4WD Versus AWD: Which One Is Best For You

2021 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon on dirt road

Understanding the differences between AWD and 4WD can be helpful to know when looking for a vehicle that is great for everyday use or a vehicle that needs more power. It is easy to confuse the two. Let’s take a look to see what the key differences between the two are.

All-Wheel Drive

AWD is used for on-road use. It works by sending the engine’s power to all four tires during your drive. AWD will help keep your vehicle moving forward better than front-wheel or rear-wheel drive on snowy and rainy roads. In higher performance vehicles, AWD transfers the torque to the ground while cornering at high speeds. AWD is good for your average driver. You can find that most modern SUVs and cars have AWD drive. You can even find it in some pickup trucks.

Four-Wheel Drive

4WD is intended for off-road or extremely slippery surfaces. 4WD works by locking the front and rear driveshafts together by keeping the front and back axles turning at the same speed. It doesn’t matter if you are in sand, snow, or mud. 4WD will give you enough power to make your way out.

Restrictions on Four-wheel drive

A four-wheel drive system has restriction use just like most vehicles. If a four-wheel-drive is regularly used on paved roads you will see uneven wear on your tires due to binding stress from the driveline. 4WD on pavement can be dangerous due to the locked driveline making turning difficult. Low-grip surfaces like snow, ice, dirt, or mud aren’t a problem because the tires can slide freely with no issues over the surface.

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Doug Henry CDJR

If you want to learn more about 4WD and AWD vehicles, our staff at Doug Henry CDJR would be happy to answer any questions you may have. If you are currently in the market for a new vehicle, take a look at our inventory online. If you have any questions and would like to speak to one of our automotive professionals, you can give us a call or send us a message.