AWD vs. FWD: Pros and Cons

2023 Toyota Sequoia Red

Some of the frequently-asked questions we get here at Metro Toyota when customers are shopping for a new car is “What is the difference between AWD and FWD?”. It may not seem obvious at first, between the two modes, but when you break down AWD vs FWD by pros and cons they can be vastly different. Although AWD and FWD share some similarities, there are some key differences that Cleveland shoppers should be aware of before making their purchase, and this is where the team at Metro Toyota is here to help.

The next question we usually get asked is, “Why should I select AWD vs FWD?” To put it simply, choosing between AWD and FWD largely depends on your personal driving needs. Luckily, Metro Toyota has put together this helpful guide comparing AWD vs. FWD to help you make an informed decision.

All-Wheel Drive (AWD)

AWD, or “all-wheel drive,” is a system that consists of three differentials, or gearboxes, on the front, center, and rear of your vehicle. These differentials direct torque from the engine and to the front and rear axles, sending power to all four wheels. This allows them to gain traction independently of each other, which provides superb handling on Parma roads in various kinds of weather conditions.

AWD can also be broken down further into full-time AWD and part-time AWD. Full-time AWD systems constantly distribute torque to all four wheels, whereas part-time AWD operates based on the current road conditions and distributes torque accordingly.

Four-Wheel Drive (FWD)

FWD, or “four-wheel drive,” can also distribute power to the front and rear axles. However, this drivetrain is also able to send a specific amount of power between the left and right wheels, making it great for heavy-duty hauling and other work-related tasks. This is typically why you find FWD systems on trucks.

Is AWD Better than FWD?

So, which is better: AWD or FWD? It turns out there is no black-and-white answer – it all depends on what you plan to use your vehicle for. But more than that, both FWD and AWD can help you get out of tricky situations that standard drive trains simply can’t do. Both drivetrains can help you when the weather turns terrible. To quote My Cousin Vinny (1992) “Anyone who’s been stuck in the mud in Alabama knows, you step on the gas, one tire spins, the other tire does nothing.” If you want a vehicle that can handle heavy-duty hauling and rugged off-road terrain, it’s best to opt for FWD.

On the other hand, you may be looking for a family-friendly vehicle that can provide the additional traction needed while driving on wet and light snowy roads. In this case, an AWD vehicle would likely be the best option for your Brunswick drives. However, it should be noted that in conditions such as ice and deep snow, FWD will give you more total power to keep your vehicle moving than AWD can.

Compare AWD vs. FWD Vehicles at Metro Toyota

Now that you know the answer to, “What is the difference between AWD vs. FWD?” you’re one step closer to cruising home in the AWD or FWD vehicle of your dreams! Peruse our new and pre-owned inventory online, and then contact us to schedule your test drive and compare AWD vs. FWD vehicles in person.


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