How is AWD Different from 4WD?

All-Wheel Drive and Four-Wheel Drive both provide better traction, but do so in different ways.

When you drive in a vehicle equipped with four-wheel drive (4WD), you'll often have to turn the feature on and off manually. There's a good reason for that. While 4WD does provide better traction, it makes it so that all of your wheels are working at the same time. That can be hard on the road and burns through fuel at a much higher pace.

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All-Wheel Drive (AWD) also provides better traction but is generally an automated feature. Onboard computers monitor your tires and the road in tandem. When the computer senses that your vehicle is struggling, it directs more power to the tires that will be most effective. This helps to stabilize your car when it's slipping and can also help you get through obstacles like snow and mud.

Both 4WD and AWD are useful in their own way:

  • Drivers intent on taking their vehicle off-road may prefer something equipped with 4WD. While AWD is capable, it's mostly automated. 4WD allows the driver more control over when they use it. This can come in handy if you're traveling across rough terrain where you feel you need more power.
  • AWD is often preferred by drivers with a more casual approach to the road. If you'd rather not worry about deciding when to switch better traction on and off, all-wheel drive may be the better choice rough terrain where you feel you definitely need more power.

Both four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are usually packaged as optional upgrades. Many vehicles, even at their base-model level, can access them, though. If you invest in a higher-level trim model, you may also find that features like AWD are included as part of the package. When you shop at Burdick Mazda, you'll find new Mazda models that can deliver AWD. Come and visit us today at our location in Cicero, NY.

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