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4WD Vs AWD : Find Out The Difference [2022]

There are tons of debate between 4WD Vs AWD. All vehicles made for terrain used to have a simple all-four-wheel-drive system. Moreover, this was the off-road engine back those days.

All thanks to the advancement in technology, a more complex all-wheel-drive technology came for the terrain vehicles. The manual technology of the engine gave more space for the development of the all-wheel-drive system. This revolutionized the driving experience and off-road drive. Moreover, they gave a more efficient type of driving experience.

Today, we see large quantities of SUVs, trucks, and cars that are equipped with all-wheel drive technology or four-wheel drive technology. You may be looking to buy a new vehicle but are confused about which system vehicle to buy between them. However, you need to know the difference between both of them to distinguish the difference and know which technology to buy.

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Let us dive into details.

4WD Vs AWD: An Overview

We have researched to make you understand better the difference. Below we have some pros and cons of the four-wheel-drive system and the all-wheel-drive system.

Further, you need to ask yourself in which place you want to drive your vehicle. This way, you will be able to sort out whether you need the 4WD or AWD. Both of them are prime factors to consider.

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The Four Wheel Drive System

The four-wheel-drive system is present in the road for a long time. Moreover, they were so advanced back then, that they are still present on the road today.

Vehicle manufacturers use four-wheel drive technology in today’s world in their heavy-duty vehicles like trucks and SUVs. Four-wheel drive gives the ultimate stability and performance. Further, they are so good that they give the ultimate value for their price.

A four-wheel-drive system is gifted in the vehicle meant for rigidity and strength. This technology comes in handy in off-road situations where it gives the vehicle the ultimate strength it needs to overcome different types of situations. Moreover, many famous manufacturers like Mercedes, Toyota, and Jeep use the 4WD technology in their flagship off-road vehicles such as the Toyota land cruiser, the G-Class, and the jeep wrangler.

But what does the 4WD technology do? This technology distributes power to all four wheels at the same power ratio. Further, it means that all four wheels turn at the same rate.

The power is transferred to all four wheels as you press the ignition button of your vehicle. Furthermore, the power of ignition is sent to the transmission system where all the power is divided equally and distributed between the front and rear axle of the vehicle. The power is divided and transferred via equipment called a Transfer case.

However, you should know the pros and cons of a four-wheel-drive system too. This will give you a clear idea of the advantages and disadvantages of 4WD. Hopefully, this will make you able to distinguish between them.


The four-wheel-drive system will give you ultimate control over your car. You need to disable and activate 4WD by yourself. Further, this means the car will not activate the system automatically.

The four-wheel-drive system has four low gears. The feature gets handy when you are stuck in the mud and your vehicle is failing to move. Further, it will give you better stability during low traction circumstances.

The four-wheel-drive system gifts you with the ultimate efficiency. Hence, fuel consumption is comparatively less and more cost-efficient. Further, this is a feature of the 4WD gifts besides giving you full control of your vehicle.

Last but not the least, 4WD gives you the best traction control you need during slippery roads. All thanks to the four lower gear ratios, you can tow your vehicle with tons of load on a slippery road.


Four-wheel drives are not for all occasions. This means the four-wheel-drive system is not suitable for multiple situations. They are made for off-road mud areas. However, if you are living in snowy areas like Canada, it is better to go for the all-wheel-drive (AWD) system over the four-wheel-drive system (4WD).

You might fail to concentrate on the road or maybe lose focus when you are driving. This might lead to a jerking feeling inside the cabin due to the wheel windup. Further, the experience leads to a horrible experience and might impact the differentials and the axels of the vehicle.

The turning radius of the 4WD system vehicle is very poor. Further, the situation becomes worse when you need to turn your vehicle during a compact turn.

The four wheels need to rotate at a different rate when you are turning your vehicle. However, this action is not applicable for the four-wheel-drive system as all the wheels rotate at the same rate.

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The All-Wheel-Drive System

Advancements in technology brought many changes to the automotive world. The AWD is one of the amazing features of the new era of the automotive world. However, it doesn’t mean the feature has poor qualities.

All-wheel drive system gifts the driver with the ease of driving which cannot be underestimated. However, every feature has its own share of good and bad sides but the good sides of AWD cover-ups the bad sides pretty nicely.

The AWD system basically gives power to the main axle. Further, it means your vehicle’s main axle can act as the rear axle or even the front axle. This feature comes in handy when your vehicle suffers from the ability to have adequate traction. Moreover, they take power from the wheels that are suffering from traction and give power to the other wheels. There are tons of vehicles equipped with AWD systems like the Toyota land cruiser, Mercedes GLS, and land rover velar.

Let us see the pros and cons of the all-wheel-drive system. The pros and cons will give you a more detailed idea.


The operating system is damn easy. An all-wheel-drive system automatically adjusts the wheel for you. Therefore, you do not need to adjust or activate the system manually.

An all-wheel-drive system automatically adapts to the weather. Therefore, there is no chance of axel damage. Further, you get better traction and grip almost in all conditions.

You do not need to think about changing the gears in all-wheel-drive systems. Moreover, the vehicle changes power management to adjust to all scenarios perfectly without your hassle. Therefore, you are getting a less stressful driving experience.


Rock climbing is best for a four-wheel-drive system. Further, the roughness and reliability of the four-wheel-drive system cannot be matched with the all-wheel-drive system.

The all-wheel-drive system is very tough to repair. Further, the maintenance cost of all-wheel drive is superior to that of the four-wheel-drive system.

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Now you know the difference between 4WD Vs AWD. The four-wheel-drive system is a traditional driving system that has been present for a long time. Vehicles with 4WD are very powerful yet at a cost. They have a poor turning radius and are not optimized for all driving conditions. Further, they are not much efficient to use as the all-wheel-drive system.

On the other hand, the all-wheel-drive system is the result of advancements in technology. They are superior in different driving conditions like snowy surfaces. Further, they are also automatic which reduces the hassle of shifting the gears manually. However, they come at a cost too.

Maintaining the all-wheel-drive system is much more expensive than the four-wheel-drive system. Further, they are more prone to damage than the four-wheel-drive system. AWD cannot match the power of unrivaled 4WD too.

However, at the end of the day, it depends on what you need. Go for the all-wheel-drive system if you need a compact turning radius.

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