Which Wheel Drive to choose? While buying a car, one holds many choices such as either going with a luxury car or a SUV. Some prefer to go with a vehicle with large cargo space, while some opt out a fuel-efficient vehicle. While shopping for a car, it is common to hear terms such as “four-wheel drive”, “all wheel drive”, “two wheel drive”. But if one is not a car enthusiast, it is quite difficult to understand them. So, to make it easier to know what these wheel drives are all about, here is an easy explanation of different wheel drive used in vehicles.
Four Wheel Drive:-
In general, four wheel drive or 4WD or 4*4 or Four By Four is a four wheeled vehicle with a drivetrain that allows four wheels to receive torque from the engine. 4WD is generally used on large SUVs designed to use the extra traction of 4WD in off road situations. This drive offers the maximum amount of grip and stability available in a car. They are best used in snowy, or rainy conditions are they are less likely to slide.
As the name suggest, All-Wheel Drive refers to drivetrain that drives all four wheels. In all-wheel drive vehicle, the engine powers the transmission, from which power goes to transfer case. The transfer case gearing splits the transmission output along the front axle and rear axle, and as a result of it, the engine drives all four wheels at the same time. AWD is useful in slippery regions where tires may get different amount of grip from moment to moment. The perfect example of AWD is Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. AWD might not be as robust as 4WD, but it does have its own advantages.
Both 4WD and AWD drive all four wheels, but four wheel drive need to be activated by button or lever or may be automotive. While an all-wheel drive vehicle is always active. 4WD is on vehicles that are used in rough terrain and have deep-rigid tires, i.e. trucks, pickups and SUVs, while AWD are found commonly on sport cars and SUVs.
As the name suggest, two-wheel drive only drives two wheels. Most cars, trucks usually come with a two-wheel drive as a standard drivetrain option. It could come either with a front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive depending upon the type of the vehicle. In front-wheel drive car, the engine is placed at the front and rotates the front wheels. In rear-wheel drive car, the engine is at the front, while in some sport cars engine is placed in the rear or in the middle. Out of these two, rear-wheel drive cars are better in performance, while in harsh or bad weather condition, front-wheel drive offers better driving. Front-wheel drive is used in family cars that offer good fuel economy.
Two-wheel drive vehicles offers better fuel economy and are reduced weight. One should go with two-wheel drive if one lives in a mid-climate with little snow and rain. If one lives in snowy or icy regions, then all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicles helps to move the vehicle. To be precise, if one lives in areas where roads are covered with deep snow. Then 4WD vehicles are better than AWD vehicles. As far as budget is concerned, two-wheel drive vehicles are typically less expensive than 4WD and AWD vehicles because drivetrain in two-wheel drive is less heavy and complex. Plus, the fuel economy of vehicles with all-wheel drives is bad. So one have to pay a little more on fuel. Choosing a vehicle with particular drivetrain is certainly buyer’s choice. But one should remember to consider both pros and cons associated with each drivetrain while buying a vehicle.