AWD vs. 4WD: What’s the Difference?

2021 Honda Pilot Elite AWD Off-Road


Have you ever been shopping for a AWD vehicle and wondered, is AWD the same as 4WD? Which is better: AWD or 4WD? Learn about the various differences between the two with the experts at Cactus Jack's Auto in Phoenix! There are some differences between AWD and 4WD that are worth noting before you make your next vehicle purchase. If you have any additional questions about the difference between AWD and 4WD, feel free to contact us!

What is Considered AWD?

All-wheel drive is a drivetrain configuration where each wheel can be powered independently, due to the use of three differentials throughout the vehicle. These differentials are usually in the front, center, and back of the vehicle. There are two types of AWD systems, full-time AWD and part-time AWD. Full-time AWD provides traction to all four wheels all the time, while part-time AWD only powers the front axle and adjusts AWD capability to the conditions. AWD is often present on vehicles such as the Chrysler 300 that are equipped with unibody frames.

What is 4WD?

Four-wheel drive is the standard 4×4 drivetrain that is designed for off-road capabilities or hauling heavy loads. The 4WD systems are able to provide power to both the front and rear axles and have more control over the power sent to each wheel. You will often find 4WD drivetrain configurations on work and adventure vehicles, such as trucks and various off-road vehicles.

AWD or 4WD: Which is Better? 

Which is better: AWD or 4WD? This often depends on how you plan to use the vehicle. If you’re using the vehicle for your daily commute, AWD would often be the better choice as they can adjust to any type of inclement weather. On the other hand, if you’re using the vehicle for work or traveling on rugged terrain, 4WD would be a better choice. In short, it really depends on what your needs are, and which best fits your lifestyle.

Check Out the AWD & 4WD SUVs at Cactus Jack's Auto!

Now that you know the difference between AWD and 4WD, come stop by Cactus Jack's Auto in Phoenix today. You can come check out our used vehicle inventory near Mesa and Surprise. Visit our expert finance department to get the best price on your AWD or 4WD vehicle today!

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