If you’re considering buying a new SUV or truck, you’re probably wondering if getting4 wheel drive is worth the extra cost.
4×4 is only worth it if you plan to take your vehicle off-road or drive it in hazardous weather conditions such as deep snow. If you only plan on using your vehicle to drive on smooth pavement to get from A-B, then buying a 4×4 is not worth the extra money.
Read on to find out how much of a difference 4×4 makes, as well as if they are more expensive to maintain.
Does 4×4 Really Make A Difference?
Yes. 4×4 really does make a difference if you are driving off-road or in poor weather conditions.
4×4 will give you more traction and stability, making your vehicle easier to handle.
If you plan on driving on terrain where your truck could become stuck (such as in deep mud) the 4×4 could be the difference between you getting stuck or having to call for help.
Does 4×4 Use More Gas?
The short answer is yes.
A 4×4 will use more gas than a 2×4 because they require extra parts that increase the weight of the vehicle and cause more friction when the car is being driven.
Even a 4wd car that has the 2wd engaged will use more gas, simply because of this extra weight and friction.
A 4×4 requires a transfer case, a front differential, and an extra drive train. These parts are heavy and cause a build-up of friction in the transfer case.
Is 4×2 Faster Than 4×4?
A 4×2 truck will almost always be faster than its 4×4 equivalent.
This is because 4×4 trucks have extra components like the drive train which causes increased weight and more friction.
Why Are 4x4s So Expensive?
4×4 vehicles are expensive because they are produced and sold at low volume, which means increased production costs.
4×4 trucks and SUVs are also sold as luxury vehicles and are usually built to a higher spec than your standard everyday car.
They are built to be rugged and therefore require more materials and parts than 2wd cars.
Are 4×4 More Expensive To Maintain?
Yes. 4×4 trucks are more expensive to maintain simply because they have more components than a 2×4 truck.
These extra parts also increase the chances that your truck or SUV will encounter a breakdown.
Also, people buy a 4×4 to drive it off-road or in poor weather conditions, meaning average maintenance costs for a 4wd are going to be much higher than a 2wd.
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How Much More Does 4×4 Cost?
The 4×4 version of a truck or SUV will usually cost anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000
more than the 2×4 version. For example, the 4wd version of the Toyota Tundra costs roughly $3,000 USD more than the 2wd version.
Keep in mind that you will also pay extra for maintenance and increased fuel costs.
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Are 4×4 Better In Snow?
Yes, a 4×4 truck or SUV will handle snow signiﬁcantly better than a 2×4 vehicle.
The 4wd provides better traction and stability than the 2wd, meaning you are much less likely to get stuck in snow or skid on ice.
However, keep in mind that both 4wd and 2wd vehicles require the right type of tires for winter driving.
Is 4×4 Better Than Winter Tyres?
Having a 4×4 is not a substitute for having the correct winter tires.
Although a 4wd truck is likely to do better in winter conditions than a standard vehicle, Winter tires will greatly improve the performance of any 4wd vehicle in snow.
Is 4×4 Better Than AWD?
4×4 is better than AWD for off-road terrain.
The 4×4 system is speciﬁcally designed for rough terrain and is, therefore, more powerful and robust than an AWD system for handling that type of terrain.
The AWD system is better for vehicles that spend the majority of their time on smooth pavement, but encounter hazardous road conditions from time to time.
This is because they are designed to be left on a more permanent basis.
Is 4×4 Better For Towing?
4×4 is better for towing if you are on certain off-road terrains, such as wet grass, thick mud, or gravel.
This is because you have more traction in each wheel, meaning less chance of the vehicle slipping.
However, if you are towing on smooth pavement, then a 4×4 has no huge advantage over a 2wd.
Is 4×4 Better In Rain?
Yes, 4×4 will help improve traction and handling if you are driving in rain.
You are less likely to skid or aquaplane in a 4×4 vehicle than in a 2×3 vehicle.
Is 4×4 Better For Racing?
It depends, if you are racing on smooth pavement, then a 2×4 rear-wheel drive car will always be better for racing because 4×4 is heavier with more friction.
That’s why most sports cars are 2×4 rear-wheel drive.
However, if you are driving off-road on slippery surfaces, then 4×4 would be better for racing as you would have more traction.
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