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2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd - Car Talk - Nairaland

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2WD, 4WD, Front Wheel Drive, AWD / Expert Explain 4wd And 2wd (1) (2) (3) (4)

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2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by dayokanu(m): 6:35pm On Dec 03, 2010
Hi guys ,

Pls can anyone enlighten me about the difference between 2WD, 4 WD and AWD in terms of performance.

I am looking to get a car and I want to know if there is any significant difference between the 3 types.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by donugapi(m): 12:11pm On Dec 04, 2010
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by Nobody: 12:16pm On Dec 04, 2010
i can see mukin's hand on this thread. l dey jealous.

dk hope the wiki link helps
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by slap1(m): 12:17pm On Dec 04, 2010
I don't know much about cars but I know 4WD is stronger and more powerful.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by Nobody: 12:22pm On Dec 04, 2010
yea 4brake callipers, high speed since the 4legs[wheels] are connected to the engine/gear for all to respond to movement and stopages at once
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by adanny01(m): 2:02pm On Dec 04, 2010
The link above tells it all.
There are a list of differences, advantages and disadvantages.
In addition 2wd is most economical cos u need less power for 2 wheels than 4 wheels. I also think that 2wd is faster than the 4wd or awd because of the transmission complexities.
4wd or awd has advantage over 2wd in special driving conditions such as mud, sand, wet/slippery roads etc
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by Ihengote: 2:52pm On Dec 04, 2010
4 x 4 (4WD) - Describes a vehicle with four-wheel drive. The first figure is the number of wheels. The second is the number of powered wheels.

4 x 2 (2WD) - Refers to a two-wheel drive vehicle with four wheels. The first figure is the number of wheels. The second is the number of powered wheels. With a 4x2, engine power is transmitted to only two wheels, usually the rear.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by GeorgeD1(m): 3:20pm On Dec 04, 2010
except for people living on the countryside or for those with exceptionally bad roads in the city, most people with awd or 4wd hardly have a need for such feature.

chances are that in one full year of driving that fancy 4wd or awd suv, you only get to use it once or twice at the most. then you ask yourself why pay the extra cost for a feature you hardly use?

i think it's becoming more like an ego trip for most car owners: they just want to own a 4wd or awd to 'feel among'. for them that logo at the back of their suv is all the satisfaction they get.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by earthrealm(m): 8:23pm On Dec 04, 2010
cos of the bad rds in naija, 4wd is berra o, n they normally hv a high clearance 4rm the ground.saving ur exhaust n bumper from scraping on our jaga-jaga rds!
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by Nobody: 8:41pm On Dec 04, 2010
AWD Vs 2WD.

2 wheel drive is the most common drive configuration on most passenger cars today. This can either be rear-wheel or front-wheel drive. So we have front-wheel, rear-wheel and AWD. The differences are in traction, and how power is transmitted from the engine to the driven wheel / road.

I'll start with FWD. Front-wheel drive is popular in small to medium passenger cars, with moderate engine power outputs. Driving up muddy / snowy roads, or roads with loose gravel can however cause traction issues, especially if the car is fairly light. It has distinct advantages over a RWD car though, where RWD can cause "snaking" driving up a slippery slope. Fuel consumption in a FWD car is better than a similarly-powered RWD model, as FWD has less engine output losses through the transmission, as the driven wheels (front) are pretty close to the flywheel.

RWD is very different, and is split into two groups. Front engine, RWD and rear engine, RWD.

The majority of large passenger cars with RWD will have the engine mounted at the front, with a solid or tubular propeller shaft linking the engine to the rear axle. Fuel consumption is not as good as in a similarly-powered FWD model, the engine output losses are greater, as the power has to first travel down a long propshaft, terminating at the rear axle. However, it's the preferred layout in larger, high-output engined cars, and is more stable at higher speeds, more so if the car is fully laden, as the rear wheels will have more traction. Full-power standing starts are handled better than a FWD car too, as we all know, under hard acceleration in any car, weight will naturally transfer to the rear. With RWD, this means more traction, with FWD this means a momentary loss of traction.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by Nobody: 9:05pm On Dec 04, 2010
This brings us to rear engine, RWD.

This set-up is less common than front engine, RWD, and is mostly used by Porsche, old Volkswagen Beetle / Igala / Karmann Ghia, Ferrarri, Lamborghini and some other exotic supercars. The same principle as in FWD applies here, as the engine and transmission are pretty much a single unit, so power transfer has a relatively short tract. Fuel consumption will be slightly better than FWD, and a lot better than in a similarly-powered front engine, RWD model. It will also better both FWD and front engine, RWD in terms of traction, as the weight of both engine and transmission is over the driven wheels (rear).

Finally, AWD / 4WD.

Contrary to popular belief, AWD does not refer solely to big SUV's. A lot of modern passenger cars have their flagship models with AWD. AWD is the best of both worlds - immense grip, high-speed stability, more precise cornering. It will however have greater engine output losses through the transmission, which will hurt fuel economy. Another misconception is that AWD is only required if you live in a bad area, in terms of roads. Not true. An AWD passenger car will lack the ground clearance offered by AWD SUV's, but will score in high-speed stability, due to their lower centre of gravity. AWD in passenger cars (not SUV's) first gained popularity in 1979, when the Audi Quattro made its debut in Motorsport. The Audi Quattro was the worlds first production, non-SUV / Jeep passenger car to have AWD, and make it competitive in Motorsport.

It is a formula that has endured till present day, with most mainstream automobile manufacturers offering AWD in most of their models, as an option to FWD / RWD. A powerful car with AWD will accelerate quicker in the wet, than a similarly-powered FWD / RWD model will do on a dry road, due to increased traction. This in turn will increase the life span of tyres. A tyre on a FWD / RWD car that spins due to loss of grip will wear out quicker.

All my Audi's, (bar my old Audi 100 CD and Audi 80 Sport back in my schooling days) have been Quattro models, so AWD. I have no regrets, and have had cause to be grateful to the grip offered, in bad weather. The recent spell of freak snow didn't affect me, as I was able to drive to and from work, and go elsewhere, where some 2WD cars have gotten stuck. I'm also an enthusiastic driver, love powerful cars, so 2WD isn't really an option for me.

Different strokes, different folk though, so choose the car with drive configuration that best suits your requirements, and happy motoring!

1 Like

Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by sandee575(f): 12:01am On Dec 05, 2010
Sienna 4 ever
4 SVR
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by Meristem: 4:19am On Dec 05, 2010
4WD naturally has a bigger engine capacity or horsepower dan 2WD usu to power the transmission. So, less miles per gallon of fuel. 2WD more likely to be stuck in bad road/offroad(a more ad friendly word for suv makers). Talking of ground clearance, it usually comes at a price anyway. Ground clearance is directly proportional to rollover risk and instability due to high centre of gravity!With an suv, more prestig ;De for u too lol. In d final analysis, just like buying a computerin d 90s, it depends on the appliation of the vehicle.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by dayokanu(m): 6:52am On Dec 05, 2010
Siena,

Thanks a lot, You've got enough for a PhD thesis.

I went to the dealer today and I got a RWD. Its cost a arm and a leg, I wanted to back out but the test drive got me hooked.

Think I would make payment by Xmas

Thanks all that contributed
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by GeorgeD1(m): 10:58am On Dec 05, 2010
4wd or awd like i said before not many people really use the feature.
in five yrs of owning one, most hardly use it even once. but if you live in an
area with exceptionally bad roads, i.e muddy terrain, sand or snow, then you
need the extra feature to help you out in case your stuck.

for most car owners, however, a 2wd vehicle will do just fine.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by Nobody: 11:18am On Dec 05, 2010
Brother George, I hear you.

But, AWD is not limited to the terrain around your area. AWD will naturally increase the areas in which you can drive, so your visiting scope is broadened considerably. Most modern AWD's are permanent, whilst those that aren't, are electronically controlled, with no input from the driver. This means power is transferred to the axles / wheels with the best grip, so we're talking ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) working in conjunction with the driven wheels.

I disagree that in 5 years of motoring, most hardly use AWD. When it cuts in you'd hardly notice, unless you're referring to an older car / SUV, with manual selectable 4WD, and free-wheeling hubs, that require you to get out of the car, and engage them by hand (fronts). Driving a 2WD car fast on a dusty road, with a fair degree of camber and undulations, your driven wheels will lose traction. The only reason you don't know, is due to the speed at which you're travelling. Your physical momentum will keep you going. The only adverse effect will be tyre wear each time a wheel slips, and higher fuel consumption when slippage does take place.

AWD will use more gas only when moving from stationary, due to increased inertia and weight / drag. Once on the move however, fuel consumption will improve, making AWD ideal for long trips cross-country.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by viperman: 2:37pm On Dec 05, 2010
True word George.
Most people hardly use the AWD/4WD they buy.

Sienna,

as always, you've delivered cool


www.viperautos.com
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by sultaan(m): 3:53pm On Dec 05, 2010
dayokanu:

Siena,

Thanks a lot, You've got enough for a PhD thesis.

I went to the dealer today and I got a RWD. Its cost a arm and a leg, I wanted to back out but the test drive got me hooked.

Think I would make payment by Xmas

Thanks all that contributed

Was that a charger, or 300C. Maybe you went for a Caddy
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by dayokanu(m): 5:41pm On Dec 05, 2010
sultaan:

Was that a charger, or 300C. Maybe you went for a Caddy

Mee? I dont go near American cars, Its a crossover infiniti
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by GeorgeD1(m): 6:54pm On Dec 05, 2010
Siena:

Brother George, I hear you.

AWD will use more gas only when moving from stationary, due to increased inertia and weight / drag. Once on the move however, fuel consumption will improve, making AWD ideal for long trips cross-country.


we're always disagreeing on most things autos aren't we?  grin

but then your last line says it all: cross-country! wink

keep up the good work all the same, bruv.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by Nobody: 7:32pm On Dec 05, 2010
George_D:

we're always disagreeing on most things autos aren't we?  grin
but then your last line says it all: cross-country! wink
keep up the good work all the same, bruv.

No worries, bro. How's Waffi these days? Been a while I had the pleasure of being there. You Omo Urhobo? wink
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by N101: 12:30am On Dec 06, 2010
Rather than a 4x4/SUV, how do Subaru's match up in terms of AWD?

They are the only general car manufacturer that I know of who have AWD as standard (but I could be wrong). I'm thinking of a late 90s Legacy.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by Nobody: 12:55am On Dec 06, 2010
N101:

Rather than a 4x4/SUV, how do Subaru's match up in terms of AWD?
They are the only general car manufacturer that I know of who have AWD as standard (but I could be wrong). I'm thinking of a late 90s Legacy.

Subaru's in 4WD form are brilliant. While it won't have the generous ground clearance of a true off roader / SUV, it'll more than make up for that with more civilised road manners.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by Nobody: 1:01am On Dec 06, 2010
Passenger cars with AWD option:

AUDI.

Audi Quattro.
Audi 80 B2 Quattro.
Audi 80 B3 Quattro.
Audi 80 B4 Quattro.
Audi 90 B3 Quattro.
Audi Coupe B2 Quattro.
Audi Coupe B3 Quattro.
Audi 100 C3 Quattro.
Audi 100 C4 Quattro.
Audi 200 C3 Quattro.
Audi V8 Quattro.
Audi A1 Quattro
Audi A3 Quattro.
Audi A4 B5 Quattro.
Audi A4 B6 Quattro.
Audi A4 B7 Quattro.
Audi A4 B8 Quattro.
Audi A5 Quattro.
Audi A6 C4 Quattro.
Audi A6 C5 Quattro.
Audi A6 C6 Quattro.
Audi A8 Quattro.
Audi TT Quattro.
Audi R8 Quattro.
Audi Coupe S2.
Audi Avant S2.
Audi S3.
Audi S4 C4.
Audi S4 C5.
Audi S5.
Audi S6 C4.
Audi S6 C5.
Audi S8.
Audi RS2.
Audi RS4 B7.
Audi RS6 C5.
Audi RS6 C6.

After the successful launch of the Audi Quattro Turbo in 1979, Audi fulfilled their promise to have Quattro option on all models. From the cars listed above, they weren't wrong.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by Nobody: 1:08am On Dec 06, 2010
Passenger cars with AWD option:

BMW:

BMW 320iX Touring.
BMW 325iX Touring.
BMW 520iX.
BMW 525iX.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by Nobody: 1:14am On Dec 06, 2010
Passenger cars with AWD option:

FORD:

Ford Sierra XR 4x4.
Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 4x4.
Ford Mondeo / Contour 4x4.
Ford Granada 4x4.
Ford Escort RS 2000 4x4.
Ford Escort RS Cosworth 4x4.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by Nobody: 1:17am On Dec 06, 2010
Passenger cars with AWD option:

FIAT:

Fiat Panda 4x4.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by Nobody: 1:21am On Dec 06, 2010
Passenger cars with AWD option:

JAGUAR:

Jaguar X-Type AWD.
Jaguar S-Type AWD.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by Nobody: 1:23am On Dec 06, 2010
Passenger cars with AWD option:

NISSAN:

Nissan Skyline GTR V-Spec.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by Nobody: 1:26am On Dec 06, 2010
Passenger cars with AWD option:

OPEL / VAUXHALL:

Opel / Vauxhall Calibra Turbo 4x4.
Opel / Vauxhall Vectra / Cavalier 4x4.
Opel / Vauxhall Vectra / Cavalier GSI 4x4.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by Nobody: 1:31am On Dec 06, 2010
Passenger cars with AWD option:

PEUGEOT:

Peugeot 405 MI-16 4x4.
Peugeot 505 Dangel 4x4.
Re: 2wd Vs 4wd Vs Awd by Nobody: 1:33am On Dec 06, 2010
Passenger cars with AWD option:

CITROEN:

Citroen BX 19 GTI-16 4x4.

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