AWD vs. 4WD: What is the Difference?

2020 Nissan Kicks

All-wheel drive and four-wheel drive both have the potential to improve your performance and stability on Cherry Hill-area highways and backroads, but there are many important differences between AWD and 4WD. Our comprehensive guide to AWD vs. 4WD covers all of the most crucial distinctions in drivetrain design and performance so you can find the perfect model in our inventory.

Which is Better: AWD or 4WD?

Is AWD the same as 4WD? Certainly not–but is AWD better than 4WD? This question is a little more complex! While neither is technically better, one or the other may be better for your needs.

So, what is the difference between AWD and 4WD? Here’s what you should keep in mind:

  • Four-wheel drive predates modern all-wheel drive, and AWD is generally more complex.
  • Four-wheel drive delivers consistent power to all four wheels when the system is engaged. This is especially helpful in off-road environments or on vehicles that need to move lots of heavy cargo.
  • Many four-wheel drive systems are button-activated, which means they need to be manually engaged by the driver.
  • AWD combines the efficiency of 2WD with the performance advantages of 4WD. This is especially true in the case of Nissan Intelligent AWD™, a full-time AWD system that delivers power when you need it and efficiency when you want it.

Is AWD the same as 4WD where performance is concerned? Although it might seem nice to drive a new vehicle that delivers consistent power to all four wheels, this extra power comes at the cost of fuel economy. For this reason, drivers who don’t need a vehicle for off-roading have every reason to prefer Nissan Intelligent AWD™.

What is Nissan Intelligent AWD™?

If you’re comparing AWD and 4WD, you should know that Nissan all-wheel drive technology is in a league of its own. Here’s what makes Nissan Intelligent AWD™ so unique:

  • Nissan AWD relies on a center differential in order to redistribute your vehicle’s power at a moment’s notice.
  • AWD is engaged automatically whenever you start from a standstill, move around a curve, or encounter terrain which causes a momentary loss of traction.
  • In other circumstances, your vehicle will supply power to two of your four wheels–the two front wheels, in most cases.

AWD vs. 4WD in the Nissan Lineup

Nissan AWD is available on many cars and crossovers in our current lineup; Nissan 4WD is reserved for large SUVs, trucks, and commercial vans! Here’s a comprehensive list of your options:

Vehicles with Nissan AWD

Vehicles with Nissan 4WD

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