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.
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.
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?
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.
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!