Differences Between Two-Wheel Drive & Four-Wheel Drive Explained

Differences Between Two-Wheel Drive & Four-Wheel Drive Explained

The terrains and conditions you drive on determine which type of car you need to buy. Depending on your daily driving activities, you need to choose either a two-wheel drive or a four-wheel drive. Typically, two-wheel drive vehicles are smaller than four-wheel drive vehicles.

Two-wheel drive vehicles are powered by only two while four-wheel drive vehicles are powered by all the four wheels. This obviously means that four-wheel drive vehicles provide more power than two-wheel drives. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of both?

Two-Wheel Drive Vehicles

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Most vehicles are found in this category. Being a two-wheel drive vehicle means that only two wheels are spun by the engine. There are two types of two-wheel drive vehicles; front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive. A good example of a two-wheel drive from BE FORWARD stocklist is the Toyota Wish.

What is a Front-wheel Drive?

This design is the most common and it is where the engine powers the two front wheels. This engine design has the advantage of being cheaper to make. They are also more space efficient than their rear-wheel drive counterparts. These engines are preferred as they provide better traction while going uphill as the weight of the engine is balanced over the front wheels. The disadvantage of this type of design is that the front wheels have to do two jobs, driving and steering.

A used 2010 Subaru Impreza from online used car dealer BE FORWARD.

Above: A used 2010 Subaru Impreza

What is a Rear-wheel Drive?

This design is where the engine powers the rear wheels. This type is popular in pick-ups and trucks that carry heavy loads. This is so because the heavy loads give better traction. Rear-wheel drives are also popular on sports vehicles, SUVs and luxury vehicles where handling is improved. Cars with rear-wheel drive have the advantage of optimised suspension handling due to the fact that the front wheels are used for steering only.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Two-wheel Drive?

Advantages: Cheap, Fuel-efficient and Lighter
Disadvantages: Less power and not suitable for all conditions

Four-Wheel Drive Vehicles

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Four-wheel drive vehicles are also known as 4X4, which means that the engine or drivetrain can give power to all of the car’s wheels, thus being powered by all the four wheels. Four-wheel drive vehicles are the perfect vehicles for off-road driving situations and going up steep hills and low traction roads.

For most four-wheel drive vehicles, you have the option to switch between four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive. Four-wheeled vehicles have the advantage of providing more traction. An example of a four-wheel drive vehicle on BE FORWARD’s stocklist is the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, with most SUVs being four-wheeled vehicles.

What is an All-Wheel Drive?

This vehicle design gives power to every corner of the vehicle. It is capable of providing maximum traction on acceleration. It is absolutely magnificent in wet and slippery conditions. It is capable of providing power to a set of wheels, either the front or back so that when your car is slipping, power is moved to another axle, to try and get more traction from it.

Used 2007 Subaru Forester from online used car dealer BE FORWARD.

Above: Used 2007 Subaru Forester

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Four-Wheel Drive?

Advantages: Excellent traction in off-road situations and ability to switch between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive for better fuel efficiency
Disadvantages: Heavier, Expensive, Consumes much fuel in off-road conditions.

Which Should You Choose?

Both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles have advantages and disadvantages. Select the best one according to your preferences and lifestyle!

This article is written by BE FORWARD Supporters ID 30317 Takudzwa Masvaure In Zimbabwe. What is BE FORWARD Supporters? Click here to join!

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