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AWD vs. 4WD: What’s the Difference?

2022 Mazda CX-5 parked outside


If you’re looking for a new vehicle for your Fort Worth commutes, you may have come across AWD and 4WD models. So is AWD the same as 4WD? In short, no. Learn more about the difference between AWD and 4WD with our team at Hiley Mazda of Hurst in Hurst and we can help you find the new SUV or car you’re looking for to enhance your Dallas drives.

What is AWD?

AWD, or “all-wheel drive,” is a drivetrain configuration in which torque is directed from the engine to the front and rear axles to all four wheels via differentials. When you take a closer look at this system, you’ll find that there are a couple of different AWD systems, including full-time AWD and part-time AWD. 

Full-time AWD systems send torque to the front and rear axles all the time, while part-time AWD systems are able to monitor road conditions and driving behavior in order to decide when it makes sense to send torque only to the front axle.

What is 4WD?

4WD, or “four-wheel drive,” is a traditional 4×4 drivetrain. The main difference between 4WD and AWD systems is that while 4WD systems can send power to the front and rear wheels, they can also direct a specific amount of power between the left and right wheels. In general, if you’re an avid off-roader, you’ll want to drive a model with 4WD.

Which is Better: AWD or 4WD?

So is AWD better than 4WD or is it vice versa? This depends on your priorities and driving needs. In general, AWD models prove to be the best option for suburban drivers in need of extra traction in bad Hurst weather. If you’re in need of a rugged off-roading model, then a 4WD model might be the better choice.

Browse the Mazda AWD & 4WD SUVs at Hiley Mazda of Hurst!

No matter if you’re looking for a new vehicle or used AWD SUV, we have what you need. Browse our inventory online today or contact our team to learn more about our models, 4WD SUVs, and more. We can also help you get pre-approved.

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Hiley Mazda of Hurst 32.8199514, -97.2082537.