Audi and Mercedes are among the top luxury car brands on the market. Nonetheless, these two luxury car brands have been competing for several years and offer some of the best car technologies on the market. But which car brand has the best AWD system between the Quattro and 4Matic systems?
Quattro and 4Matic are two outstanding all-wheel-drive systems that will help your car to easily navigate in tricky or adverse conditions like slippery roads. However, the Audi Quattro is ideal for people who desire exceptional performance, while the Mercedes 4Matic is ideal for those who want a car that moves in all-weather smoothly.
So, the choice on whether to select the Audi Quattro or Mercedes 4Matic depends on the needs of the buyer. Overall, the Quattro has an edge over Mercedes as it performs better in winter and has a faster launch from starting. Besides, Quattro doesn’t skid easily, which is another advantage.
How does Quattro work?
Before we discuss how Quattro works, it is crucial to start by understanding what Quattro is. Quattro is an all-wheel-drive system that provides the car with an excellent performance on all terrain. Besides, this system provides so much grip than the two-wheel drive system.
To understand how Quattro works, we will start by highlighting the three different types of Quattro systems, which are the self-locking center differential system, hydraulic multi-plate clutch Quattro system, and the viscous coupling system. Always know which system your Audi is equipped with before using it.
The most popular Quattro system, which is the self-locking differential normally powers the wheels, 60:40 in favor of the rear wheels, providing the car with a sportier feel. Some of the Audis with this system are the A4, A6, and Q7.
The second Quattro system, which is the hydraulic multi-plate system functions by typically transferring power to the front wheels in good conditions, but it can also send 50 percent power to the rear wheel, if need be, with the help of the multi-plate clutch. Some of the Audi models with this Quattro system are the Audi A3 and TT.
Last but not least, the Quattro viscous coupling system works by sending 85 percent of the power to the rear wheels, but power can be immediately transferred to the front wheels if it is needed urgently. The Audi R8 is fitted with this powerful Quattro system.
How does 4Matic work?
Mercedes 4Matic is also an all-wheel-drive system that is always in action with a fixed torque split, hence power is always applied to all four wheels. So, power is not only sent to the front or rear wheels but all wheels. As a result, the car has more traction, grip, improved handling, stability, and acceleration.
The Mercedes 4Matic system was introduced in 1987 on the W124-generation E-Class. The first 4Matic system automatically engaged a four-wheel-drive when it recognized wheel slip, locking the rear and center differentials to offer extra traction.
Some of the Mercedes-Benz models with 4Matic all-wheel-drive system are the Mercedes E-Class sedan, S-Class, CLA-Class, A-Class sedan, GLA, GLS, and GLE SUVs.
Why choose Audi Quattro?
The main reason why you should choose Quattro over 4matic is because of the excellent grip and traction that it offers in the most extreme environments. This means that you won’t get stuck in mud or on a snowy or icy road. On top of that, you will get maximum performance and less understeering, unlike 4Matic.
Why choose Mercedes 4Matic?
Like the Audi Quattro, Mercedes 4Matic also has similar benefits. If you choose 4Matic, you will get improved driving, high fuel efficiency, an engine design with low noise and vibration, and a compact design that gives you more legroom. Besides, 4Matic is the best for all-terrains and all-weather.
More about Audi vs Mercedes.
Is all-wheel-drive worth the extra cost?
Since all-wheel-drive systems make the car costlier than similar cars without the system, it is important to only acquire it if you need it. If you live in cold areas where it snows or the roads are slippery, then you will need a car with this system.
But if not, you don’t have to pay the extra dollar for a system that won’t be very helpful to you. You can go for cars with the normal front-wheel-drive or the slightly advanced rear-wheel-drive system.
Which AWD system is the best – Quattro, XDrive, and 4Matic?
All these systems are exceptional and it will depend on what you’re looking for. As stated earlier, Audi’s Quattro system is suitable for people who want performance, while Mercedes’ 4Matic system is great for all terrains. On the other hand, BMW’s XDrive is best for those who demand a sporty drive.
Hence, you should take your time and find out other features that excite you before choosing an AWD system that appeals to you.
Can you turn off 4Matic?
Yes, you can. If you want to turn off 4matic, simply disable the 4Matic operation. You can do this by flipping up the ‘test lever’ located between the expansion chamber and the windscreen fluid tank. This will bypass the transfer case and it will return to being a two-wheel drive.
On the contrary, you should not drive your car in a two-wheel drive for long as the car’s controller doesn’t like it.
Do all Audis come with the Quattro system?
No, not all Audis come with quattro system. However, most of the Audis come with the AWD Quattro system. The Audi Quattro was first introduced in 1980 on the permanent four-wheel-drive Audi Quattro model. Since then, the Quattro has been fitted to all AWD Audi models.
What does Quattro mean?
Quattro means ‘four’ in Italian. Additionally, Quattro is the sub-brand applied by Audi to show that all-wheel-drive systems are used on a particular model. So, if you see an Audi with the name ‘Quattro,’ it means that it is equipped with an all-wheel-drive system.
Audi’s Quattro AWD system and Mercedes 4Matic AWD system are both excellent and will perform well in tricky conditions or roads. However, Quattro will offer the best performance and traction, while 4Matic will run smoothly on all terrains. So, make a wise choice as both of these systems are exceptional in what they do.