What is the Difference Between AWD vs. 4WD?

Winter tire wheels using 4WD


Here at Capital GMC Buick, we carry a wide range of AWD and 4WD vehicles, any one of which can provide the enhanced traction and control you want in even the most challenging White City-area weather and road conditions. Some of the common questions we hear from drivers trying to decide between AWD or 4WD include:

  • What is the difference between AWD and 4WD?
  • Is AWD the same as 4WD?
  • Is AWD better than 4WD?

While many use the terms “all-wheel drive” and “4-wheel drive” interchangeably, these systems offer their own unique capabilities. Learn more in this AWD vs. 4WD comparison, then check out our current inventory to find the AWD or 4WD vehicle that will best suit your lifestyle and driving needs.

What is AWD?

  • With an AWD drivetrain, torque is directed from the engine to the front and rear axles and to all four wheels via the differential.
  • Full-time AWD systems send torque to the front and rear axles all the time, while part-time AWD systems monitor road conditions and driving behavior to deliver torque to all wheels only when needed.
  • AWD systems are available on the Buick Encore, Buick Envision, and Buick Enclave, as well as on the GMC Terrain and GMC Acadia.

What is 4WD?

  • 4WD is a traditional 4×4 drivetrain.
  • The main difference between 4WD and AWD is that, while a 4WD system sends power to the front and rear axles, they also are able to direct a specific amount of power to the left and right wheels when necessary.
  • 4WD systems are designed for off-road performance built into vehicles with truck-based, body-on-frame platforms such as the GMC Yukon, GMC Sierra, and GMC Canyon.

Which is Better: AWD or 4WD?

Is AWD better than 4WD? It will depend on what you will be using your vehicle for. AWD vehicles are a better option for suburban drivers who want better handling and increased traction on Lumsden-area roads. 4WD vehicles are preferable if you plan on enjoying off-road adventures outside of Moose Jaw or if you require a heavy-duty pickup truck to meet the demands of your job site. The best way to decide between AWD or 4WD is to schedule a test drive at our dealership in Regina.

Choose Your AWD or 4WD Vehicle Today at Capital GMC Buick!

Are AWD and 4WD the same? There are some key differences between the two that you should take into consideration before choosing your next Buick or GMC model. Our friendly and knowledgeable sales team will be happy to help you choose the AWD or 4WD vehicle that will best suit your needs while ensuring that you get the best deal possible by taking advantage of our current new vehicle specials. Please reach out to us if you have any questions.

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