What is the Difference between AWD and 4WD?

Winter tire wheels using 4WD

At Middletown Honda, we get questions about all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive systems everyday. What is the difference between AWD and 4WD? Is AWD the same as 4WD? Is AWD better than 4WD? The answer is the two systems are different, but have similarities. And in the end, neither system is better than the other – just better for your needs. We’re here to walk you through the key differences between AWD vs. 4WD drivetrain systems, so you can easily shop our inventory for your perfect match for the Monroe.

What is AWD?

All-wheel drive is a common drivetrain configuration that boosts traction. This system utilizes differentials to distribute the torque of the engine to all four wheels. You might find AWD vehicles with part-time AWD or full-time AWD. Full time systems send torque to the front and rear axles constantly, while the part-time system monitors the conditions of the road and adjusts torque as needed. You’ll find all-wheel drive systems on unibody frames primarily, like the Honda CR-V and other SUVs.

What is 4WD?

Four-wheel drive systems are a more traditional 4×4 system. The main difference between AWD and 4WD is the specificity of the 4WD system. Both systems can send power to the front and rear axles, but the 4WD also can also adjust power between the left and right wheels. This makes 4WD systems more rugged and durable overall, capable of maximum off-road potential. That’s why vehicles on truck-based platforms use four-wheel drive systems more often.

Which is Better: AWD or 4WD?

So, which is better: AWD or 4WD? In the battle of AWD vs. 4WD, you’ll find two strong systems that appeal to different drivers. If you want a vehicle that can carry you through snowy roads in Warwick and slick highways in Goshen, an all-wheel drive vehicle makes perfect sense. But if you need a serious off-road vehicle or a powerful work truck, then four-wheel drive systems are a great option.

Explore the AWD and 4WD Vehicles at Middletown Honda

Still not sure whether AWD or 4WD is right for you? Contact us at Middletown Honda for personalized recommendations from the Honda lineup and stop by Middletown to see our stock in person. You can even buy online with home delivery for your convenience!

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