4WD vs AWD: What’s the Difference?

By Product Expert | Posted in How Does It Work? on Monday, May 22nd, 2017 at 6:23 pm
Difference Between Four-Wheel Drive and All-Wheel Drive_o

Difference Between Four-Wheel Drive and All-Wheel Drive

You’ve probably heard of vehicles that offer four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Maybe you thought they were the same thing. You’d be wrong, though. What’s the difference between the two? We’ll let you know so that you can have a better understanding.

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Four-Wheel Drive Facts and Use

Vehicles with four-wheel drive, or 4WD, are typically used for vehicles with off-roading or all-terrain capabilities. This mostly includes trucks and SUVs. When activated, 4WD puts power into all four wheels to ensure you’re getting more traction in rough road conditions. More power sacrifices fuel economy, though. The cool part about 4WD is that you can turn it on and off as needed so that you aren’t using excess fuel when the 4WD isn’t needed. While it definitely comes in handy, it’s important to note that you will pay more for a 4WD model than you would for a 2WD model.

All-Wheel Drive Facts and Use

All-Wheel Drive (AWD) is a more recent innovation and more common in Mercedes-Benz vehicles. While the 4WD system is typical on trucks and SUVs, AWD is more commonly used in cars and smaller crossovers. While AWD doesn’t offer quite as much power as 4WD, it has a few aspects that make it ideal in certain situations. Since it’s on all the time, you’ve got increased grip and control in any weather or road condition. Sensors monitor each wheel and determine where to send the power so that the wheels that need it the most can get it. That being said, AWD doesn’t handle well in more extreme off-roading conditions and since it’s on all the time, it will decrease fuel economy.

There’s pros and cons to both systems, but typically the type of vehicle you buy will determine which system is available to you. Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the two and what makes them different.

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