Is the Honda CR-V an AWD or 4-WD?

Is the Honda CR-V an AWD or 4-WD?

If you are interested in the Honda CR-V as a crossover vehicle that can take you where you want to go, answering whether the CR-V comes standard with AWD or 4-WD is an important question. I have researched Honda’s AWD systems to learn how the CR-V is equipped for your driving conditions.

The Honda CR-V models LX, EX, and Touring come standard with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) front-wheel drive but can be equipped with Honda’s optional Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System.

It might be important to know how Honda’s Real Time AWD can benefit the handling and safety of your CR-V. Let’s take a closer look at AWD versus 4WD to see how Honda’s crossover vehicle keeps you safely on the road no matter the conditions.

What is Honda’s Real Time AWD system?

Honda offers the Real Time AWD system for mid-size SUV’s and crossovers, including the CR-V. This system monitors the vehicle’s traction using sensors located at the rear axle. During safe surface conditions, the CR-V operates via front-wheel drive. When a loss of traction is detected, the AWD system is electrically activated to divert power to the rear wheels that slip to maintain traction control. The driver never notices the seamless transition of power and the CR-V gains traction and stability.

Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System is reportedly extremely responsive. The system reacts so quickly that the Honda CR-V traction has been improved even on dry surfaces to increase turning stability.

Is Honda’s AWD System Considered a Safety Feature?

Yes, the AWD is a safety feature on the Honda CR-V. In addition to the AWD electronic stability and traction control, the crossover is also equipped with a 4-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS), 4-wheel disc brakes, driver-assist emergency braking, airbags (driver, passenger, front side), daytime running lights, and child safety locks.

U.S. News and World Report provides the overall safety ratings for the Honda CR-V based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash test ratings. The stability of the CR-V’s AWD system received a five-star rating from NHTSA overall with four stars for rollover safety.

What is the Difference Between AWD and 4WD?

Four-wheel drive sends power to all four wheels of a vehicle to increase the vehicle’s traction. Vehicles can be equipped with full-time, automatic, or part-time 4WD. Full-time 4WD is always engaged, proving evenly distributed power to all four wheels of the vehicle. Automatic 4WD sends power to the front wheels if the rear wheels lose traction. Part-time 4WD is manually engaged by the driver to send power to the front wheels when the rear wheels lose traction. Typically, 4WD has high and low gear ranges. Lower gear ranges allow the vehicle to make slow, steep climbs on rugged or slippery surfaces. Four-wheel drive is useful for off-road situations when a vehicle traverses boulders, water crossings, or steep gravel inclines. Four-wheel-drive is often preferred for towing on slippery surfaces.

All-wheel-drive automatically distributes more power to front or rear wheels of the vehicle to increase traction when any of the wheels slip. Vehicles equipped with AWD typically have a substantial ground clearance and are able to corner very well. All-wheel-drive is useful for intermittently slippery surfaces, such as traversing sandy, muddy, or wintry mixes.

Which is better in the snow, AWD or 4WD?

Four-wheel-drive is useful for providing traction in snow, especially using low gears for maximum traction during slow driving on slippery surfaces and inclines. All-wheel-drive does an equally good job of providing traction, automatically adjusting to the road’s surface as conditions change during intermittent, snowy weather.

When driving in inclement winter weather, regardless of whether your vehicle is equipped with AWD nor 4WD, it is important to remember to stay alert, slow down, and keep extra room between other vehicles. Neither AWD or 4WD perform well on ice, particularly at high speeds. If your vehicle slides on a patch of ice, try to remain calm and steer in the direction you want to go. Do not slam on the brakes as this will not stop your car during a slide and in fact may accelerate the slide.

Is the Honda CR-V with AWD a Good Choice for a Tow Vehicle?

All-wheel-drive Honda CR-V models LX, EX, and Touring have a towing capacity of  1500-pounds with optional add-on hitch receiver.  The AWD feature of the CR-V will provide better traction than the standard FWD while towing during slippery conditions such as rain, mud, or light snow.

Is the Honda CR-V Available with 4WD?

The Honda CR-V is not available with 4WD, the only available traction system on this crossover is Honda’s Real Time AWD.

The Honda Pilot, HR-V, and  Ridgeline models are also available with the optional Real Time AWD system.

What’s New in 2020 for the CR-V?

Honda recently announced the CR-V Hybrid will enter the scene for 2020 crossovers. All-wheel-drive will be available on the CR-V Hybrid, using an electric clutch activated system to transmit power where it is needed. Honda’s CR-V Hybrid makes gains toward increased fuel efficiency with the same, reliable power.

What Other AWD Crossovers are Similar to the Honda CR-V?

Crossover vehicles have become top sellers in the U.S. over the past decade. According to Motortrend, the Honda CR-V was not only Honda’s best-seller during 2018 but also named Motortrend’s SUV of the Year. But the CR-V is not the only crossover option with AWD. Toyota’s RAV4, Nisson’s Rogue, and Hyundai’s Tucson start the line-up for comparable crossovers. The more rugged designs of Jeep’s Cherokee and Subaru’s Forester can take crossover lovers farther off the beaten path.

Honda CR-V is a Great Choice for Safety

The Honda CR-V is an AWD vehicle that rates ahead of its class for crossovers. Whether you are choosing AWD or 4-WD for your ultimate vehicle, the CR-V has much to offer for safety, comfort, and versatility. As you can see, depending on your driving conditions, the CR-V Real Time AWD system keeps your wheels locked on the road providing smooth handling and maximum traction.

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  1. I have a 2011 Honda CRV 4WD (that is what is written on the back, not AWD) and have been unable to find information on it except for articles like this. So, there is a 4WD version of the CRV, at least in 2011.

    • @David S, I agree. I have a 2020 CRV 4WD. Very little information out there. Even the dealers seem confused about this until I show them the emblem. I have a local Honda Mechanic that I will ask, but it is mystifying.

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