AWD vs. 4WD Vehicles – What’s the Difference?

2022 GMC Sierra 1500

Have you been looking for a pickup or SUV that will give you more control over our Dayton roads in the winter, or one that you can take off-road? Then you might be wondering whether you should get a vehicle equipped with AWD like the GMC Acadia or 4WD like the GMC Sierra. Is AWD the same as 4WD? What is the difference between AWD and 4WD in rough road conditions? We’ve put together the detailed AWD vs. 4WD comparison below to explain the differences.



Is AWD the Same as 4WD?

Both types of drivetrains provide superior traction and control over the road compared to either FWD or RWD because they distribute power to all four wheels instead of just two. So, is AWD the same as 4WD? Not exactly. Then what is the difference between AWD and 4WD? It has to do with how the power is distributed to those wheels. Here’s how power is sent by each drivetrain:

AWD vs. 4WD – Power Distribution

  • Full-time AWD – Power is sent to all four wheels all the time
  • Part-time AWD – Power is always sent to the front axle, but will also be sent to the rear axle when needed
  • 4WD – Power can be sent to the front or rear axle, but can also be sent to the driver or passenger side.

AWD vs. 4WD – Off-Roading

Springfield drivers who do a lot of serious off-roading might lean toward 4WD vehicles. What is the difference between AWD and 4WD when it comes to going off-road? A 4WD vehicle has the ability to divert power, not just from front to rear, but also from one side or the other, helping you to avoid problems like getting stuck in ruts, for instance. Of course, AWD performs much better than 2WD on the trail, just not as well as 4WD. 

AWD vs. 4WD – Driving in the Winter

What is the difference between AWD and 4WD in the snow? An AWD drivetrain usually performs better on snow or icy roads than 4WD. Snow and ice on the road generally call for balancing the power distribution between the front and rear axles, not so much from side to side. This is what an all-wheel drivetrain specializes in. 

Compare the AWD and 4WD Vehicles at Dave Arbogast Buick GMC

We have a wide selection of both AWD and 4WD vehicles. Why not come down and compare them for yourself? Or you might be interested in one of our lifted trucks for sale. We’d be happy to help you drive home in one of your own. We’re just a short drive away from Sidney. So, drop by or contact us today!


More from Dave Arbogast Buick GMC

  • 2024 Buick Encore GX Trim Levels

    The 2024 Buick Encore GX might be small in stature, but it’s certainly rich in spirit. This nimble SUV delivers luxury and attitude in one of the smallest SUV packages on the market. However, for Dayton and Springfield drivers who own one of the 2024 Buick Encore GX trim levels, big things come in small…

  • 2023 Buick Enclave Towing Capacity

    The Buick Enclave falls into the same category as other prestigious models, continuing the legacy of providing a higher-end automotive experience for Dayton drivers. However, this mid-size SUV also delivers significant performance and top-tier towing capability. How much can a Buick Enclave tow? Well, if you’re looking to tow an enclosed travel trailer, a small…

  • What Are the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Colors?

      Have you done your research and determined that the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 is the pickup truck for you? You’re in great company! The Sierra 1500 is one of the most recognizable names in the truck industry, with years of class-leading specs on its record. So, adding a new Sierra 1500 to your driveway…

Saved Vehicles

You don't have any saved vehicles!

Look for this Save icon

Once you've saved some vehicles, you can view them here at any time.

Dave Arbogast Buick GMC 39.98677, -84.20253.