Toyota All-Wheel Drive Vehicles

Parked 2021 Toyota Highlander
Whether you’re anticipating inclement weather this winter or planning an off-road adventure with friends, you want a vehicle that will be able to safely handle tricky terrain and get you where you need to go with ease. Having an all-wheel drive (AWD)-capable vehicle is becoming a necessity for many St. Peters families that want the ability to handle whatever the road or the weather has in store for their daily drives.

To help drivers find the perfect vehicle for their needs, the Toyota brand has created a lineup of Toyota AWD vehicles that offer exceptional performance and capability features. Explore the Toyota AWD lineup with Pappas Toyota below, then explore our online model showroom to see your favorite Toyota AWD vehicle up close.

Which Toyota Models Are AWD?

As more St Louis drivers search for an AWD vehicle that can power through tough winter conditions, the Toyota all-wheel drive lineup has continued to grow. With some of your favorite Toyota sedans, minivans, SUVs, and trucks offering AWD capability, you can get the car you love without worrying about whether or not it can handle inclement winter weather. Explore the Toyota AWD vehicles below:

  • Toyota Prius
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Avalon
  • Toyota Sienna
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
  • Toyota RAV4 Prime
  • Toyota Venza
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Toyota Highlander Hybrid
  • Toyota Sequoia
  • Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Toyota Tacoma
  • Toyota Tundra

Toyota All-Wheel Drive Technologies

There are four types of AWD systems that are used on Toyota AWD vehicles. Dynamic Torque-Control is used on sedans and smaller SUVs, while the stronger Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD with Driveline Disconnect is more common on larger SUVs and trucks. Electronic On-Demand AWD and AWDe are used on Toyota hybrid vehicles.

Each Toyota AWD system uses sensors and computers to sense current O'Fallon road conditions and apply extra traction where it’s needed. How each system applies that traction is what sets them apart from one another. Read about each Toyota AWD system below:

Dynamic Torque-Control AWD:

  • This AWD system uses electromagnetic coupling ahead of the rear differential to engage and disengage the AWD system.
  • When the sensors and the computer detect that a tire is slipping (or spinning), it gently applies the brakes to the slipping tire.
  • This equalizes the traction on all wheels and helps preserve the forward momentum of the vehicle.
  • This system does not adjust the power going to each wheel.
  • The driveshaft that powers the AWD is always turning on this system – even if the electromagnetic coupler is disengaged.
  • This can add some additional drag to the vehicle, but it only sacrifices 3 or 4 MPG.
  • This system can be found on: The Toyota Avalon XLE, Avalon XLE Limited; Toyota Camry LE, Camry SE, Camry XLE, and Camry XSE; Toyota RAV4 LE, RAV4 XLE, and RAV4 XLE Premium.

Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD with Driveline Disconnect:

  • This AWD system uses multiple dog-clutch gears to engage the AWD system behind the transmission, ahead of the rear differential, and each rear tire.
  • The dog clutches allow the AWD system to distribute engine power to each wheel, as opposed to using selective braking like the Dynamic Torque-Control AWD system.
  • The system works by sensing a slipping wheel and disengaging the dog-clutch to that wheel. It then applies the extra power to the other non-slipping wheels to preserve forward momentum.
  • The unique design of the dog-clutch allows more torque to be distributed to each tire, which allows for more power than the Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD system can provide.
  • The dog clutches also allow the driveshaft to disengage completely when AWD is not running, meaning that the driveshaft won’t continuously turn.
  • This system can be found on: The Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road, RAV4 Adventure, and RAV4 Limited; Toyota Highlander Limited, and Highlander Platinum.

Electronic On-Demand AWD:

  • The Electronic On-Demand AWD system is found on some Toyota Hybrid vehicles.
  • This system does away with driveshafts completely, replacing them with electric-motor generators for the rear tires.
  • There is no mechanical connection between the front and rear wheels.
  • When additional traction isn’t required, the rear wheel motors are turned off.
  • When the system senses additional traction is needed, the rear tire motors are switched on and distribute power as-needed to each tire.
  • This system can be found on: The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid.


  • AWDe is set up to maximize fuel efficiency and minimize weight and drag and is therefore found on smaller hybrid Toyota AWD cars.
  • The AWDe system works the same as the Electronic On-Demand AWD system with some exceptions.
  • To begin, the rear motors are induction motors, and only are available at speeds below 43mph. This protects the AWD motors from burning out.
  • The AWDe system is also engaged up to 6mph while the vehicle is accelerating.
  • This is due to the fact that electric motors operate more efficiently than gasoline engines at low speeds. This helps reduce emissions and fuel consumption.
  • If the system senses that traction is needed above 6mph, it will stay engaged up until 43mph. Otherwise, the AWD system will disengage if no traction is needed.
  • This system can be found on: The Toyota Prius.

Toyota AWD vs. 4WD

While Toyota AWD vehicles are ideal for the majority of St Charles drivers, some may find the additional capability offered in a Toyota four-wheel drive (4WD) model better meets their needs. Toyota 4WD operates similarly to the Toyota AWD systems, however, the Toyota 4WD system is more robust and can handle tougher conditions and navigate difficult off-road terrain.

While four-wheel drive systems offer better capability, they also move a lot slower than Toyota all-wheel drive systems. Putting your Toyota in 4WD Low means you’re moving very slowly over hazardous terrain. Putting your Toyota in 4WD High allows you to move quicker down paved roads, but not above 30 – 45 mph.

Drivers who live in rural areas where the streets are not plowed as often or drivers who frequently off-road may find that a Toyota 4WD vehicle better suits their needs. Explore the Toyota 4WD vehicles below:

  • Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Toyota 4Runner
  • Toyota Sequoia
  • Toyota Tacoma
  • Toyota Tundra

Test Drive Toyota AWD and 4WD Models at Pappas Toyota

If you’re ready to experience the AWD or 4WD capability offered by the Toyota lineup, contact Pappas Toyota for a test drive in your favorite model. Our team will be happy to show you everything you need to know about your Toyota AWD vehicle and get you a budget-friendly financing plan. Contact our team today! We look forward to putting you behind the wheel of a new Toyota AWD or 4WD vehicle!