Living in Minnesota means cold, long winters with lots of snow. To make it through, many people choose to drive vehicles equipped with either four-wheel drive (4WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) thanks to their superior traction.
If you are shopping for a new vehicle in Minnesota, these drivetrain systems are practically a necessity. The Mitsubishi lineup offers quite a few models with AWD, including the Outlander, Outlander Sport, and Eclipse Cross.
Four-wheel drive is mostly used on vehicles like trucks and SUVs (not crossovers). These vehicles are usually more capable off-road than other types of vehicles. One of the biggest differences between 4WD and AWD is the fact that 4WD is not automatically activated. In most instances, the driver has to manually select 4WD.
When not selected, the vehicle will operate in a two-wheel drive mode, usually with power being sent to the rear wheels. When four-wheel drive is turned on, a transfer case will divide power among all four wheels. This type of system is ideal for heavy off-road driving, such as over rocks.
As for all-wheel drive, it has a much broader application and can be used in vehicles of varying sizes from compact hatchbacks to large three-row crossovers. In the Mitsubishi lineup, AWD is standard or available on all of its crossover models.
In an all-wheel drive vehicle, the system is always on. Advanced systems will constantly monitor driving conditions and send power to the wheels that need it most. This type of system is ideal for on-road driving and helps to improve traction when road conditions get slippery. It also makes it easy on the driver, since the drivetrain works automatically with almost no driver input.
Some AWD systems operate mainly in two-wheel drive mode to increase fuel efficiency and only send power to the other wheels, as needed.
Our team of mechanical experts at Don Robinson Mitsubishi can explain even more aspects that separate 4WD and AWD.