Whether you’re preparing to tackle snowy back roads or want to go off-roading, driving a
Buick with AWD can make the ride much smoother. With options like the
Encore to choose from, you won’t even notice a bumpy ride.
You can’t really understand how well your car is going to handle itself on the roads until you experience less-than-ideal conditions. What do you do when the elements are dicey? Having all-wheel drive (AWD) is a good start. AWD can help you get through the toughest conditions and offer you and your passengers the peace of mind that comes with knowing you can handle whatever Mother Nature throws at you.
But not everyone needs AWD in their vehicle. How do you decide whether or not it’s right for you—or which Buick model to choose?
Here to answer your AWD questions is the first-ever
car insurance super app,
Jerry. We’re breaking down how AWD works, which Buick models have it, and how to determine what your navigation needs are when it comes to AWD.
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How do Buick AWD models work?
Buick’s aptly named Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system is a feat of engineering that provides the driver with optimum traction control. This technology fits in nicely with current automotive innovation, but it might seem a little confusing. That’s alright—we’re here to break it down.
AWD works when torque is sent to all four wheels at the same time. While drivers don’t usually need to do anything to start this process, some systems are controlled by the driver. Buick’s system will send more power to the rear of the vehicle if the sensors on the Engine Control System determine that a back wheel is turning more slowly.
As you think about what kind of AWD system you want on a Buick, here are some key terms to keep in mind:
Intelligent AWD is the standard Buick all-wheel drive system offered on its vehicles. It’s new and improved torque vectoring technology found on vehicles like the
Buick Enclave and
Buick’s Engine Control System uses wheel sensors installed in the vehicle to monitor traction and send more power to wheels to increase grip.
Now that you know how AWD works, let’s take a closer look at the Buick models offering it.
Which Buick models have AWD?
Engine type: 3.6-liter V6
The Enclave comes with AWD as an option on the Essence, Premium, and Avenir trim levels. It is activated by the driver when a dashboard button is pushed. Without AWD, the engine powers the front wheels through a 9-speed automatic transmission.
Body style: Subcompact SUV
Engine type: 1.4-liter 4-cylinder
The Buick Encore comes with a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that is front-wheel drive. However, the Buick Encore GX trim level is the only one that comes with AWD, making it your go-to choice if you want to take it off-road.
Body style: Mid-size sedan
Engine type: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
The TourX is the only version of the Regal that comes standard with AWD. The system can vary left-right torque distribution across the rear axle to allow for better traction on this low-to-the-ground sedan.
Engine type: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
Similar to the Enclave, the Buick Envision comes standard with a nine-speed automatic transmission, but buyers can upgrade to the AWD package on the Avenir, Essence, or Preferred trim levels.
What are the benefits of having AWD?
When you think of AWD, you automatically think of using it when the weather is not ideal. But for those who like to live off-road, AWD is vital. Uneven dirt roads are the perfect place to give your AWD a run for its money.
Snow is not uncommon in
Ohio, while states like
Mississippi can see heavy downpours swoop in out of nowhere. Residents who live in these states should consider AWD as it can protect them year-round.
But before you invest, remember there are pros and cons to AWD. Some say snow tires are sufficient for winter months, while those in the 4WD camp would skip AWD altogether.
Differences between AWD and 4WD
If a vehicle already has 4WD, you don’t need AWD too, right? Well, that depends. Both terms get thrown around together, but making the right choice for what you need and what your finances might dictate takes knowing the difference. Let’s break it down.
When your car is in AWD, the engine sends power to all four wheels. Usually, it’s integrated into unibody frames and can work full-time or part-time. When it’s always on, AWD keeps the wheels engaged regularly. If you use it part-time, it’s more fuel-efficient as the engine doesn’t send as much power.
4WD is usually found in tuck-based, body-on-frame models. This method of driving provides increased control over handling. It does so by directing power to the front and rear axles, and sending dedicated power to the left and right wheels. This type of driving is best suited for off-roading.
Key Takeaway While both AWD and 4WD improve safety and control, you will have to decide if you will be spending time on back roads or inclement weather—or both—before you make a decision.
Do I need AWD?
This is definitely a question to consider when searching for a vehicle. Any vehicle with AWD packs more power, has more dynamic handling, and protects you on slippery roads. That doesn’t mean you will use it daily. If you spend less than ten percent of your driving time off-road, the AWD investment isn’t worth it.
You need to take into account your driving habits—do you like to drive where no one else goes? Do you drive into the mountains for family trips on a regular basis? What type of climate do you live in?
Only you can weigh the benefits versus costs of AWS. If you think you’ll get use out of it, the investment might be worth it. If not, you might want to stick with 4WD.
How to save money on car insurance
Since we’re talking about tricky driving situations that can benefit from AWD, we should also talk about car insurance. No matter if you have AWD or not, you can get into unexpected accidents that require
Jerry is here to make sure your insurance covers all aspects of potential automotive issues, as well as the coverage you need. If you’re sick of looking for cheap car insurance and getting nowhere, download the Jerry app and enter your information. In less than a minute, you’ll have access to competitive quotes from some of the nation’s top insurance providers.
Once you decide on the best quote, the reliable Jerry app will help you switch, which can lead to an average savings of $800+ per year!
Jerry found me useful quotes immediately, so I switched over my insurance in under an hour! I’m now helping my parents use Jerry because they just bought a new car.” —Brindi J.
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