2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

AWD vs. 4WD: What’s the Difference?

Before you can start shopping for a new vehicle in Martinsville, you need to know what you’re looking for! Many car buyers want the enhanced traction and all-weather capability of an AWD or 4WD drivetrain, but aren’t sure about the difference between AWD and 4WD. So is AWD the same as 4WD? The short answer is no — they’re two separate drivetrains with their own unique advantages.

What is the difference between AWD and 4WD, and how will they impact your daily drives in Danville? In the guide below from Gunter CDJR Martinsville, we’ll look at the pros and cons of AWD vs. 4WD to help you decide.



What is AWD?

Torque distribution accounts for the main difference between AWD and 4WD drivetrains. In an all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle, torque is distributed between the front and rear axles as needed to maintain optimal traction. You’ll experience better control on slick road surfaces compared to front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive systems, which limit power to the front and rear axles, respectively. 

In addition, there are several different kinds of AWD. Full-time AWD powers both axles continuously, while part-time AWD sends power to the rear axle only when needed in order to preserve fuel. AWD is most common on compact crossovers and other unibody vehicles.

What is Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram 4WD?

You’re more likely to find 4WD systems on pickup trucks and SUVs with truck-based platforms like the Jeep Grand Cherokee. 4WD systems send power to each wheel individually, allowing for even greater control when driving conditions are unpredictable or otherwise challenging. If you’re planning to go off-road no matter the weather, you’ll probably want to look into a vehicle with 4WD capability.

Still unsure whether you need an AWD or 4WD drivetrain? Read below for a side-by-side comparison of AWD vs. 4WD benefits. 

Which is Better: AWD or 4WD?

Is AWD better than 4WD? If you’re not pushing your vehicle to its full capability on the trail, you’re probably not going to notice the difference. So should you choose an AWD or 4WD drivetrain? Ask yourself how much time you spend on trails or unpaved roads. If you’ll regularly require off-road capability, you should consider a 4WD vehicle. If you’re just looking for better traction on slick roads and challenging weather in Reidsville, NC, an AWD vehicle will have you covered.

Browse Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram AWD and 4WD SUVs at Gunter CDJR Martinsville!

If you’re still undecided, we’re happy to answer any further questions about the difference between AWD and 4WD! Whether you’re wondering how long you can drive on a spare or how to jump start a car, our friendly team of auto experts is here to help. Contact us or stop by our dealership in Ridgeway to learn more.

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