AWD vs 4WD

30 Mar 2024

Before moving from Florida to the Rockies we bought an AWD Subaru. So what’s the difference between All Wheel Drive and Four Wheel Drive?

Traditional 4WD locks the front and rear driveshafts together so the front and rear axles turn at the same speed, great for deep sand and mud, not so great on paved roads. Because the inner and outer wheels turn at the same speed in a turn, 4WD on paved roads can bind the drivetrain wrecking it.

In contrast, AWD powers each wheel independently so it can rotate at its own speed: great for driving on icy roads.