Should You Buy an All-Wheel Drive or Four-Wheel Drive Vehicle?

All-Wheel Drive or Four-Wheel Drive? Confusing as it might seem, they are actually two different things that you shouldn’t interchange from each other.

While both types drive use differentials to transfer power to all four wheels, All-Wheel Drive (AWD) is mostly used to describe cars and small-to-medium crossovers like Honda CR-V.

Four-Wheel Drive (4WD), on the other hand, typically refers to trucks and larger SUVs with truck-based platforms like the Toyota 4Runner. They have an added option of doing mechanical engagement and disengagement to all four wheels. This allows for better traction that helps when driving in off-road or rough terrain.

Should You Buy an AWD or 4WD?

Here are the Pros

You should really look into purchasing an All-Wheel Drive or 4-Wheel Drive if you live in places with rough, uneven terrain, sandy places, or unpaved roads. Not only do they help reduce your chances of getting stuck in a hole or fast-moving sand, but they also allow you to drive through them with relative ease. They're also a good choice if it rains in your place a lot, since they offer good traction and towing on wet roads as well.

These types of vehicles also have good resale value, especially if you're selling it to people who live in places where roads are unpaved--or where it rains a lot. They are also popular among construction companies that use sturdy vehicles to carry heavy items, like cement and wood.

Here are the Cons

Now, let's go to the other side: when shouldn't you buy an All-Wheel Drive or 4-Wheel Drive vehicle? They're not for you if you aren't willing to spend a lot on fuel. These vehicle types are notorious for chugging a lot on fuel because of their heavier weight and engine. In fact, expect to lose 5 to 10 percent of combined fuel economy when you drive a 4WD pickup truck.

Moreover, they're costlier to maintain, since you need to make routine engine oil changes to keep it in tip-top shape. Other lubricant changes are needed as well, and they all require extra cash to burn.

People also have this notion that AWD and 4WD vehicles have good stopping or braking power--but that’s further from the truth. These cars are built to help with more efficient acceleration and traction power--not lessening braking distances at short amounts of time. In this case, they brake just like any two-wheeled vehicle (2WD) sold in the market today.

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