AWD vs. Four-Wheel Drive: What’s the Difference?

 

Choose Your Ideal Drivetrain

all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive are similar drivetrains except with subtle differences. An AWD vehicle may be better equipped to handle slippery winter driving while a four-wheel-drive car, truck or SUV is more suited for off-roading driving.

What is AWD?

An all-wheel-drive system is one that optimizes your traction by varying the amount of power that is going to each wheel. If you start to slip while driving then this system will adjust the power going to your wheels to improve traction. There are two different kinds of AWD drive. These are:

  • Full-Time AWD: Uses all wheels continuously
  • Automatic or Part-Time AWD: Power is delivered to the wheels when traction control is needed.

Side Note: Having an AWD vehicle doesn’t mean that you are fully safe. When preparing for cold and slippery winter months, be sure to also equip your car with a pair of quality snow tires.

What is a Four-Wheel-Drive System?

Four-wheel-drive or 4WD means that engine power is delivered to all four wheels at the same time. This is commonly found on adventure vehicles that are designed to tackle loose gravel and road less traveled.

While a four-wheel-drive system has its advantages, it tends to have less traction than an AWD vehicle. So, while it may be able to make it up a steep dirt hill, it may have trouble with a slippery snow bank.

If you are interested in learning more about AWD and FWD vehicles, call or stop by our dealership today! One of our friendly staff members will be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have!

Tags: AWD, FWD, Drivetrain

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