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When does an AWD become a 4x4? - RaineMan

I am considering a Subaru Forester as my next car. Today I went past a dealer that had a number of Subarus advertised. The cars were in different parts of the forecourt not because of price but because, according to the salesman, the Legacy/Outback is an AWD and the Forester is a 4x4! To me the Forester is a a slightly taller variation of the Legacy/Outback theme and of interest to be because of the increased headroom. I do not see it as a 4x4 as in my mind these are the true off roaders. Is there any clear definition or is it in the eye of the beholder?
When does an AWD become a 4x4? - alfalfa
In this case the name should say it all. 4x4 means four wheels with drive to all of them. AWD is drive to all of the wheels whether 2, 4, 6 or 8 wheels.

I don't see any other way of rationalising it and of course the drive train in the the Legacy and the Forester is the same.

When does an AWD become a 4x4? - stunorthants26
I would imagine that it is a confusing way to try and distinguish between a car with four wheel drive and a car which can be driven off-road. To add to the silliness, on the pillar behind the rear doors on a Forester, there is an AWD badge. Go figure.
When does an AWD become a 4x4? - qxman {p}
I believe the Forester has the Impreza underpinnings (which are very similar to those of the Legacy anyway) - basically its an Impreza on stilts. For a vehicle with four wheels then 4x4 and AWD mean the same thing.
I think 4x4 is being used here as a descriptor for the type of vehicle rather than anything else. The Forester is what a lot of people would think of as a '4x4 SUV' whereas the Legacy is a 4x4 saloon.
When does an AWD become a 4x4? - gordonbennet
Just a thought, does the Forester have a low range on the gearbox maybe, and the legacy not.

Bet i've got that wrong as well.

I've got me coat on...
When does an AWD become a 4x4? - qxman {p}
AFAIK (from looking at cars in dealers) Subaru fit lowrange gear selector in their estate versions and not in the saloons. For example an Impreza estate ('wagon') has low range gears but the saloon doesn't.
When does an AWD become a 4x4? - topbloke
i have had this argument with insurance companys, daughter has a suzuki vitar which is capable of four wheel drive but can only be driven on road as two wheel drive (no centre diff) but because "its four wheel drive" its more money to insure, like the man says go figure !!!!!!!!
When does an AWD become a 4x4? - pleiades
My old Forester says AWD on the back and being a turbo variant has a normal 5 speed box plus a rear LSD whereas the n/a variants have an extra low ratio transfer box (10 speeds) but don't think they have a LSD.
Probably splitting hairs but shouldn't '4X4' really only apply to the traditional Jeep/Land-Rover type vehicle where the transmission is or can be mechanically locked together 50/50 front/rear and no variation possible whereas AWD should apply to Subaru type where with manual transmission the front and rear drives are linked by a fluid type coupling that normally shares out the power 50/50 front/rear but can alter the spilt depending on individual wheel resistance (the auto transmissions normally split the power 90/10 or 60/40 front/rear depending on model but instantaneously alter the split if one wheel starts to slip.)
For what its worth I consider my old style Forester to be a tall estate car with AWD but the new bigger/taller Forester is more of a small SUV altho' its still based on the latest Impreza hatchback - but methinks its still an AWD not a ' 4X4' however I'm not sure it really matters what its called.
Mind you what should you call cars with part time four wheel drive such as the CRV etc., - 2-4x4 or AWD/2?
When does an AWD become a 4x4? - jc2
I would consider AWD as "permanent" 4WD and 4x4 as "switchable" 4WD.
When does an AWD become a 4x4? - Lud
Had a shortish lift in the back of a recent 3-litre Forester (driven rather hesitantly by a lady though) the other day. Felt very pleasant, refined, solid and well-damped. Not as silent as I expected at those speeds though. Would like to have heard the motor sing in the upper registers and gargle a bit of juice, but it was not to be.
When does an AWD become a 4x4? - movilogo
Any true 4x4 will always have lockable central diff.

All those on-demand 4WD (mostly via viscous coupling/torque split etc) are in essence 2WD only.

Instead of AWD/4x4, they should specify exact transmission layout.
When does an AWD become a 4x4? - SlidingPillar
So that makes my Landrover Defender AWD then...
reply was to jc2, honest
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet

Hair splitting if you ask me

Edited by SlidingPillar on 23/06/2008 at 19:01


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