Do 4wd vehicles come in both FWD and RWD when the 4wd is not engaged/turned on?

Asked by Jan 22, 2016 at 03:06 PM

Question type: General

I just asked this question but must not have explained it very well because no one understood me lol. So I'm trying again! I know there are 4wd/4x4, fwd, rwd, and awd vehicles. And I understand the difference between all of them.

But when you're not using the 4wd and it is turned off, do most 4wd vehicles then "become" rwd? The reason I'm asking is that I thought all vehicles that had 4wd were rwd when it wasn't on, but I've recently been told that's not necessarily the case? I'm trying to find out if this is true because I'm wanting to buy a Chevy Tracker and I want to know if they only come in the rwd/4wd option or if there is a fwd/4wd option? Because obviously fwd is better than rwd in snow.

Thanks!

3 Answers

34,725

I checked and the tracker is based on a rear wheel drive chassis which means it is RWD when not in 4wd.

Okay. But that's still not necessarily what I'm asking. I'm asking if there are vehicles (ignoring the tracker) that switch into fwd when 4wd is not in use or if rwd is much more common? Because if fwd is a possibility, maybe I should be looking at one of those vehicles instead.

34,725

If the cars are based on front wheel drive cars then they will be normally FWD when not in 4WD. Most if not all FWD based cars are AWD and not true 4WD. Subaru is full time AWD and other similar cars like the RAV4 are not even AWD but part time AWD and rely on sensors to engage the AWD when needed. If you want true 4WD then you are stuck with RWD when not in 4WD but why worry about snow when you have 4WD on tap?

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