Since the decade of 1980, the number of cars, SUVs, and trucks has grown remarkably, in which all the four wheels get equal power from the engine. We categorize these vehicles as the all-wheel-drive (AWD) or four-wheel-drive (4WD) ones. After the 4WD and AWD had come into the picture, the popularity of two-wheel drives have reduced drastically.
As suggested by the Chevrolet dealer Kalkaska experts, to understand what it matters for a vehicle to be either a two-wheel-drive, four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive system, we need to know the entire drive package that they are consistent of. Be it the engine, transmission, the wheels that are driven by the engine or the differential, how the power gets distributed in each of these driving systems.
Difference with Two-Wheel Drives
Some large vehicles like trucks, SUVs and big-sized cars run on rear-wheel-drive (RWD) systems. In this system, a long driveshaft transmits the power from the engine to the driven wheels that are at the back of the vehicle. In such system a differential is generally used to let the power come from the driveshaft and make a 90-degree turn to get to the wheels. These are known as two-wheel-drive vehicles.
Four or All Wheel Drives
To start with both the Four-wheel-and all-Wheel drive systems we need to know that they are usually found on those vehicles that have shielded underbodies, raised ground clearance, tow hooks and that run on big and knobby tires.
The AWD systems can be found commonly on everything from the low-slung sports cars to every kind of SUVs that are knobby-tired models having high-clearance. Usually the all-wheel-drive systems can be found in two broad styles.
- Part-time or automatic AWD in which the vehicle operates mainly in front-wheel-drive mode as the power gets delivered to all the four wheels only when it is needed.
- Full-time AWD that directly delivers power to all the wheels during the entire driving time, which though appearing almost similar to that of 4WD system without having any extreme low range specially acquired for the purpose of heavy-duty off-road driving.
Four-wheel-drive systems too come in both part-time and full-time versions and can be used in trucks and SUVs. They are primarily designed for the purpose of off-road driving. While the Part-time systems start operating in two-wheel-drive mode till the driver or an on-board computer chooses for all four wheels to take up the work.
As explained by the experts of the Chevy dealer Kalkaska, Some of the AWD systems even offer what is commonly known as torque vectoring, in which the sensors direct the engine power to the wheels with the maximum amount of traction irrespective of the ends or sides they are on to drive efficiently on both smooth pavements as well as on gravel roads.
The Bottom Line
To round up, there is no such “best” drivetrain that can rule out the necessity of others, as each kind of drivetrain has their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. But yes, depending upon your driving needs and the kind of commute the vehicle is going to face, one can choose between the drive systems among which the 4WD and AWD systems do add some substantial weight, a bit of complexity and an extra cost to the price of the vehicle.