AuthorJoel

4 definitions related to 4 x 4 vehicles

4 x 4 vehicles are extremely diverse and the terminology used to describe the architecture and functions of these cars differ depending on manufacturer and market. Marketing may also play an important role when it comes to terms related to 4 x 4 vehicles, because manufacturers are looking to increase sales in the first place. If you are interesting in purchasing a 4 x 4 car, you are probably a bit confused by terms such as 4 x 4, AWD, 4WD, and IWD. In this article we’re looking to explain these four terms and make it easier for you to research cars and make the right decisions.

4 x 4

Electric car

4 x 4 is the general term describing two-axled vehicles which can provide power to all wheel ends. 4 x 4 vehicles can be full-time (all four wheels are powered all the time) or on-demand (the driver or the vehicle switches to 4 x 4 if conditions require it). But why are they called 4 x 4? The first figure refers to the total number of wheels, while the second represents the number of wheels that are powered. Following the same principle, there are 4 x 2 vehicles (where energy is transmitted only to two axle-ends or wheels), and 6 x 4 vehicles (such vehicles have three axles, and two of them provide power to two wheel ends each).

4WD

AWD car

4WD stands for “four wheel drive” and refers to vehicles having two axles that deliver power to four wheel ends. In some markets, this term can refer to cars optimized for off-road driving. Vehicles labelled as 4WD usually have a transfer case allowing the driver to switch between the 2WD and 4WD operating mode. For some cars, the transfer is performed automatically, when car sensors detect conditions requiring 4WD capabilities. Most times, 4WD is associated with SUVs – cars with truck based platforms and large wheels that can withstand difficult terrain.
A type of 4WD vehicle is the locked 4WD driveline – in these cars, there is a direct mechanical link between front and rear axles and there is no mechanism to create a difference in the number of rotations in each axle. When you’re turning a corner in this type of car, the radius of turn is different for the two axles, and the tyre on the axle with the smaller radius needs slippery ground surface to avoid stress on the driveline. If you make a turn with a 4WD car at a low speed and on dry ground, the car will stop and you’ll become “locked up” – this is why you need to use the 2WD mode in normal driving conditions.

AWD

4 x 4 vehicle

AWD stands for “All-wheel drive” and at the present time it refers to permanent multiple-wheel drive, where a differential is placed between the front and rear drive shafts. Anti-slip technology is used in these vehicles, allowing differentials to spin at different speeds while still transferring power from one wheel to another with better traction. The engine’s power is sent on the path of least resistance or the wheel with the least grip. So, instead of choosing between two wheels, with an AWD system you look for the least resistance across all four wheels. To counteract this effect, the best AWD cars are equipped with a centre differential that directs torque away from the spinning wheel. Unlike locked 4WD, AWD systems can be used on most surfaces, but are not recommended for demanding off-road use. Furthermore, an AWD system is the one where the driver does not need to intervene to select drive to all four wheels – in AWD the four wheels receive torque all the time. The advantage of this type of system is that 4 x 4 is engaged well before you encounter a dangerous situation, which means you are safer and you don’t need to make the decision to change the car’s mode as a response to danger.

IWD
Car interior

IWD or “Individual-wheel drive” is a new term, referring to electric vehicles where each wheel is driven by its own electric motor. Such vehicles are more similar to 4WD vehicles or vehicles equipped with control systems, like anti-skid and anti-lock braking system. IWD vehicles come with multiple advantages: avoiding mechanical systems and parts like the central gear box and the differentials, easy replacement of motors, and lower maintenance. In case one of the motors fails, the other motors are powerful enough to allow the driver to take the vehicle at the nearest repair centre.

The terminology surrounding 4 x 4 vehicles can be quite confusing, so it’s important to know what the difference between 4WD and AWD is before making a choice. Based on your driving experience and the kind of conditions you’re driving through most of the time, you will be able to choose the right vehicle for you.

5 popular family-friendly 4 x 4 cars

4 x 4 vehicles are often preferred by people with a family for multiple reasons: the elevated height makes it easier to load children and various items inside the car, they are suitable for off-road trips with older children, and they are spacious, which means they will meet the needs of multiple family members. If you have one or two children and are looking for a good 4 x 4 car, here are some options you should consider:

1. Volvo XC70

Volvo XC70

Volvo is known for producing safe and solid cars, and XC70 is no exception from the rule. This vehicle looks just as well outside your office and on a muddy road, keeping you safe in both situations. Its advantages include the large cargo space, the multiple safety features, its four-cylinder fuel-efficient engine, and the comfortable front seats. Volvo XC70 is equipped with all-wheel drive and won’t make you regret you got off the beaten path due to its raised suspension and lower body panels which are resistant to scratches.

Priced from $45,748.

2. SEAT Ateca

SEAT Ateca

The first SUV manufactured by the Spanish automaker, SEAT Ateca is in fact a CUV (compact crossover vehicle). The vehicle uses many of the parts featured by Volkswagen Tiguan and comes in two petrol and two diesel engine versions. Buyers can also opt between 2WD and 4WD and between manual and automatic gearboxes. Compared to Tiguan, Ateca comes in multiple options, is cheaper, and its engine is smaller. Reviewers consider SEAT has made a good job with its first SUV, due to its satisfactory drive comfort, excellent handling, refined design, and good visibility.

Priced from $22,195.

3. Mitsubishi L200

Mitsubishi L200

A large, solid, and affordable car? Mitsubishi L200 is an excellent choice and it provides plenty of room for four passengers. In spite of its size, L200 delivers good fuel economy performance and is also appreciated for its low repair and maintenance costs. If you buy it new, you will get a 5-year/62,000-mile warranty with 12 years of anti-corrosion cover. Reasons to choose this car include being narrower than other models of similar size (134 mm narrower than a Volkswagen Amarok), the large number of safety features provided with standard vehicles, the good driving performance, and its stability and traction control system, which can brake individual wheels in order to correct understeer and oversteer and divert power to the wheels with most grip.

Priced from $22,255.

4. Dacia Duster

Dacia Duster

This affordable no-luxury car is designed to appeal to a wide range of buyers. If you want a ride that will cost you less than £10,000, Dacia Duster will probably be extremely appealing, in spite of its flaws. However, the recent facelift has added more standard equipment, elevating the level of this popular crossover. The Romanian car is based on an old Renault Clio platform that has been enlarged to SUV size and delivers a no-nonsense driving experience, perfect for those with little pretentions and not interested in all kinds of fancy features that require time and effort to master. 4WD is available on Duster, ensuring increased ability on muddy surfaces. The well-known Top Gear website has given the following verdict:
“Dacia Duster review: Renault makes a crossover that costs less than £10k. Not only that, it’s a good ‘un too.”

Priced from $11,700.

5. Range Rover Sport

Range Rover Sport

Now let’s go from the most affordable to premium class with Range Rover Sport. The first advantages that pop up at a fast look are its fuel efficiency given the 2.5 tons weight, the beautiful design, and the low-rpm torque. As soon as you get into this vehicle you realize you are in a luxury car, starting from the general look and finishing with the last detail. One of the features that will attract family clients is providing plenty of space for five passengers and coming even with a seven-seat option in case you need it. Moreover, the automated systems on this car make driving easier and safer because the vehicle will choose the right program depending on what the wheels are driving over. The latest models seem to have solved an old Range Rover issue – reliability. Not all reviewers are convinced, but new models come with lower running costs and superior fuel efficiency. There is little to reproach to this accomplished 4 x 4 vehicle and the large majority of owners do not regret their decision of buying a Range Rover Sport.

Priced from $77,108.

These 5 family rides are a good start if you are researching for a 4 x 4 vehicle which is suitable for your family needs. The cars on our list are some of the latest models and can provide buyers with a good choice regardless of their budget and preferences. Whether you’re going for a Duster because you don’t want to spend a lot or you afford more expensive and complex models, there is definitely something for you on the market, waiting for you to get behind its wheel.

4 x 4 safe driving tips

Driving a 4 x 4 vehicle off-road is definitely a strong experience and makes you feel powerful. Recreation off the highway is becoming increasingly popular and drivers don’t need a special license for that. However, before you get into dirt and sand, there are some safe driving skills you should know in order to avoid getting stuck and damaging your vehicle. Consider the following pieces of advice:

Avoid high speed

4 x 4 on sand

Especially on roads covered with ice and snow, going 4WD doesn’t mean you can drive faster than conditions allow. Most 4 x 4 vehicles have a higher centre of gravity and the risk of flipping and rolling is quite high.

Use low RPM

When driving off-road it is recommended to use low gear aside from driving with the optimal speed. Avoid pushing your foot on the accelerator pedal unless you need to overcome an obstacle.

Know your limits

People driving 4 x 4 vehicles often become overconfident. It all ends when you get stuck in the dirt or see your car so damaged you’ll spend thousands on repairs, so remember that driving a 4 x 4 vehicle doesn’t make you invincible. Most of the drivers ending up in a ditch are behind the wheel of an SUV or a similar car because they think it can’t happen to them.

Slow down if you need to brake

Cross driving

4 x 4 vehicles are better with acceleration and traction, but braking and turning capabilities stay the same. Make sure your speed is moderate and allows you stop in case of an obstacle or danger on the road.

Turn off 4WD when you don’t need it

Providing extra power to a second set of wheels lowers your gas mileage. There are many heavy metal parts to spin when you engage the 4WD mode, so don’t go 4 x 4 unless you really need it!

Shift to 2WD when you reach dry pavement

An important rule when you’re driving a part-time 4WD car is to remember to shift to 2WD when you reach dry pavement again. Otherwise, you will damage your differential gears and even destroy the differential case.

Stop your vehicle before shifting to 4WD

Off-road adventure

In most cars, you need to make a complete stop and put the transmission in park or neutral before engaging these systems. If you don’t follow this rule, you will end up damaging expensive parts in your car and supporting costly repairs. If your 4WD system is automatic, you don’t have to worry about anything, because the car automatically detects the need for more traction and engages the 4WD system by itself.

Assess obstacles before driving through them

Simply get out of the vehicle before going over an obstacle. Have a walk first and then make the decision. In some cases you may find safer alternative routes you wouldn’t have noticed from your cabin.

Don’t change gears when you are in the middle of the obstacle

Estimate what gear you need to use before overcoming the obstacle. Pressing the clutch pedal and changing the gear makes you lose more of your speed and shifting the wheels will cause you to skid. As a result, your car will stop.

Reduce tire pressure if you’re stuck

Suzuki

When nature is so adverse that your driving skills are overcome and you get stuck, one of the things that can help you get over is reducing tire pressure. Let some air out of the tires and you will manage to increase the size of the contact patch and ensure some extra grip. The disadvantage is that you’ll need to re-inflate the tires at your earliest opportunity, so only use this as the last solution when you can’t get free from the ditch.

Reverse when you get stuck

Instead of struggling to forge new tracks into the soil, it is better to reverse out using the same tracks that your vehicle has created. Although it looks very obvious now, many drivers are tempted to go forward in the heat of the situation.

Cut channels for the wheels

Driving through water

Another piece of advice for drivers who get stuck is to clear mud or snow from the car’s underbody and cut channels for the wheels to support progress.

Be prepared for adverse conditions

If you’re travelling through bad weather, you should always have the following items with you: snow chains, recovery equipment, warm clothes, a torch, sand ladders and other traction aids, food and water, a sleeping bag, a snow shovel, an ice scraper, and a GPS system. Without these invaluable items you can get lost and enter a crisis.

So here are the main safety tips you need to follow while driving a 4 x 4 vehicle, especially off-road. Many of these pieces of advice are common sense, but it’s important to go through them even if you are an experienced driver – when circumstances become difficult, you’ll know right away what you need to do.

8 things you shouldn’t do in a 4 x 4 vehicle

If you are driving a 4 x 4 vehicle or you are considering purchasing one, you should be aware that these vehicles are designed differently from standard ones and their driving mechanics are also different. Off-roading is a lot of fun, but when it comes to 4 x 4 cars, you should know a little more than just where the driver selector is. To avoid unpleasant situations, keep in mind the following things you shouldn’t do behind the wheel while driving a 4 x 4 vehicle:

Range Rover car

1. Using locking differential on dry pavement

When locking differential for your front or rear wheels or dry pavement, you can damage your differential or drive train because the outside wheel going around the corner will be rotating faster and travelling further distance than the inside wheel. By locking differential you make both wheels travel at the same speed and consequences include wheel scrub and damaging your differential.

2. Using 4WD on dry pavement

On dry pavement you don’t need the additional traction provided by 4WD; neither when it’s raining you don’t have to switch the car’s mode to 4WD because the car will perform well under these circumstances even in the 2WD mode.

3. Switching to 4WD while travelling with the transmission in gear

Stop and make sure the transmission is in neutral before switching to the 4WD mode. Some vehicles even allow you to be travelling at 2-3 mph, but the best is to follow the rule mentioned before. Actually, doing this is not even possible with most vehicles as they will lock you out of this option.

4. Flooring it when you’re trying to get unstuck

Flooring it to get out will only make you burry yourself more. The principle explaining this situation is simple – the friction between two static objects is higher than the friction between two moving objects. If your tire is slipping, the coefficient of friction is lower, and as a result the amount of torque you’re putting down is lower. When trying to get out of a stuck situation, it’s recommended to ease on to the throttle and easily get the car out – this way you’re putting down the highest possible amount of torque. A smooth slow motion will get you out of trouble, while hurrying up and flooring it will make things worse.

Range Rover wheel

5. Using aggressive traction control when you don’t need it

Unless you’re over packed snow or driving on rocks and want to avoid slipping, you don’t need a lot of traction control. When driving through mud or sand, or conditions where you can get easily stuck in, you need to maintain momentum rather than using traction control. This will allow your wheels to spin and even a certain amount of slippage is good because it keeps wheels running. Under these circumstances, also avoid cutting engine power – this causes the vehicle to slow down and increases your risk of getting stuck.

6. Not inspecting your vehicle after an off-road drive

For reasons of safety, you should always inspect your vehicle after an off-road drive, even if everything seems fine. Places to look at include the underbody of the vehicle, the tires (check if they are properly inflated), the body of the car (for any possible damage), the suspensions, the exhaustion system, the radiator (for mud and debris that can cause the engine to overheat), and plants that could have gotten caught up in the vehicle and cause fire if they are lodged near the exhaust. If the steering wheel is vibrating after driving off-road, there is probably something caught in the wheels. The brake and fuel lines should be checked for leaks and ruptures.

4 x 4 on muddy road

7. Not knowing what you’re getting into

Having a 4 x 4 vehicle doesn’t mean you are invincible and can do anything. You can always be surprised by a dangerous section on the road, so make sure you know what follows before getting in there. Have a look first or watch another vehicle driving through the same spot. Let’s say you notice an area on the horizon where the trail disappears – this suggests that a steep downhill is coming up, so it’s needless to say you shouldn’t hurry!

8. Not shifting into 4WD when you touch dirt

It’s vital that you shift into 4WD as soon as you reach an area with harsh conditions. You can forget to do it later and you may be stuck sooner than you expect. Switching to 4WD when you’re already stuck may not free your vehicle. Added control of 4WD is required on tough trails because the engine’s power is transferred to another set of gears before reaching the wheels. The result is being able to drive slower with increased torque on the wheels – that means extra control and getting unstuck more easily.
4 x 4 on sand dune
So, what’s important to keep in mind that it’s not the 4 x 4 vehicle that takes you out of bad situations, but your driving skills and following a few simple principles of 4 x 4 driving.

9 reasons why you don’t need a 4 x 4 car

Four-wheel-drive cars are tempting, let’s admit it: they look impressive on the road, they provide extra power, and they perform well in slippery conditions. On the other hand, these cars have a bad reputation for polluting more and coming with additional costs both when you purchase them and when you need to make a repair. Truth is, 4 x 4 cars by themselves are not good or bad – the question is if you really need one and if expenses can be justified by really needing extra performance or not. Here are 9 reasons you may not need a 4WD vehicle:

1. You are not an experienced driver

4 x 4 vehicles are more complex not only when it comes to construction, but also to driving. They may be less pleasant to drive than regular vehicles and their additional features are only needed in harsh conditions. If you need your car just to drive to the supermarket and back and to visit your friends every once in a while, and you have had your driving license just for several months, it’s not recommended to get a 4 x 4 vehicle.

Audi Q7 close-up

2. You are afraid of bad weather

You think that a 4 x 4 car will get you out of anything Mother Nature can put you through? You may be hurrying and drawing the wrong conclusions. Some 4 x 4 vehicles may not be that good in difficult conditions and standard 2WD drives can behave just as well. So, if you don’t have to go through muddy slopes every day, a 4 x 4 vehicle may not be the best choice.

3. You live in the countryside

Living in a rural area doesn’t mean you’ll be housebound soon after hearing the first bad weather report. You can get out of inconveniences just as well with a 2WD drive as long as you are a good driver and your car is equipped with decent winter tyres.

Truck SUV off-road

4. You just love the elevated feel

An elevated car comes with multiple advantages: small children are easier to get inside the car, you see over other cars, you feel safer, and you observe potential dangers faster. However, you don’t need to buy a 4 x 4 car just to enjoy the elevated feel – most SUVs and crossovers also come with a 2WD option retaining the raised suspension.

5. You want to avoid high expenses

4 x 4 cars are more costly from multiple points of view – they cost more when you buy them ($1000 to $5000, depending on brand and model), they are more complex and repairs are more expensive, and they often consume more fuel. All these aspects add up and make you spend thousands of dollars more every couple of years. Is it worth the expense or can you work it out just as fine with a regular 2WD vehicle?

Mercedes Benz car

6. You are an aggressive driver

4 x 4 cars are safer in some respects, but on the other hand they also provide a false sense of security. 4 x 4 vehicles make you feel like you’re the king of the roads, which is not a good thing when you already are inclined to speeding up and reckless driving. Given that such cars are usually heavier and need a longer distance to stop, it’s better to avoid them if you feel you’ll get into trouble. 4 x 4 vehicles perform best when it comes to acceleration and traction, but braking and turning capabilities are the same or in some cases, worse. No car makes you invincible – this is one thing you should always keep in mind.

7. You prefer a silent cabin

4 x 4 vehicles embody more complex systems and have a higher number of rotating parts since power needs to be transferred to additional wheels. All these systems produce more noise and vibration, so, if you want to listen to your music without interference or you want a silent ride, you should go for a regular 2WD car.

Jeep in snowy landscape

8. You don’t have time and money for extra maintenance

4 x 4 vehicles need oil changes for their differentials. Although the differential fluid doesn’t have to be changed as often as the engine oil, it does come with an additional cost ($40 to $150 each time). Moreover, if differentials are defective, their repair costs are higher than with a 2WD vehicle.

9. You go on ski trips

This may sound like a reason to get a 4 x 4 car, but it’s not. You’ll be using a few times a year your 4 x 4 car at its full potential and sitting in traffic for the rest of the time. There are better solutions, like equipping your 2WD drive with winter tires (tests have shown it will outperform a 4WD with summer tires), or you can rent a 4 x 4 vehicle for your limited off-road needs.

So here are 9 reasons not to buy a 4 x 4 car! We hope you’ll be able to make the best purchase and get the most value for your money!

8 drawbacks of 4 x 4 vehicles and how to overcome them

These days it seems like you need thick skin to drive a 4 x 4 car, especially in the city. This type of vehicle, mostly represented by SUVs, is seen as a symbol of consumerism and recklessness. When deciding on the vehicle they’ll buy, drivers often discover many disadvantages of 4 x 4 cars – such statements are true, so let’s see what are the most important and how they can be overcome:

Mercedes Benz car close-up

1. Lower fuel efficiency

This drawback is usually listed on top of all, and is the one infuriating environmentalists the most. The truth is that AWD systems require more fuel to power the additional wheels and consume more than 2WD vehicles. However, many luxury or high-performance 2WD vehicles can consume as much as a 4 x 4 one, and fans of these large cars say that air travel causes even more pollution than their vehicles.

Solutions

– Don’t opt for 4 x 4 unless you really need it
– Choose newer models which are more fuel-efficient
– Avoid extremely large vehicles
– Walk more and drive less
– Choose hybrid or electrical models if you can afford it

2. Bigger risk in case of frontal collisions

4 x 4 vehicles are usually heavier, which means they are easier to maneuver and swerve in case you need to avoid an obstacle. On the other hand, if you need to stop suddenly and you have nowhere to turn, driving a 4 x 4 heavy car is more dangerous because the distance needed to brake and stop is longer.

All-terrain vehicle

Solutions

– Drive carefully and avoid high speed
– Avoid single lane roads where you have less space to swerve in case of an upcoming collision

3. Higher purchase costs

4 x 4 vehicles feature additional systems and parts needed to transfer power to the second set of wheels, which means you’ll be paying a few thousand dollars more for such a car.

Solutions

– Opt for a 4 x 4 car only if you are dealing with bad weather or off-road conditions often. Otherwise, the investment is simply not worth.

4. Higher repair costs

Especially with AWD vehicles, costs rise because the car features additional equipment in order to provide continuous and intermittent AWD. The vehicle will need extra computers and systems, which means there is more to repair in case of breakdown or defects, thus increasing costs.

Solutions

– Pay attention to car maintenance to avoid expensive repairs when problems add up and your vehicle breaks down in the middle of the road.

4 x 4 vehicle in nature

5. More vibration and noise

More complex systems and the transfer of power to additional wheels means the vehicle will have a higher number of rotating parts, such as propeller shafts, and will consequently produce more noise and vibration. If you want your cabin to be silent, a 4 x 4 is probably not the best option for you.

Solutions

– Use the 4WD mode only when you need it
– Keep your vehicle in good condition to avoid abnormal noise and vibration from moving parts
– If you really need to trade silence for better performance, get used to the idea your favorite music may get overcome by noise at times

6. Tight corner braking phenomenon

4 x 4 cars are known to perform well in slippery conditions, but not so well on dry paved roads, where the coefficient of friction is higher. The reason is a condition similar to braking, known as tight corner braking phenomenon. What happens is that difference between the rotations of the front and rear axles cannot be absorbed when the propeller shaft between the front and rear axles is connected directly. On more slippery surfaces, the difference between rotations is easier to absorb, but when the friction is higher, this no longer happens.

Solutions

– Avoid dry, paved roads

4 x 4 car off-road

7. The false sense of security

A 4 x 4 car is not invincible as some drivers think. Better performance and increased grip do matter, but when it comes to stopping and breaking performance, the additional systems won’t help. Furthermore, 4 x 4 vehicles are more elevated, and some models can be prone to overturning risks.

Solutions

– Adjust speed to road conditions and drive carefully

8. Complexity eats up space or makes the car heavier

If you are opting for a 4 x 4 traditional fuel-powered car, you’ll notice that the central tunnel connecting the front and rear axles takes some of the interior space. On the other hand, an electrical model won’t have as much drive shafts and parts, but electric components are usually heavier, thus losing the benefits of having fewer mechanical parts.

Solutions

Dacia Duster SUV car

– Decide what’s most important for you – a lighter car or more cabin space. The higher costs of electrical or hybrid costs also have a role in the equation.

Considering these 4 x 4 vehicle drawbacks and ways to eliminate or ameliorate them, the only conclusion is the following: opt for this type of vehicle only if you really need the extra performance it delivers. Otherwise, you may have to support additional costs and inconveniences without too many benefits in return.

9 advantages of 4 x 4 vehicles

4 x 4 vehicles are extremely popular in North America but also in other countries; this type of vehicle receives torque from the engine on all four wheels at the same time, thus being more stable and delivering better traction on demanding terrains. 4 x 4 vehicles are usually SUVs (smaller cars and minivans can be equipped with 4 x 4 traction as well) and many car buyers choose this type of vehicle for its aspect. Besides looking more imposing on the road, what other advantages does a 4 x 4 car have?

4 x 4 car turning

1. Better performance

The superior performance delivered by SUVs matters when you are driving off-road or in harsh conditions. Since all wheels receive power, the car has a better grip on the road and is more stable.

2. Value for money

You can enjoy the benefits of a 4 x 4 vehicle by paying just $1000 to $5000 more on your car, depending on brand and model. They are just a small amount more expensive than regular 2WD vehicles and if better performance does matter to you, it’s worth the extra spending to have additional driving capabilities.

3. Also available on sedans and minivans

4 x 4 used to by synonymous with SUV, but this is no longer the case, since AWD vehicles like sedans and minivans can also be equipped with this type of technology. You don’t necessarily have to get a SUV to have better traction and stability.

Close-up of a 4 x 4 vehicle

4. Switching options

These days, most 4 x 4 vehicles are equipped with an automatic switch – instead of manually transitioning from 2WD to 4WD or the other way around, the car does the work for you when it detects difficult conditions so you can focus on the road. For instance, the car sensor detects slippage on the front wheels, and control is automatically transferred to the rear wheels.

5. Reaching inaccessible places

If you live in the countryside and go off-road often, a 4 x 4 vehicle is a must. Conditions like steep slopes, muddy roads, and sand are no longer a problem and you can enjoy your adventure without worries. You can keep going on slippery conditions because the car’s tires are larger, which allows extra grip and better ground coverage; combined with extra power sent to each wheel, you can reach all kinds of spots even on bad weather.

BMW SUV

6. Increased safety

Some features of 4 x 4 vehicles ensure better safety to drivers: the elevated high ensures better visibility and better protection to passengers in case of collision, and the automated systems allow the car to give power to the right wheels in case of slippery conditions. A second set of powered wheels provides two additional points of contact on the surface of the road and enables tires to grip the surface. Advanced car sensors take off the workload from drivers, allowing them to concentrate better on the road and ultimately be safer. Moreover, another factor that keeps passengers in 4 x 4, bigger cars safer is that such cars tend to ride over obstacles instead of smashing into them. Given that a collision between a 4 x 4 and a smaller ordinary car is more dangerous for the latter, manufacturers are looking into ways to developing sacrificial structures which should absorb the energy in an impact so people outside the big vehicle experience less harm as well.

7. More space

4 x 4 vehicles usually have larger interiors, providing more space to passengers and supplies. This aspect is important in all kinds of situations, from going to buy groceries accompanied by all the members of your family to going on a camping trip and carrying with you all kinds of equipment.

8. Superior collision avoidance

AWD vehicles (a type of 4 x 4 vehicle) are usually heavier than similar 2WD vehicles, which makes the car more maneuverable when you need to avoid an accident by turning. A heavier car has better handling and turning capabilities; on the other hand, in case you need to make a sudden stop without having the possibility to turn (frontal collision), a lighter car is better, because it needs a shorter distance to stop.

SUV car

9. Convenient for families

Those who criticize parents taking children to kindergarten or school in a 4 x 4 probably don’t know how difficult it may be to lower children into car seats instead of placing them into an elevated car – not having to bent down to load children or items into a lower car is after all a major advantage for some people, especially for those having a family.
So, here are 9 advantages of 4 x 4 cars – it’s no wonder these cars are becoming more and more popular, in spite of criticism from environmentalists. Fortunately, manufacturers have started to develop electrical or hybrid 4 x 4 cars, which means you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of these vehicles without causing more harm to the environment than by riding a regular car.

How to Keep Your Off-Road Vehicle in Tiptop Shape: Maintenance Guide for Jeep Owners

 

Your off-road beast deserves nothing but the best care in the world. If you take care of it well, you can be sure that your Jeep will survive the harsh road conditions. Certain parts have to be checked because your ride always takes a beating whenever you take it out on your off-road adventures. If you love your Jeep as much as you do for your off-roading hobby, then you need to consistently do these maintenance tasks.

Check the transfer case for leaks.

Every routine maintenance, examine your transfer case, particularly its fluid levels. If left unchecked and undiagnosed, the transfer case may have excessive heating that can cause leaks, which in turn can greatly decrease the fluid that your vehicle uses for gear lubrication.

Check the fluids and battery.

Ensure that the fluids are adequate and that the battery is in good working condition. Once the performance of the battery deteriorates, your Jeep will be useless until you get a new battery. Doing this step won’t take much of your time. In fact, you can get it done in just an hour every month.

Wash your vehicle.

This is pretty basic, but a lot of Jeep owners are too busy to make time for this crucial maintenance must-do. Especially when you’ve just used your vehicle for your off-road drive, you need to wash it right away to prevent road salt, mud, and dirt from sticking to the paint finish.

Also, you have to protect your Jeep against rust—use an oil treatment once or twice every year. This will ensure that corrosive elements won’t get onto the body of your vehicle.

These are just some of the essential maintenance tasks you need to do to keep your off-road vehicle in great shape all the time. Take note of the recommended intervals for each task, so you won’t forget to do it.

car maintenance quick reference 586aecbd4bb35 w1500 - How to Keep Your Off-Road Vehicle in Tiptop Shape: Maintenance Guide for Jeep Owners

Courtesy of https://visual.ly/car-maintenance-quick-reference

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3 Most Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Bed Bar for Your 4×4

More than just a piece of metal found in the truck bed, a bed bar is a simple yet functional and stylish accessory for your Jeep. If you’re looking to buy a bed bar, there are two main things to consider: your purpose for having a bed bar and its capability to withstand harsh off-road conditions.

zxc1 - 3 Most Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Bed Bar for Your 4x4

Your purpose for using a bed bar

asdasd - 3 Most Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Bed Bar for Your 4x4

Why are you getting one? Ask yourself this question before you browse for options on online auto parts shops.

  • For making your truck bed look more rugged – Go for a bed bar that’s made of black, powder-coated steel.
  • For customizing or upgrading your truck bed – Consider the color, design, style, and material of the bed bar and make sure that its look ties up with the rest of your vehicle. Also, look for bed bars that allow for customization. For example, a bed bar that can be installed with a light bar will definitely make your vehicle a standout on the road.
  • For a sleeker appearance – A bed bar with a chrome or polished stainless steel finish will do the job perfectly.
  • For better functionality – Look for bed bars with angled louver to protect your rear window from cargoes on your truck bed such as toolboxes, bikes, and ladders. Sharp objects or equipment on your truck bed might move and hit the rear window, so an angled louver will be extremely useful. In addition to that, a louver can also protect your vehicle’s interior against fading and heat.

A bed bar’s ability to survive off-road environments

zxc - 3 Most Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Bed Bar for Your 4x4

Will your new bed bar hold up against the possible damage caused by off-roading? It should do its job well of being a barrier. Choose a bed bar made of durable and corrosion-resistant materials such as steel or aluminum that can stay strong even when mud, pebbles, and stones are thrown at your vehicle.

The best bed bar for your 4×4 vehicle is one that’s not only stylish and functional but also durable enough to hold up to the rigors of off-road driving.

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5 Top-Rated Jeep Models for Off-Roading

Ask any die-hard off-roader about the best vehicles that can handle practically any type of terrain, and for sure, among the top answers would include Jeep models. Without a doubt, Jeep is the king of all off-road vehicles. The well-loved brand has been in the business for many decades now—and it goes to show its staying power.

Here is a list of some of the best and well-loved Jeep models by off-roading enthusiasts all over the world:

1. Jeep Patriot

The least expensive Jeep model (with prices starting at less than $20,000 as of 2017), the Patriot is a compact crossover that comfortably seats five passengers. For its price, it’s capable enough as an off-roader.

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2. Jeep Cherokee

This mid-size crossover is Jeep’s top-selling model and the only one to rank four times in the Best SUV list of U.S. News & World Report. It’s no wonder because it provides everything an off-roading enthusiast could ever ask for: outstanding off-road capabilities coupled with a V6 engine and an elegant interior.

3. Jeep Wrangler

Perfect as an off-road vehicle, the Wrangler looks like the distant relative of Jeep’s original off-road military vehicles. This rugged and powerful Jeep model consistently ranks in lists of the best compact SUVs and off-road SUVs of all time. It also features a four-wheel drive for a better off-road experience.

4. Jeep Compass

Another compact crossover on the list, the Compass is more affordable than other vehicles in its class (such as the Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, and Honda CR-V)—but it performs just as well as an SUV. It also comes with a 2-liter, four-cylinder engine.

5. Jeep Renegade

The Renegade is Jeep’s new and entry-level model. This subcompact SUV got high marks not just for its off-road performance but also its superb handling and ample space in the interior, especially the legroom and headroom.

What’s your favourite Jeep model? Is it included on the list? Share your thoughts!

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