4WD versus AWD


What is the difference between all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive? You may think that they are the same, but they are actually pretty different. All-wheel drive has one drivetrain that employs a front, rear, and center differential. The single drivetrain gives power or torque to all four wheels. The torque is split between both sets of wheels. A vehicle that has four-wheel drive has one transfer case and two differentials that give the power to 4 wheels of the vehicle.

Both options have power given to all four wheels, but four-wheel drive is better for off-roading. Some of the older model AWD vehicles allow you to switch between AWD and 2WD. But, most newer AWD systems do not offer the option to change from 2WD to 4WD. 4WD vehicles can go into both 2WD and 4WD. Riding in 2WD takes less gasoline then riding in 4WD. This makes 4WD a more efficient option.
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