Pros and Cons of All Wheel Drive Vs. 4 Wheel Drive

all wheel drive vs. 4 wheel drive

When you’re after a new vehicle, you’ll inevitably face the debate of all wheel drive vs. 4 wheel drive. Which is best?

There’s no easy answer, but we can help you decide for yourself. There are pros and cons of both, and we’ve outlined them all below so you can see what might be best for you.

Interested? Keep reading below to find out more.

All Wheel Drive

As a rule, all wheel drive works without any input from the driver of the vehicle. Power is distributed to each wheel in such a way that the traction of the car is optimized.

However, there’s a difference between full-time AWD and part-time AWD — with full-time AWD, the front and rear axles are both driven constantly, while in contrast, part-time AWD sends torque to two driven wheels.


All wheel drive means that the driver has fewer decisions to make. It’s also available on numerous different vehicles, so be sure to check out our range to see what’s on offer.

Generally, it’s ideal if you’re driving in suburban areas where you might need a little extra traction in extreme weather conditions.


AWD is generally less adept when it comes to driving in off-road conditions, and as you’re driving the car on all four wheels, it’s likely to reduce the lifespan of the tires.

It also adds weight to the vehicle and decreases fuel efficiency. As it’s a more complex system when compared to 4 wheel drive, it can make the vehicle more expensive too.

4 Wheel Drive

In contrast to all wheel drive, 4 wheel drive is perhaps more traditional and gives torque through the front, rear, center differentials, couplings, and transfer cases. As a result, your vehicle can operate at maximum traction — particularly in inclement weather conditions.

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4 wheel drive vs all wheel drive on ice and other dangerous conditions — it’s no contest. With more pulling power, 4 wheel drive can help you get out of less-than-ideal situations, like a wheel being stuck in the mud.

It also tends to have higher vehicle clearance, which is better when off-roading, and as you can switch it off, it’s more fuel-efficient too.


You shouldn’t be engaging 4WD on regular ground like dry pavement—just make sure that you turn it off when driving on pavement.

It’s not suitable for all driving conditions, and you run the risk of using more fuel and adding weight to the vehicle when it’s engaged.

All Wheel Drive vs. 4 Wheel Drive: What’s Best for You?

When it comes to the all wheel drive vs. 4 wheel drive debate, it’s not easy to give a definitive answer, as they both have their respective benefits and drawbacks. Ultimately, it depends on what you’re looking for from your vehicle.

Do you want something that handles off-road conditions with relative ease or something more suburban? A car to handle everyday life or a vehicle that can handle even the most rugged terrain?

If you’re considering getting a new vehicle and you’d like to discuss your options, contact us, and we can help you out.

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