AWD vs. 4WD.

10 January, 2020

Which is right for you?

So, you’ve carefully considered your lifestyle and narrowed your selection of new car down to an all-wheel drive (AWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD). Both options are able to send power from the engine to the front and rear wheels, enabling superior traction and acceleration on unpaved dirt roads or in slippery conditions. However, there are also subtle yet significant differences between the two that are worth keeping in mind.

Trying to decide which one best suits your individual driving needs? We’re here to guide you in the right direction.

To get started, let’s define what the terms AWD and 4WD actually mean, along with the key features and benefits of both.

What is AWD?

An all-wheel drive system is a drivetrain employing a front, rear and central differential to provide torque to all four wheels on the vehicle. This system distributes power evenly for optimal traction when required as well as smooth operation in regular driving conditions.

Features and benefits of AWD include:

  • No need for driver input: AWD generally operates without the driver needing to make decisions about when and how to engage it. The system itself runs continuously or senses when it is required.
  • All-round performance: AWD operates well in varying conditions, making it a reliable all-rounder throughout the seasons and in different locations.
  • Better fuel economy: When driving conditions permit, AWD vehicles can also operate in two-wheel drive mode which enhances fuel economy.
  • Broad choice: AWD is widely available across a range of vehicle types from compact cars and sedans to trucks and SUVs, giving buyers plenty of choice and flexibility.

What is 4WD?

A four-wheel drive system is a drivetrain employing two differentials and a transfer case to provide torque to all four wheels on the vehicle.

Features of 4WD include:

  • Driver autonomy: With traditional part-time 4WD, the driver decides when to actively engage the vehicle’s 4WD, while in some full-time 4WD systems the driver can control the distribution of power that’s delivered to the front and rear axles.
  • Robust performance: 4WD systems are specifically designed to handle all adverse conditions and challenging terrains, both on-road and off-road.
  • Built for extremes: 4WD vehicles are ideally suited to managing the most extreme conditions such as steep grades, snow, or when carrying a very heavy load.

Hyundai AWD comparison

These days AWD is widely considered to be a more advanced system of delivering power to all four wheels.

If you’re looking for a vehicle with strong continuous/automatic traction and the flexibility to drive smoothly even as conditions change beneath your wheels, Hyundai has some excellent all-wheel drive vehicles to match your preferences.

Hyundai Kona: With its AWD transmission, the Kona loves a challenge. And as comfortable as it is tackling city traffic, it also loves getting dirty. The electronic AWD system automatically divides traction between the front and rear wheels depending on conditions and driving parameters, allowing for all power to go to the front wheels or in a 50:50 split.

Click here to learn more about the Hyundai Kona.

Hyundai Tucson: If you’re looking for a fully-featured mid-size SUV with AWD transmission that’s as durable and powerful as it is comfortable, the Tucson could be the car for you. The stylish Tucson navigates city streets with ease yet is equally well built for those great outdoor adventures.

Click here to learn more about the Hyundai Tucson.

Hyundai Santa Fe: To keep your large family safe on and off the road while still enjoying a vehicle that offers space, style and luxury, consider the class-leading 7-seater Santa Fe. In normal conditions the Santa Fe operates as a 2WD vehicle, with power then automatically redistributed between the front and rear axles when a loss of front-wheel grip is detected.

Click here to learn more about the Hyundai Santa Fe.

Want to experience the many advantages of a Hyundai all-wheel drive vehicle? Book a test drive with Hyundai today!

And click here to find out about the great savings available with Hyundai’s offers!