Two-, Four-, or All-Wheel Drive

January 17 2019,

Two-, Four-, or All-Wheel Drive

Two-wheel drive versus four-wheel drive — of course, there’s a difference! But wait, what do you mean four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive aren’t the same things? When it comes to shopping for your next car, these terms can all start to blend together, but there are actually a few key differences (and multiple variations) of each drivetrain. Whether you use your car for off-roading or running errands around town, Bartow Ford, your Lakeland area Ford dealership, can help you decide which drivetrain is best for you.

Two-Wheel Drive
Two-wheel drive, or 2WD, means two wheels are receiving power from the engine simultaneously. It’s usually found in one of two setups: front- or rear-wheel drive. This is great if you live in a mild climate that has little rain or snow.

  • Front-Wheel Drive: This is the standard on most vehicles. Power is channeled to the front wheels. Since most weight is positioned over the front wheels, this offers better traction.
  • Rear-Wheel Drive: Power is channeled to the rear wheels. Vehicles with rear-wheel drive can handle more horsepower and higher vehicle weights.




All-Wheel Drive
As the name suggests, all-wheel drive, or AWD, powers all the wheels at once. All of the wheels receive torque, equally distributing power and optimizing the car’s traction. AWD is great for slippery conditions, like ice, snow, and mud, adding additional traction for safer handling. There are two versions of AWD: full-time and part-time.


  • Full-Time: Both the rear and front axles are driven at the same time.
  • Part-Time: Torque is sent to two driven wheels. This can be the front or rear wheels, depending on the make and model of your car.



Four-Wheel Drive
Also referred to as four-by-four, 4x4, or 4WD, four-wheel drive is typically an option for vehicles designed and built to handle the outdoors. Whether full-time or on-demand, 4WD provides torque to all wheels at once. Each wheel will spin at an equal and constant rate. Unlike AWD, 4WD’s equal split of power is specifically designed to handle rough terrain. If you love offroading, opt for 4WD.

Knowing the differences between two-wheel, all-wheel, and four-wheel drive can help you decide which vehicle is right for you. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, your Lakeland area Ford dealership, Bartow Ford, can help. With a great selection of cars and a knowledgeable team, we can help you make sure you get a car you love! Chat with us online, or call us at 800-303-4016.


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