Rockingham Honda

Which is Better: AWD or 4WD?

Parked 2021 Toyota Highlander

Lawrence customers always have plenty of questions for us about AWD vs. 4WD. Is AWD the same as 4WD? Is AWD better than 4WD? In this guide, we’re here to clear it up. While the two drivetrain configurations may have some similarities, the two are also quite different on the road. Let’s find out whether AWD or 4WD is better for your next vehicle.

What is All-Wheel Drive?

If you want to know the difference between AWD and 4WD, start with AWD. All-wheel drive, or AWD, is a popular drivetrain configuration with Haverhill drivers for its versatility. Generally speaking, it is found on models with unibody frames like the RAV4 and other crossover SUVs. AWD directs torque from the engine to the front and rear axles, down to all four wheels through differentials. Here are the types of all-wheel drive you may encounter in our new inventory:

  • Full-time AWD sends torque to the front and rear axles consistently.
  • Part-time AWD sends torque to the front and rear axles based on the conditions of the road.

What is Four-Wheel Drive?

Four-wheel drive, or 4WD, is a more traditional 4×4 drivetrain that is built for more rugged conditions. The big difference between AWD and 4WD is the precision of four-wheel drive vehicles. 4WD vehicles can send power to the front and rear axles like AWD vehicles, but they can also specify how much power to send between the left and right wheels. This allows them better off-road skill, and you’ll find 4WD vehicles on truck-based, body-on-frame Toyotas like the Tacoma and 4Runner.

Should I Choose AWD or 4WD?

Now you know what the difference is between AWD and 4WD generally, but which is right for you? Neither system is better than the other, but one might suit your needs better. All-wheel drive vehicles tend to be more flexible, delivering extra traction on slick roads and inclement weather. But if you need even more power for those off-road adventures and tough work sites in Methuen, there’s nothing better than 4WD for maximum ruggedness.

Find Out More with Rockingham Honda

You’ve explored the key differences between AWD vs. 4WD, now compare the two in person at Rockingham Honda. Our team can help you find just the right match for your needs, so contact us with any questions or visit our dealership in Salem. You can even buy online!


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