So What’s Good for You: 2WD, 4WD or AWD?
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Buying an SUV is an exciting experience, you are down with all your scaled out options and you are stuck on your last choice of what version you should opt for, whether a 2WD or 4WD?
The framework and body of the SUV are the same in 2WD and 4WD apart from the badge of 4x4. Many people buy an SUV with the plan of taking it off-road but they never do. Depending on the utility the SUV that is if all you want to do is give the kids their space in the vehicle, take long highway trips and sit up nice and high, then a 2WD version will probably do just fine. You don’t actually need a 4WD. Now looking up at the differences.
A 2WD SUV is lighter as the hardware required for a 4WD is deducted and therefore provides a bit better fuel mileage rating. Insurance costs are lower over the life of the vehicle, also few moving parts to worry about.
A 2WD SUV available with the option of a limited slip rear differential is equipped enough to handle dirt roads and gravel washes with complete confidence. This allows power to be transferred to either one of the wheel . In the 2WD SUVs that deliver the power via the front wheels offer superior traction in either rain or snow.
4WD offers a huge range of variations to choose from and one of the most commonly used 4WD systems is the one that uses a simple high/low transfer case routing power equally to the front and rear differentials. This makes both front and rear wheels turn at the same rate of speed when engaged. This is a part-time 4WD that is intended only for off-road use. There is also one on-demand 4WD that generally operates on a 2WD mode but in case a slippage is detected it will automatically divert the power to the other wheels. This means it temporarily engages in the 4WD until traction is regained.
Finally, the full-time 4WD system that employs front, rear and center differentials allowing individual wheel speed to vary. Such equipped SUVs are capable of operating in the 4WD mode at all times and on any surface condition. When you disengage it operates as a normal 2WD. This is best for the people who require 4WD under normal driving conditions as in during heavy snows or towing.
If you want to be sure that you are being offered the full-time 4WD system look at the transfer case, which must be equipped with some form of center differential. Manufacturers use many different names for their 4WD systems.
All-wheel drive is the system permanently engaged at all times. Power is provided to any or all wheels, controlled by a series of electronic gears that detect wheel slippage. One of the example of this would be the Honda CR-V that puts to use a basic AWD system designed more to handle inclement weather along with improving road stability. AWD in different segment of vehicles is used for different purposes such as in Honda CR-V it is not for off-road, whereas in high-end vehicles such as the Range Rover by Land Rover it can be used in all on-road and off-road situations.