AWD vs. 4WD: What’s the Difference?

2021 Honda Pilot

With a lineup of AWD vehicles for sale near Minneapolis at Morrie's Auto Group, car shoppers are often wondering, is AWD the same as 4WD? In short, no it’s not. So what’s the difference between AWD and 4WD, and which is better for your commute? Learn more in this handy guide, then explore all of our available SUVs and crossovers for sale at our Minnetonka dealership.

What Is AWD?

All-wheel drive is a drivetrain configuration where the torque is directed from the engine to the front and rear axles to all four wheels via differentials. There are multiple AWD systems like full-time AWD and part-time AWD. Just like their names would suggest, part-time AWD systems monitor road conditions and driving behavior to decide when it makes sense to send torque to the front axle, while full-time AWD systems send torque to the front and rear axles all the time.

What Is 4WD?

Four-wheel drive is your traditional 4×4 drivetrain. The main difference between AWD and 4WD is that while 4WD systems can send power to the front and rear axles, they can also direct a specific amount of power between the left and right wheels. Typically, 4WD systems are designed for exciting off-road prowess and built into vehicles with truck-based platforms.

Which Is Better: AWD or 4WD?

The answer: it depends on your needs and priorities. Normally, AWD vehicles are excellent for drivers in suburban areas who want extra traction during inclement weather and bad weather conditions, while 4WD vehicles are the better vehicles for those who want the most rugged off-road conditions or onsite truck utility for your St. Paul job.

Get Your Next AWD or 4WD SUV at Morrie's Auto Group!

Peruse our inventory of new vehicles for sale near Minnetonka to find the AWD or 4WD vehicle that ticks all the boxes. Be sure to explore our new vehicle specials and apply for financing right at home. Contact us online to schedule your test drive at your nearest location!

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