What is the Difference Between AWD and 4WD?

Winter tire wheels using 4WD

As you’re on the hunt for a new Chevrolet AWD or 4WD capable vehicle, you’re sure to wonder, “what is the difference between AWD and 4WD? Explore which option is the right choice for you on adventures around Birmingham with Hendrick Chevrolet Hoover. Read on to find out if AWD is the same as 4WD or if AWD is better than 4WD. Then, browse our inventory of Chevrolet SUVs and crossovers.

All-Wheel Drive

When searching for a new vehicle around Vestavia Hills, drivers will find that SUVs and AWD capability go hand-in-hand. However, what is AWD vs. 4WD? All-wheel drive, or AWD, is a common drivetrain configuration where torque is applied from the engine to the front and rear axles and all four wheels using differentials, yet the drivetrain can be further separated into full-time AWD and part-time AWD. Vehicles with full-time AWD distribute torque to the front and rear axles constantly, while vehicles with part-time AWD monitor the road conditions and driving behavior to choose when it’s best to send torque to the front axle. AWD systems are commonly found on vehicles with unibody frames like the new Chevy Blazer

Four-Wheel Drive

The differences between AWD vs. 4WD become apparent when considering the type of driving drivers prefer. Four-wheel drive, or 4WD, a traditional 4×4 drivetrain often seen on vehicles geared toward maximum off-road performance. Some drivers may think AWD is the same as 4WD, but while 4WD systems direct torque to the front and rear axles, they also direct a specific amount of power between the left and right wheels. Bessemer drivers gearing up for an off-road adventure will find impressive 4WD capabilities on truck-based platforms. 

Choosing AWD vs. 4WD: Is AWD Better Than 4WD?

To truly decide if AWD is better than 4WD, drivers should consider their priorities and needs on the roads around Bessemer. When it comes to the daily commutes or errands around town, families will find the AWD gives them the best option for increased traction during inclement weather and bad road conditions. However, drivers who find themselves seeking adventures on rugged terrain or increased utility for the jobsite will find 4WD vehicles are the best choice. 

Discover AWD and 4WD Vehicles with Hendrick Chevrolet Hoover!

Now that you know the answer to, “Is AWD the same as 4WD,” explore their differences by contacting our team at Hendrick Chevrolet Hoover to test driver new Chevrolet SUVs and crossovers. Learn more about top Chevy SUV models like the 2021 Tahoe or Equinox.


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Main 205-383-1619 Sales 205-383-1619
1620 Montgomery Hwy
Hoover, AL 35216
Contact Us

Contact Us

Main 205-383-1619 Sales 205-383-1619
1620 Montgomery Hwy
Hoover, AL 35216
Hendrick Chevrolet Hoover 33.3999, -86.80624.