Difference Between AWD and 4WD

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport on the road

When shopping for a vehicle with AWD and 4WD, you may be asking yourself, is AWD the same as 4WD? The answer is no. While both AWD and 4WD can provide you with added traction when Knoxville roads get slippery, AWD stands for all-wheel drive and 4WD means four-wheel drive. With this guide from Ole Ben Franklin Motors, we’ll take a look at the difference between AWD and 4WD and determine which one fits your Farragut lifestyle better. Browse our full inventory of new vehicles and come visit our dealership to get behind the wheel of a capable new car today!

Is AWD the same as 4WD?

When you’re shopping for a new vehicle to take on Sevierville adventures, you’ll come across the term all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. This will leave you wondering, is AWD the same as 4WD? While it’s easy to confuse the two, let’s take a look at the difference between AWD and 4WD and what they mean:


AWD stands for all-wheel drive. What this means is power from the engine is sent to the front and rear axles to all four wheels via a differential. The two most common AWD systems are full-time AWD and part-time AWD. Like their names suggest, full-time AWD means power is sent to the front and rear axles all the time and part-time AWD means power is sent to the front and rear axles when slippage is detected. AWD is typically found on crossover vehicles like the new Eclipse Cross.


A traditional 4×4 drivetrain is typically referred to as four-wheel drive (4WD). While 4WD is the same as AWD in that all four wheels can receive power in the front and rear axles, 4WD is also able to direct power between the left and right wheels as well. In most cases, 4WD systems are regularly built into truck-based vehicles. If you’re searching for something that’s rugged to take off the beaten path around Seymour, you’ll want a vehicle with 4WD.

Is AWD or 4WD Better?

While each drivetrain is purposefully designed, you’re probably wondering if AWD or 4WD is better than the other. Truthfully, the answer depends on your specific needs. AWD vehicles are typically good enough for most drivers that are concerned about slippery roads. AWD can generally provide enough traction in inclement weather. However, if you’re concerned about traction in off-road conditions and you’re looking for something that might be more robust, you’ll want to consider a vehicle with 4WD.

Purchase a Capable Vehicle from Ole Ben Franklin Motors Today!

Whether you want something with AWD or 4WD, we have the vehicle you need. Looking for a capable vehicle? Consider browsing our used Chevy truck inventory for a budget-friendly and dependable workhorse. If you’re not seeing anything you like, feel free to utilize our online vehicle finder service and we’ll notify you when we find your perfect vehicle. We look forward to meeting you at our Knoxville dealership and can’t wait for you to join the Ole Ben Franklin Motors family. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

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