Before You Buy, Make Sure You Understand the Difference Between AWD and 4WD


Off road capable vehicles are seemingly more popular now than ever before. With all the trucks, SUV's, and crossover vehicles available, there is certainly no shortage of options out there.

While similar, there can be many differences between all of these types of vehicles. One of the most important differences to be aware of is the different drivetrains that are available.

All-wheel drive is a system that operates in one mode only. The vehicle is always in all-wheel drive. This setup uses three differentials (one in the front, one in the center, and one in the rear) to distribute power to all four wheels. It will electronically monitor traction and will redistribute power accordingly if slippage is detected, giving the vehicle the most traction at all times.

Four-wheel drive vehicles put that control in the hands of the driver. The driver can decide and switch between 2WD, 4WD, and 4WD LOW. Most of the time these vehicles (typically trucks and SUV's) will ride in 2WD mode to save gas, and then the driver can switch to 4WD as needed, engaging the transfer case and front differential to provide power to all four wheels.

If you are ready to find your next AWD or 4WD vehicle, then come and see the experts here at Capitol Ford Lincoln LLC in Santa Fe and let us go over all of the options with you.
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