Wheel Chasers

The Evolution of AWD in Honda CR-V: Performance Safety and Future Developments

All-wheel drive (AWD) is a highly sought-after feature in SUVs, especially in certain regions where inclement weather conditions can be a serious concern. AWD is a system that is designed to improve a vehicle’s stability, traction, and overall handling in slippery road conditions.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what AWD is, how it works, and why it’s a highly desirable feature in an SUV like the Honda CR-V. What is AWD?

AWD is a system that provides power to all four wheels of a vehicle, rather than just the front or rear wheels. Essentially, AWD allows a vehicle to better distribute its power to all four wheels, which can significantly improve its performance in slippery or low-traction conditions.

This can include rainy or snowy weather, as well as off-road conditions or uneven terrain. Compared to a two-wheel-drive vehicle, an AWD vehicle has twice as many wheels driving the vehicle forward, which can result in better handling and greater traction.

In certain conditions, AWD can also improve a vehicle’s acceleration and overall performance. How does AWD work?

AWD works by connecting all four wheels to the vehicle’s drivetrain, which distributes power and torque to each individual wheel. This is done using a series of differentials and clutches, which allow the torque to be distributed between the front and rear wheels as needed.

In most AWD systems, the vehicle primarily operates in two-wheel-drive mode, with power being sent to either the front or rear wheels depending on the type of AWD system. However, when the wheels lose traction, the AWD system automatically detects this and sends power to the other axle or all four wheels.

There are several different types of AWD systems, including on-demand systems, part-time systems, and full-time systems. Each of these systems operates slightly differently, but the basic idea is to provide power to all four wheels when needed in order to improve the vehicle’s stability and handling.

Benefits of AWD in an SUV like Honda CR-V

Honda’s CR-V is one of the most popular compact SUVs on the market today, and it boasts an impressive range of features and capabilities. One of its most notable features is its available Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System.

There are several benefits to having AWD in an SUV like the Honda CR-V, including:

1. Improved handling in slippery conditions:

AWD can significantly improve a vehicle’s handling and stability in difficult weather conditions, such as rain or snow.

By distributing power to all four wheels, rather than just the front or rear wheels, an SUV like the CR-V can maintain better traction on slippery roads and avoid slipping or sliding. 2.

Better acceleration and performance:

In certain conditions, AWD can also improve a vehicle’s acceleration and overall performance. This is particularly true in off-road situations or on uneven terrain, where having power distributed to all four wheels can provide better traction and control.

3. Increased resale value:

Given the benefits of AWD, it’s no surprise that SUVs with AWD tend to have higher resale values than those without.

This is particularly true in regions where AWD is a highly sought-after feature due to challenging driving conditions.


In conclusion, AWD is an incredibly valuable feature in SUVs like the Honda CR-V, as it can significantly improve a vehicle’s handling, traction, and overall performance in slippery or low-traction conditions. Whether you’re driving on wet or icy roads, or navigating off-road terrain, having AWD can help you stay in control and maintain better traction.

As SUVs continue to grow in popularity, it’s likely that AWD will become an increasingly important feature in the years to come. In the world of off-road vehicles and SUVs, there are two terms that are often used interchangeably: all-wheel drive (AWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD).

While these terms may sound similar, there are actually some important differences between the two that are worth exploring. Additionally, as AWD has become more popular in recent years, there has been some debate as to how it affects fuel efficiency in comparison to two-wheel-drive vehicles.

Differences between AWD and 4WD

The primary difference between AWD and 4WD lies in how power is distributed to the wheels. With AWD, power is generally distributed to each wheel based on the level of traction it has.

This means that if one wheel starts to slip, power is automatically redirected to the other wheels in order to maintain traction. AWD is typically found in cars and smaller SUVs, and is designed more for road handling and performance than for serious off-roading.

4WD, on the other hand, is a system that is designed specifically for off-roading. In a 4WD vehicle, power is generally distributed equally to all four wheels, providing maximum power and torque to help navigate steep inclines, mud, snow, and other challenging terrain.

4WD is typically found in larger SUVs and pickup trucks that are designed for more rugged adventures. In addition to these differences, there are a few other key factors to consider when comparing AWD and 4WD:


Cost: 4WD tends to be more expensive than AWD, due in part to the fact that it requires more complex mechanical systems in order to function properly. This can make 4WD vehicles less accessible to some buyers.

2. Driving experience: AWD generally provides a smoother, more car-like driving experience than 4WD, which can feel more rough and rugged.

This is partly due to the fact that 4WD is designed more for off-road use, where a bumpy, uneven ride is to be expected. 3.

Fuel economy: As we’ll explore more in the next section, AWD vehicles generally have slightly lower fuel economy than their two-wheel-drive counterparts. This is partly due to the added weight and complexity of the AWD system.

How does AWD affect fuel efficiency? One of the primary concerns that some consumers have when considering an AWD vehicle is how it will impact fuel efficiency.

The reality is that there is no simple answer to this question, as it depends on a variety of factors related to both the vehicle itself and the driving habits of the owner. In general, it’s fair to say that AWD vehicles tend to have slightly lower fuel economy than two-wheel-drive vehicles.

This is due in part to the fact that the AWD system adds weight to the vehicle, which can reduce its overall efficiency. Additionally, the added complexity of the AWD system can lead to increased friction and other inefficiencies in the drivetrain.

That being said, the actual impact on fuel economy can vary quite a bit from vehicle to vehicle. Some AWD vehicles are designed with fuel efficiency in mind, and may only engage the AWD system when it’s really needed (such as in low-traction conditions).

Other vehicles may have more aggressive AWD systems that are always engaged, which can further reduce fuel efficiency. Another important factor to consider is driving habits.

If you drive your AWD vehicle aggressively, accelerating quickly and frequently using full throttle, you can expect to see lower fuel economy than if you drive more conservatively. Additionally, if you regularly drive in conditions that require frequent use of the AWD system (such as in areas with wet or icy roads), you may see a greater reduction in fuel economy than if you only use the AWD system occasionally.

Overall, while AWD can have a small impact on fuel economy, it’s not typically a significant enough factor to dissuade buyers from choosing an AWD vehicle. For most drivers, the added traction and handling that AWD provides is well worth the small reduction in fuel economy.

Additionally, as technology continues to improve, we may see more efficient AWD systems being introduced in the years to come, further reducing the impact on fuel economy. One of the questions that many car buyers ask when considering an AWD vehicle is whether it’s really necessary for all climates and terrains.

While AWD can certainly provide a number of benefits in slippery or low-traction conditions, there are some situations where it may not be necessary. Additionally, those who own AWD vehicles like the Honda CR-V may be curious as to how to recognize when the AWD system is engaged.

Is AWD necessary for all climates and terrains? The short answer is no, AWD is not strictly necessary for all climates and terrains.

While AWD can certainly improve a vehicle’s handling and traction in certain conditions (such as on snowy or icy roads), it may not make a significant difference in other conditions. For example, if you live in an area with mild weather and typically only drive on paved roads, AWD may not be a particularly valuable feature to have.

That being said, there are some situations where AWD can provide significant benefits. If you live in a region with heavy snowfall or frequent rain, having AWD can help improve your vehicle’s stability and handling.

Additionally, if you frequently travel on rough or uneven terrain (such as dirt roads or trails), AWD can provide additional traction and control. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to choose an AWD vehicle depends on your individual needs.

If you’re someone who frequently drives in low-traction conditions, or you’re an off-road enthusiast, AWD may be a valuable feature to have. However, if you live in an area with mild weather and don’t often venture off paved roads, you may find that a two-wheel-drive vehicle suits your needs just fine.

How to recognize when AWD is engaged in a Honda CR-V

Honda’s CR-V is a popular SUV that comes with an available Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System. This system is designed to automatically detect when additional traction is needed and send power to the wheels with the most traction.

However, if you’re driving a CR-V with AWD, you may be wondering how to recognize when the AWD system is engaged. One way to tell if your CR-V’s AWD system is engaged is to look for the AWD indicator light on the dashboard.

This light will illuminate when the AWD system is active, indicating that power is being sent to all four wheels. You may also be able to hear or feel the AWD system engaging, especially if you’re driving on a slippery or low-traction surface.

It’s worth noting that the AWD system in the CR-V is designed to operate automatically, meaning that you don’t need to manually engage it yourself. However, if you’re driving in particularly challenging conditions (such as deep snow or mud), you may want to manually engage the AWD Lock feature.

This feature locks the differential and provides a more equal distribution of power to all four wheels, providing greater traction and control. To engage the AWD Lock feature in the CR-V, simply press the button located on the center console of the vehicle.

This will lock the differential and engage the AWD system until you turn it off again. It’s worth noting, however, that you should only use the AWD Lock feature when you really need it (such as in deep snow or mud), as constantly using it in normal driving conditions can reduce fuel efficiency and increase wear on the drivetrain.

Overall, if you’re driving a Honda CR-V with AWD, you can rest assured that the AWD system is designed to operate automatically, providing additional traction and control when you need it most. However, if you’re unsure whether the AWD system is engaged, you can look for the indicator light on the dashboard or listen for any changes in the vehicle’s handling or sound.

Factors that can affect AWD performance in a Honda CR-V

While AWD systems, like the one found in the Honda CR-V, are designed to provide improved traction and handling in various conditions, there are certain factors that can affect their performance. It’s essential to understand these factors in order to maximize the benefits of the AWD system in your CR-V.

1. Tires: The condition and quality of your tires can significantly impact the performance of the AWD system.

It’s crucial to maintain properly inflated tires with good tread depth to ensure optimal traction. Uneven wear or mismatched tires can negatively affect the AWD system’s ability to distribute power effectively.

Regularly inspect your tires for signs of wear and replace them if necessary to maintain optimal AWD performance. 2.

Road conditions: AWD can greatly enhance traction and stability on slippery or low-traction road surfaces such as snow, ice, or wet pavement. However, in extremely challenging conditions, even AWD may struggle.

Deep snow, ice patches, or extremely slippery surfaces can still make it difficult for the AWD system to maintain traction. It’s important to always exercise caution when driving in severe weather conditions, regardless of your vehicle’s capabilities.

3. Driving habits: Your driving style can also impact the performance of the AWD system.

Aggressive acceleration, sudden braking, or excessive cornering can overstress the AWD system and may lead to reduced performance. Being mindful of your driving habits and implementing smoother, more controlled maneuvers can help preserve the good function of the AWD system.

4. Regular maintenance: Proper maintenance of your CR-V, including routine inspections and servicing, is crucial to keep the AWD system in optimal working condition.

Regularly check and change fluids such as transmission fluid, differential fluid, and transfer case fluid as recommended by Honda. Neglecting maintenance can lead to degraded performance and potential damage to the AWD system.

Maintenance tips for AWD in a Honda CR-V

To ensure that your CR-V’s AWD system continues to perform optimally, follow these maintenance tips:

1. Regular servicing: Adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals to keep your AWD system in top shape.

This includes oil changes, fluid replacements, and other routine maintenance tasks specific to your CR-V’s AWD system. Regular servicing will help prevent device degradation and identify any potential issues before they develop into major problems.

2. Fluid checks and changes: Keep a close eye on the various fluids that contribute to the operation of the AWD system, such as transmission fluid, differential fluid, and transfer case fluid.

Check these fluids regularly using the dipsticks or inspection ports specified in the owner’s manual. If you notice any discoloration, contaminants, or low levels, consult your Honda dealer or a trusted mechanic to have them promptly addressed.

3. Tire maintenance: Proper tire maintenance is essential for optimal AWD system performance.

Regularly check tire pressure and ensure it aligns with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Additionally, monitor tread depth and rotate your tires according to the schedule outlined in the owner’s manual to promote even wear.

When replacing tires, ensure they match the original specifications and are suitable for the driving conditions you typically encounter. 4.

Avoid damaging impacts: Be cautious when driving over curbs, rocks, or other potentially damaging obstacles. Impacting these objects can harm the AWD system’s components, such as the axles or transfer case.

Avoid unnecessary impacts and drive carefully over rough or uneven terrain to prevent damage. 5.

Follow manufacturer guidelines for towing: If you plan to tow with your CR-V, ensure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for safe towing. Excessively heavy loads, improper weight distribution, or incorrect towing techniques can strain the AWD system and other components of your vehicle.

6. Seek professional help: If you notice any unusual noises, vibrations, or warning lights related to the AWD system, do not hesitate to consult a certified Honda technician.

They possess the knowledge and equipment required to diagnose and resolve any potential issues with your AWD system promptly. By following these maintenance tips, you can help ensure that your Honda CR-V’s AWD system remains in optimal condition, providing you with reliable traction and stability in varying driving conditions.

Regular servicing, fluid checks and changes, tire maintenance, and safe driving practices all contribute to prolonging the life and performance of your AWD system. Can AWD be added to a Honda CR-V that doesn’t have it?

One question that might come up for Honda CR-V owners is whether it’s possible to add all-wheel drive (AWD) to a CR-V model that doesn’t come with it from the factory. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to add AWD to a Honda CR-V after it has been manufactured.

AWD is not an accessory or aftermarket addition that can be installed. AWD is a feature that is built into the vehicle during the manufacturing process, and the necessary components and systems are integrated into the design of the car.

Therefore, if you initially purchased a Honda CR-V without AWD, it is not something that can be retrofitted or added on later. The AWD system is not simply a matter of adding a few additional components or making modifications, but rather it involves numerous elements such as drivetrain design, suspension, and other essential parts of the vehicle that are only present in AWD versions of the CR-V.

It’s important to keep in mind that purchasing a vehicle with AWD is a significant decision and should be made based on your actual driving needs and the conditions you typically encounter. While AWD offers advantages in certain situations, if you typically drive on well-maintained roads with mild weather, opting for a two-wheel-drive version of the CR-V may be more than sufficient, and you can save some money in the process.

Comparison of AWD in Honda CR-V to other SUV models

When considering the all-wheel drive (AWD) system in the Honda CR-V, it’s helpful to compare it to the AWD systems found in other SUV models on the market. AWD systems can vary in terms of their design, capabilities, and performance.

Let’s take a look at how the AWD system in the Honda CR-V compares to other SUV models. 1.

Subaru Forester: Subaru is well-known for its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, which is standard on all Subaru models, including the Forester. The Forester’s AWD system is known for its balance and stability, providing optimal power distribution to all wheels.

It also features X-MODE, a technology that enhances traction and control in challenging conditions. The Subaru Forester’s AWD system is regarded for its all-weather capabilities and off-road prowess.

2. Toyota RAV4: The Toyota RAV4 offers an available AWD system known as Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD.

This system can distribute torque between the front and rear wheels as well as between the left and right rear wheels to optimize traction and handling. The RAV4’s AWD system also features selectable drive modes that allow the driver to choose the preferred level of performance and efficiency.

3. Ford Escape: The Ford Escape offers an Intelligent AWD system.

This system continuously monitors road conditions and can adjust torque distribution between the front and rear wheels in real time. It utilizes sensors to detect wheel slip and redirect power as needed.

The Ford Escape’s AWD system is designed to provide improved traction and handling in various conditions. 4.

Nissan Rogue: The Nissan Rogue offers an Intelligent AWD system that automatically adjusts power distribution to each wheel based on road and driving conditions. The system can detect wheel slippage and redistribute torque to enhance traction.

The Rogue’s AWD system also features an available Drive Mode Selector that allows the driver to tailor the vehicle’s performance to specific circumstances. While the AWD system in the Honda CR-V is not specifically designed for off-road adventures, it still provides improved stability and traction in various conditions.

Honda’s Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System uses sensors to monitor conditions and can automatically send power to the wheels with the most traction. The CR-V’s AWD system is designed to enhance performance in rain, snow, and other low-traction situations, making it suitable for everyday driving and mild off-road adventures.

When comparing AWD systems, it’s important to consider factors such as how torque is distributed, the adaptability to changing conditions, and any additional features or technologies that enhance the system’s performance. Ultimately, the choice of AWD system depends on the specific needs and preferences of the driver.

Review of CR-V’s AWD system by automotive experts

The Honda CR-V has garnered praise from both experts and consumers for its reliable and capable all-wheel drive (AWD) system. Automotive experts have provided positive reviews of the CR-V’s AWD system, highlighting its performance, functionality, and contribution to the overall driving experience.

1. Car and Driver: Car and Driver has lauded the CR-V’s AWD system, calling it a “confidence-inspiring companion on slippery roads.” They note that the system operates seamlessly, providing enhanced stability and traction.

Car and Driver also praises Honda’s Intelligent Control System, which continuously monitors road conditions and adjusts torque distribution accordingly. 2.

Motor1: Motor1 has commended the CR-V’s AWD system for its effectiveness in various conditions. They note that the system engages quickly and distributes power smoothly, providing added confidence when driving on wet or snowy roads.

Motor1 also praises Honda’s AWD system for its ability to enhance the CR-V’s handling, making it feel more poised and secure. 3.

Edmunds: Edmunds has recognized the CR-V’s AWD system as one of the best in its class. They highlight its ability to deliver torque to the wheels with the most traction, improving overall stability and control.

Edmunds also appreciates how the system seamlessly transitions between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, optimizing efficiency when full power to all four wheels is not necessary. 4.

Kelley Blue Book: Kelley Blue Book commends the CR-V’s AWD system for providing excellent balance and stability, particularly in inclement weather conditions. They praise its seamless operation and how it enhances the CR-V’s handling capabilities.

Kelley Blue Book highlights Honda’s reputation for reliability and notes that the CR-V’s AWD system aligns with this standard. These reviews from respected automotive experts highlight the positive aspects of the CR-V’s AWD system, emphasizing its performance, functionality, and ability to instill confidence in various driving conditions.

The seamless operation, torque distribution, and enhanced handling capabilities contribute to the overall positive impression of Honda’s AWD system in the CR-V.

Safety benefits of AWD in a Honda CR-V

Besides its performance and handling advantages, the all-wheel drive (AWD) system in the Honda CR-V also offers numerous safety benefits. These safety benefits provide additional protection for both the driver and passengers, ensuring a safer driving experience in various conditions.

Let’s explore some of the safety advantages of AWD in the Honda CR-V:

1. Enhanced traction: A primary safety benefit of AWD is improved traction.

The AWD system in the CR-V distributes power to all four wheels, which helps minimize wheelspin and maintain better grip on slippery surfaces. This enhanced traction provides more control and stability, reducing the risk of skidding, sliding, or losing control in adverse weather conditions.

2. Increased stability: AWD enhances the vehicle’s stability, especially during sudden maneuvers or when encountering obstacles.

By sending power to the wheels with the most traction, AWD helps prevent the vehicle from veering off course, improving its overall stability and reducing the risk of accidents. 3.

Better handling in corners: The AWD system in the CR-V helps distribute power to the wheels with the most grip, allowing for improved handling during cornering. This results in enhanced stability, reduced body roll, and better control, which can contribute to safer maneuvers and a more confident driving experience.

4. Improved acceleration and braking: AWD can enhance acceleration and braking performance, particularly on low-traction surfaces.

When accelerating, power is distributed to all four wheels, allowing the CR-V to effectively transfer torque and gain traction. Similarly, when braking, AWD helps distribute braking force across all wheels, promoting better control and shorter stopping distances.

5. Off-road capability: The AWD system in the CR-V provides increased capabilities for off-road adventures.

It helps maintain traction and stability on uneven terrain, allowing drivers to confidently navigate trails and unpaved roads. This adds an extra layer of safety when exploring outdoor environments.

While AWD in the CR-V offers several safety benefits, it should not replace safe driving practices or the importance of driver attentiveness. It is essential to drive responsibly, maintain a safe speed, and adapt to road conditions, regardless of the vehicle’s capabilities.

AWD should be seen as an additional safety feature that supplements good driving habits and further enhances the overall safety of the Honda CR-V. In conclusion, automotive experts have praised the Honda CR-V’s AWD system for its performance and functionality, which contribute to a confident driving experience.

Additionally, the AWD system provides several safety benefits, including enhanced traction, increased stability, improved handling in corners, better acceleration and braking, and off-road capability. These safety advantages make the Honda CR-V an appealing choice for those seeking reliability, versatility, and added safety features in their SUV.

Discussion around the cost of AWD for a Honda CR-V

When considering the purchase of a Honda CR-V with all-wheel drive (AWD), it’s important to understand the potential cost implications. AWD is a desirable feature for many buyers, but it may come with a higher initial cost compared to the two-wheel-drive version of the CR-V.

Let’s explore the factors that contribute to the cost of AWD and whether the additional expense is justified. 1.

Manufacturer’s pricing: Honda sets the pricing for different trim levels and options, including the AWD system. Generally, the AWD option adds to the base price of the vehicle.

The exact cost can vary depending on the specific model year, trim level, and any additional features included with the AWD package. It’s worth noting that the added cost is not solely attributed to the AWD system itself, but also to the associated equipment and modifications required to accommodate the AWD system.

2. Fuel efficiency: AWD vehicles tend to have slightly lower fuel efficiency compared to their two-wheel-drive counterparts.

This can result in higher fuel costs over the life of the vehicle. However, the difference in fuel consumption may not be significant, and the benefits of AWD in terms of traction and handling can outweigh the slight decrease in efficiency for many drivers.

3. Insurance premiums: AWD vehicles may have slightly higher insurance premiums compared to their two-wheel-drive counterparts.

This is because the added traction and safety features of AWD can potentially lower the risk of accidents in certain conditions. However, insurance premiums are influenced by various factors, and the impact of AWD on premiums can vary depending on the insurance provider and the driver’s individual circumstances.

Considering these factors, the decision to opt for AWD depends on your driving needs, the climate in which you reside, and the terrain you commonly encounter. If you live in an area with challenging weather conditions, such as frequent snow or rain, or if you regularly drive on slippery or unpaved roads, the added cost of AWD may be justified.

AWD provides improved traction and stability, potentially enhancing safety and peace of mind. It’s important to evaluate your individual driving habits and requirements when determining whether the cost of AWD is worth it for your Honda CR-V.

Conducting research, test driving both AWD and two-wheel-drive models, and considering your budget can help you make an informed decision.

Warranty coverage for AWD in a Honda CR-V

When purchasing a Honda CR-V with all-wheel drive (AWD), it’s crucial to understand the warranty coverage provided for the AWD system. Knowing what is covered and for how long can give you peace of mind and protect you from potential repair costs related to the AWD system.

Let’s dive into the warranty coverage provided by Honda for the AWD system in the CR-V. 1.

Limited warranty: Honda offers a comprehensive limited warranty for new vehicles, which covers the AWD system on the CR-V. The limited warranty typically extends for a specific period, such as three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first.

This warranty covers defects in materials or workmanship for most parts of the AWD system during the specified coverage period. 2.

Powertrain warranty: In addition to the limited warranty, Honda provides a powertrain warranty that typically covers major components of the AWD system. The powertrain warranty generally has a longer coverage period, often extending up to five years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Components such as the drivetrain, axle assemblies, and the transfer case are typically included in the powertrain warranty. 3.

Extended warranty options: Honda also offers extended warranty options, which can provide additional coverage for the AWD system beyond the standard limited and powertrain warranties. These extended warranties can be purchased separately and typically offer protection for a longer duration or higher mileage, providing added peace of mind for CR-V owners who wish to extend the coverage for their AWD system.

It’s important to note that warranty coverage may vary depending on the specific model year, country, and regional policies. Reviewing the warranty documentation specific to your CR-V and consulting with a Honda dealer or customer service representative can provide detailed information regarding the warranty coverage for the AWD system in your particular vehicle.

It is recommended to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and keep records of any service or repairs performed on the AWD system. This can help ensure that any potential warranty claims related to the AWD system are properly supported.

In conclusion, Honda provides warranty coverage for the AWD system in the CR-V through its limited and powertrain warranties. Familiarizing yourself with the specific coverage periods and components included in these warranties is essential to understand the protection provided for your AWD system.

Additionally, considering extended warranty options can help further extend coverage and alleviate concerns regarding potential repair costs associated with the AWD system.

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