AWD vs 4WD: What’s the Difference?

February 10th, 2019 by

2019 RAM 1500 on Desert Road

There’s still plenty of confusion over the advantages of AWD vs. 4WD. All-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive can both provide added traction, but they tend to work better under different circumstances. We’ve put together a quick and easy guide that compares AWD vs. 4WD. Learn more from Midway Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, serving drivers in Grand Island and Hastings.

The Design and Advantages of 4WD

4WD systems, sometimes referred to as four-by-four or 4×4, have been used longer than AWD systems and aren’t quite as complex. So, when comparing 4WD vs. 4×4, Lexington drivers will find that they’re essentially the same. Power comes from the engine and is transferred to the transmission where the transfer case divides it between the front and rear axles. The key take-home is that power is sent to all four wheels equally.

Advantages include:

  • Great for Off-Roading: The equal split of power ensures outstanding traction across rough terrain and low-traction situations.
  • Fantastic Towing: With all four wheels turning at the same rate, 4WD models can usually tow plenty behind them.
  • Option to Switch Off: Most modern 4WD systems are “part-time”, so you can switch them off once you get back on the road.

Thanks to their outstanding capability, 4WD (or 4×4) systems are usually found with SUVs like the Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee or trucks like the RAM 1500.

The Design and Advantages of AWD

When comparing AWD vs. 4WD, Grand Island drivers should note that AWD vehicles send a varied amount power to each axle. If one wheel needs more power to maintain control, more power is sent.

Advantages include:

  • No Driver Interaction Required: An AWD system is always working to improve traction. You don’t need to turn it on and off, so you’ll never be caught out by a random patch of ice or unexpected loose terrain.
  • Great on the Road: AWD works well in all conditions and is better at maintaining control on the road than 4WD.

Because AWD systems are great for road usage, they tend to be seen across a more diverse range of vehicles. You can easily find sedans, crossovers, SUVs, and minivans with an AWD system available.

Compare AWD vs. 4×4 by Taking a Test Drive at Midway!

Whether you’re looking for 4WD trucks or AWD sedans, you’ll find a fantastic range of options among our selection of new vehicles. To find out more or arrange a couple of test drives, feel free to contact us today.

Recent Posts from Midway Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

  • What is the 2021 Jeep Renegade Price?

    Are you looking for a new compact SUV that’s versatile enough for on- and off-road adventures, but doesn’t have a price tag that will break the bank? The 2021 Jeep Renegade is an excellent option! However, you’re probably wondering, “What is the 2021 Jeep Renegade price?” The Jeep Renegade MSRP starts at $22,830 for the…

  • 2021 RAM 1500 Trim Levels

    If your Grand Island worksite is in need of a new truck, the RAM 1500 offers the heavy-duty performance capabilities you need to get the job done. And with six different RAM 1500 trim levels to choose from, you can customize your driving experience in this powerful pickup. Learn more about what each of the unique…

  • 2021 Jeep Compass Reviews

    If you’re looking for a versatile SUV that can handle your daily Grand Island commutes and off-roading adventures outside of Hastings, the 2021 Jeep Compass is here to deliver. Offering a starting price of $23,895 MSRP, unbeatable Jeep 4×4 capabilities, and a comfortable, reconfigurable interior, the Jeep Compass is a top contender in its compact SUV…

  • 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Preview

    After a 29-year hiatus, the iconic Jeep Grand Wagoneer is making a comeback in 2022. A more modern and sleek rendition of its predecessor, the 2022 Grand Wagoneer exemplifies the advancement of automotive technology and design. Built with the durability and strength that Jeep models are known for, coupled with luxurious touches like an interior…

  • 2021 RAM 1500 TRX Price

    The 2021 RAM 1500 TRX is the newest addition to the iconic RAM 1500 truck lineup. Built to tackle everything from your Grand Island worksite commutes to the off-the-beaten paths, the RAM 1500 TRX offers drivers unbeatable performance and versatility. But how much is the RAM TRX? The 2021 RAM TRX MSRP comes in at a…

  • 2021 RAM 1500 Towing Capacity

    The RAM 1500 towing capacity varies depending on the engine you choose, but you can tow up to 12,750 pounds with the available 5.7L HEMI® V8 engine. Looking for efficiency or a speed boost on the Grand Island highways? You’ll find what you need between five engine options and a wide selection of performance-enhancing features. This…

  • 2020 Dodge Charger SRT® Hellcat 0-60 MPH Time

    The 2020 Dodge Charger SRT® Hellcat updates the 2019 model with a Widebody frame that takes its already-blistering speeds even higher. The new 2020 Hellcat Widebody delivers a staggering 0-60 MPH time of just 3.6 seconds with the help of a supercharged 6.2L HEMI® SRT® V8 engine. Compared to 11 seconds for the 2019 Dodge…

  • Summer Heat Giving Your Car a Foul Smell?

    Service DepartmentSchedule Service Summer Heat Giving Car a Foul Smell Do you love summers in Grand Island, but dread what the heat does to the aroma of your car interior? If you’ve ever turned on your air conditioning and gotten a foul, musty smell, you’re probably wondering how the smell got there in the first place….

  • 2020 Jeep Wrangler Colors

    If you’re aiming for classic looks and some of the best modern off-road performance, the 2020 Jeep Wrangler is an enticing prospect in Kearney. But what colors does the Wrangler come in? Midway Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram looks at the ten Jeep Wrangler colors available and more below!  View Wrangler InventoryContact Us 2020 Jeep Wrangler Colors: Exterior  There are…

  • 2020 Dodge Journey Interior

    If you’ve been on the hunt around Grand Island and Hastings for a roomy and capable family SUV, Midway Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram is here to introduce you to the 2020 Dodge Journey. The Dodge Journey interior dimensions and Dodge Journey cargo space are spacious enough to keep your kids out of each other’s hair with plenty of leftover room…