Drivetrain Acronym Meanings


With the snowy or icy road conditions that we experience in the Calgary area, you'll find that the on-road capabilities of your vehicle depend on the kind of drivetrain it has. What is a drivetrain? A drivetrain is made up of the transmission, driveshaft, axles, and wheels. In other words, it's everything that interacts with the engine to move the wheels. There are four basic drivetrains available - FWD, RWD, AWD, and 4WD - and the drivetrain meaning and set-up will differ according to which your car, truck, or SUV employs. Learn more about the drivetrain acronym meanings in this guide from Capital Chevrolet Buick GMC to determine which is better suited to your Calgary-area driving needs. 

FWD Meaning
FWD, meaning front-wheel drive, is one of the most common types of drivetrains. What does FWD mean as far as on-road performance? With FWD, the two front wheels receive direct power from the engine equally. While FWD vehicles tend to be among the most affordable, they do not perform as well in snow, ice, or mud. If you are interested in a budget-friendly FWD car, check out the Chevy Malibu.

RWD Meaning
Many pickup trucks and sports cars come with RWD, meaning rear-wheel drive. With a RWD vehicle, the rear wheels are powered by the engine, which results in improved traction and a more balanced driving experience. However, a RWD vehicle can be more difficult to control in slippery road conditions in the Okotoks area. Some popular RWD models available at Capital Chevrolet Buick GMC include the Chevy Camaro, Chevy Corvette, GMC Canyon, and Chevy Colorado.

AWD Meaning
Looking for better control on snowy Cochrane-area roads? AWD, meaning all-wheel drive, could be the ideal choice. This is a drivetrain configuration where torque is directed from the engine to the front and rear axles and to all four wheels. New vehicles will often have either a full-time or a part-time AWD system. Full-time AWD sends torque to the front and rear axles all the time, while part-time AWD systems monitor driving behavior and road conditions to decide when to send torque only to the front axle. Part-time AWD, like that offered on the Buick Envision, is a good choice as it is more efficient and will only deliver power to all wheels when needed.

4WD Meaning
Four-wheel drive, or 4WD, meaning a traditional 4×4 drivetrain, sends power to the front and rear axles. It can also direct specific amounts of power between the left and right wheels. 4WD systems provide maximum traction and control and are typically designed for premium off-road performance and are built into vehicles with truck-based platforms, like the Chevy Suburban and GMC Sierra.

Choose the Drivetrain You Want Today at Capital Chevrolet Buick GMC!
You'll find a wide range of FWD, RWD, AWD, and 4WD vehicles in the new and used inventory at Capital Chevrolet Buick GMC. Our sales associates will be happy to explain the benefits of each in order to help you pick out the model that is the best fit with your needs. Meanwhile, explore our new vehicle specials to find the best deal on your next car, truck, or SUV, and then apply for financing with us to get pre-approved today! Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.