Cars 101: What Is All-Wheel Drive?

All-Wheel Drive

When you are searching for a used car, you will be overwhelmed by all the options available to you, especially if cars are not your area of expertise. This month in “Cars 101,” we’ll explore the term “all-wheel drive.”

So, what does all-wheel drive mean?

All-wheel drive (AWD) means all four wheels are getting power—all the time, but in varying amounts. This is different from rear-wheel drive (when the engine only sends power to the rear wheels) and front-wheel drive (when the engine sends power to just the front wheels), and even four-wheel drive.

In AWD vehicles, the engine determines which wheels need more power at which moments. This increases handling and traction. Improved traction means you are less likely to spin out or lose control, especially in snowy, icy, or rainy conditions. This makes AWD more popular in northern states.

While AWD offers this improved traction and thus increased safety, vehicles built on this platform are generally more expensive and have reduced fuel economy. If you are not going to face conditions when you would typically need improved traction, then AWD might not be the driving platform for you.

Have questions about our AWD-equipped models at Chip Wynn Motors? Visit us for more information.