What Is the Difference Between AWD and 4WD?

Winter tire wheels using 4WD

As you peruse the new BMW lineup and the extensive selection of used vehicles available at BMW of Murrieta, you have likely come across the various drivetrain options — front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and 4-wheel drive. So, what is the difference between AWD and 4WD? It may seem that they are one in the same, but they are actually quite distinct and will serve you differently on the Corona roads. Compare AWD vs. 4WD with BMW of Murrieta to determine which is the better option for you!

Is AWD the Same as 4WD?

Is AWD the same as 4WD? The answer is no, they are not the same. Learn more about AWD and 4WD below.

What Is AWD?

  • Drivetrain configuration in which torque is directed from the engine, to front and rear axles, to all wheels via differentials
  • Various types of AWD systems available, such as full-time AWD (power delivered to front and rear axles at all times) and part-time AWD (power delivered to front and rear axles as needed based on road conditions)

What is 4WD?

  • Drivetrain configuration in which torque is not only directed from the engine to front and rear axles, but also specific power to left and right wheels
  • Designed for off-roading
  • Primarily installed on vehicles with truck-based platforms

Which is Better: AWD or 4WD?

Is AWD better than 4WD? Ultimately, it depends on your driving demands and how you intend to use your vehicle. AWD vehicles prove ideal in areas with snowy weather and icy conditions during the winter, whereas 4WD vehicles are an optimal choice for those seeking adventure off the beaten path in the Riverside area. That’s to say there is no one-size-fits-all answer for the question of which is better: AWD or 4WD? It comes down to your preferences.

BMW Models with AWD

The follow BMW models have BMW xDrive all-wheel drive as standard or available:

  • BMW X1
  • BMW X2
  • BMW X3
  • BMW X4 (AWD only)
  • BMW X5
  • BMW X6
  • BMW X7
  • BMW 2 Series
  • BMW 3 Series
  • BMW 4 Series
  • BMW 5 Series
  • BMW 7 Series
  • BMW 8 Series
  • BMW M5
  • BMW M8

If you are searching for a vehicle with 4-wheel drive instead of all-wheel drive, our team will be glad to help you find a good option for a great price among our used vehicle inventory! 

Find an AWD or 4WD Model for Sale at BMW of Murrieta

Discover the AWD SAVs available within the new BMW inventory at BMW of Murrieta, or explore our pre-owned options to see if we have any 4WD models for sale. Either way, our team is here to help you decide between AWD or 4WD for your Ontario-area drives. Get in touch with us today!


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