4WD vs FWD vs AWD

4WD vs FWD vs AWD

Most decisions a buyer has to make when buying a car are straightforward – the model, color, trims, and additional features are some of them. However, there is another option that needs to be considered: 4WD, FWD, or AWD.

At Atlantic CDJR, we endeavor to educate our buyers on these terms so that when they buy a vehicle, they choose one that best suits their purpose. What are 4WD, FWD, and AWD? Where do they fit in the overall scheme of buying a car? How does each of them impact driving? Here’s a quick look at what these terms are and how to choose what you need.

Every type of vehicle reacts to different surfaces in a different way. The drive system will impact how each car responds to a particular surface. Some of these drive systems include 4WD, FWD, and AWD.

4WD (four-wheel drive)
Four-wheel drive is best for off-road driving situations, fording shallow and deep waters, climbing over rocks and boulders, and going up steep hills and other low-traction surfaces. Four-wheel drive vehicles have both a low and high gear range.

FWD (front-wheel drive)
Most vehicles for everyday use are front-wheel drive. Here, the engine's power is directed to the front wheels. Vehicles that sport front-wheel drives are space-saving, while rear-wheel drive vehicles are space-robbing. FWD vehicles will suit your purpose if you are looking for a car that won't be used for adventure, but will instead be taken out for drives city limits – or on highways at the most.

AWD (all-wheel drive)
Do not mistake FWD with AWD cars. Marketers and advertisements will try to fool you into believing they are the same, but they both serve different purposes. In the all-wheel drive, the engines feed power to all the four corners of the vehicle. The system delivers the majority of power to either the front or rear set of wheels depending on the road conditions. When slippage is noted on one axle, the engine directs power to the other axle. All-wheel drive is great for slippery road conditions and driving through mud, gravel, sand, and other types of loose surfaces, as well as on moderate off-road terrains.