What Is All-wheel Drive?



By now you have heard all about how the 2016 FIAT 500X is equipped with the brand’s first all-wheel drive system? You see ads of the 500X tackling snowing terrain and you read articles telling you why you need the 500X’s AWD system, but when you get down to the nitty gritty, what does an all-wheel drive system actually do?

Step away from the Google search bar, we have done all the research for you. Keep reading as we demystify the mechanics behind what makes an all-wheel drive vehicle really work.

A much more recent innovation that the four-wheel drive system, all-wheel drive takes a different approach to supplying you with the best traction as it is active at all times. AWD uses a system of gears to divide the power from the transmission first between the front set of tires and rear set of tires. AWD then takes it a step further and divides the power between each individual wheel.

By splitting the power between all four wheels individually the system works to transfer the power to wheels with the best traction, giving you the best grip on the road. AWD allows the wheels to turn at different speed, depending on which wheels have the best traction. This gives an AWD system the clear advantage in slippery conditions for precision driving, such as tight turns.

In today’s AWD systems, computers monitor the speed, traction and a host of other factors for each wheel to determine which wheels have the best grip and where the power should be sent.

All-Wheel Drive Pros:

  • Better precision handling
  • Active all the time
  • Provides better traction in wet and snowy climates

All-Wheel Drive Cons:

  • Reduces fuel economy
  • Increases the weight and complexity
  • Does not perform as well in off-road conditions
  • More expensive that standard front-wheel drive models

If you live in an area where brutal winter road condition are more often than not, an AWD system that automatically responds to slippery conditions can give you the peace of mind you have been looking for.

Click here to learn more about the 2016 FIAT 500X’s All-wheel Drive System.

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If you are resident of St. Paul, Minneapolis or St. Louis Park, come visit us or give us a call us at 888-432-4309. We look forward to helping you find your perfect FIAT. Click here to see our inventory of 2016 FIAT 500X models.

FIAT of Minneapolis  |  888-432-4309  |  1820 Quentin Ave., St. Louis Park, MN


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