All-Wheel Drive vs. Four-Wheel Drive at Berkshire Mazda


At Berkshire Mazda, we know that the automotive industry is always changing, and this can make it hard to keep up with the latest technologies. That’s why our sales staff is always available to answer about the new or pre-owned Mazda SUVs in our inventory. One of the most frequent questions we’ve been receiving recently is about the difference between all-wheel drive (AWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD).


The Difference Between AWD and 4WD

New Englanders who visit our Mazda dealership in Pittsfield, MA know to expect unexpected weather. Rough road conditions, including snow and ice, are common here, so many of our customers want drivetrains that are built for precision and traction. Both AWD and 4WD are great options, but there are a few key differences. AWD systems distribute power to whichever wheels need it the most. This allows drivers to shift power to the rear wheels if they need help extricating themselves from snow or mud. Typically, AWD is found on high-performance vehicles, but it’s increasingly becoming commonplace in compact SUVs, as well.


4WD is typically found on trucks and larger SUVs. This drive train is designed for handling extreme conditions like off-roading. Most 4WD systems can lock the front and rear axles together, which allows for an even distribution of torque across all four wheels. This means that if you ever get one wheel wedged in rocks or muck, 4WD allows the other three to spin until you're loose.


Driving Conditions for AWD and 4WD

If your daily commute includes icy or gravel roads, then an AWD vehicle is a great option. All of the SUVs in our lineup feature AWD, including the Mazda CX-3 and the Mazda CX-5. Both of these SUVs have plenty of room to fit large families and gear, but they’re still rugged enough to take on long road trips or to tackle wintry terrain.


However, if you spend the majority of your time driving in rural areas or off-roading, then 4WD is still your best bet. Come to Berkshire Mazda and ask our team for more details about these two drive trains and which models have them. You can also call us with questions at 413-499-3311.