What’s the Difference Between FWD, AWD, 4WD, and RWD?

November 20th, 2017 by

2018 Mazda3

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If you’re shopping for a new Mazda near Charleston or Florence, it’s likely that you’ve run across these letter combinations before. Here, the team from Beach Mazda helps guide you through the important differences between FWD, AWD, 4WD, and RWD.


FWD, or “Front-Wheel Drive,” is the most common drivetrain you’ll find. On these vehicles, power from the engine is delivered to the front wheels, providing a traditional and efficient driving experience. Mazda vehicles that come standard with FWD include:

  • Mazda3
  • Mazda6
  • Mazda CX-3
  • Mazda CX-5
  • Mazda CX-9


AWD, or “All-Wheel Drive,” is a drivetrain in which power is sent to both the front and rear axles, giving all four wheels power for added traction and response when faced with difficult Wilmington weather. Mazda models offered with AWD include:


4WD, or “Four-Wheel Drive,” is a drivetrain that is most often seen on trucks. These drivetrains deliver power to all four wheels, and unlike AWD are also able to adjust power between the left and right wheels, making heavy towing easier.


RWD, or “Rear-Wheel Drive,” is a drivetrain in which all power is sent to the rear wheels. This setup is usually reserved for high-performance sports cars in which the goal is to establish an ideal weight ratio between the front and the back. It will come as no surprise, then, that RWD comes standard on:

  • Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Mazda Miata RF

Get the Right Drivetrain for Your Commute in Wilmington

In addition to offering vehicles with a wide range of drivetrain options, Mazda also has a variety of new models with advanced Mazda technology, offering a more modern and enjoyable driving experience. Find your next new Mazda vehicle near Georgetown, such as the Mazda3, with the drivetrain you want at Beach Mazda, or contact us for more information.