There are a lot of factors to consider when getting behind the wheel of a new car, with one of the most important being the type of drive system you prefer. At Thompson Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram (CJDR) of Harford County, our team aims to take the guesswork out of car buying, so we put together this helpful comparison between all-wheel drive (AWD) and four-wheel drive (4x4) systems.

Read on to learn more and contact us if you have any questions about the right system for your Edgewood, Bel Air, or Aberdeen lifestyle.

Advantages of All-Wheel Drive (AWD)

Advantages of 4x4 (4WD)

Part-time or Full-time

More Robust and Found on trucks and SUVs

Can power just front wheels until all wheels needed

Send power to front and rear axles

Can be Better on Gas

Directs power to left and right wheels

Advantages of All-Wheel Drive

All-wheel drive, as indicated by its name, provides power and traction to all four of your wheels so that you can sail through tricky situations like heavy rains or snowy mornings. Typically, AWD offers two systems, part-time and full-time, allowing you to choose the amount of control you need for your specific lifestyle. 

For example, the Dodge Journey has an available AWD system that powers the front two wheels until it senses that power is needed at the rear wheels, as well. This helps you stay in command when the roads start to become slick.

Advantages of 4WD

Understanding the difference between all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive can be tricky. All wheel drive powers all the wheels, but cars have four wheels, so what's the difference? Well, there isn't much difference in how these systems work, since they both power all of the wheels to create a stable ride. However, 4x4 systems are typically more robust and found on trucks and off-road-capable SUVs.

Looking at Jeep vehicles, you'll notice they all offer 4x4 systems such as Command-Trac® on the Wrangler. This system allows for low-range rock crawling for sustained periods of time so that you can upgrade your next weekend getaway.

Is 4x4 or AWD Better?

Clearly either all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive can provide a commanding performance on the ever-changing highway. When it comes time to choose between them, though, the answer lies in your specific lifestyle needs.

Bolder drivers will prefer the off-road capabilities that a 4x4 system allows for, so you can venture onto the road less traveled with a greater peace of mind. If you're just interested in a great sedan or SUV to power through Maryland winters, stick with an all-wheel drive system.

Check Out Our 4x4 & AWD Vehicles near Baltimore MD Today

Whether you're interested in a car equipped with all-wheel drive like the Dodge Durango or a truck with four-wheel drive like the Ram 1500, our team at Thompson CJDR of Harford County can assist you. A member of our sales team will sit down with you to learn more about your lifestyle needs and wants. Then, we'll take the time to explore our vast inventory to pair you to the sedan, truck, SUV, or minivan you need to tackle roads around Edgewood, Bel Air, and Aberdeen.

If you have any questions about 4x4 or AWD systems or about our vehicles, reach out to a member of our team, and we'll happily help you in any way we can.

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Thompson Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM of Harford County

1102 Business Center Way
Directions Edgewood, MD 21040-1505

  • Sales: (410)-671-5124
  • Service: (410) 216-4686
  • Parts: (410) 698-4243


  • Monday 09:00AM - 08:00PM
  • Tuesday 09:00AM - 08:00PM
  • Wednesday 09:00AM - 08:00PM
  • Thursday 09:00AM - 08:00PM
  • Friday 09:00AM - 08:00PM
  • Saturday 09:00AM - 05:00PM
  • Sunday Closed