What is the difference between AWD and 2WD?

By Product Expert | Posted in Community, Comparisons on Friday, December 29th, 2017 at 9:46 pm
What is the difference between AWD and 2WD?

AWD vs 2WD 

Some vehicles have All-Wheel Drive and other vehicles have 2-Wheel Drive.  But what does that mean?  What is the difference between AWD and 2WD?  And how does it affect your driving? 

2018 Honda CR-V with All-Wheel Drive

2018 Honda CR-V with AWD

What is All-Wheel Drive? 

Now as your vehicle runs, power is being created in order to make it go forward or backward.  And as that power is made, it has to be distributed to the wheel systems.  All-Wheel Drive means that the power is being distributed equally to each wheel.  Many AWD systems start as just a 2-Wheel Drive system, but when the vehicle senses a slip or loss of traction, it will activate the AWD system.  This will let you have more traction and control as you drive.  Which is great for when you are towing something, the road conditions are particularly bad or if you go off-road in general. 

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2018 Toyota Camry with 2-Wheel Drive

2018 Toyota Camry with 2WD


What is 2-Wheel Drive? 

2-Wheel Drive is the most common drivetrain on a vehicle.  Whether it’s as Front-Wheel Drive or Rear-Wheel Drive, the key to its operation is just one axle on your vehicle.  Just like with AWD, 2WD distributes power to the wheels, only it will allocate it to the front axle or rear axle (front wheels or rear wheels).  This is usually sufficient for drivers in many different regions, being able to handle rain and light snow falls. 

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Which is better? 

Determining which is better really depends on your driving style and what you need to accomplish.  If you tow a boat or an ATV, then you will probably want a vehicle that has AWD so you can maximize your towing output.  If you just need a vehicle to get you to work and back, then a 2WD vehicle can take care of the job.  But really, it depends on what you want in a vehicle. 

If you have any questions regarding your vehicles drivetrain, you can contact our knowledgeable staff online. 

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