We won’t make this political (I think we’ve all had about enough of that this last month, thank you very much Mr. Zuckerberg), but the government just can’t keep our roads pothole-free. It’s not like they aren’t trying, but between cold winters and hot summers, those roads don’t stand a snowball’s chance in—well, you get the idea. Of course, that’s only an issue when the roads are dry and less of a concern during the six snow and ice-covered months. That’s why having a capable vehicle is so important in this province, and why today we’re highlighting the off-road capabilities of Nissan vehicles. You might not find yourself in the middle of the Dakar Rally, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the way your Nissan tackles tough terrain.
2WD vs. 4WD vs. AWD
To understand your Nissan’s off-road capabilities, it helps to start with the vehicle’s drivetrain—the mechanical components delivering power from your engine to your wheels. Nissan offers several different types, ranging from 2WD (2-wheel drive) to 4WD (4-wheel drive), and finally AWD (all-wheel drive). A 2WD vehicle is probably the most common type on the road, as fewer parts usually lead to a lower cost. 2WD vehicles are usually broken up into FWD (front-wheel drive) or RWD (rear-wheel drive), with the latter of the two usually used on more performance-oriented vehicles. FWD drivetrains also tend to take up a bit less space, making them more cargo and passenger space-efficient vehicles.
There is less of a difference when it comes to 4WD and AWD vehicles—although the difference can have a major impact on fuel economy. While both 4WD and AWD vehicles utilize all four of the vehicle’s wheels, 4WD constantly powers all four wheels whereas AWD only provides power to the wheels that need it most. An AWD vehicle, especially one as advanced as Nissan’s Intelligent AWD, scans the road conditions and monitors vehicle performance. When it detects a loss of traction, it can provide more or less power to the necessary wheels, providing more traction and stability to the entire vehicle. This is part of the reason why an AWD vehicle is better in more unpredictable climates, as it can maximize efficiency by swapping between FWD, RWD, or 4WD, depending on the road conditions. This means using less fuel than a 4WD vehicle when possible, resulting in greater fuel efficiency.
What is Intelligent All-Wheel Drive?
Intelligent All-Wheel Drive is Nissan’s proprietary AWD technology, and one of the best on the market to boot. Making split-second calculations every time you fire up your Nissan, Intelligent All-Wheel Drive provides exceptional traction and stability, alongside improved fuel economy. Nissan also offers the ATTESA E-TS AWD system found on the Nissan GT-R, which distributes the GT-R’s torque slightly differently by utilizing two driveshafts between the front and back wheels for impressive sportscar performance, no matter the weather.
Which Nissan’s are the best off-road?
While Intelligent All-Wheel Drive-equipped Nissans are no slouch when it comes to driving off the beaten path, true 4WD vehicles tend to perform slightly better off-road. That’s why you’re more likely to find Intelligent All-Wheel Drive on cars and crossovers, with true 4WD on larger SUVs and trucks. The full list of Nissan 4WD SUVs and trucks is populated by the:
- 2020 Nissan Armada
- 2020 Nissan Pathfinder
- 2019 Nissan Frontier
- 2019 Nissan Titan
- 2019 Nissan Titan XD
Of course, there’s more to being a great off-road vehicle than just 4WD. If you have any questions about the above vehicles, how to accessorize your Nissan for better off-road performance, or just to learn more about off-road ready Nissan’s like the PRO-4X trims of the Frontier or Titan, give Go Nissan a call today!