For drivers wanting peace of mind on rough roads, having AWD (all-wheel drive) is a must. And luckily for RAV4 drivers, engaging AWD requires no thought at all—your car does it for you. 

The AWD-equipped RAV4 offers Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive, which constantly monitors torque transfer between the front and wheel wheels and automatically engages AWD when the rear wheels need extra traction. For example, if you’re driving along a smooth road and hit a sticky patch of mud, your vehicle will switch from FWD (front-wheel drive) to AWD to get out of the mud, then it will switch back to FWD when the coast is clear.

How to Put the RAV4 in AWD

If you’re wondering how to put your RAV4 in AWD, don’t worry—there’s no secret button to engage it. The beauty of Toyota Dynamic Torque Control AWD is that it automatically transitions to AWD when necessary, so you don’t have to waste fuel when AWD isn’t needed. In normal driving conditions, the Toyota RAV4 uses FWD, which conserves fuel (the more wheels to deliver power to, the less fuel efficient the car). Using integrated sensors that monitor vehicle speed, steering speed and angle, throttle angle, and yaw rate, the RAV4’s AWD system can actively control torque distribution to the rear wheels, ensuring optimal traction—even on the sloppiest roads. 

RAV4 Four Wheel Drive System

Some RAV4 models also have a 4WD (four-wheel drive) “Lock” function, which engages the RAV4  four wheel drive system. This function is best if you’re driving for an extended period of time through rugged terrain, such as deep snow or extremely rugged terrain.  To engage four wheel drive, you must be driving no faster than 25 mph. Once you’ve reached this speed, you can press the RAV4 four wheel drive button next to the steering wheel, which enables 4WD. In this mode, power is sent to all of your vehicle’s wheels, including the rear wheels. After you’re finished using 4WD, simply press the lock button again to disable it. If you exceed 25 mph, the 4WD setting will automatically disengage.  

Most Toyota RAV4 models that have been released after 2011 have AWD, rather than 4WD. 

AWD vs. 4WD in Toyota RAV4

You might be curious, what’s the difference between AWD and FWD in the Toyota RAV4? And which is better for driving through snow? Both systems power all four wheels, but AWD does not require any input from the driver (it automatically engages when needed), whereas 4WD must be activated by the driver. AWD is best for everyday driving, as it doesn’t interfere with acceleration or agility, but still gives the driver peace of mind on slippery roads. Meanwhile, 4WD is a better option for drivers going off-roading or through deep snow.

Find your new Toyota RAV4 for sale just around the corner 

Have your eye on a new Toyota RAV4 for sale? We encourage you to browse our online inventory, schedule a test drive, and investigate financing options. You can also request more information about a new Toyota RAV4 for sale near Dallas using our online form or by calling the experienced sales staff at Lone Star Toyota of Lewisville at 469-645-0602.


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