Patriot Chevrolet Breakdown: All-Wheel Drive vs. Four-Wheel Drive

As part of our commitment to customer satisfaction, Patriot Chevrolet wants our buyers to be educated on all things car-related. Although terms like “all-wheel drive” and “four-wheel drive” may sound the same, these similar terms have very different definitions and capabilities. Let’s explore these two terms and what they mean for drivers.

All-Wheel Drive

All-wheel drive is an option in popular models like the Chevy Equinox. AWD-equipped vehicles engage all four wheels when driving, with some systems offering part-time capability. All-wheel drive is effective when you need a bit of added grip on the road or a slight boost in traction when you’re going off the beaten path, but most AWD systems aren’t quite as rugged as the 4WD systems found in larger Chevy SUVs and our Chevy trucks.

All-wheel drivetrains are a bit heavier than a front-wheel or rear-wheel drivetrain. This can lead to slightly lower fuel economy numbers, but the gap has narrowed in recent years. Many drivers willingly make that trade-off for the added traction and sense of security.

Four-Wheel Drive

The four-wheel drive system in a truck like the Chevy Silverado 1500 sends power to all four wheels, too, albeit by a different route. Four-wheel drive vehicles also apply torque to all four wheels, but mechanical differentials make these vehicles more robust for towing, hauling, and off-road applications.

Four-wheel drive systems will often be paired with other specialized Chevy parts. Depending on the trim and options you choose, you may find upgrades to the differential, the suspension, all-terrain tires, and numerous other components that help you wring the most from every ounce of torque.

As you can see, even though these terms seem similar to the untrained eye, they have drastically different applications in the car world. Remember, knowledge is power when buying or maintaining a new Chevy vehicle. For help understanding these and other common automotive terms — for new cars, parts, or service — reach out to your Chevy dealer serving Limerick today for answers.