All-Wheel Drive and Four-Wheel Drive: 5 Greatest Cars for You

Compared to a few decades ago, there are many more all-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles today: 45% of new vehicles have one of the two drives.


Compared to a few decades ago, there are many more all-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles today: 45% of new vehicles have one of the two drives. But if you're like most individuals looking for a car, you might be asking what the distinction between the two is. An all-wheel-drive car delivers peace of mind when negotiating muddy terrain on backroads or taking the family on snowy ski holidays if you tend to live more on the wild side. Despite their apparent similarity, the terms have different meanings. When looking for all-wheel or four-wheel drive, some greatest vehicles you can purchase today are listed below, along with an explanation of the differences.

What is All-Wheel Drive or Four-Wheel Drive?

All-Wheel Drive (AWD)

All four wheels are powered continuously when a vehicle has all-wheel drive (AWD). The two varieties of all-wheel drive are full-time or automatic systems, where all four wheels are always powered, and part-time or automatic systems, where two wheels are always driven and the other two engage when the vehicle needs extra traction.

Four-Wheel Drive (4WD)

Off-road vehicles used to be the only ones with four-wheel drive (4WD). All four wheels are propelled at all times for optimal traction nowadays, which is referred to as 4WD. Additionally, 4WD is available in full-time and part-time configurations, with the part-time configuration often implying that the back wheels are always powered up, and the front wheels can be activated as necessary.

Which Vehicle Do You Need, All-Wheel or Four-Wheel Drive?

Even if they only use it occasionally a year, some automobile purchasers feel they should get an AWD or 4WD vehicle. It occurs for individuals who mostly use 26 inch wheels or have a cabin when off-roading. But if you're going to do it sometimes, the advantages probably don't exceed the disadvantages. Keep in mind that AWD and 4WD vehicles are more expensive up front and consume more gas. A car with two-wheel drive can provide you with greater gas mileage if you're looking for a vehicle for your everyday commute.

5 Great All-Wheel-Drive Cars

When purchasing an AWD vehicle, you have many fantastic alternatives. Here are our top picks for the best five all-wheel drive vehicles.

  • Audi Q5

The Q5 costs $43,300 and comes standard with AWD. Its 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, safety features, and other technologies are fantastic options at a premium price range.

  • Honda CR-V

Before adding on additional amenities, the 2017 CR-V has a low starting price of $26,800 with AWD. Any model level can get AWD for only $1,400.

  • Volkswagen Atlas

The Atlas has three rows and costs only $33,900 with AWD. AWD is an extra $1,900.

  • BMW X1

The X1 comes with AWD as an option, but at $35,400, adding it is relatively inexpensive. The overall price increases to $37,400 when AWD is included.

  • Subaru Outback 

One of the few vehicles with standard AWD is the Outback, with a starting price of $27,645. Since you won't need more funds to purchase the car, adding new options will be simple.

5 Great Four-Wheel Drive Cars

If a 4WD vehicle appeals to you, take a look at our list of the top five models:

  • Jeep Renegade 

The Trailhawk trim costs $30,945, but 4WD requires an additional fee. It has an additional inch of height, a cozy interior, and fast handling.

  • Toyota 4Runner

The 4Runner is a tough and spacious off-road vehicle that costs $38,105 with 4WD. It had a standard V6 engine, three rows of seating, and 47 cubic feet of cargo space.

  • Lexus GX 

The GX costs $56,125 and has 4WD as standard. The off-road equipment includes a Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, which continuously modifies the front and rear suspension for the optimal ride, and a Torsen locking center differential, which aids in traction.

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Jeep Grand Cherokee, which costs $39,000 and comes with 4WD, has a lot of space, a standard V6 engine, and a ton of additional equipment, so you can always ride comfortably.

  • Land Rover Range Rover Sport

 Priced at $83,000, the Range Rover Sport is a higher-end model with an option for a V8 engine for even more potent off-roading.


AWD cars use various systems to ensure that power is sent where needed to provide the most traction. Depending on your settings, some vehicles with sophisticated AWD with terrain selection will operate differently. AWD is a good option if you want a car that can handle any situation. You won't hesitate to drive to the far end of that muddy parking lot once you get all-weather confidence.