What is the Difference Between AWD and 4WD?

Winter tire wheels using 4WD


With a range of six new automakers and countless used options available, when you shop with Suntrup Automotive Group, it’s easy to find your dream ride. If your plans include enhanced safety and greater capabilities, you may be comparing AWD vs. 4WD. But what is the difference between AWD and 4WD? While some St. Louis drivers use the terms interchangeably, when you look at AWD vs. 4WD, you’ll find some important differences.



Now that we know there are, in fact, differences between AWD and 4WD, you may be asking, “is AWD better than 4WD?” Neither option is necessarily better, but each drivetrain suits the needs of different St. Charles drivers. If you need to take on the Fenton worksite, a 4WD Nissan truck may be perfect for you. On the other hand, if you want added control on your luxury commute, an AWD Genesis is ideal. Luckily, you can shop these brands and more when you turn to Suntrup Automotive Group. Learn more about the difference between AWD and 4WD below!

What is AWD?

All-wheel drive (AWD) is a drivetrain configuration that sends engine torque through the front and rear axles to all four wheels via differentials. There are several different kinds of AWD systems to explore, including full-time AWD and part-time AWD.

As their respective names imply, full-time AWD systems send torque to all four wheels all the time, while part-time AWD configurations monitor road conditions to decide where the engine power should be sent. At Suntrup Automotive Group, you can find a range of models with AWD like Hyundai SUVs and high-performance Kia sedans.

What is 4WD?

Four-wheel drive (4WD) is often referred to as a 4×4 drivetrain. The main difference between 4WD and AWD is that a 4WD system can direct power from side to side in addition to front and back. Generally, 4WD models are preferred by workers who traverse tough job zones and off-road enthusiasts who need precise power while getting off the beaten path.

Which is Better: AWD or 4WD?

So, is AWD better than 4WD? As we mentioned above, both options offer important advantages for specific drivers, so one can’t really be considered “better.” In general, AWD models are great for everyday driving and the occasional bad weather. 4WD options are better suited for drivers who need heavy-duty capabilities during work or play.

Browse AWD & 4WD Models at Suntrup Automotive Group!

For you, which is better, AWD or 4WD? If you’re still uncertain about whether an AWD or 4WD model is right for you, contact us today. Our team is here to help evaluate your automotive needs to point you in the direction of your ideal upgrade. What’s more, our financiers are standing by to help you score a great deal. Visit your local Suntrup Automotive Group location to enjoy incredible service today.


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