I've got a pretty simplistic approach to this:
If it has a locking differential with 4-Hi and 4-Lo applying power equally and doesn't kick itself out based on speed, it a 4x4 and shouldn't be driven on dry roads at higher speeds as the differential is putting power to both sides equally and the driver and passenger side needs to be able to turn at different speeds.
If it has an electronic system applying power to each wheel individually as needed, it's AWD and is the way to go for a ski vehicle to be used on highways and not for serious off road driving.
Very few SUVs are actual 4x4's, they're variations of AWD/full time 4WD. The smaller ones tend to have systems that only engage at lower speeds to assist with initial acceleration, which is what most people "need" for getting the city.
My humble opinion - Most people would be better off taking things in steps with #1 being take a driving course that teaches you how to truely handle a vehicle. Then buy the technology to make things easier.