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Old 16th January 2012, 15:37   #46
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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 tachobells View Post


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.
I guess it is an engineer thing inside me that still rules some of the decisions that I take. I totally agree with you when you say "It's always good to have more features". However, this liner comes with a twist.

When I am buying a laptop/computer; I prepare my requirements and then buy the best machine that the money can afford that suffice those requirements.
It is the same with cars. I HAVE TO KNOW what I want to do with it. And paying additional. 1 Lac is a huge amount upfront. And that is not the end to it. There are additional expenses in form of Maintenance during ownership of the vehicle and additional Fuel Cost.

Btw, I was doing some research and came across this - "Part time 4WD setup, when used in 4WD on pavement, creates some safety risks: ABS will no longer work and it creates heavy understeer.
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Old 16th January 2012, 15:43   #47
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

We have an estate @ Thekkady which you cannot reach without 4 wheel drive. Plus when you load goods, labourers and other misc things, the 4WD really shows it's worth. I think most people buy 4WD more as an ego massager than to actually test their skills or to do some exploring.
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Old 16th January 2012, 16:16   #48
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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 Petroleus View Post
We have an estate @ Thekkady which you cannot reach without 4 wheel drive. Plus when you load goods, labourers and other misc things, the 4WD really shows it's worth.
Now that is exactly the kind of place a 4WD is an absolute must.

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I think most people buy 4WD more as an ego massager than to actually test their skills or to do some exploring.
Well some of us may want to go for the Ego Massage factor, but then again, everybody has his/her opinion for the way of life.
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Old 16th January 2012, 16:27   #49
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

4WD in the hands of someone who doesn't what to do with it, and how to do it, would end up being a safety risk and a disaster on the reliability and maintenance front for the vehicle.

That said, 4WD in the hands of someone, who knows how and where to use it, is an absolute boon. You can go to many fun places, and come back too.

If your average run is in the city, with a few highway trips to easily accessible cities and villages, skip the 4WD and go for a good sedan.
If, however, you have been bitten by the Travel bug, and especially want to visit very off-beat places, and do it quite often, get yourself a 4WD.
If you are in the latter category, but only do such travelling once or twice a year, spare yourself some cash, and hire a self-drive 4WD.

All in all, 4WD systems need proper usage and maintenance, and remember that there are a much larger number of things that can go wrong on a 4WD vehicle. I am not saying that 4WD vehicles are not reliable, but the reliability is much more sensitive to the usage than a typical 2WD vehicle.

In my limited view, one of the 4WDs, that makes amazing sense for almost everything, is the Yeti; the only down-sides being the upfront price and Skoda's A.S.S.

Last edited by roy_libran : 16th January 2012 at 16:28. Reason: Added the Yeti reference.
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Old 16th January 2012, 18:02   #50
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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.
Indeed - and how many fewer leaf springs would you have broken while taking bad sections at speed instead of crawling through on 4L, and how many fewer clutch plates you would have burnt out...
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Get a 4x4 ONLY if:
- You intend to off-road.
- You are going to drive on challenging terrain, including in-existent roads.
- Your city has snow (inapplicable to India)
Add to that, if you live/travel in the Himalayas, where road conditions change within a few hours, as Tanveer has adequately described...
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
It depends on where you go, and how often you go there.
Some examples I can give you.
1. We went to Rajasthan, and decided to spend the night on a dune in camps...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.
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....
5. ...kunzum...heavy snow. A taxi made it halfway, and then they turned back
6. At narkanda,...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.
So, if you spend time on the road with family in a solitary car (like I do), Spike described my sentiments to the T...
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
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.
Provided one prefers group excursions rather than solitary ventures, DKG's suggestion makes great sense.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
...Scorpio 4x4 organised by them and had fun for 2800 kms and 11 days...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
On the issue of what kind of 4wd I prefer...
For me, low range is a must, whether in a part-time system or one with a centre diff.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Cross-posting a picture from another thread to illustrate what I mean:
When you drive a 4WD, you can plan and do things with peace of mind and confidence and have new experiences otherwise not possible.
Spot on! Let me also put in a pic or two from our Ranthambhore trip over the New Year weekend (yet to find time to post the travelogue )...

We took this sandy track to check out the resort where a party to ring in the New Year was being held...
Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?-dsc06804k100.jpg
Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?-dsc06805k100.jpg

It rained so hard since 8pm, the arrangements, including bonfire and garden lighting, was a complete washout. The electric lines shorted and we were left in the dark for quite some time...
Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?-dsc06876k100.jpg

Now take another imaginary look at the track above, after over 2 hours of pouring rain, at 10:30pm, being negotiated with a car full of 6 people, with headlights only. Need I say more about why I carry around 70kg extra and spent around 1L more when choosing my car?
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Old 16th January 2012, 19:40   #51
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

It would only be prudent to understand the follies of having a 4WD system. However, less in numbers those shortcomings might be. Start adding to the list-
1. Little did I know that a 4WD setup could be more unsafe than a 2WD one on any parameter. And then I came across
Quote:
Originally Posted by Animesh View Post
"Part time 4WD setup, when used in 4WD on pavement, creates some safety risks: ABS will no longer work and it creates heavy understeer.
2. Cost of buying + Cost of maintenance
3. Operating cost because of Lower Fuel efficiency
4. The fact that a 4WD is most likely to be ridden in a 2WD-mode, a sudden change in terrain (read a puddle or gravel on road) would create a scare even if the vehicle has a 4WD setup. What use is a 4WD setup if it isn't operated all the time? This is where AWD come into picture.
5.
6.
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Old 16th January 2012, 19:58   #52
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

Personally, I find buying a 4x2 "suv" pointless. If you need space, GC etc, you get that from a MUV. And space is much better in MUV - xylo, innova.
Anyway, if you are just driving in the city, you can make do with 4x2. But if you travel lots, 4x4 makes sense (i dont mean for just traveling on highway). The fact is you might actually take your car places where you wont normally. The only question is would you be interested in that.
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Old 16th January 2012, 20:14   #53
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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
It would only be prudent to understand the follies of having a 4WD system. However, less in numbers those shortcomings might be. Start adding to the list-
1. Little did I know that a 4WD setup could be more unsafe than a 2WD one on any parameter. And then I came across
2. Cost of buying + Cost of maintenance
3. Operating cost because of Lower Fuel efficiency
4. The fact that a 4WD is most likely to be ridden in a 2WD-mode, a sudden change in terrain (read a puddle or gravel on road) would create a scare even if the vehicle has a 4WD setup. What use is a 4WD setup if it isn't operated all the time? This is where AWD come into picture.
5.
6.
Part time4WD on tarmac or any surface with adequate grip will wear out and bust the drive shaft in about 100-200kms of driving or so I read somewhere (Edit: here: http://www.rubicon-trail.com/4WD101/driveline-bind.html) which means a huge repair bill. One needs a 3rd differential between front and rear to safely run 4WD without damage, called a full time 4WD.

Here is a good site on 4x4 http://www.4x4abc.com/index.html



--Ragul

Last edited by Ragul : 16th January 2012 at 20:24.
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Old 16th January 2012, 21:06   #54
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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 DKG View Post
To me a 2wd SUV is a waste of money. 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.
Spot on, I was thinking the very same, for me infact as you said the question was never to decide between 2wd & 4wd, it was should I retain my Corolla or take a 4wd Duster, just as you said even I felt a 2wd suv does not make sense. And for the average jos a softroader, crossover are same as suv. The primary concern for me is will it drive well enough on the highways just as a sedan.
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Old 16th January 2012, 21:20   #55
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

Agreed but what if you dont like the looks of a van but prefer a jeep-ish thingy to buzz about in? Frankly had I had a choice some years ago I would have got myself the 4WD Bolero and the 4WD Scorpio but at that time they were only offering it in the top spec variants, which I didnt want on account of the whole lot of other unwanted stuff that one was forced to take along with it. Not the safety kit, but all the other electronic gizmos that were more form than function (at least in my opinion at the time.). I also believed that the pricing was too high at the time, for the 4WD variants of the same vehicle and didnt quite agree with the M&M pricing policies.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mxx View Post
Personally, I find buying a 4x2 "suv" pointless. If you need space, GC etc, you get that from a MUV. And space is much better in MUV - xylo, innova.
.
I think your Duster will ride very well on the highways too as a sedan will, because it is a good crossover vehicle. And there is still no clarity about a 4WD Duster as per my info from Renault India. Hopefully they will surprise us yet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zulfi hansi View Post
Spot on, I was thinking the very same, for me infact as you said the question was never to decide between 2wd & 4wd, it was should I retain my Corolla or take a 4wd Duster, just as you said even I felt a 2wd suv does not make sense. And for the average jos a softroader, crossover are same as suv. The primary concern for me is will it drive well enough on the highways just as a sedan.
I completely agree with this. And here is a cross post pic of the Yeti on some slightly off road terrain. I havent yet got pictures of what the Yeti can do on more serious off road situations but I am confident that as time goes by I will be able to share some stuff with all here. Fact is that its shorter wheelbase and compact proportions make it much easier to handle on rough terrain. However, it is a moot point if it can be as competent in serious off road conditions as a Fortuner or a 4WD Scorpio can.
Most people with Crossovers wouldnt really put them to such tests. One reason being on account of the price.


Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
4WD in the hands of someone who doesn't what to do with it, and how to do it, would end up being a safety risk and a disaster on the reliability and maintenance front for the vehicle.

That said, 4WD in the hands of someone, who knows how and where to use it, is an absolute boon. You can go to many fun places, and come back too.

If your average run is in the city, with a few highway trips to easily accessible cities and villages, skip the 4WD and go for a good sedan.
If, however, you have been bitten by the Travel bug, and especially want to visit very off-beat places, and do it quite often, get yourself a 4WD.
If you are in the latter category, but only do such travelling once or twice a year, spare yourself some cash, and hire a self-drive 4WD.

All in all, 4WD systems need proper usage and maintenance, and remember that there are a much larger number of things that can go wrong on a 4WD vehicle. I am not saying that 4WD vehicles are not reliable, but the reliability is much more sensitive to the usage than a typical 2WD vehicle.

In my limited view, one of the 4WDs, that makes amazing sense for almost everything, is the Yeti.
Attached Thumbnails
Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?-dsc06923.jpg  


Last edited by shankar.balan : 16th January 2012 at 21:25.
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Old 16th January 2012, 21:59   #56
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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 mxx View Post
Personally, I find buying a 4x2 "suv" pointless. If you need space, GC etc, you get that from a MUV. And space is much better in MUV - xylo, innova.
Anyway, if you are just driving in the city, you can make do with 4x2. But if you travel lots, 4x4 makes sense (i dont mean for just traveling on highway). The fact is you might actually take your car places where you wont normally. The only question is would you be interested in that.
Why 4X2 SUV isn't pointless?
- The Space that it provides. Why not MUV for this? Because a lot (a whole lot) of people don't like the look of it in the first place. It still comes across as a Soccer-Mom kinda vehicle.
- The GC it provides. The sedans (most of them) keep getting abused on the underside especially if you are in a city like Mumbai/Kolkata/Bangalore.
- Like we have already read about a lot of T-Bhpians in this thread (and others), a 4X2 poses no problems in most cases. Driving skill is still something that rules the road. I totally agree that a 4WD is that extra bit that takes you further (here again I am talking about 90% of the people and not 5% who can't live without offroading).

I understand that no ONE CAR IS PERFECT, but at the same time one can't just write-off something. 4X2 will continue doing a lot of numbers and for some very practical reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zulfi hansi View Post
And for the average jos a softroader, crossover are same as suv.
Cross Overs are half SUV and half Sedan. That is not a bad thing at all. This is the category that provides a balance between two distinct segments of cars.

Look. Essentially I am understanding why I should or shouldn't buy a capable non-SUV-SUV (or whatever you may call it) like Renault Duster. This segment is going to be very interesting to a lot of people. Till now we had only Scorpio or Safari in that kind of budget. Then came along XUV-5-oh-oh which is topping the favorite charts already just because it filled a void in the SUV segment. Now with the launch of Duster (and hopefully many more) and such other offerings, there is going to be a new generation of SUVs that aren't like the Scorpio/Safari elephants, but at the same time do their job well. Skoda Yeti fits the requirements in this hybrid segment, but then it doesn't deserve that kind of price.

How I wish there was a Toyota RAV4 in the country within 12Lacs. But we don't see that happening any time soon. So for now we have to do with what will come along.

Last edited by Animesh : 16th January 2012 at 22:05.
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Old 16th January 2012, 22:37   #57
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Duster would make great sense too provided it comes in at a decent price, apart from the Yeti. And what's that I hear about the off road prowess of a Fortuners vis-a-vis a Yeti? I think it's situation driven and neither of them would really do the kind of trails done on OTRs.

MUVs don't cut it for me. Neither here nor there. But, for a lot of people they seem to make a lot of sense.

By the way don't take my word for anything (referring to my earlier post on this thread). This is a crazy nut who uses a Gurkha as his daily drive to office within Gurgaon, then for weekend OTRs and also for highway trips. LOLZ. ;-)

Last edited by roy_libran : 16th January 2012 at 22:43.
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Old 17th January 2012, 00:22   #58
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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
Cross Overs are half SUV and half Sedan. That is not a bad thing at all. This is the category that provides a balance between two distinct segments of cars.

How I wish there was a Toyota RAV4 in the country within 12Lacs. But we don't see that happening any time soon. So for now we have to do with what will come along.
I was in the same context here too, for me a softroader, crossover is max where I would think of for an SUV, I would never want to buy a complete off-roader per-say, as I do not need it, but a capable on and off road kind of vehicle is what I am looking for at the price point and in particular the Duster.

I want to believe that Duster (or similar) will be as good as a sedan on roads, and fairly capable SUV on no-roads (with 4wd).
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Old 17th January 2012, 07:27   #59
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

My friend in Coorg who bought my 2WD Scorpio uses it largely because he needs the space as a people and luggage carrier. He goes into his estate in it too, but since it is 2WD cannot use it to haul loads up steep inclines on loose surfaces or in the wet weather. For that kind of thing one definitely needs 4WD.

When one's daily life involves agricultural and other pursuits that need one to go off the beaten track, there is nothing to beat a proper 4x4. To this end, the new Scorpio LX 4x4 should be a perfect fit because it is still manageable in the rough, unlike say, the Safari which may be too big for those narrow tracks.

But as a working vehicle in a situation like that, most people would simply buy a Mahindra Major or Thar or MM540/550 or Gypsy (converted to LPG) and employ someone to do the hauling. In India, there is relatively no shortage of paid help so there is always likely to be someone whom one can employ as a driver to handle these things.

Abroad, people need to do their own work or employ others who are pretty much their equals, to help them. Hence the comfortable and safe SUV'/ Crossovers found a more ready market there for the journeys with produce, to and from their farms. For the actual agricultural hard pursuits those guys tend to use AWD ATV's as I saw in Ireland and Scotland because they are light and can literally go anywhere any time! Of course, the well off chaps there will always have their land rovers and range rovers etc but the regular joes who need these types of vehicles tend to buy Japanese or budget European SUVs. Vehicles like the Yeti etc find favour there on account of regular snow and ice conditions when 4x4 and traction control can help you and pull you out of trouble. In India, the need for these is dictated by a need for high GC to handle our terrible roads even in our cities.

Increasingly the city dwellers who want these real serious 4x4 vehicles for image, also have to live with the euphemism "Chelsea Tractor" or "Beverly Hills Tractor". In our case it will probably be "Pedder Road" Tractor or "Palace Orchard" tractor!

India is also developing rapidly in this new direction - labour and help of the kind we are used to is only going to become increasingly scarce and hence, this revolution is happening here as well.

If an owner has to do his work himself, then it is more likely that he will invest in a comfortable and safe SUV, rather than if he were just buying one for its functional aspects and employing some other chap to do the "dirty work" so to say. Whether we like it or not, we still are pretty feudal and have different standards for ourselves and for others who are employed to do a job as described above.Another person I know in Coorg who manages several plantations, does his entire daily round in an AT 4WD Scorpio -which he takes everywhere and uses for everything, every day. It works well for him, but he also spends a lot of money on maintenance and so on.
Another friend in the Nilgiris uses an old Mahindra Marshal 4x4 for everything connected with his estate and his hobbies like wildlife and fishing etc. He has another proper car - a corolla, for his normal usage in and around the towns or his trips to the city. This combination works well for him.

Coming to replacement parts etc, when a vehicle is driven constantly in rough conditions on "no roads" one will find that ones tyres will last a lot less long than if one were driving that same vehicle in city conditions. For example my OEM tyres did about 50K Kms with me in mixed conditions - mostly city, highway with some trips to the jungles and hills thrown in. I think those same tyres will only last another 10-15 K kms with my friend because his usage is completely different and much harder on a day to day basis. By contrast another friend who has a 2WD Scorpio which is mostly driven in the city and on highways, has already crossed 80-85K kms on those OEM Bridgestones.

One will also find that in a 4WD, the tyre life tends to come down a bit, in comparison to a 2WD. Typically an estate used 4WD vehicle, runs through its effective tyre life in about 35K-40K Kms whereas I ve just illustrated the life of a predominantly city driven tyre. I remember my Dads old MM540/MM550 used to get about 30k kms of life max, from those hard old HT 75 type nylon tyres. Same with our tractors, whose tyres needed to be changed every 30K Kms done. Typically this means 1.5 years usage max.

There are cases of Fortuners in Coorg whose OEM tyres gave up after 25-30K Kms on account of the extremely harsh daily use conditions. This translates to one year's hard usage. It is certainly an expensive business! Added to this, the Fortuner is large and hence, difficult to handle on narrow tracks. Same goes for the Endy, though there are a few of them hanging around these areas which are used for all sorts of daily use activities.

For the best combination of every day and occasional everywhere usage, the best option for urban dwellers are crossovers which is why one can see that more and more people are buying these nowadays.

Leisure off roading or lifestyle activities which require a 4x4 with lots of space is, as DKG said, a relatively new phenomenon in India - with the advent of greater prosperity that is. In places like Ireland where people do a lot of sailing and stuff, it is very common for people to have 2 vehicles - a weekend off road 4x4 with excellent hauling capabilities to pull their boats along etc and a simple city hatch or sedan as well. It is only a matter of time till India gets to that level of lifestyle. Incidentally cars in the UK like the Octavia Combi / Scout or Subaru Outback or Forester others, come with 4x4 option and a tow hook at the rear. This is for functional usage, pulling a trailer etc. We dont yet need all that sort of thing here, which is also possibly one reason why the Octy Combi in India or the Yeti or Chevy Forester for that matter, didnt find all that many takers here. Here it is a little more about image and form, not function, unlike there.

They cant all be wrong, or can they?

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Old 17th January 2012, 10:57   #60
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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
...when a vehicle is driven constantly in rough conditions on "no roads" one will find that ones tyres will last a lot less long than if one were driving that same vehicle in city conditions.
I don't think the difference would be extreme, Shankar. I have crossed 57k km on my Bridgestones (OE supply) and there is at least 25-30% usable tread left. If I can get 75k km out of a set of tyres in a 4wd that sees bad roads (but not OTRs) as frequently as expressways, I would expect 60k from the same set if it did not see expressways at all. In the end, it would depend on one's driving style and the amount of TLC the car gets even when the car is in no-road conditions.
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