All wheel drive AWD and four wheel drive 4WD describe a type of drive train in a vehicle. This aspect of this drive train gives the ability of each wheel to be directly controlled by the power train at the same time giving the vehicle more traction when required. Excellent for roads that are slippery, rough, wet and rocky terrain and also river crossings.


What is 4×4 & 4×2

The first digit refers to the number of wheels.

The second digit refers to the number of driven wheels.

4×4 – Four by Four –  4WD

A vehicle with four wheels that’s powered by four wheels

4×2 – Four by Two – 2WD

A vehicle with four wheels that’s powered by two wheels


4WD’s are made for going ‘Off Road’

‘Off Road’ means getting off bitumen roads onto gravel roads which can vary in conditions of roughness, add some rain and the roads become very slippery or boggy. The roughest roads are described on road maps as 4wd. This does not necessarily mean that you have to be in 4WD all the time, However there will be parts of the road where it will be necessary.

4WD vehicles are made stronger in the body and chassis with suitable suspension and tyres and extras like winches are quite often added when going serious 4WDriving.


All Wheel Drive

AWD vehicles combine the advantages of 2WD and 4WD and are made for better traction on the street and gravel roads, therefore they are very commonly used as the family car.

There is no low range and cannot be manually switched into 2WD. Many AWD systems are very smart and will run in 2WD 90% of the time and automatically engage AWD when it detects wheel slippage and loss of traction.


High & Low Range Gears

4WD vehicles have ‘high’ and ‘low-range’ in the transfer case, ‘high’ range is what is used normally, ‘low range’ is a super low gear ratio, that can be manually selected once in 4WD for climbing steep hills and pulling other vehicles that are bogged.. 4WD can be manually switched from 2WD To 4WD then to 4WD low-range.

4WD vehicles have two gear sticks, the normal manual one and the 4WD one which is generally smaller and used to engage 4WD in ‘high’ or ‘low’ range.


Going 4WD requires a certain amount of skill and practice in all conditions and terrain. Driver trainer lessons are available if you are new to 4WDriving, you will learn driving skills, recovery techniques and learn about what equipment you should carry when travelling offroad.

Categories: Travel Australia