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Old 15th January 2012, 09:01   #16
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

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Originally Posted by Animesh View Post
I (or a stereotype of me) would like to have that amount of comfort where I can go ahead on these Manali-kinda-snowy-roads. However, I am not expecting a lot of such trips.

The drive outside the city may involve driving in the hills (say Mahabaleshwar or Munnar kind of routes).
(a) Would it make a difference (by some margin of comfort and safety) whether one is driving in 4WD or 2WD SUV?
(b) How much do these equations get tilted in favor of 4WD if it is raining in such hills? I guess a lot since I see a plenty of Mahindra Jeeps.
So (Now this is my understanding), if you end up going on snowy manali roads this is what you might end up doing. You would have to wait for the snow to reduce, other 4x4 to level the snow and once they have sprayed salt, then go up, or follow another 4x4 just in case you might need to be pulled out.

Not sure about mountains and the rest as i have no experience. My advise if you have the budget and feel even in 5% is cases you might need the 4x4 go for it, you never know when you might need it.
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Old 15th January 2012, 09:18   #17
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

Im putting some stuff in bold black inline with your queries/ considerations.
Enjoy the decision making process. The "chase" is always more fun than the "catch".
Cheers

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Originally Posted by Animesh View Post

Price is ofcourse a huge consideration to me and as it would be for most people. I would simply go ahead and buy a 4WD or AWD if a version is available and if I didn't care about the price. So, paying a premium of around 1 Lac is of absolutely consideration.

If the price is a consideration, then you may want to consider the LX 4WD Scorpio which is priced around 11.25 on road Bangalore. However, the downside is that there is no safety kit to speak of, other than seatbelts.

I also understand that there is additional maintenance cost attached. Not sure of the quantum of the additional costs though because of 4WD system in the car over lifetime of the car. Totally depends on durability and efficiency of these systems which I am ignorant about.

You can add 20% overall to the average spend on a 2WD, over the lifetime of the vehicle. This is only an indicative thumb rule.

On the cost front, there would be a drop in FE on normal roads (when one can operate on 2WD mode, but then there would be extra weight to the car). How much is the approximate drop in FE?

About 2-3 kmpl easily in the Indian driving cycle.

I (or a stereotype of me) would like to have that amount of comfort where I can go ahead on these Manali-kinda-snowy-roads. However, I am not expecting a lot of such trips.

In this case, you can do very well buying a 2WD.

The drive outside the city may involve driving in the hills (say Mahabaleshwar or Munnar kind of routes).
(a) Would it make a difference (by some margin of comfort and safety) whether one is driving in 4WD or 2WD SUV?
(b) How much do these equations get tilted in favor of 4WD if it is raining in such hills? I guess a lot since I see a plenty of Mahindra Jeeps.

a. Safety - yes. Comfort per se in terms of confidence, yes. However, unless you go to places like these frequently, 4WD will become extra dead weight and you can happily cruise around in a 2WD SUV with high ground clearance, without any trouble.

b. If you are staying on the main roads or general roads, you should not have a problem. However, if you are going into deep estate tracks with lots of slush etc, then 4WD is good to have. Again, it is not something you absolutely "Need" unless you live in these areas and your vehicle is a "working vehicle".


I don't see myself driving in hilly terrains and in rains for more than a couple of times in a year.
I am definitely not hauling anything. A farm/estate has to wait another day

In this case, get yourself a 2WD. It is more than sufficient. I would, if I were you, look for a fully loaded 2WD with all safety kit.
Else I would consider buying an used top end SUV.

Bad. Now I want a 4WD.

If you "want" one, then you should go and buy one. Else, save your money, wait for a bit, take less of a loan and then buy it. Things usually give you more satisfaction and a sense of achievement when there's been a reasonable 'anticipatory waiting period'.

Not rallying ever.

Nor am I, ever. Just for fun one tries these four wheel drifts etc on mud roads once in a while when there is no traffic or no one else on the road.

It is exactly this tricky trade-off that this thread is looking to solve here to some reasonable extent.

It is not a tricky trade off really. It depends 100% on your "need and want state" as of the moment. Only you can define that.

So adding to the points of discussion in the thread.

Would you buy a 4WD if you intend to do a couple of Mahabaleshwar/Munnar kind of trips in a year? No not a Ladakhisque trip (even if I know that it can be done on such a thing as Maruti 800 with a plenty of added adventure).
No I would not buy a 4WD for the above. I have lived happily with a 2WD these last 7-8 years and have had a great deal of fun on such trips. Of course, I ve always had the option of using a friend's 4WD if we were going really deep into the rutted, muddy, slushy bits.

Dont forget that taking your 4WD into these places, especially if you try wading through water etc, beats the heck out of your brakes and other such mechanical bits. All this requires money and time - to be spent on preventive maintenance so it is certainly not as glamourous as it may appear!
The vehicle needs to get thoroughly cleaned up with a pressure hose afterwards. Doing this kind of stuff for leisure like some of the chaps on the Forum is something that relatively few people would. Doing it in the course of your normal daily working life is something else entirely, as in the case of my father. Personally, I am no longer interested in serious off roading per se in my own vehicle (s). If I feel the urge I will go on a Land Rover experience trip at Eastnor in the UK or dune bashing in a Land Cruiser in Dubai or maybe participate in the Mahindra Great Escape in Coorg, Nilgiris or Chikmagalur with a friend in his MM550DP or other such beast. But the urge is not so strong for me anyway!

Last edited by GTO : 16th January 2012 at 13:17. Reason: No point typing the entire paragraph in BOLD!
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Old 15th January 2012, 09:22   #18
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

If you like nature and have an exploratory streak, sooner or later you will come across trails or want to go to places that require 4x4.
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Old 15th January 2012, 12:52   #19
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

Also depends on current vehicle.
If current drive is a 2WD vehicle, one important question is how many times you ever got opportunity to even reach near its limits as a 2WD?
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Old 15th January 2012, 14:45   #20
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

I think an experienced driver can take a 2WD vehicle to places where there is at least some road.

When I visited Pangong Tso in Ladakh, we took a taxi Qualis from Leh and it was snowing heavily on Chang La Top. The roads were pretty bad with stones, snow and slush but the Qualis cruised easily.

Many of the vehicles transporting tourists to Pangong and even Khardung La were 2WD (Qualis, Innova etc)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Animesh View Post
Lets keep the discussion limited to the kind of roads that more than 95% drive on. I am talking about
- About 50 kms in a city like Bombay (worst of roads that get terribly waterlogged when it rains)
- Two-three mid range road trips here and there
- Sometimes a bendy road on some Ghats and why not to the Himalayan Territory
For the limited touring requirements you mentioned above, I feel a 2WD SUV or Crossover would just do fine.
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Old 15th January 2012, 17:04   #21
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
No I would not buy a 4WD for the above. I have lived happily with a 2WD these last 7-8 years and have had a great deal of fun on such trips. Of course, I ve always had the option of using a friend's 4WD if we were going really deep into the rutted, muddy, slushy bits.
We are always thankful to you for sharing your immense knowledge.

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Originally Posted by tachobells View Post
For the limited touring requirements you mentioned above, I feel a 2WD SUV or Crossover would just do fine.
So, the SUV space is heating up nicely with all these anticipated launches in 2012. My next quest is to start shortlisting one that I will buy. Renault Duster is a keenly awaited SUV (I know I know it is build on Logan platform.) to our markets.
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Old 15th January 2012, 17:27   #22
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

It is always a pleasure to share what little Ive known, researched or experienced. As long as it helps someone.

If you're not in a hurry you may seriously want to wait for the Duster.
It is likely to have much better handling characteristics and kit than the Scorpio in its current Avatar. Plus, being lighter, it is probably going to be better on those "off the beaten tracks" that you may want to go to. Add to it the 200mm ground clearance and this is going to be able to take most of the rubbishy roads in India.

My only concern is will the one you want finally fit into your budget? There is talk that they are only introducing the 2WD version here in India which might prove irritating for you if you want a 4WD but to me, I think a 2WD Duster will be pretty capable for casual usage off the road, but not for really serious stuff.

Else, if you can plonk the 11.25 odd lacs for an LX 4WD Scorpio then that is a reliable, mechanical machine. Be very careful though when you drive an SUV - you cant chuck it around bends and things the way you can, a sporty sedan or hatch back car. Driving an SUV, one shouldn't really attempt land speed records and this 0 to 60 kmph business in a super-short jack rabbit start sort of thing etc. The SUV's height, behaviour and overall handling characteristics are different and one needs to respect that fact - which is why I would always say "Horse for Courses".

What prompted me to buy a Bolero was the space and the toughness. I was able to use it quite fully on my trips to the hills and other such places. I upgraded to a Scorpio on account of better technology and of course, space. At that time I had the option of the Fusion TDCi with ABS but rejected it on account of space - I loved that car but at that time, space was an important factor.

Ive gone for the Yeti simply on account of its smooth balance in fulfilling everything that I am seeking in a vehicle as of now. Had there been greater clarity on the Duster and availability of the top Euro spec with 4WD at a nice price, I would have waited and bought that for sure. But since there was no clarity and I was in a bit of a hurry, I chose not to wait and instead bought what I did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Animesh View Post
We are always thankful to you for sharing your immense knowledge.



So, the SUV space is heating up nicely with all these anticipated launches in 2012. My next quest is to start shortlisting one that I will buy. Renault Duster is a keenly awaited SUV (I know I know it is build on Logan platform.) to our markets.

Last edited by shankar.balan : 15th January 2012 at 17:38.
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Old 15th January 2012, 17:35   #23
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Animesh View Post
I looked up for it and didn't find something that points precisely to the query. What are your reasons for going in for a 4WD or AWD system? Is it necessary?
I was in a similar dilemma when buying my Safari and picked up a 4WD after a lot of deliberation - I have never regretted the decision. No, I do not take my beast for 'off-road trips', neither have I engaged 4WD more than 6-8 times over the last 2 years of ownership, but those 6-8 times have been situations which made me thank my stars for buying a 4WD

My take - if you have the budget, go for it. There is NO flipside of having extra capability in your machine.
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Old 15th January 2012, 17:48   #24
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

Interesting points and discussion on this thread..

Though not a avid off roader in true sense but then i have my experiences which i would say inline with Shankar and HV.. it depends on the usage pattern of oneself GTO has right pointed out the possible destinations and the scenarios

My personal choice is Pajero (not the new one). I have seen it flying like a mountain goat where my safari was struggling on a 45 degree incline get the turbo kicked to get the most needed boost in 1st gear (i do go to places like that)

Ultimate question: Whats the best possible reliable 4x4 one can buy under 20L OTR
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Old 15th January 2012, 17:51   #25
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

You know, I used to use an elderly "used" Gypsy in 2003-2005. I took it to some seriously jungly bits and some swamp riding, mud plugging etc. It did its job wonderfully well.
However, after each such trip it needed a proper checking over for brakes and battery and engine and everything apart from a thorough cleaning inside and outside. This becomes quite an expensive business if one is doing it strictly for leisure purposes as I was at the time.
The Gypsy being so terribly basic and mechanical in nature never gave up the ghost!
However, I would never take an electronically loaded vehicle into such swamps and other things because it would take an age and a bigger wallet than I have, to put right if something went wrong with it.
This is one of the main reasons that I didnt go for the 4WD VLX Scorpio - it is far too heavy for one thing and too full of electronic fiddlies, to play hard in deep mud, unlike those old mechanical Mahindras and Gypsys. Same goes for the Safari as well. Even had I bought the XUV AWD W8 as I was toying with the idea, I would never have taken it into the real boggy stuff.
In this Yeti, there is no way I would try water wading and serious off road stuff. Its 4x4 system is simply there to assist me when I want to climb a steep incline in the monsoon or which has a loose surface. Also because it has plenty of other safety kit and driver aids which I want in my vehicle. For me personally, a fully loaded crossover with AWD/ 4x4 sums up the requirement for the foreseeable future.

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Originally Posted by cool_dube View Post
I was in a similar dilemma when buying my Safari and picked up a 4WD after a lot of deliberation - I have never regretted the decision. No, I do not take my beast for 'off-road trips', neither have I engaged 4WD more than 6-8 times over the last 2 years of ownership, but those 6-8 times have been situations which made me thank my stars for buying a 4WD

My take - if you have the budget, go for it. There is NO flipside of having extra capability in your machine.
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Old 15th January 2012, 18:33   #26
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

Nobody has any opinion about the Fortuner? I have seen many videos demonstrating its off-road capabilities even is quite harsh environments, water wading etc.

Although I feel its body paint many not be able to take the full beating, though mechanically it should be excellent to offroad. I also find the stability to be above excellent!

What do others have to say?
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Old 15th January 2012, 19:38   #27
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

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Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
Nobody has any opinion about the Fortuner? I have seen many videos demonstrating its off-road capabilities even is quite harsh environments, water wading etc.

Although I feel its body paint many not be able to take the full beating, though mechanically it should be excellent to offroad. I also find the stability to be above excellent!

What do others have to say?
One thing you must always keep in mind is the maintenance costs - OTR or OTR-type driving always extracts a heavy toll on SUVs however capable they may be. It may be fine initially but ultimately, whether it is a Mahindra or a Toyota, metal fatigue and component problems catch up and you find yourself spending more and more money on repairs. The T-Fort - like all Toyotas - lasts long, real long, but once you start spending on repairs, your bills become more and more.
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Old 15th January 2012, 20:31   #28
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

You know, that old Chain Drive Turbo Scorpio was quite a beast in its 4WD avatar. Years back I have driven it up the Ooty Sigur Ghat and it chugged along (in 2WD mode) happily in 3rd gear. By contrast, my Crde Scorpio simply didnt have enough juice and had to get its turbo to spool up a bit before taking those same curves - and I was using one lower gear each time!

I think I would agree with you on that Pajero being quite a monster in terms of serious off roading. But its dated specs and expensive price tag coupled with relative difficulties in servicing Mitsu vehicles, would tend to deter one considerably. I was considering an used Paj in my recent hunt, but decided against one on account of the above plus the fact that it is really quite large for daily use and I would feel quite silly buzzing around in it, in the city!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahulk76 View Post
Interesting points and discussion on this thread..

Though not a avid off roader in true sense but then i have my experiences which i would say inline with Shankar and HV.. it depends on the usage pattern of oneself GTO has right pointed out the possible destinations and the scenarios

My personal choice is Pajero (not the new one). I have seen it flying like a mountain goat where my safari was struggling on a 45 degree incline get the turbo kicked to get the most needed boost in 1st gear (i do go to places like that)

Ultimate question: Whats the best possible reliable 4x4 one can buy under 20L OTR
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Old 15th January 2012, 22:52   #29
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

It depends on where you go, and how often you go there.
There are many tricky trails which can be done in 2WD. If you get stuck, passengers get down and push, you waste some 30 minutes, and be on your way. With 4wd you cannot do that.

Some examples I can give you.
1. We went to Rajasthan, and decided to spend the night on a dune in camps. Other tourists paid a lot and got camels to get to the point. We drove there
2. Again in Rajasthan, at kuldhara ruins, there was a sandy road we drove on. An innova followed us, and got stuck. they had to get a tractor and wasted 4 hours and 2000rs for the rescue
3. In the month of may rohtang had not fully opened, but we could go up on the snowed out track. A 2WD taxi driven by an expert driver took 3 hours to cover what we did in less than 1. At every obstacle passengers had to get down
4. Once Rohtang pass got snowed out, and many vehicles got stuck on keylong side. We not only made it across without issues, but even towed a taxi on hairpin bends. Otherwise they could not have crossed.
5. We could cross kunzum also on heavy snow. A taxi made it halfway, and then they turned back because it would not climb.
6. At narkanda, once due to snows road to the hotel closed. Other tourists had to walk with their luggage, but we went to the hotel hatu, driving
7. On the manali leh highway we could explore many offroad trails, which we would have left unexplored
8. On agham shyok road, we could cross a rocky patch due to 4WD. Other vehicles turned back
9. We cuuld visit some remote lakes
10. On banks of pangong tso (a sandy beach) we even pulled out a qualis.

And many more.
So unless you are going exploring, there is actually no need of a 4x4. However, if the remote calls for you, you need a 4x4 to really enjoy, esp if you travel alone and not in a convoy.

There is a flip side too. With a 4x4 you often take risks. For example we got stuck in a marsh in the great Rann. We would have never ventured into if not for a 4x4.
But mostly its been a positive experience.
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Old 15th January 2012, 23:07   #30
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Well, I have managed admirably in most places with my 2WD Scorpio where they told me it could not manage. But I would have done lot more places with a 4WD without any worries.
Completely agree with HVK, GTO and Shankar Balan on their viewpoints. For me the confidence / psychological advantage provided by a 4x4 vehicle counts a lot. It gives you an edge in approaching obstacles / tracks with a positive frame of mind. With a 2WD you will be that much circumspect, sometimes this can be a drawback too (in case of a 4WD where the driver can become careless), but once you understand your and your vehicles limit and are within it, everything will be fine.

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