All-Wheel Drive vs 4-Wheel Drive

Wondering about the difference between all-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive? While many Apex drivers believe that these terms are interchangeable, all-wheel drive cars and 4-wheel drive cars are different. Hendrick Buick GMC Cary takes a look at the differences between the two systems and also discusses all-wheel drive advantages and disadvantages. Before you peruse our inventory, it’s a good idea to learn the basics. Let’s get started!

All-Wheel Drive And 4-Wheel Drive: The Basics

With all-wheel drive vehicles, power is constantly sent to both the front and rear wheels. AWD typically works without any input from the driver. However, in some vehicles, you will find selectable modes that let you determine how much and where that power goes.

With 4-wheel drive, torque is sent to each wheel to boost traction when necessary. 4WD systems are usually designed to be able to handle the toughest terrain. Most systems allow the driver to select from high or low ranges. Drivers choose the low range for the highest level of traction when off-roading. High ranges are best for slick road conditions, whether that be from snow, ice, gravel, or sand.

All-Wheel Drive Advantages And Disadvantages

What are the pros and cons of an AWD vehicle? Here are a few AWD advantages and disadvantages to help you decide if this performance-boosting feature is right for you.


  • Increased traction
  • Increased resale value
  • Added peace of mind


  • Weight and gas mileage
  • Complexity of the system
  • Cost

All-Wheel Drive vs 4-Wheel Drive: Which Is Right For Me?

If you are trying to decide which system is best for your driving needs, keep the following information in mind:

  • If you want control of your vehicle’s driving characteristics or plan to tow on slippery surfaces, you may want to opt for 4WD.
  • If you want the system to do all of the thinking for you and you don’t want to worry about damage caused by wheel hop, AWD may be your best choice.

Both the GMC Terrain and Acadia are available as AWD SUVs, while the Yukon, Sierra, and Canyon are 4WD. If you’re looking for a Buick model, you can get the Encore, Regal TourX, Envision, and Enclave are all available as AWD models.

Find Your Perfect Vehicle At Hendrick Buick GMC Cary

If you are you in the market for an all-wheel drive SUV or truck near Raleigh, turn to the team at Hendrick Buick GMC Cary. Here you will find a variety of new and used options with AWD or 4WD. If you have any questions about which system would provide you with the most benefit, the experts at our dealership would be glad to help. Contact us today if you have any questions about performance, including the GMC Acadia towing capacity, Buick Envision towing capacity, and Buick Enclave towing capacity!