AWD/4WD – All Wheel Drive / Four Wheel Drive

All Wheel Drive (AWD) or Four Wheel Drive (4WD), refers to a setup where the power from the engine is distributed to rotate all four wheels.This differs from front– and rear-wheel drive cars where the power is sent to either the front or rear wheels only.

  • All-wheel drive systems tend to be heavier than front- or rear-wheel drive systems. Added weight in a car means that the engine needs to work harder to move the car, which is less efficient. This is the reason that you will often see an all-wheel drive version of a car have worse fuel economy than a two-wheel drive version of the same car.
Difference between AWD and 4WD
  • The terms AWD and 4WD are often used interchangeably, and while they are often similar there tends to be some key differences.
  • All-Wheel Drive (AWD) systems are normally found in more road-focused cars where the driver wants the added benefit of better traction and stability.
  • Four-Wheel Drive (4WD) systems are normally found in more off-road-focused SUVs and pickups and tend to be more robust to handle rugged terrain. Often this can mean cars with 4WD aren’t as comfortable on-road.

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