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Old 16th January 2012, 09:10   #31
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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
The T-Fort - like all Toyotas - lasts long, real long, but once you start spending on repairs, your bills become more and more.
Hi Hvkumar,

I'm under the impression that Toyotas incur lesser repair costs compared to other vehicles in the similar class and range, the reason why Toyotas are preferred by most. Atleast its what most users say as well.
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Old 16th January 2012, 09:13   #32
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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
Hi Hvkumar,

I'm under the impression that Toyotas incur lesser repair costs compared to other vehicles in the similar class and range, the reason why Toyotas are preferred by most. Atleast its what most users say as well.
I agree Toyotas are trouble-free and have long frequencies for parts changes. What I meant was if you have an accident or have to change components, they cost a bomb. Rough terrain drives mean more damages unlike the standard city car which can endure long.
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Old 16th January 2012, 09:41   #33
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

It is a fact that standard city driven cars, whether sedans, hatches or SUV's typically do last longer than rough terrain driven vehicles.
Off roading etc is fine but be prepared to spend money to maintain the vehicle the way it is supposed to be maintained - preventive maintenance, for preference.
Else, the next time one goes off roading, it might give trouble.
One generally does tend to have to spend more on maintenance of a vehicle that is driven a lot on rough terrain on account of wear and tear of moving parts.
Both Toyota and Mahindra generally have a good reputation for reliability etc, but if a vehicle is driven constantly on rough terrain, it is bound to require regular checks, maintenance and related expenditure. In general as I said, for a 4WD, one should budget around 20% extra expenditure over what one would spend over the life of a 2WD vehicle.

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
I agree Toyotas are trouble-free and have long frequencies for parts changes. What I meant was if you have an accident or have to change components, they cost a bomb. Rough terrain drives mean more damages unlike the standard city car which can endure long.
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Old 16th January 2012, 10:14   #34
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

Many years ago a survey done abroad had shown that 95% of SUV owners never take their vehicles offroad. The bulk of them were using their SUV's to lug their weekend shopping from the grocery store or ferry kids to and from school.

If you are a traveller just buy a sedan or hatchback. If you travel with many people or lots of luggage then an MPV makes more sense.

The whole business about SUV's is a bit odd if you ask me. I have two vehicles with 4x4 and I don't use the 4x4 in any of my regular driving or travelling. The entire Ladakh trip I did in 2wd despite landslide crossings. Maruti Alto's were doing it too !

Then the question arises what decent SUV will you risk going offroad in? I personally can't afford to spend 14-15 lacs on a 4x4 SUV and take it offroad like I would a 1.5lac Jeep.

Further would I venture offroad alone where the risks of getting stuck is high? NO !!

So in summary most families really don't need 4x4's unless you live in a part of India where there are no roads and it rains heavily most part of the year or snows.

When it comes to leisure offroading a cheaper used 4x4 which won't cost you more than 2.5 lacs is the best alternative.

If you are an explorer then yes a 4x4 makes sense, especially if you want to travel long distances to go offroad (mild offroading). Like someone said when you have 4x4 you also tend to be a bit overadventurous and take risks you otherwise won't in a 2wd. Getting stuck in the middle of nowhere is no fun and outright dangerous when you factor in terrain like the Himalayas or deserts. The offroad events being organised are a surefire way to dismantle your expensive SUV so that gets ruled out, unless you enjoy having your paintwork scratched up royally or your bumpers torn off around every bend.

In Australia if you get stuck in a vehicle you won't find help for over a 100 miles so there a 4x4 is a must and that too for use mainly on offroad trails. I don't think anyone ventures pure offroad alone anywhere unless he has a deathwish. Its plain dangerous to do so.

Vehicles like Landcruisers/Patrols are built for places like Australia and Africa and South America where for miles you don't have roads and you encounter all kinds of obstacles that require 4x4. People prefer these for oil exploration and other geological survey applications.

Here in India most places including the Himalays have roads and you really don't need a 4x4 at all. Now if you are adventurous enough to want to go offroad and explore then perhaps you would want a 4x4. If I ever want to explore the country in that manner I would want to do that with two other SUV's so that you can pull each other out from any possible situation. You would also need additional preparation to want to explore pure offroad.

I found the Xylo a lot more comfortable as a traveller than a Scorpio. The occasions where you need a 4x4 Scorpio or Safari are really minimal. The sales figures also highlight this point. In anycase most people buy these more for space utlity than their offroad ability. I would prefer an Innova or Xylo over the SUV anyday for most travel needs.
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Old 16th January 2012, 10:19   #35
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

This is a classic question that even I am facing for years, well at least 2 years. I share most views of fellow bhpiens here and their dilemma too. My take (and where I am stuck too, may be a 4X4 can get me out of this);

1. Without doubt an average jo like me (who can have only one car/suv) who is not an avid off-roader, but wants make sure that my car/suv does not give up when my hunger to explore just does not end, roads or no roads (that is just me, and I am sure most of us here are).

2. Its a no brainer that for such folks like me the car runs 75-80% of the time on city roads, 15% highways (in testing conditions like rain and so on may need a 4x4 gear) and may be less than 5% on no-roads (where actually a 4x4 will be needed).

3. Logically and practically speaking you do not need an suv for the 75-80% of the time for sure (city roads are not that bad, my Corolla which has a good GC and never scrapes until it is taking 5 on-board with fair amount of luggage, it has been taking it well with a pinch of salt). IMHO 4 lane highways again you do not want an SUV, infact a good powerful car is what hits the sweet spot there, its only on those not so perfect single state highways where you feel the need, so it is for you guys to do the math for that 15%.

4. But we all know we guys/men here seldom buy their car for practical reasons, 90% of the decision is emotionally and financially driven, that said there are many other reasons why we buy a SUV in particular other than what it is capable of doing, our market statistics are in proof of it.

5. Now coming to the big question, if one has decided to buy an SUV (come what may & what ever the reason/s), should you buy a 4x4?

Our veterans, please pore in those golden drops of experienced advice, and for average jos like me, lets ponder over this.
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Old 16th January 2012, 10:27   #36
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

Zulfi in August I attended a adventure trip organised by Mahindra where I flew into Delhi had a Scorpio 4x4 organised by them and had fun for 2800 kms and 11 days and flew back home.

They are organising events across the country where you can buy in a slot once or twice a year for the family and have fun using their vehicle. The cars are maintained and serviced by them and you don't need to hassle yourself with offroad wear and tear.

So why waste money on a SUV? A car is a much better option. Unless you live north of Delhi and have umpteen options for weekend exploration getaways. If you are buying a SUV spend that extra 1.5 lacs and get the 4x4 version. There's no telling when you will need it if you are an adventurer at heart.

If you are not adventurous then sedans and hot hatches are so much more fun

A 2wd SUV personally makes no sense to me. I would anyday opt for a MPV, they are so much more fun and enjoyable when travelling. If you do opt for a SUV because you value ground clearance as a primary buying criteria then a 4x4 is a highly recommended add on.

On the issue of what kind of 4wd I prefer the part time units over fulltime 4wd as you can disengage the front hubs and unlock them for improved fuel economy. AWD systems with centre diffs will be a more expensive option and not needed unless you encounter snow more than 4-6 months a year. The benefits of a AWD on a SUV for regular tarmac driving is minimal considering the inherent unstability of a SUV and any additional directional stability that AWD offers is negated eventually should you consider spirited driving on an SUV

Ofcourse many people also buy SUV's because of the butch looks and the supposed status of owning one !

Last edited by DKG : 16th January 2012 at 10:54.
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Old 16th January 2012, 10:48   #37
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

Agree with DKG in most of his points. These vehicles really come into their own in places like Oz, NZ, Canada, Africa, Latin America etc.

It is true that 95% of SUV's bought never venture anywhere off the road - probably the most muck they will ever see is someone's gravel drive.

It is also true that one should never venture to extremely remote places alone, whether or not one is driving an SUV.

I wholly endorse the point of view that a standard car/ crossover will be more fun day to day.

If one does get the itch to explore places unknown and get real muddy, then there are plenty of "experience days" available - in India as well as abroad, which I mentioned earlier.

However, all things said and done, I cannot answer for the "hankering want" factor - which may motivate some to just go and buy a 4x4 SUV, whether or not they use it at all.

Remember that old Gypsy ad - "There's a Gypsy in everyone!" - It is a bit like a regular joe buying these vehicles because he likes to escape from mundane reality now and then. Instead of driving a standard exec hatch/ sedan, some of us may wish to drive something "different". If one is a bit of a fantasist and has the money to spend, then why not buy an SUV? Nothing wrong with that really.

It is for sure that the tide will turn again - now there is likely to be a rash of little "pretend SUV's" which are quite practical for our bad roads. It is a relatively new phenomenon to have so many choices in the SUV space, especially in our starved market.

But slowly, the situation will change and people will get sick of them and want to go back to their car type vehicles.

Last edited by shankar.balan : 16th January 2012 at 10:50.
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Old 16th January 2012, 11:21   #38
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

You are right Shanker. So many things in life are done for the experience of it. Sometimes you just have to do it and experience it before you see merit in something smaller and less expensive. Unless ofcourse you are an intrepid explorer who disappears into the wilderness every three months, in which case the SUV is a must have.

Let me share something about SUV ownership. I had the pleasure of owning a Landcruiser GXR once and was so deeply impressed by its ride and ofcourse the offroad prowess that I ended up feeling that every home and family should have one. Its depth of ability both as a highway cruiser, people carrier and offroader is so deep that I was completely in love with it. Its another story that when traffic jams became a reality in Dubai I used to pull off the road and drive in the desert to get to office almost every second day. I did use it extensively though to go into the desert and camp out on beaches. I loved every bit of the versatility an SUV offers.

So I guess if your lifestyle permits then a SUV makes a lot of sense and surely a 4x4 helps. Try pulling a boat out of water with a 2wd SUV and you will realise the many small occasions when 4x4 and SUV go together. Very soon we will see jetskis being sold across the counter and small boats etc. People's lifestyles will change to encompass more in terms of outdoor leisure activities. SUV's will always make sense when you are into all this.

The whole concept of SUV's came into existence because families on weekends headed out with their adventure gear and kids for fun weekends. They needed a large car and 4x4.

India is not too far from getting there when finally the Fortuners and Xtrails and Scorpios and Safaris will all get put to some real sport and utility use.

Last edited by DKG : 16th January 2012 at 11:23.
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Old 16th January 2012, 11:44   #39
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

Many off-road situations may not require the use of a 4X4, but the confidence gained from knowing that your machine has that capability, if required, is well worth the extra money you plonked while buying it. A friend of mine with a 4X2 scorpio, who questioned my decision to buy a 4X4 version, got stuck in slush while we were on our way to a farm during rains. The look on his face when I pulled him out with my 4X4......was priceless !
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Old 16th January 2012, 11:56   #40
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

@ Nitinbose: The Fortuner is great for offroading - specifically travel/journey offroading and overlanding. It is used extensively in South Africa for overlanding for thousands of kms through bush (with minor mods - tyres, upgraded shocks etc.). Check out the South African 4X4 forums to read about what people do with their 'Tuna'. Though not as capable or renowned as the big daddies (LC, Patrol etc.), the Fortuner also comes into its own when you have to keep on going through all sorts of terrain miles away from anywhere.

The Fortuner is not good at sport offroading because of its LWB, size etc. Few large vehicles are nimble enough or cheap enough to risk bashing up on a typical sports OTR trail.

I prefer a 4X4 because of the extra capability and peace of mind.
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Old 16th January 2012, 11:58   #41
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

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Many off-road situations may not require the use of a 4X4
Doc basically the present day reference to offroad situations in India is non tarmac roads. If you were to take the simple weekend experience of camping on the beach you will find your 2wd SUV an utter waste as you won't go more than 5 meters into sand. You need deflated tyres and a 4x4 and some technique. Start camping on beaches if you live close to them and you will discover one of the most amazing experiences for family and friends. Try lugging camping gear over the width of a beach and you will curse yourself for not opting for a 4x4 when you bought that already expensive car.

Once jet skis and boats start retailing you will see more families heading out to enjoy these sports and a 4x4 SUV is essential. Try pulling a jetski out of water in a 2wd and you will instantly realise what an utter waste it is as a machine.

I think as people's lifestyles change and they start including a lot of sports activities into their leisure pursuits getting a 4x4 SUV is a no brainer.

To me a 2wd SUV is a waste of money. I would anyday opt for a MPV which I consider one of the most intelligent and fun forms of urban transportation. Be it travelling or even partying in town with a bunch of couples MPV's are so much more fun. Some of my most precious memories with friends and family is when I used a Grand Voyager for weekend travels and general group fun. And if ground clearance is a consideration when opting for a SUV might as well plonk that extra 1.5l and get the 4x4 version.

Last edited by DKG : 16th January 2012 at 12:06.
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Old 16th January 2012, 14:07   #42
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

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I prefer a 4X4 because of the extra capability and peace of mind.
Cross-posting a picture from another thread to illustrate what I mean:

This is a track that leads to some very nice viewpoints and places that are frequented by Gaurs and big cats.

This flat but broken stretch (in the picture) can be tackled by a 2WD with good ground clearance or a SWB vehicle with decent GC (say a Maruti 800 on stilts).

But when steepish inclines and declines come into play together with broken terrain, driving on 2WD without clutch slipping or excessive braking is not possible.

And if one has to drive on such a trail once it is dark, then the risks of damaging a 2WD might not be worth it (you can't keep getting down to check the terrain in the dark because there are animals around - some not so friendly). Why dark? Because chances of animal sightings are better late in the evening or early in the morning. So one would have to tackle at least part of the trail when there is less light.

When you drive a 4WD, you can plan and do things with peace of mind and confidence and have new experiences otherwise not possible.

Ultimately, it depends on whether you like outdoors and like to take roads less traveled enough to plonk down the extra money for a 4WD.

Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?-20111225-17.07.02.jpg
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Old 16th January 2012, 14:43   #43
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

After reading thru all the very pertinent responses from fellow BHPians I dont have much to add except this modified Exide Tagline "Buy 4wd buy peace of mind". You may not use it at all but the day it gets you out of trouble this discussion thread will sound meaningless. I was faced with a similar situation when I was in the market to buy a 7 seater. Amongst other benefits I primarily chose my Vitara XL7 for the low range gear box. I may not have used that even 5% of the time but I comfortably take detours and do dirt tracks in the monsoon knowing fully well that I have that little stick that will be able to help me make it thru.

Ofcourse it goes without saying, if you do buy a 4x4 make sure you know how to use it and most importantly know the capabilities/ limitations of yourself and the vehicle.
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Old 16th January 2012, 14:54   #44
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

So reading all your thoughts, it seems like buying 4X4 is more of a lifestyle choice than a necessity than a real need. The Indian terrain doesn't really warrant the need of a vehicle with serious offroad capabilities. But at the same time one may need it when the roads are muddy/slushy or in snowy conditions.

For those who are into offroading, it is more of a fun game than the requirement of reaching from point-to-point. I would love to do a bit of offroading myself, but for that I won't be willing to spend more than a old Mahindra or Gypsy. I am definitely not taking a T-Fort or a Pajero to eat dirt by choice for the very simple reason- I can't afford it.

These are the reasons why the launch of these 10Lac bracket SUVs (if I may call them) is very exciting for our market. These will not have the capabilities of a T-Fort and worldwide renowed Mit-Paj, but will make it up in sales volume for their brands.

------------


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Buy 4wd buy peace of mind
Allow me to differ a bit here. So while 4WD would increase the peace of mind at places that are 4WD worthy, there would be additional costs associated with having the 4WD system in the very first place and for maintenance during the ownership of the SUV. So not peace of mind. And what about mileage? Kitna Deti Hai???

It comes to individual wants and needs. And yes affordability.

Last edited by Animesh : 16th January 2012 at 14:59. Reason: Replying to a post
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Old 16th January 2012, 15:15   #45
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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
So reading all your thoughts, it seems like buying 4X4 is more of a lifestyle choice than a necessity than a real need. The Indian terrain doesn't really warrant the need of a vehicle with serious offroad capabilities. But at the same time one may need it when the roads are muddy/slushy or in snowy conditions.

For those who are into offroading, it is more of a fun game than the requirement of reaching from point-to-point. I would love to do a bit of offroading myself, but for that I won't be willing to spend more than a old Mahindra or Gypsy. I am definitely not taking a T-Fort or a Pajero to eat dirt by choice for the very simple reason- I can't afford it.

These are the reasons why the launch of these 10Lac bracket SUVs (if I may call them) is very exciting for our market. These will not have the capabilities of a T-Fort and worldwide renowed Mit-Paj, but will make it up in sales volume for their brands.

------------


Allow me to differ a bit here. So while 4WD would increase the peace of mind at places that are 4WD worthy, there would be additional costs associated with having the 4WD system in the very first place and for maintenance during the ownership of the SUV. So not peace of mind. And what about mileage? Kitna Deti Hai???

It comes to individual wants and needs. And yes affordability.


It's always good to have more features. Why not a 4x4 if you can afford the extra 1+ Lakh and the maintenance costs/complexity.

But finally it's a tradeoff between cost and the features when it comes to choosing a variant.
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