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?
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.
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.
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.
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.