What does 4x4 stand for?

Is 4WD the same thing as 4x4?
That question comes up about once a month - so, I had to include the answer here on my site.

4x4 (four by four)
translates to a vehicle with 4 wheels powered by 4 wheels -
so, its a 4WD or AWD (four wheel drive or all wheel drive)

4x2 (four by two)
translates to a vehicle with 4 wheels powered by 2 wheels -
so, its a 2WD (two wheel drive)

6x6 (six by six)
translates to a vehicle with 6 wheels powered by 6 wheels -
so, its a 6WD (six wheel drive)

8x8 (eight by eight)
translates to a vehicle with 8 wheels powered by 8 wheels -
wow, its a 8WD (eight wheel drive)

Even though 4WD and 4x4 are commonly used to indicate the same thing, a 4WD is not necessarily a 4x4. Because a 3 axle truck with six wheels can be a 4WD as well (both rear axles are powered) - you would have refer to it as a 6x4 (six by for - six wheel vehicle powered by four wheels).
Actually very early 4WD vehicles used that configuration quite often.

Also, what are the differences between four wheel drive (4WD), all wheel drive (AWD), part time 4WD, full time 4WD - and even automatic 4WD?

Here is the answer

Thank you, you made my choice in buying the right SUV an easier one! Great information, and an easy read

Jeffrey 11-25-04