If you’re at an auto mall shopping around for a new car, truck, or SUV, you’ve probably come across the terms four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD). These refer to the type of drivetrain that the vehicle uses, which determine how power is provided to its wheels. Queens Auto Mall, a leading car superstore in Richmond Hill, NY, shares some insights on the differences between the two and which one would fit your needs.
What Are the Differences Between a 4WD & an AWD?
A 4WD drivetrain, also often referred to as 4x4, is usually utilized on off-road vehicles. It works by delivering power from the engine to the transmission to the transfer case. It distributes power between the front and rear axles, applying torque evenly to each wheel. This ensures that all of the wheels spin at the same speed, which is suitable for climbing but not ideal for turning. That’s why most modern 4WDs have either an electronic or physical switch that turns this feature on, allowing you to choose when to use the added traction it provides.
AWD is a more recent concept that is also more complicated. Unlike 4WDs, which are typically used on all-terrain vehicles, AWDs are being featured on low to high-end sedans and SUVs. The main difference between the two drivetrains is that an AWD is active at all times. It also employs three differentials, front, rear, and center, as opposed to two for 4WDs. This allows the system to distribute torque between the front and rear axles using the center differential, and to each wheel using the front and rear differentials. An AWD system uses sensors that monitor wheel speed, traction, and other information, and a computer that determines to which wheel power is sent.
What Should You Choose?
This depends entirely on what you will be using the vehicle for. If you plan on driving off-road or climbing steep inclines often, you should get a 4WD vehicle at your favorite auto mall. For most drivers, however, AWDs would be more advisable, as they tend to have more balanced weight distribution, which provides better traction and performance.
Regardless of which system you prefer, you shouldn’t let it limit your options, as you won’t be needing it too often anyway. If you need more advice on what type of vehicle to get, visit Queens Auto Mall in Richmond Hill. Serving clients from all six boroughs and the rest of the East Coast, this auto mall has a huge inventory of used and pre-owned cars you can purchase through dealership sale or public auction. Call them at (718) 523-9090, or check out their website to view what they currently have.