2WD, 4WD and AWD Explained

In the automotive industry, there’s a fair amount of jargon to learn. Take 2WD for instance. What sets that apart from AWD? Here we’ll help you understand the differences between 2WD, 4WD and AWD and which you should choose.



2WD vehicles use either front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive, where either of the pairs gets all of the power and pulls along the other wheels. This is common in smaller cars, and is the standard for most. It’s a little trickier to drive in extreme weather conditions, but still very possible. Go with front-wheel drive for the best 2WD handling in snow or rain.



Four-wheel drive is an on-and-off features that the driver can then turn on when needed. Once on, 4WD sends power to all four wheels, making it easier to control the vehicle in snow, mud, or any sticky situation. 4WD is ideal for drivers in very snowy climates.



Like 4WD, all-wheel drive uses all four wheels. However, AWD is always on and operates by using sensors to detect which wheel needs the most power at any given time. In other words, your car will correct itself if it begins sliding. However, since you’re relying on computers, you won’t always get the best response in extreme conditions. For that reason, AWD is best for those that live in areas with light rain and snow.





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