4WD vs. AWD

The 2016 Ford Escape can take on any terrain with its AWD!

One of the most common misconceptions in the automotive industry is that Four Wheel Drive and All Wheel Drive are the same thing. Most drivers can tell the difference between 2WD and 4WD, but have trouble recognizing the differences between the 4WD and AWD systems. In reality, both systems have their own distinct set of advantages and disadvantages. Our staff at Marketplace Ford has decided to shed some light on exposing the differences between 4WD and AWD.

Let’s start with 4WD. This system was developed to grant vehicles more off-road capabilities. In order to do so, the system splits power and torque between all four wheels evenly. This allows the vehicle to drive over increasingly rugged terrain.

However, this added traction comes at a cost. Due to the power being evenly split between vehicles, turning is made more difficult to execute. Fortunately, most vehicles with 4WD have the option of turning off the system when they don’t need it.

AWD, on the other hand, is a newer drive system than 4WD. Where 4WD splits the transmission power evenly between all four wheels, AWD can allot different amounts of power to each of the wheels, depending on the vehicle’s needs. This makes AWD ideal for driving in weather that can make operating vehicles more problematic.

However, unlike 4WD, AWD is on all of the time. Since you don’t have the option of turning it off, you don’t have the ability to save more fuel when you don’t require the system.

Now that you know the difference between 4WD and AWD, you can select which driving system works best for you and your vehicle!