4×4 Meaning in Trucks & Cars Pros vs Cons

4x4 Meaning in Trucks & Cars Pros vs Cons

A 4×4 car or truck, additionally called 4×4 (4WD) or 4-by-4, suggests a system in which an automobile’s engine powers all four wheels uniformly. Normally speaking, when it comes to trucks and cars, there are just four alternatives: rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and 4-wheel drive. As you may picture, there are benefits and disadvantages to each one. The distinction is completely about traction.

For some motorists traction is necessary for serious conditions, such as mud or snow. For others, traction is a matter of speed and handling. While these might seem like fantastic enhancements for any kind of motorist, the flip-side is that giving power to all four tires calls for a more intricate drivetrain system, enhanced car weight, and usually a loss to fuel effectiveness. Choosing the best one for you is usually a balancing act of pros vs cons based upon your specific needs.

To assist in you learning and comprehending more about 4×4 cars and trucks, let us compare the various drivetrain choices: 4×4 or 4-wheel drive (4WD), all-wheel drive (AWD), and two-wheel drive (2WD).

What is a 4-Wheel Drive Car or Truck?

“Four-wheel drive, also called 4×4 or 4WD, refers to a two-axled vehicle drivetrain capable of providing torque to all of its wheels simultaneously. It may be full-time or on-demand, and is typically linked via a transfer case providing an additional output drive shaft and, in many instances, additional gear ranges.” Wikipedia

Four-Wheel Drive vs Two-Wheel Drive vs All-Wheel Drive

Recognizing the differences between four-wheel drive (4WD), two-wheel drive (2WD), and all-wheel drive (AWD) is key to obtaining the best automobile for your requirements.

2-Wheel Drive (2WD): FWD vs RWD

To better understand what is the definition of 4WD cars and their inner workings, it might be best to first think about what is the meaning of 2WD. As you might already presume, two-wheel drive engines just make use of two of the four wheels to put and keep the vehicle moving. Normally talking, there are just two kinds: front-wheel drive (FWD) and rear-wheel drive (RWD). Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Nevertheless, contemporary vehicle modern technology, such as grip control, has the ability to even these out more as time goes on.

What is Front-Wheel Drive (FWD)

With modern-day vehicle engines situated in the front, FWD automobiles have compact drivetrain systems, usually making them lighter, more fuel efficient, and much less costly to manufacture or service. The front part of the vehicle basically draws the back half behind it. This aids it maintain a straight line and is much less most likely to spin out in serious weather conditions.

What is Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD)

While FWD might already sound like a fantastic option, rear-wheel drive (RWD) is not without its own benefits, as well. Under regular conditions, nonetheless, RWD cars have much better acceleration and transforming than FWD versions. Firstly, they are pressing their own weight forward as opposed to pulling it. Second, initiating a turn from the back needs a lot less initiative.

Four-Wheel Drive (4WD)

As pointed out before, four-wheel drive (4WD) is a vehicle drivetrain system that directly powers all four wheels. 4WD is commonly developed for off-road driving and, normally speaking, 4 wheels have twice the traction of 2. Four-wheel drive is frequently combined with locked differentials for ideal off-road efficiency. Without getting too technical, locked differentials merely means that the two wheels on the same axle are secured with each other, even if one has traction and the other does not. This is particularly valuable to gain back traction in snowy conditions, rocky terrain, or when stuck in the mud. On the whole, 4WD is great option offered on 4×4 vehicles and lots of outdoor recreational SUVs. It is very easy to turn on or turn off, depending upon the situation.

All-Wheel Drive (AWD)

AWD resembles 4WD because the engine supplies power via the drivetrain to all 4 wheels. Normally talking, nevertheless, AWD is made for speed and handling, as opposed to off-road situations. It is, generally, a much more intelligent form of 4×4 technology. AWD is regularly keeping track of the traction of all 4 tires and sending basically power per specific wheel depending on what it needs. This innovation is referred to as ‘Torque Vectoring’. Additionally, when it pertains to high-end automobile performance, some ranges of AWD are created to send additional power to the rear tires to improve acceleration, or similarly lower rear wheel power when activating slick roads.

What is a 4×4 Car?

Purely talking, 4×4 cars have engines that power all four wheels. In many cars, as well as crossover SUVs, the 4×4 drivetrain systems are four-wheel drive (AWD), and not (4WD) as typically found in vehicles and off-road SUVs. As previously mentioned, the AWD systems in 4×4 cars use torque vectoring to independently handle the traction of each tire in order to give ideal safety and performance.

What is a 4×4 Truck?

4×4 trucks additionally have engines that power all 4 wheels. They are usually developed to be used primarily for off-road or inadequate road situations. Some more recent, advanced versions, nonetheless, now use torque vectoring to separately handle the performance of each wheel. Most models depend on locking and unlocking the differentials (diff lock) to best handle performance.

Is Four-Wheel Drive (4WD) Better Than Two-Wheel Drive (2WD)?

You might still be wondering whether four-wheel drive (4WD) is better than two-wheel drive (2WD), and which is best for you. Regrettably, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Selecting between 4WD, AWD, FWD, or RWD depends upon numerous elements. The two essential things to inquire of yourself are these. What do you use your car for? What seasonal weather do you deal with? Armed keeping that understanding, obtaining one-on-one advice from a certified expert is the very best place to begin your trip. Also, if you’re searching for more info regarding 4×4 cars or 4×4 trucks for sale in the Lubbock area, after that visit Gene Messer Volkswagen today. We anticipate helping you learn more about the meaning of 4×4 cars.

4×4 Meaning in Trucks & Cars Pros vs Cons | Gene Messer Volkswagen

Saved Vehicles


You don't have any saved vehicles!

Look for this link on your favorites:


Once you've saved some vehicles, you can view them here at any time.

Contact Us


Call Now

7007 University Ave. • Lubbock, TX 79413

Get Directions

Today's Hours:

Open Today! Sales: 9am-6pm

Open Today! Service: 7am-6pm

Open Today! Parts: 7am-6pm

Gene Messer Volkswagen 29.7777148, -95.5441151.