What is the Difference Between AWD and 4WD?

2019 Cadillac Escalade


The 2022 Cadillac Escalade offers Bay Shore drivers the option of a RWD or 4WD powertrain. However, many Farmingdale area commuters do not know the difference between AWD & 4WD vehicles. Is AWD the same as 4WD? Is AWD better than 4WD? Read the AWD and 4WD comparison guide from the Atlantic Cadillac service team to find out what is the difference between AWD and 4WD models.



What is AWD?

Drivers that are wondering the difference between AWD and 4WD vehicles should first know about the AWD powertrain. AWD, or “all-wheel drive,” is a drivetrain configuration where torque is taken on a path from the engine to the front and rear axles to all four wheels via differentials. With that being said, many drivers may be wondering, “Which is better: AWD or 4WD?” and before we can answer that, let’s take a look at the different types of AWD systems:

  • Full-time AWD systems: Torque is sent to the front and rear axles consistently.
  • Part-time AWD systems: Road conditions and driving behavior are monitored and torque is sent to the front or rear axle as needed.

Many new Cadillac vehicles like the Cadillac XT6 have an AWD system. But, if you are wondering, “Is AWD better than 4WD?” keep reading below to learn more about AWD and 4WD value propositions.

What is 4WD?

Is AWD the same as 4WD? Is there a significant difference between AWD & 4WD specs? Drivers wondering, “Which is better: AWD or 4WD?” should know that 4WD offers the following:

  • 4WD, or “four-wheel drive,” is a 4×4 drivetrain.
  • The main difference between AWD and 4WD is that, while 4WD systems distribute power to the front and rear axles, they’re also able to distribute a specific amount of power between the left and right wheels.
  • AWD and 4WD powertrains are usually found in new vehicles with unibody frames and truck-based platforms like the new Cadillac Escalade.
  • 4WD systems are perfect for Smithtown off-road adventures or camping trips with the family.

Which is Better: AWD or 4WD?

Melville drivers often wonder, “Is AWD the same as 4WD?” and “Is AWD better than 4WD? Or is it the other way around?” Whether you choose an AWD or 4WD vehicle varies based on your needs. In general, AWD vehicles usually prove to be the best option for most commuters looking for extra traction in inclement weather and adverse road conditions, while 4WD cars are the perfect proposition for commuters looking for a vehicle for off-road adventures and for job sites. Drivers that want to add to their AWD or 4WD performance specs can take advantage of parts specialsto customize their vehicle at a great price!

Browse the Cadillac AWD & 4WD SUVs at Atlantic Cadillac!

Now that you have learned what is the difference between AWD and 4WD configurations, stop by our dealership to test drive these models. Contact us to schedule your appointment!


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