Pros and Cons of 4WD and AWD

You’re ready to shop for the vehicle that’ll drive your dreams, but the choices are endless. One important decision has to do with the drive system – do you need all-wheel drive (AWD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD)?

We’ve compiled a list of pros and cons for each system to help you decide which vehicle is right for you.

All-Wheel Drive


  • Dynamic design continuously distributes power to the wheels with traction
  • Sportier handling and improved traction and control
  • Available in a wide variety of cars


  • Adds weight and reduces fuel efficiency
  • Limited off-road capabilities
  • A more complex system, which raises the cost of a vehicle

4-Wheel Drive


  • Superior traction in extreme off-road conditions
  • Higher vehicle clearance
  • Typically can be turned on or off


  • Adds weight and reduces fuel efficiency
  • Should not be used on dry pavement
  • More expensive repairs

Hopefully these help you lean one way or another, but before you decide, think about your driving style. Are you more of an off-road type, or do you want something sportier? Are you looking for an everyday vehicle, or more of a recreational ride? Ultimately the decision is yours. If you’re really on the fence, your local car dealership may be able to give you more details.

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Related Topics: On The Road , Car Buying , Car Safety , Safe Driving