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What Is the Difference Between AWD & 4WD?

Winter tire wheels using 4WD

Honda all-wheel-drive technology is one of the best in the business. You’ll have all the stability and traction you need on the Sparta Twp roads when you opt for a new Honda vehicle with AWD. With that being said, you may be wondering, “is AWD the same as 4WD?” 4WD stands for four-wheel drive and it is technically different from AWD.

But, which is better, AWD or 4WD? Find out today with our experts at Sussex Honda. There are certainly differences between AWD and 4WD and we’re going to help you decide if AWD or 4WD is a better fit for your Hackettstown lifestyle. Continue reading and we’ll help you go over the following:

  • What is the difference between AWD and 4WD?
  • Is AWD the same as 4WD?
  • Is AWD better than 4WD?



Difference Between AWD & 4WD

So, what’s the difference between AWD and 4WD? The main difference between AWD and 4WD is how they work. Traditionally, AWD systems are found in car-based vehicles and crossovers while 4WD is offered in trucks and body-on-frame SUVs. With that being said, before we can go over, “Is AWD better than 4WD?” let’s take a look at how AWD and 4WD systems work:


All-wheel drive typically works without any driver input. As you drive around Denville, the AWD system will continuously work to offer you the most amount of traction. AWD systems typically use sensors to sense wheel slippage and provide traction to the wheel that needs it most. AWD systems work through a differential to send power to the front and rear axles.

The two most common types of AWD systems are part-time AWD and full-time AWD. Full-time AWD means that all four wheels have power being sent to them at all times and part-time AWD means that the front or rear wheels have power sent to them at all times until wheel slippage is detected. Many Honda vehicles utilize AWD.


AWD and 4WD may seem similar at first glance since power is sent to all four wheels when traction is needed but the main difference is that four-wheel-drive systems are typically more robust. 4WD systems are typically more mechanical and utilize a series of differentials to provide power to all four wheels.

4WD systems can also be full and part-time with part-time 4WD. Part-time 4WD will typically need driver engagement when you want power to be sent to all four wheels. When enthusiasts traditionally talk about 4×4 drivetrains, they’re referring to 4WD. Most trucks and body-on-frame SUVs utilize a robust four-wheel-drive system.

Which is Better: AWD or 4WD?

Now that we’ve gone over AWD and 4WD systems, how do you know which one is better for your Denville travels? There are plenty of advantages to AWD and 4WD with both offering more capabilities for your drives. With that being said, which is better, AWD or 4WD? AWD is best for most drivers as it provides more than enough traction.

AWD is a great option for when you want maximized fuel efficiency compared to 4WD while also enjoying more stability. On the other hand, 4WD is better for adventurers that regularly traverse off the beaten path. It’s more robust and is better for rugged terrain.

Find Out if AWD or 4WD is Better for You With Sussex Honda!

If you still want to decide between AWD or 4WD for your drives, our team at Sussex Honda can help! Reach out to us online today or stop in at our Newton dealership for further assistance. We can’t wait to begin working with you.


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