Whats the difference between AWD and 4WD?

Hello all,
I have a CRV which is 4WD, and some of my girlfriends have Subarus which have AWD (all wheel drive). Is there a difference and if so what
is it? They all say the All wheel drive is more modern and better than 4WD which is an older technology. Is there any truth to that?
Thank you,
Jill
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In article

no, you have a CR-V which is AWD.
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wrote:

My CRV says "4WD" right on the back of the hatch...
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"Jill" wrote

I found at this link:
http://www.autoguide.com/manufacturer/honda/2009-honda-crv-1011.html
the following, halfway down the page:
* Honda calls their all-wheel-drive system "Real Time 4-Wheel Drive." According to Honda, "When there is insufficient traction at the front wheels, the 'Real Time' 4WD system automatically uses dual hydraulic pumps to transfer power to the rear wheels. There is no need for driver intervention. The greater the degree of front-wheel slippage, the more torque is directed to the rear wheels." *
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AWD is a form of 4WD. Generally when people refer to a system as AWD they are talking about a full time four wheel drive system or an automatically engaged on-demand sytem that does not require driver intervention to activate the 4WD. Often when people say 4WD, they are talking about a part time system that requires manual engagement of the front drive axles. But there are so many variations and shadings it is hard to make any definitive statement about exactly what is an AWD system as opposed to the more general 4WD system. You might want to look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_wheel_drive .
Subarus have used several different AWD systems. Some have used a center differential to allow for difference in the speed of the front and rear axles. At least in recent year all of the Subaru systems can be characterized as full time 4WD.
You did not mention what vintage CRV you own. The current Honda CRV System is also a type of AWD. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_CRV#Real_time_four_wheel_drive_system .
The current Honda system, although not the same as any particualr Subaru system is most certainly modern and all wheel drive.
It seems to me that people who buy Subarus often have a "my 4WD car is better than your 4WD car" attitude. I've never experienced the joy of driving a Subaru, so I don't know if it is true or not. I have owned several different AWD vehicles, but the ones I owned used the electronic clutch method for allowing slippage between the front and rear wheels - essentially an on demand type of system, sort of like what the CRV has - the four wheel drive is essentially only active when there is slip between the front and rear wheel. The Subaru system (at least for most current models) is always engaged to some extent. Maybe this is useful in cold climates where you see a lot of snow, but where I live the difference is trivial (or non-existent).
I think you don't need to care whether your AWD is better than your friend's AWD. When theu say my AWD is better than your 4WD just smile and nod. I know several years back Subaru ran TV ads that were designed to "prove" their 4WD was better than the CRV 4WD in use at that time, but like a lot of ads, it was mostly marketing BS that had little real world application.
Ed
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I wonder how these Japanese AWD/4WDs compare to Audi's. By the way, does Honda have any AWD sedans (not crossovers)?
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Yes. In the US Honda came out with the Accord Crosstour, an AWD version of the Accord sedan. It has a higher back and sits taller and higher off the ground, but is very 'Accord' looking.
Jon
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Oh, I don't know ... I've seen it but I find it a rather ugly looking crossover.
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I purposely didn't get the CrossTour because I thought it was ugly looking and the starting price is 30,000 without AWD. I think thats a lot since the Pilot started at around 27,000. I wanted a lot of comfort features without paying 6-7k more than what I already spent. The price I spent on my CRV with all the options I got was just about 29k and I thought that was a little more than I wanted to spend.
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Hi Ed,
Thanks very much for the information. I kind of had that idea just talking to them. I think they were brainwashed! Oh well. :)
Thanks so much,
Jill
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.
Just an observation here. 26 years in the army I have been in a number of Jeeps and other 4WD vehicles. My wife and I have twin Jeep Grand Cherokees (4WD,) which we now drive in the Sierra Nevada. We also now own a 2010 Honda Pilot Touring (AWD.) We have had both vehicles on severe slopes, on highway 1, up to a ranch, on dirt roads, and if you know highway 1, on the coast of California, you know. Anyway, I have placed the Jeep in "all-time" 4WD (meaning that there is some slippage, so the tires don't get scrubbed) and only one time, in severe snow, in the Sierra, in "part-time" 4WD, meaning that the tires (final drives) are locked and they all pull together. The difference is very obvious. We've had only two trips, on the same route, in the Honda and I have to say that we have never noticed when it went into AWD (if it has ever gone into AWD!) So the Honda is a generation ahead, and we much prefer it, on this trip. But (and there is always a but) we have not driven it in the snow, and to be truthful, I have not dared, not knowing what the AWD will do. If it kicks in will I be crosswise on a narrow mountain road, with a hundred foot drop off? So for the last year (the only year that we owned it) I picked the Jeep, in the snow, with the 4WD that I know. I get to pick the gear, the 4WD position, and I know what I am getting. Maybe the Honda AWD is better, in the snow. I don't know. I am actually afraid to try it. The road that I am on, US 50, from Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe is absolutely notorious for killing motorists in the winter. So there you go. I have both types of vehicles and I don't know.
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I haven't had any issues in snow with any of the AWD cars I've had. Subarus, Hyundai's and BMWs have all performed quite well. Course your definition of snow is probably different than mine. I haven't tried any of them in waist-high drifts. I live in the NE part of the US so I haven't really driven in more than a foot of snow.
Jon
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