Volvo currently produces the all-wheel drive XC90, which drives like many 4-wheel drive vehicles. Other than that, Volvo has made trucks and military vehicles which are 4WD, including the Volvo MX 4×4 Rigid.
Four-wheel drive, 4WD, means that a vehicle uses all four wheels to run. The XC90 is an electronically-controlled AWD vehicle that uses all of its wheels intelligently. Although it’s technically AWD and not 4WD, the XC90 can still handle some pretty tough terrain and off-roading conditions, like many 4WD vehicles.
While some would describe the XC90 as 4WD, Volvo itself doesn’t label it that way. Largely because automakers tend to have their own take on how to build the systems. However, if we talk about pure 4WD with a lockable center differential or transmission, then Volvo makes Volvo MX 4×4 Rigid.
Volvo’s smart AWD system
Volvo has always been good in terms of making their cars. The bodies they make are always safer and more reliable than others. The platforms they use provide better balance, rollover protection, and better fuel economy. They have recently shifted towards the air suspension, which provides a smoother ride.
Volvo’s AWD uses electronic technology made by Volvo. The transmission system uses a computer to select which wheel needs the most power at any given time. The AWD in Volvo provides really good road traction and distributes torque to all wheels to provide the best road grip.
The Volvo AWD system checks for the need of torque to the wheel and then distributes according to the needs of particular wheels. The system is intelligent enough to provide the majority of power to the front wheels under normal driving conditions. However, when stationary, the system powers the rear wheels, which prepares them for maximum acceleration. HALDEX Traction creates an AWD system for Volvo.
The Volvo XC90 can drive like a 4×4
Volvo XC90 is an AWD SUV with an eight-speed automatic transmission by Aisin technology. The car handles snow and inclement weather well, and is also suitable for city rides. It can even be used for some occasional minor off-roading experiences.
The XC90 also has Hill-start assist features that help in hill descent and climbing. Although it can manage some hills and terrains, it’s not meant for hard off-roading and mountain climbing.
In the previous generation, Volvo used the P2 Platform for the car. They later replaced the P2 platform with the SPA platform. This gave the car a better road grip, which enables the XC90 to perform even better on hills and other slight off-roading events. The car has an air suspension system which certainly reduces the chances of rollovers and improves off-roading capabilities.
The XC90 has a great ground clearance, which provides better rides on uneven roads. It has a ground clearance of 9.2 inches (238 mm) which is way higher than the average 4×4 SUV’s ground clearance of 6 to 8 inches. Therefore, looking at its body and other specifications, the XC90 can be used the same as many 4-wheel drive vehicles.
Volvo’s heavy-duty 4WD trucks and military vehicles
Volvo made its first truck in 1928 which was LV series 1. The trucks Volvo produces are pure 4WD with all the differentials, transmission, and brakes that come with a 4×4. They were even ranked as the world’s second-largest manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks.
Volvo has made trucks for transport as well as for military usage. The military vehicles fall under the Volvo Defense name.
As with all the Volvo cars, Volvo trucks are also one of the safest in the world. The safety features provide safety to the driver along with other vehicles on the road. Some of the safety features include:
- Driver Alert Support
- Stretch Brakes
- Collision Warning with Emergency Brake
- Lane Keeping Support
Volvo 4×4 Truck lineup
Volvo produces some heavy 4×4 vehicles available all over the globe, including Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Africa. They even make vehicles that are up to 8×6. Their 4x4s include:
- Volvo MX 4×4 Rigid defense vehicle
- Volvo FL 4×4
In the past, they also made some other 4×4 military vehicles like:
- Volvo C303
- Volvo L3314
Is there more 4WD in Volvo’s future?
It’s hard to guess whether Volvo will ever make a pure 4WD vehicle in the near future. They have given almost all 4WD features to the XC90, so it seems unlikely for a regular passenger vehicle. They are focusing more ongoing towards electric.
Volvo trucks have been making some 4x4s in other markets, but not in the USA. The chances of introducing 4×4 in the USA are minor as the American drivers prefer bigger and heavy-duty trucks, which there are plenty of on the American market.
What is the difference between AWD and 4WD?
In 4WD vehicles, cars use all of their 4 wheels to move the car. This gives the car extremely high road grip and traction, making it excellent for off-roading experiences. Also known as 4x4s, 4WD vehicles can even push the vehicle on rocky surfaces. However, the 4WD system is not always engaged. It is usually automatically turned off and can be turned on with a button or by pulling a lever.
AWD (All-wheel drive) also uses all four of its wheels to run the car, but the system is always engaged. The car’s system distributes the transmission power according to the needs of a particular wheel. This is really useful for slippery roads where the system sends more power and torque towards the wheel that needs it the most.
So, both AWD and 4WD use all four wheels to run the car. However, the main difference lies in the transmission of power. In 4WD, the system is turned on by the driver, whereas in AWD the system provides the power intelligently. 4WD systems are useful for off-roading experiences, while AWD is useful for overall city use and slippery roads.
Is AWD better than 4WD?
Both AWD and 4WD have their own pros and cons. It all depends on what kind of ride the buyer wants. The pros of AWD include better handing of slippery conditions, better road grip, and better performance in snow or ice. The cons of AWD include a complex system that results in a more expensive car, lower fuel efficiency than 2WD, and a short tire life.
4WD also has its own pros like better traction in rocky surfaces and best for off-roading. The cons of 4WD include expensive maintenance and low fuel efficiency.
What are some best 4×4 SUVs?
There are several good 4×4 SUVs available in the market today. Lately, people just like the feel of a bigger vehicle and the driving experience. So, car manufacturers have also decided to put some of the best features in SUVs. Some of the best 4×4 SUVs include the:
- 2021 Ford Bronco
- Toyota Land Cruiser
- 2020 Land Rover Discovery
- 2020 Jeep Wrangler
Read this too: Which Mercedes-Benz is 4-wheel drive?