Four-wheel-drive used to be synonymous with
mullets off-roading in the minds of most consumers. Like many buzz-worthy specs originally developed for enthusiasts and professionals, though, some variant of the general principle was soon rushed into vehicles of all stripes by manufacturers. It’s a shift Muddin’ diehards still cuss about over tallboys at dusk, but there’s no denying that a new generation of a sure-footed cars with better handling in tricky conditions has benefited drivers everywhere.
Today, finding the perfect match between driving ability, fuel consumption and price first requires an honest evaluation of your own motoring needs. With that soul-searching behind you, understanding the differences between various four-wheel-drive (4WD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) offerings (and everything in between) will make buying your next ride that much easier. Our comprehensive guide is here to help.