla variants offer the best driving experience and performance. The drivetrains and models are the vital features that bring the difference between various Tesla vehicles.

I recommend making the decision based on a personal budget, needs, and circumstances. Below are breakdown features that will help you distinguish between

Number of Motors

A Tesla car with all-wheel drive has one motor over the front axle and another on the rear axle. These adaptive systems allow the Tesla AWD to distribute equal power to all the wheels.

On the other hand, a Tesla vehicle with rear-wheel drive has a single motor over the rear axle. The system only sends power to the rear wheels to generate excellent torque when cruising challenging terrains.

All-wheel drive is my favorite drivetrain due to the equal power distribution on the wheels. It makes any Tesla model navigate through difficult terrains. Besides that, the driver can change the settings to suit specific needs and situations.

Off-road Terrain Performance

AWD Tesla vehicles have an intelligent power distribution system to all wheels that prevent them from getting stuck in the wilderness.

Besides that, they have a higher ground clearance that offers excellent off-road performance. Tesla cars with an RWD system tend to struggle in an off-road environment since the rear wheel power does not provide adequate torque to propel them.

The rear-wheel system does not work well in the dirt and snow. Tesla models with all-wheel-drive systems are the winner in this category. The off-road performance makes AWD Tesla vehicles ideal for off-road activities since the chances of getting stuck are minimal.

Speed Performance

Tesla vehicles with all-wheel-drive systems have faster speed than their rear-wheel counterparts due to equal power distribution on all the wheels that keep them planted on the track and around corners.

On the other hand, Tesla cars with a rear-wheel-drive system tend to struggle on the track since all the power is dumped on the rear wheels only. The back wheels later spin leading to reduce speed on the track.

Oversteer is not a bad thing if you are a car enthusiast. But a Tesla with an all-wheel-drive system is the best option for those drivers after fast lap times. So, Tesla AWD can outpace the RWD counterpart on the track.

Tesla Snow Traction Control

Tesla AWD is an absolute dream car to drive in the snow since it can regenerate braking settings down to low and acceleration into a chill mode.

These changes maximize winter performance and make snow driving enjoyable. The Tesla RWD has more weight at the back which inhibits its traction control.

The back wheels will spin in the snow and give the driver a hard time controlling the vehicle. The RWD system isn’t the best option for winter driving.

All-wheel drive Tesla is my favorite option for driving in the snow. Thanks to the equal power distribution to the wheels facilitate better acceleration, starting uphill, and driving experience.


Tesla AWD is super expensive due to its premium features and performance on the road. Besides that, the cost of recharging this electric car variant is high due to the double motors.

Tesla RWD is an affordable variant for a daily commuter. The recharging costs are inexpensive despite having high-end features and excellent road performance like the AWD counterpart.

Both Tesla variants are winners in this category since the choice of each driver depends on his needs, personal budget, and situations. We rarely use this feature to tell the difference between Tesla AWD and RWD.

Pros and Cons of Tesla AWD and RWD

Both Tesla AWD and RWD vehicles have their advantages and disadvantages. I recommend choosing a drivetrain that suits your budget, needs, and circumstances. Let us find that out together now:

Pros of Tesla AWD

  • Better traction in snow conditions
  • Excellent acceleration performance.
  • Provide an enjoyable driving experience.
  • Minimal risks of spinning around the corner

Cons of Tesla AWD

  • Too expensive to charge and maintain
  • Provide a false sense of security in winter

Pros of Tesla RWD

  • Less noisy on the road
  • Quite affordable to recharge and maintain

Cons of Tesla RWD

  •  Increases range anxiety
  • Has less torque and speed.
  • Not suitable for driving in the snow

Is AWD Better than RWD Tesla?

Tesla AWD is better than its RWD counterpart when negotiating a corner. The front wheels can steer and pull the vehicle at the same time without oversteering or understeering.

Does AWD Matter in Tesla?

All-wheel drive system does not matter in Tesla. The drivetrain system is only ideal when driving in slippery conditions due to rain or snow.

Is Tesla AWD Faster than RWD?

Tesla AWD is faster than RWD due to the dual-motor locations that keep the vehicle on track. The front and rear motors generate adequate torque to facilitate excellent acceleration.


Choosing between Tesla all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive systems can be a challenging experience for new owners.

Understanding the difference between these drivetrain systems will help you make an informed decision before buying.

I recommend buying a Tesla AWD car due to its torque and better traction in different terrain conditions. Besides that, the all-wheel-drive Tesla offers excellent handling and driving experience in slippery conditions.

Tesla rear-wheel drive is the best option for budgeted drivers. The vehicle recharge and maintenance are affordable compared to the Tesla all-wheel-drive option. Tesla RWD also offers excellent performance and acceleration.


Jimmy Mitchell is an electric vehicle aficionado who has been following the space since Tesla first hit the scene. A longtime proponent of sustainable transportation, Jimmy was one of the first to buy a Tesla 3 as soon as it came out. He loves nothing more than helping others learn about and enjoy the benefits of electric vehicles. When he's not evangelizing about EVs, Jimmy enjoys spending time with his family and travelling throughout south east asia

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