Controversy About AWD vs 4WD

by Greg on March 6, 2012

4wd vs awd

AWD vs 4WD, Which Is Better


There has always been a controversy about awd vs 4wd types of vehicles. Many people have numerous questions regarding which type of these two vehicles is better. Similarly, there are very many answers that are normally given about these two machines but it is important to find out the major difference between them before making a conclusion. Always keep in mind that these two machines have been created to serve various tasks and this is what differentiates them.

Four-Wheel Drive Car

There are two major types of 4wd cars. The first one is known as a true four-wheel-drive while the second one is referred to as full time four-wheel-drive. For the true four-wheel-drive, all the four wheels turn at the same time when in motion. They rotate at the same speed to steer the vehicle to a particular direction. Still on the true four-wheel-drive, the drivers have an option to choose the extra traction that applies to both four wheels. When both the four wheels are engaged, the car is now suitable to be driven in snowy areas or even on muddy terrain.
For the full time 4wd, these automobiles come with an extra gearing set found in the transfer panel. This allows the vehicle to be driven even on hard terrain for example dry and rough roads. When you buy a 4wd, you find out that this vehicle is always fuel efficient because it is not engaged all the time. The drivers only engage it when they wish to do so and this paves way for saving fuel. A 4wd also has a particular ratio for the amount of torque delivered to the various axles. This is also a common factor that differentiates awd vs 4wd.

All-Wheel Drive Car

For all-wheel drive, also known as awd cars, the automobile is controlled by an internal mechanism. When the car notices loss of good traction, it switches from a two-wheel-drive mode to awd. Unlike the four-wheel drive cars, the wheels of an awd roll independently. They do not depend on one another to turn. This is very crucial especially when driving through rougher surfaces such as dry land. The machine distributes the energy equally between the front and hind axle. This is the major difference regarding awd vs 4wd. Also note that, an all-wheel drive can also increase traction without depending on the current state of the road. Some versions also give the operators the chance to choose either the low or high mode.

4WD vs AWD

Even as people continue asking what type is better regarding awd vs 4wd, it is important to note that the type of road is used to determine how these two versions will be helpful. It is advisable to select your car with close reference to your driving habits. In other words, if you love driving off the road many times, you will need to purchase a 4wd since it provides more torque to both the four wheels. But if you normally drive on slippery and wet areas such as snow, the awd will be the best option for you. The awd saves you the stress of monitoring when to switch the vehicle into 4wd mode. Also remember that these two systems will only work effectively if you have the right tires with the right pressure to get good torque.

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