Nissan’s lineup of vehicles are constantly kept up-to-date with the latest in drivetrain technology. Stability and traction control systems have come an especially long way. With rapid advancement comes better performance, but also the potential for confusion. How does All-Wheel Drive (AWD) differ from Four-Wheel Drive (4WD), for instance? With AWD tech available why would a consumer ever pick a two-wheel drive (2WD) system? Here we break down the advantages of all three.
AWD setups use a central differential to send power from the engine to all four wheels. Newer systems like Nissan’s Intelligent AWD technology monitor each wheel separately and can send variable amounts of power to each wheel to compensate for any traction loss. This makes AWD easy to use and adaptable.
Four-wheel drive systems are primarily found on rugged, off-road types of vehicles. Four-wheel drive is a dependable, toggle solution when you know you will regularly need additional traction. Some systems like Nissan’s Intelligent 4WD detect and switch between 4WD modes while others are more conventional and put control in the driver’s hands to shift between 4WD and 2WD modes. These modes typically include 4L for truly demanding off-road trips, 4H for more typical low-traction environments, and 2WD for highway cruises.
Powering all four wheels of a vehicle is, by necessity, less efficient than only powering the front or rear wheels. Two-wheel drive setups are more efficient in that they can engineer a more direct path from engine to differential. Fortunately, many advanced all-wheel drive systems like you find in Nissan Intelligent AWD or 4WD monitors and ramps down, only supplying energy to the front or rear wheels when you are simply cruising and do not need the extra power. With Nissan you can get the best of both, or cater to what you know you will need on a day-to-day basis.
If you want to learn more about these three powertrain styles and take equipped Nissan vehicles on a test drive, contact us at James Ceranti Nissan.