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

2WD vs 4WD

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 2WD (two-wheel drive) or a 4WD (wheel drive) vehicle. Typically, 2WD vehicles are smaller than 4WD vehicles.

2WD vehicles are powered by only two wheels, either in the front or in the back, while 4WD vehicles are powered by all the four wheels. This obviously means that 4WD vehicles provide more power than 2WD cars. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of both?

2WD Vehicles

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Search Toyota Wish Listings

Most vehicles are found in this category. Being a 2WD vehicle means that only two wheels are spun by the engine. There are two types of 2WD vehicles; front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive. A good example of a 2WD 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 optimized suspension handling due to the fact that the front wheels are used for steering only.

2WD Vehicle Advantages and Disadvantages

Depending on your driving style or performance needs, a 2WD vehicle may be right for you. Learn more below to find out.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
CheapLess power
Fuel-EfficientNot for all terrains
Lighter

4WD Vehicles

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Search Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Listings

4WD 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. 4WD vehicles are the perfect vehicles for off-road driving situations and going up steep hills and low traction roads.

For most 4WD vehicles, you have the option to switch between 4WD and 2WD. Four-wheeled vehicles have the advantage of providing more traction. An example of a 4WD 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

4WD Vehicle Advantages and Disadvantages

Depending on your driving style or performance needs, a 4WD vehicle may be right for you. Learn more below to find out.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Good off-road tractionHeavier
Switchable to 2WDExpensive
More fuel consumption

2WD vs 4WD: Which is Better?

Both 2WD and 4WD 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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