What’s the Difference Between AWD vs. 4WD?

Blue Silverado 1500 driving thru mountains

You can find a wide variety of new Buick, Chevrolet, GMC vehicles and pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs with AWD capability at Brookings Auto Mall. However, some Brookings drivers may be wondering: What is the difference between AWD and 4WD? Discover the difference and similarities between AWD and 4WD drivetrains, and which setup is best for your Sioux Falls driving style, with the experts at Brookings Auto Mall!



What is AWD?

“All-wheel drive”, or AWD for short, is a drivetrain configuration in which torque is sent from the engine to the front and rear axles to all four wheels via differentials. There are a few different kinds of AWD systems, such as full-time AWD and part-time AWD. Full-time AWD systems send torque to the front and rear axles continuously. However, part-time AWD systems observe road conditions and track driving behavior to determine the optimal times to send torque to the front axle. You’ll commonly find AWD systems on vehicles with unibody frames, such as the Chevrolet Trax and Trailblazer.

What is 4WD?

So, is AWD the same as 4WD? Not exactly. “Four-wheel drive”, or 4WD, is a more traditional 4×4 drivetrain. The biggest distinction between 4WD and AWD drivetrains is that 4WD systems can send power to the front and rear axles, as well as specific amounts of power to the left and right wheels. If you’re looking for superior off-roading capabilities or powerful Buick, Chevrolet, GMC trucks, you’re most likely looking for a model with 4WD systems.

AWD vs. 4WD: Which is Better?

So, which is better? AWD or 4WD? That answer depends on which configuration best fits your needs. 4WD vehicles offer greater off-roading capabilities and stronger towing power for your Brookings job site. AWD vehicles are a better choice for suburban drivers looking for better handling in bad weather and hazardous driving conditions.

Explore Our Buick, Chevrolet, GMC AWD & 4WD Vehicles at Brookings Auto Mall!

You’ll find a fine selection of Buick, Chevrolet, GMC AWD and 4WD vehicles at Brookings Auto Mall. So what’re you waiting for? Reach out to us online to schedule a test drive of your preferred choice today!


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