What's Best On Snow: 4WD or AWD? | Fort Wayne, IN

What's Best on Snow: 4WD or AWD? | Fort Wayne, IN

If you're shopping for a winter-ready car, you might be thinking of going for one with more traction and control built in. Here we'll look at whether 4WD or AWD is the best option.

Four-Wheel Drive

As the name suggests, four-wheel drive systems can send power to all four wheels of a vehicle. In the earliest iterations, the driver would actually have to exit the car to manually set the 4WD when they needed more traction. Now 4WD can be turned on and off with a simple switch from inside the cabin. 

Most 4WD systems have a gearing option designed to provide maximum traction when stuck in deep snow, or when tackling a snowy hill. For that reason, they're great for drivers who anticipate needing to maneuver through snow in more rural areas. However, 4WD doesn't add much in the way of braking and cornering, so it may not be the best for those doing a lot of city driving in the winter.

All-Wheel Drive

Like 4WD, AWD vehicles send power to all four wheels. But instead of something you turn on, this system is always on. AWD vehicles also tend to include a greater ground clearance, and some even come with additional systems to improve traction and handling.

For regular snow commuting and winter driving, AWD is the safer pick. It won't be as good for off-roading, but it will help you keep a more stable ride in slippery conditions.

Winter-Ready Models at Tom Kelley Dealerships

Each of our Tom Kelley stores offer a rotating stock of excellent used models, many of which are equipped with AWD. Keep an eye out for great choices like the Ford Explorer, the Buick Enclave, the Volvo S60, and the Chevy Trax, and contact us if you have any questions.

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