The jumble of alphanumerics that make up the terms AWD and 4WD are complex enough on their own, before one realizes they mean very similar things with important differences. Both systems deliver an engine's power to all four tires, but in different ways. The overall gist of those differences boils down to AWD generally being made to improve on-road performance, while 4WD systems are geared specifically for heavy duty off-road situations near Buffalo. To learn more about AWD vs. 4WD, and the difference between AWD and 4WD, read on.

AWD or 4WD: What is AWD?

AWD stands for All Wheel Drive, and is generally used in cars and lighter crossovers and SUVs. Vehicles like the Escape and Edge are built for on-road use, and their available AWD systems include a variety of sensors and programming to make driving as easy and safe as possible. One drawback of powering all four wheels is a loss of fuel economy because of extra drivetrain loss, but the intelligent AWD systems on modern Fords get around that by only engaging AWD when necessary on a moment-to-moment basis. This is called part-time AWD, and combines the stability of AWD with the high efficiency of a front wheel drive vehicle. Is AWD better than 4WD? On the street, generally speaking, yes. But for heavier vehicles that see more time spent off the beaten path, that changes.

AWD and 4WD: What is 4WD?

4WD stands for Four-Wheel Drive. "FWD" means Front Wheel Drive, and is not applicable here. 4WD, or Four-Wheel Drive, vehicles are built to handle situations where one or more wheels have a complete loss of all traction, such as when a wheel is in the air while others are not. Being able to routinely handle these situations marks 4WD trucks as off-road masters, capable of handling the most grueling of terrain far beyond Lockport streets. The F-150, especially its off-road focused variants, are great examples of 4WD systems.

Is AWD better than 4WD? Which is Better: AWD or 4WD?

So, that begs the question, which is better: AWD or 4WD? As with many engineering-related questions, the answer depends on the application. For moving around Grand Island and achieving optimum efficiency while providing solid all-weather stability, AWD is best. 4WD systems tend to be heavier, because they are meant for heavier duty work. For any vehicle meant for off-roading, 4WD is a must.

Basil Ford of Niagara Falls has Your AWD & 4WD SUV Lineup!

Now that you know what is the difference between AWD and 4WD, and whether or not AWD is the same as 4WD, come by Basil Ford of Niagara Falls to test drive the AWD or 4WD vehicle of your choice! We have a full selection of AWD and 4WD vehicles ready for drivers near North Tonawanda to experience. Be sure to check out our specials, and we hope to see you soon!