4WD vs AWD: What’s The Difference?

2021 Nissan Rogue driving in city.

All-wheel drive and four-wheel drive are often thought to be the same thing, and though they are very similar, they are actually two different drivetrains. Let’s explore the difference, find out more about Nissan’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, and see which Nissan vehicles are equipped with these capable drivetrains.

All-Wheel Drive vs. Four-Wheel Drive

As the names suggest, both all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive use all four wheels when you’re driving, but in different ways. All-wheel drive (often called AWD) is meant to give your extra traction in slippery conditions like rain, snow, ice, or mud by sending torque to the front and rear axles and out to the wheels.

Four-wheel drive (often referred to as 4WD or 4×4) also sends torque to all four wheels, but it sends the power via a system of front, center, and rear differentials, a transfer case, and couplings. This added equipment gives you even more control over your drive and is most often used in vehicles that are designed to be able to go off-road over rocks and rough terrain.

Both AWD and 4WD can be had in part-time and full-time systems; part-time systems mean that the vehicle mostly drives on its front wheels and sometimes on all of the wheels while full-time systems engage all four wheels at all times.

Nissan Intelligent All-Wheel Drive

Most Nissan vehicles that are available with all-wheel drive use Nissan’s proprietary Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system, which is a part-time AWD setup. Intelligent AWD gives you the control of a 4×4 drive system with the efficiency of a front-wheel-drive system by continuously monitoring the conditions of the road you’re on and distributing power between the front and rear wheels in the most efficient, capable way.

AWD & 4WD Nissan Vehicles

If the Nissan Intelligent AWD system is appealing to you, you’ll be glad to know that it is available in these Nissan vehicles:

  • Altima
  • Rogue
  • Rogue Sport
  • Murano
  • GT-R

Nissan also equips some vehicles with a 4×4 drive system to ensure that they can carry you on all of your adventures with ease:

  • Frontier
  • Titan
  • Titan XD
  • Pathfinder
  • Armada

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Shop All-Wheel Drive & Four-Wheel Drive With Us

Are you ready to conquer the road with all-wheel or four-wheel drive? Shop our inventory of all-wheel and four-wheel drive Nissan vehicles at Nissan of Lexington Park today!

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