Auto Broker: All-Wheel Drive vs. Four-Wheel Drive


Many car-buyers nowadays are switching from wagons, sedans, and minivans to the high-riding crossovers and SUVs. Switching to these crossovers and SUVs has created a lot of buyer confusion. As a result, many potential buyers are contacting an auto broker or auto concierge service to help explain these differences and to help determine which vehicle is best for them.

Most new car manufacturers offer crossovers and SUVs, so there are plenty of options to consider. So many options in fact that it can be overwhelming. Contact an auto concierge service or an auto broker in Los Angeles to help explain the differences between the two. Though most models for this segment come with either all-wheel drive (AWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD), and to many, these terms are interchangeable. However, that is incorrect. They are not the same. All-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles don’t drive the same, nor can they be driven equally on the same surfaces. An auto concierge in Los Angeles can guide you through how and when each vehicle type can be driven. The auto concierge will recommend which vehicle type is best for you based on your specific needs.

Auto Broker In Los Angeles: AWD vs. 4WD

Even though all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles each gain power to its four wheels from the engine, how the power gets to each system is significantly different. Which one you choose often has a substantial effect on your fuel efficiency, the weight it can carry, and the kinds of terrains it can run on. Let’s dive in deeper to understand both systems. Hopefully, the explanation of each below will clear up any confusion. If not, you can contact an auto broker in Los Angeles or, better yet, contact Open Road Auto Concierge for the professional guidance you need.

What Is Four-Wheel Drive (4WD)?

Often referred to as a four-by-four (4X4), the 4WD system is most frequently associated with vehicles designed and built to be able to handle rougher, unpaved terrains not seen on typical roads. Four-wheel drive vehicles such as the Jeep Wrangler is built to scale extreme conditions

With a 4WD, the system sends power to all four wheels in equal amounts without controlling the delivery, and each wheel spins at the same rate as the others. This equal power split is great for maneuvering through robust pathways. The equal power to each wheel helps create traction in extreme conditions. However, it doesn’t do quite as well on pavements, making basic tasks like turning around much more complicated than they should be. If the 4WD system is engaged while driving on dry pavement, it could damage the system.

What Is All-Wheel Drive (AWD)?

All-wheel drive as a system is a much more novel innovation, and although considered to be more complicated, it is also more user-friendly. Where 4WD aims to give each wheel equal power, AWD varies the amount of power that goes to each wheel, and this system remains active throughout.

Though it isn’t as robust as 4WD in terms of acute power or off-road capabilities, it is better suited for all types of weather and can function well on the pavement. The transfer of power to each wheel occurs automatically to optimize traction, thus improving safety while driving on slippery surfaces. The driver doesn’t feel the power transfer to each wheel while driving either. Unlike 4WD, the AWD system doesn’t need to be manually engaged. All-wheel drive is all the time. Few people engage in extreme off-roading; therefore, all-wheel-drive functionality makes it much more attractive for regular car buyers who want the safety benefits, but who are not trying to head out on an extreme adventure.

That being said, there are still pros and cons to each system. The pros and cons depend on intended usage, maintenance, and cost. So, if you are unsure about which system to choose, you may want to get the help of a car-buying service, such as Open Road Auto Concierge, who can offer you expert advice.

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