Understanding the Real Difference Between All-Wheel-Drive and Four-Wheel-Drive

At a casual glance, many people get confused as to the meaning of four-wheel drive and all-wheel-drive definitions because they assume that they are alluding to the same thing. In part that is true because they both cause all four wheels of a vehicle to engage and increase traction on the driving surface of the road. That, however, is where the similarity ends.

Four-wheel-drive operates by utilizing a lower gear level and with a split differential. It is found mainly in pickup trucks and oversized off-road SUVs. The primary use for these vehicles is off-road and in rugged terrain situations.

The all-wheel-drive systems send an equal amount of power to each wheel so that a smooth and even driving experience is created. If road conditions change per wheel appropriate power is sent to that location. All-wheel-drive is found in sedans, high-performance vehicles, and crossovers. This configuration is excellent for driving on roadways that are slick and treacherous from heavy rain, ice, or snow.

To explore the options available in the Santa Monica area, be sure to rely on our staff at Santa Monica Ford!

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