The Difference Between AWD and 4WD

Winter weather is undeniably upon us, meaning that now is a more important time than ever to employ your all-wheel drive (AWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD) models to help you safely get to your destination.

Many - attempting to get to work in their front-wheel drive (FWD) models - are learning the hard way that it's important to distinguish the differences between these options early.

So what exactly is the difference between AWD and 4WD? Both will make a huge difference when driving in the snow, compared to a FWD vehicle.

Specifically, AWD applies the power equally to each wheel, allowing you the best traction you can get. The power starts with one set of wheels, and when the vehicle detects some slipping, the power is shifted to the other set.


The 2016 Chrysler 300 is just one of the many AWD vehicles we offer!

This means that AWD will be helpful for off-road conditions, but it is ultimately best-suited for changing weather patterns. If your front wheels slip on some sudden black ice, your AWD will switch power to the back wheels and help you out.

Meanwhile, 4WD is more designed for hardcore, off-road conditions, such as plowing over boulders or trudging through water. 4WD is synonymous with Jeeps like the 2016 Wrangler.


All wheels can be powered equally in 4WD, the driver can choose to switch from one set to another, and some models can detect and do the switching on their own.

This means that 4WD is of course helpful in the snow, as well as during your off-road adventures.


So next time your morning commute feels more like a the antartic than Atlanta, remember both AWD and 4WD will be helpful in the snow, but most AWD vehicles are more automatic and most 4WD vehicles are designed for drivers who want manual control in extreme conditions.

To check out the many AWD and 4WD vehicles we have available, visit us anytime at Cronic CDJR! 


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