What is the difference between 2-wheel drive and all-wheel drive?

By Product Expert | Posted in Tips and Tricks on Monday, May 22nd, 2017 at 6:39 pm
2017 Mazda CX-9

Difference between 2-wheel drive and all-wheel drive

If you are in the market for a new vehicle, you might have noticed that some vehicles are 2-wheel drive while others offer all-wheel drive. But what’s the difference? We have broken down how each system works below!


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2-Wheel Drive System

If a car is 2-wheel drive, it has two options: Front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. While you might not notice a difference between front- and rear-wheel drive, the general rule is that rear-wheel drive is better for performance but worse in bad weather, while front-wheel drive offers more control in bad weather. It also typically is used in cars that offer higher fuel economy estimates.

If you live in a mild climate that doesn’t experience extreme weather like heavy rain or snow, 2-wheel drive is a great option. Here on the east coast, you need to determine how comfortable you are driving in snowy and wet conditions before you decide if a 2-wheel drive model is right for you. As long as you have good tires and traction control, if you are an experienced driver you shouldn’t have much trouble steering in bad weather.

All-Wheel Drive System

All-wheel drive systems use electronic sensors to determine which wheel should get the car’s power. All-wheel drive offers a bit more peace of mind, because it is always on and automatically kicks into action when it determines your vehicle is sliding.

There are pros and cons to each system, but we hope that this helps you determine what the difference between these systems is! At Mazda of Lodi, your comfort and safety is our top priority, so feel free to bring your Mazda in to our service department at any time!