AWD vs. 4WD: What’s the Difference?

2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Blue

Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and RAM vehicles offer a wide selection of new cars with AWD and 4WD. So, if you’re shopping for a Jeep Wrangler or a RAM 1500, you might be wondering about the difference between AWD and 4WD. Although they’re often used interchangeably, these two drivetrains aren’t the same. Below, you can decide whether you want AWD or 4WD based on their strengths and functionality.

What is AWD?

AWD is “all-wheel drive.” Torque is directed from the engine to the front and rear axles — and to all four wheels through the differentials. There’s more than one type of AWD system, such as full-time AWD and part-time AWD. Full-time AWD transfers torque to both axles 100% of the time. Meanwhile, part-time AWD systems keep tabs on road conditions and send torque to the front axle only if necessary. Examples of models from the CDJR lineup that have AWD include the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Charger.

What is 4WD?

4WD is “four-wheel drive.” This is a traditional 4×4 system; the main difference between 4WD and AWD is that 4WD systems can configure the amount of torque sent to the left and right wheels. AWD is a solid pick for off-roading as well, but 4WD systems were designed to deliver maximum off-road performance. Examples of models from the CDJR lineup that feature 4WD include the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and RAM trucks.

Which is Better: AWD or 4WD?

Is AWD better than 4WD, or is it the other way around? The truth is that it depends on your priorities and needs. In general, AWD vehicles usually prove to be the best option for most suburban drivers looking for extra traction in inclement weather and bad weather conditions, while 4WD vehicles prove a better choice for those seeking the most rugged off-road conditions or onsite truck utility for a job.

Shop Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram AWD & 4WD Models at Tate Branch Hobbs!

To summarize, is AWD the same as 4WD? No. While both are capable of directing torque to both the front and rear axles, 4WD can control the power sent to the left and right wheels. AWD is available in full-time and part-time systems, which operate in different ways. Test drive a CDJR with AWD or 4WD at Tate Branch Hobbs today! Contact us online or call us at 575-552-8980 to schedule an appointment. Browse our CDJR research hub to learn more about the CDJR models and features!


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