Differences Between AWD And 4WD Trucks

Do you know the differences between AWD and 4WD trucks? If not, then this guide is for you. The 4WD and AWD are trucks whose transmission system sends power to all the wheels. Such kinds of trucks are reliable and powerful. But is there any notable difference between 4WD and AWD? After reading this guide, you will find a concrete answer to that.

Differences between AWD And 4WD Trucks

In this guide, we will be looking at the similarities as well as the differences between AWD and 4WD trucks.

All-Wheel Drive Truck

In an AWD truck, the power from the engine powers all the wheels. The AWD has two types of drivetrains. One that drives all the wheels continuously or full-time AWD. The second one is the part-time AWD or automatic AWD.

Full-Time AWD

In full-time AWD, both front and rear axles receive power from the engine. The torques are controlled depending on the nature of the driving surface. The torque variation makes it handle better in any kind of terrain.

Part-Time AWD

The part-time AWD transmission will send torque to only two driven wheels, either the rear or the front wheels. The part-time AWD will automatically engage all the wheels whenever the road demands extra traction. It has a series of sensors that senses the driving terrain to enable it to engage the AWD system

Pros And Cons of AWD

When driving an AWD truck, you will not need to do anything to engage the wheels. All the wheels receive full-time power, or the system will change the torque automatically depending on the driving terrain. The AWD system is computer controlled, and the decision it will make is better than that made by human beings.

The AWD system can never take extreme off-roading or rock crawling. The AWD might not offer you the full fun if you love serious adventure.

Another disadvantage of AWD is the consumption of more fuel. The engine will burn more fuel to produce energy for all four wheels.

4WD Truck

The 4WD is the traditional system that is known to almost everybody. The typical Truck with 4WD has high ground clearance, a shielded underbody, and very big tires. But currently, the engineering technology of 4WD has advanced to provide luxury and comfort beside the 4WD capabilities. There are two types of 4WD, the full-time and part-time 4WD.

Full-Time 4WD

The full-time 4WD transmission operates the same way AWD operates, and all the wheels continuously receive power from the engine. Such type of 4WD sends power to all the wheels by default.

Part-Time 4WD

The part-time 4WD is the traditional 4WD and common in most trucks that work in extreme conditions. Most part-time 4WD trucks are rear-wheel drive by default.

Pros and Cons of 4WD

The main advantage of 4WD is that you will be confident when driving in adverse conditions. They can handle rugged terrain and crawl on rocks. They are also good for towing loads.

The off-road control enables trucks to maintain a set speed under five miles per hour as you off-road. The technology enables the driver to get through any obstacle.

The main disadvantage of 4WD transmission is its poor ride quality, which is due to the heavy-duty suspension. It also consumes a lot of fuel.


The 4WD and the AWD are almost similar, but differences arise from their level of aggressiveness. The 4WD can handle tougher roads and terrains as compared to the AWD. 

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