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Comparing 4×4 and AWD – What’s Really The Difference?

In the automotive industry, there might be some things that are just a touch confusing for those who aren’t necessarily certified mechanics. Sometimes, these things are confusing on purpose because maybe a manufacturer is looking to throw a little bit of a marketing curveball in your direction just makes things sound fancier than they are or in some way different but other times, there are distinct differences between systems that might seem to be similar. Perhaps something is exactly the same but the manufacturer wants to make this “thing” look better than it really is. When it comes to differentiating between all-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive, is there a stark difference to look at?

Obviously, both of these systems are going to have something to do with the rotation of the wheels and which wheels have power to them. However, while they might sound similar and accomplish a similar function when all is said and done, the way that all-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive systems accomplish maximum traction are drastically different. In fact, depending on what kind of driving you do, there might be a big reason that you want to pick one over the other as you will definitely find that one seems to be quite an advantageous over the other for people who are just keeping their vehicle on the road and looking for an assist when the weather gets poor as opposed to someone who is looking to go off-roading regularly.

If you follow along with the video below from Engineering Explained, we get the usual breakdown that you can come to expect from this outlet with plenty of information to back up the differences between the two systems. After you get your way through this one, you might just find that one of these systems tickles your fancy more than the other when maybe you originally thought they were both the same thing!