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4WD vs 2WD vs AWD: What’s Best for SUVs

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If you’re in the market for a new SUV, you may be wondering about the differences between 4 wheel drive (4WD), all wheel drive (AWD), and 2 wheel drive (2WD). While all three of these types of vehicles offer superior power and performance, it’s important to understand the nuances of each in order to make an informed decision.

All of these drivetrain technologies perform differently in various driving circumstances, if you have to pick with one which is best. In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between 4WD, AWD, and 2WD SUVs so you can choose the right one for your needs.

4WD vs 2WD vs AWD | courtesy of O’reilly auto parts YouTube

Four wheel drive (4WD) SUV

Four wheel drive (4WD) SUVs are designed for superior off-roading performance. Unlike AWD or 2WD vehicles, 4WD SUVs feature a transfer case that can be engaged to lock the four wheels together and provide added traction when navigating difficult terrain.

This is especially useful for climbing steep hills or traversing muddy or wet surfaces. However, 4WD SUVs tend to be less fuel-efficient than other types of SUVs due to the additional power required to drive all four wheels.

All wheel drive (AWD) SUV

All wheel drive (AWD) SUVs are a great choice for drivers who want the added traction and handling of 4WD, but don’t need the more extreme capabilities. AWD SUVs have a transfer case that can be engaged to lock the front and rear wheels together for added grip in slippery or uneven conditions. Unlike 4WD SUVs, AWD vehicles are typically more fuel-efficient since the transfer case is only engaged when necessary.

2 wheel drive (2WD) SUV

Finally, 2 wheel drive (2WD) SUVs are designed for everyday driving and are the least expensive of the three types of SUVs. 2WD vehicles only have power sent to the rear wheels, which can provide adequate traction in most driving conditions. However, 2WD SUVs are not designed for extreme off-roading and may struggle in wet or muddy conditions.

Which drivetrain technology is right for you?

When it comes to picking the right type of SUV, it’s important to consider how you’ll be using the vehicle. If you plan on doing a lot of off-roading, a 4WD SUV may be the best option.

If you’re just looking for an everyday vehicle with good handling, an AWD or 2WD SUV may be the way to go. Whichever type of SUV you choose, you can rest assured that you’ll be getting a powerful and reliable vehicle.