10 States with the Least 4WD and AWD Vehicles

Where you live in the U.S. plays a big role in what kind of vehicle you drive. For example, beachgoers in Florida may consider the best vehicle to transport their surfboard. When buying a new car, some drivers put a focus on the environment. Some states, like California, currently have strict automotive emissions standards. In some parts of the U.S., a 4WD or AWD vehicle is a matter of choice and not so much a necessity. Traction on icy roads or off-road capabilities is not a factor when choosing a new vehicle. According to iSeeCars, these are the 10 states with the least 4WD and AWD drive vehicles on the road today.

Ten states with the least 4WD and AWD vehicles

  1. Florida, 17.4%
  2. Hawaii, 18.2%
  3. Louisiana, 18.5%
  4. California, 20.5%
  5. Mississippi, 21.4%
  6. Alabama, 21.7%
  7. Texas, 22.0%
  8. Georgia, 23.2%
  9. Arizona, 23.9%
  10. South Carolina, 24.2%

Not surprisingly, these states are all in the southern half of the U.S. In many parts, snow is sparse or even nonexistent. For these drivers, the versatility of off-roading and winter performance has taken a back seat to considerations like vehicle size and fuel efficiency. In these areas of the U.S., 2WD vehicles offer several advantages over 4WD and AWD vehicles.

2WD vehicles are more fuel-efficient

In some of these states, long commute times are the norm. For anyone who spends hours on the road every weekday, a vehicle’s fuel efficiency is top of mind. A commuter car is easy on gas and comfortable for both drivers and passengers. 

California, which is No. 4 on the list, leads the country in commute times. In the city of Palmdale, just over a third of all residents commute for two hours or more round trip, every single day. Residents of other California cities that see longer than average commute times include the Inland Empire, Lodi, and San Francisco. In the No. 8 state, Georgia, commuters in the Atlanta metro also spend plenty of time on the road. 

For years, the Honda Civic has been loved and driven by commuters. According to Insurify, the Honda Civic is the most popular vehicle in the Golden State, as well as No. 9, Arizona.

2WD vehicles tend to be smaller

Many 4WD and AWD vehicles are trucks and SUVs, which are much larger than most 2WD cars. In metropolitan cities, parking is at a premium. Trying to parallel park or navigate a crowded city street in a large vehicle poses some challenges.

In the No. 7 state, Texas, smaller vehicles give drivers in Houston and San Antonio the maneuverability they need. Insurify crunched some numbers and found that the Nissan Altima is the most popular car not just in Texas, but also No. 6 Alabama, No. 5 Mississippi, and No. 3 Louisiana.

2WD vehicles offer sufficient traction for flat, snow-free areas

When some states on this list, like No. 1 Florida, see snow, it’s a historic event. In fact, the first recorded snowfall in southern Florida happened in January 1977. In Hawaii, No. 2, average daytime temperatures stay in the 70s and 80s all year round. Lucky drivers in these southern states don’t have to worry about driving safely in the snow.

According to National Geographic, Florida also holds the title of the flattest state in the U.S. Unlike the Rocky Mountain states where drivers must have 4WD, the states on the list are relatively flat.

In these 10 states, icy roads and rough terrain aren’t something drivers have to consider when shopping for a vehicle. While road salt causes vehicle rust in northern states, drivers in these southern states get to keep their cars looking better for longer.