AWD vs. 4WD: What’s the Difference?

Mercedes-Benz Tire


If you’re shopping around Oakville for a new Mercedes-Benz model, and you’ve seen mention of both AWD and 4WD drivetrains, we understand if you thought AWD is the same as 4WD — afterall, they have similar names and similar concepts. If you’re wondering what the difference is between AWD and 4WD, or, “Which is better: AWD or 4WD,” read our handy guide. We’ll break down the differences between AWD and 4WD and once you’re done reading, explore our inventory and fill out a pre-approval to take the next step with Mercedes-Benz Burlington in Burlington. We’ll help you determine whether AWD or 4WD is right for you.

What is AWD?

AWD stands for “all-wheel drive.” Is AWD the same as 4WD? Nope. What is the difference between AWD and 4WD? For starters, let’s define AWD, so you can reference the concept when exploring 4WD. In this drivetrain, torque is sent from the engine to the front and rear axles via differentials. There are two types of AWD drivetrains: part-time and full-time. In part-time AWD system, torque is sent to the front and rear axles as needed in response to read conditions. In full-time system, torque is sent to the front and rear axles continuously.

What is 4WD?

4WD stands for “four-wheel drive,” otherwise known as 4X4. Where traditional AWD systems send power to the front and rear axles, 4WD systems send power to the front and rear axles, and can also send specific amounts of power to the left axles and right axles. This simply means that your 4WD makes your vehicle even more tractable and responsive. You’ll find this drivetrain on many trucks and off-road vehicles.

Which is Better: AWD or 4WD?

Is AWD better than 4WD? No. Both drivetrains serve different needs. AWD requires less power than 4WD, and is great for increasing traction on wet or icy roads in Milton. It’s not as powerful as 4WD, which is great for driving off-road or balancing out handling while towing heavy loads. That said, AWD is more efficient. Determining which drivetrain is right for you is a matter of deciding whether you need increased traction for safety purposes (AWD) or off-roading and towing purposes (4WD).

Experience the Difference Between AWD & 4WD in Burlington

Now that you’ve read about what the difference is between AWD and 4WD, the best way to determine if AWD is better than 4WD for your Mississauga commute it is to compare AWD vs. 4WD with a test drive. Call Mercedes-Benz Burlington at 877-557-3007 to book yours. We’ll make sure that you make an informed decision when you choose between AWD and 4WD. If you have other questions about vehicle systems or shopping for vehicles, be sure to check out our Mercedes-Benz parts tips and car buying guides.


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