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1335 Post Road, Darien, CT, 06820

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Dealership Info

Phone Numbers:Sales Hours:
  • Mon - Thu9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Fri9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • SunClosed
Service Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
  • Sat8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • SunClosed
Parts Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Sat8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • SunClosed

AWD vs. 4WD: What’s the Difference?

2022 Land Rover Defender driving on desert road


Is AWD the same as 4WD? Certainly not: These two 4×4 systems have different uses and strengths—but AWD and 4WD are more alike than they are dissimilar. So, what’s the difference between AWD and 4WD? Typically, an all-wheel-drive vehicle uses four driven wheels to distribute engine power equally, responding automatically to changing road conditions. A 4WD vehicle will generally stay in rear-wheel drive or front-wheel drive until part-time four-wheel drive is engaged by the driver, but full-time 4WD systems are not unheard of. Comparing AWD vs. 4WD before you upgrade? We’ve got you covered.

AWD vs. 4WD: Which is Better?

Both all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive are meant to make driving easier. An AWD system is designed to help the driver in slippery conditions, while a 4WD system is made for off-road use. Which one is better: AWD or 4WD? It depends on your needs; neither system is “better” than the other.

When Should You Choose an AWD Vehicle?

Many Greenwich and New Canaan drivers find that an AWD system works well as their only vehicle, and choosing a model with AWD can help you overcome the challenges posed by inclement weather and slippery conditions. 

Modern AWD systems will generally operate just like FWD or RWD until conditions demand that the second axle is engaged. This means that AWD systems often offer better gas mileage and greater convenience than 4WD systems, but at the expense of some capability.

When Should You Choose a 4WD Vehicle?

A 4WD system, on the other hand, is for drivers who need to go off road and don’t want to be limited by terrain. Because a 4WD system has to be engaged manually, it’s best for drivers who are comfortable with the extra work. And if you choose a model with full-time 4WD, you can expect to spend more on fuel. 4WD systems can occasionally feel somewhat cumbersome in urban conditions, but they can often respond to uneven terrain much more effectively than their AWD counterparts.

Land Rover & Range Rover: Four-Wheel Drive or All-Wheel Drive?

Range Rover four-wheel drive technology is legendary. The company’s Terrain Response® system offers unparalleled control in some of the world’s most rugged terrain, while still driving smoothly on the road—but is your Range Rover all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive? Drivers actually choose between several modes. When “Auto” is selected, the vehicle acts like an AWD system; when “Off-Road” or “Grass/Gravel/Snow” is chosen, the vehicle operates like an 4WD system.

While this doesn’t exactly line up with the commonplace definitions for each type of system, it does offer the best of both worlds. For Stamford-area drivers who need to conquer tough terrain, this system offers proper 4WD capability; for drivers who want more fuel-efficient operation or limited-slip capability on softer surfaces, this system acts like an AWD vehicle.

Browse the Land Rover AWD & 4WD SUVs at Land Rover Darien!

Is AWD better than 4WD? Why choose when you can enjoy the advantage of both systems with a new or used Land Rover? Contact us today to learn more about your options or schedule a test drive at our dealership in Darien!

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Land Rover Darien 41.0706283, -73.4770915.