What is the Difference Between AWD and 4WD?

2022 GMC Terrain


If you’re looking for a new vehicle near Napoleon, you’ve probably seen on the listing AWD or 4WD, and you’ve found yourself wondering is AWD the same as 4WD? Many Hicksville drivers believe they’re essentially the same; however, this is not true, and it’s important to know the difference, so you can get the right vehicle for you. Learn more in this AWD vs. 4WD comparison that we put together for our neighbors. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us anytime, so that we can help you find out the difference between AWD and 4WD!

What is AWD?

All-wheel drive, or AWD, is a drivetrain where power is sent from the engine to both the front and rear axles through differentials. There are actually two different types of AWD systems, full time AWD and part time AWD:

  • Full time AWD provides you with the advantage of AWD all the time.
  • However, if you have a vehicle with part time AWD, the system will only activate when conditions allow. When part time AWD is deactivated, power is just sent to the front axle.

What is 4WD?

Four-wheel drive or 4WD is a 4×4 drivetrain that also sends power to the front and rear axles; however, the 4WD system can send more power to either the left or right wheels, depending on the terrain. 4WD systems are often offered on trucks and SUVs built for off-road capability. This means that AWD is not the same as 4WD. 

Which Should You Choose: AWD or 4WD?

When deciding between AWD or 4WD for snow and other terrains, it really depends on what you plan to use the vehicle for. If you’re using it to commute around Bryan, and just want some extra traction, AWD would be best. However, if you want to hit the trails and off-road around Napoleon, 4WD would be a better choice. AWD is more than capable of offering additional support when snow and ice come up, but 4WD is even more capable when the snow piles up. This is one of the biggest differences between AWD and 4WD is when the weather turns bad during the winter.

Compare AWD vs. 4WD at Stykemain Buick GMC Today!

Now that you know more about the differences between AWD and 4WD, the next step is to come into our dealership in Defiance to experience all of them for yourself! You can schedule a test drive to get behind the wheel and find out for yourself that AWD is not the same as 4WD. Once you find the AWD or 4WD model that works for you, our finance department is here to help you make owning one a reality.

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