Thompson Sales Compares All-Wheel Drive, 2-Wheel Drive, and 4-Wheel Drive

November 11th, 2019 by

Car Tire Driving in Snow

When buying a new vehicle, one of the most important factors to consider is the drivetrain. Potential car buyers can select from three different capabilities: all-wheel drive, two-wheel drive, and four-wheel drive. Each comes with unique advantages, so you should take the time to research them and make the right decision. Today’s blog post from Thompson Sales looks at each of these options to help you determine which one is right for your next vehicle. 

All-Wheel Drive

All-wheel drive (AWD) is exactly what the name suggests. In these systems, the vehicle’s engine sends power to the front and rear wheels at all times. There are two different sub-drivetrains that carry the AWD label — Full-time AWD and Part-time AWD.

Full-time AWD sends power to all wheels continuously, no matter what the driving conditions. Part-time AWD, or automatic AWD, mostly functions in a two-wheel drive mode, but power can be diverted to all four wheels when necessary, such as when additional traction is needed during wet weather or on curvy roads. 

The biggest benefit of AWD compared to ordinary four-wheel drive is that drivers don’t have to decide when to engage power for two-wheel drive or AWD. Both full-time and part-time AWD will do that automatically based on the car’s computer assessment of driving and road conditions.

Two-Wheel Drive

Two-wheel drive (2WD) vehicles are vehicles that send power to two wheels. Two-wheel drive cars can use one of two setups: front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive means the front wheels receive the power, while the opposite is true of rear-wheel drive vehicles. 2WD systems are beneficial in mild climates that don’t have excessive rain or snow. Drivers usually rely on AWD or four-wheel drive systems when there is heavy snow or rain. 

Four-Wheel Drive

Four-wheel drive (4WD) is very similar to AWD in the sense that all four wheels can have power routed to them. However, 4WD is the more traditional system in the sense that it is not as dynamic. AWD vehicles are always engaged, deploying power as necessary when faced with snow or rain. Many 4WD vehicles do that as well if they are full-time, but the biggest difference is that 4WD cars are built for more rugged terrain. While both 4WD and AWD have similar power functions, 4WD vehicles are better built for more adverse conditions. 

Contact Thompson Sales for AWD, 2WD, and 4WD Vehicles

If you’re looking for a new vehicle, Thompson Sales has a variety of vehicles with AWD, 2WD, and 4WD capabilities. Our sales team can help you find the vehicle of your dreams. For more information on these vehicles, call (417) 763-6811 or contact Thompson Sales today.

Posted in Driving Tips