If you are in the market for a new or used Volkswagen, you’ve probably heard the term 4motion and wondered what it is. Or if you have seen the 4motion badge on the side or back of a VW and wondered what it is. You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll be briefly describing what 4motion is so you can be an expert when you’re talking to those salesmen.
What is Volkswagen 4motion?
4motion is Volkswagen’s term for vehicles that have the all-wheel-drive system, kind of how Audi refers to their 4×4 vehicles by quattro®. All-Wheel-Drive, or commonly referred to as simply AWD, is a permanently engaged four-wheel-drive system. What this means is that torque is distributed between the front and rear wheels on an infinitely variable basis. So if you are in driving conditions that only require FWD or 2WD, the transmission will automatically adjust. However, if you are in adverse weather conditions, such as rain or snow, distribution of torque between all four wheels becomes instant before any wheelspin occurs.
4motion improves the vehicle’s traction, acceleration, on and off-road ability, and grips around corners. The system runs in the background, meaning the driver can just relax and know that the drivetrain will adjust to whatever road conditions it experiences. There are two different types of 4motion drivetrains that is worth mentioning. The first manages torque distribution with electro-hydraulic coupling, while the other type uses a more robust mechanical coupling. Regardless of which type, the 4motion essentially acts the same.
4WD vs AWD
This topic can get a little confusing, but we’ll try to explain it in simpler terms so it is easy to digest. 4-Wheel-Drive, refers to a drivetrain that provides power directly to all four wheels EQUALLY on a vehicle. 4WD vehicles tend to be better suited for off-road conditions or extreme weather conditions. 4WD is also typically found in trucks or jeeps to tackle those off-road situations.
AWD is similar in the fact that it refers to a drivetrain where all four wheels can gain traction independently of each other. AWD can switch between 2WD and AWD simultaneously. When 2WD is activated, fuel economy goes up. You will typically find AWD on cars or SUVs because it is optimized for on-road usage. An AWD system ends up saving you a little gas, is best in rain or snow conditions, and it mindlessly works. In other words, you don’t have to manually turn on AWD.
Vehicles with 4motion
Believe it or not, not all Volkswagen vehicles are equipped with 4motion, but it seems that most of the bigger CUV’s are equipped with it. See the list below.
Is 4motion Worth it?
It depends. If you happen to be located in a place where winters are harsh and snow is prominent, then 4motion may be worth it. However, we do know that it is more expensive, about $2,500 more expensive. If you are purchasing a new VW, $2,500 is well worth it, but if you are purchasing a used 4motion VW vehicle, then you may have to weigh your options. Another point to throw out there is that they can be expensive to maintain. The reason we recommend it is because it provides the driver an extra sense of security and peace of mind while driving under adverse road conditions. So really, it all comes down to what weather you experience on an annual basis.
Put simply, if you are someone that goes off-road a lot, 4WD is the way to go. If you are someone who just wants peace of mind in on-road adverse weather conditions, 4motion is the way to go.
VW 4motion Conclusion
To conclude this post, we tried to keep it simple and surface-level for comprehension purposes. 4motion is Volkswagen’s intelligent AWD system that is only found in a certain few VW vehicles. It’s worth is up to the discretion of the driver and the conditions normally seen on an annual basis. Let us know if you would like a more technical explanation and we can certainly add on to this post.
Also, if you would like to read up on more Volkswagen content, here is an article we wrote about “What is Volkswagen TDI?“