How to Decide Between All-Wheel Drive and 4-Wheel Drive

November 5th, 2020 by

choosing the right vehicle at a dealership

Summers in Florida bring torrential rain which often causes drivers to lose control and hydroplane. Continue reading to learn more about All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and 4-Wheel Drive (4WD) so you can decide which system provides the traction you need to handle these extreme weather conditions safely.

AWD vs. 4WD

What Is AWD? 

The main goal of AWD is to provide you with the traction you need when you need it without requiring any additional work from the driver. In dry conditions, this means that most AWD vehicles handle more smoothly than their counterparts. In slick or icy road conditions, this means that torque is directed to the tires that need it to ensure you can remain in control. 

Because AWD requires power to be directed to all four wheels, cars with AWD tend to be a little pricier than models that go without and may have lower gas mileage as well. You can avoid this by searching for a part-time AWD system which only activates AWD when absolutely necessary. 

What Is 4WD? 

Think of 4WD as AWD on steroids. Vehicles equipped with 4WD typically come with higher clearance, more robust wheels, and more torque to help you handle adverse weather conditions such as deep snow or to equip your car for off-roading. While snow isn’t a likely culprit in Florida winters, torrential rain and sand can be equally as dangerous if you aren’t equipped. 

One of the perks of 4WD is that you have greater control over every ride. Many cars come with different driving modes to help direct torque where you need it to tackle the task ahead. Some models also allow you to toggle between 4WD and Front-Wheel or Rear Wheel drive to help improve fuel economy. 

Which Is Right for Me? 

Which traction system you need essentially comes down to two variables: weather and lifestyle. If you’re the type of person who wants to enjoy the great outdoors where the terrain can get tough fast or if weather conditions are known to take a turn for the worst, then 4WD is recommended. If, however, you are looking for a reliable car that will take you to and from work in every season, then AWD should be sufficient. 

Explore Your Options in West Palm Beach, FL

Our team at Schumacher Auto Group is ready to help you find the car that best suits your lifestyle. We have an impressive variety of AWD and 4WD cars for sale in West Palm Beach, FL. Contact us today to schedule a test drive.

Posted in Helpful Tips