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Old 23rd January 2012, 13:37   #91
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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 SS-Traveller View Post
I knew Mahindra makes two-wheelers, but how do they manage all-wheel drive on a 2-wheeler?

The quantum of issues is not usually discussed in travelogues. Ask the IPHE team travelling in assorted cars, and they'll tell oyu exactly how much beating which car took. With a 4x4, you come back in a little better shape. With something like the 4wd Scorpio/Safari/Pajero/Fortuner etc. you usually come back, wash the car, and are back to the daily commute from the next day.
Also remember, many of those logs are group logs. When you have multiple vehicles, you always have somebody pull you out.
If you travel alone often, a 4x4 is needed.
I myself have pulled out local taxis and other locals when their sumos and qualis got stuck.
If I had not been there, they would have had to walk a few kms, as help from BRO, and waste entire day.
I have seen people altering plans because they did not have 4x4. So the plan becomes, skip pangong Tso, as the road has a landslide, and 2wd cannot cross.

Look at this video


then look at the video responses. a 4x4 crossed, so did bikes, but swift has to turn back
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Old 23rd January 2012, 13:52   #92
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

If crossing a rocky stream is a 'maybe' for a 4x2, its a 'sure can'for a 4x4, that's pretty much all the difference (assuming its the same driver).

A lot of cars go to Ladakh every year, I'm sure even worse terrains are done by 4x2 cars all over the world but would a 4x4 make life easier? Yes

Would there be less chance of getting stuck and one wouldn't have to improvise with wooden planks/rubber mats etc? Yes

There are a lot of would-be's that can be answered with an affirmative.

Simply put, if you think you could land up in a 'maybe' situation with the kind of road trips you do, but have the moolah to change it to 'sure can' instead, do it.

I'd get a 4x4 next only because I've taken my swift a lot of places which would have been more enjoyable if I had a 4x4.

A 4x4 for peace of mind and even more enjoyment than a 4x2, hell yeah!
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Old 23rd January 2012, 22:10   #93
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

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Simply put, if you think you could land up in a 'maybe' situation with the kind of road trips you do, but have the moolah to change it to 'sure can' instead, do it.

I'd get a 4x4 next only because I've taken my swift a lot of places which would have been more enjoyable if I had a 4x4.

A 4x4 for peace of mind and even more enjoyment than a 4x2, hell yeah!
IMHO it is as simple as they say, you spend more than you can, it pinches you hard once, and when you do not, and long for what you skipped, it pinches you all the time. All the practicality and 90% - 10% usage logic will remain a good logic, but most of us here will want what the heart wants, not the head, this is my logic when it comes to cars.
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Old 26th January 2012, 22:59   #94
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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 zulfi hansi View Post
IMHO it is as simple as they say, you spend more than you can, it pinches you hard once, and when you do not, and long for what you skipped, it pinches you all the time. All the practicality and 90% - 10% usage logic will remain a good logic, but most of us here will want what the heart wants, not the head, this is my logic when it comes to cars.
Let us consider the logic of Insurance Business. You would not like to land in a position resulting in a claim, but you still go for Insurance just for the piece of mind it offers :-). Practically the actual claims happen in less than 5% of cases.
So if a person likes to visit places which are away from hustle bustle of the cities and less frequented by travelers/ tourists especially in mountainous regions, than it is better to have the insurance of 4x4.
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Old 26th January 2012, 23:32   #95
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

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Let us consider the logic of Insurance Business. You would not like to land in a position resulting in a claim, but you still go for Insurance just for the piece of mind it offers :-). Practically the actual claims happen in less than 5% of cases.
So if a person likes to visit places which are away from hustle bustle of the cities and less frequented by travelers/ tourists especially in mountainous regions, than it is better to have the insurance of 4x4.
You actually shot off an alternative view in my mind;
How about the fact that we guys here even if we have a 4x2 tend to take risks where we are sure that our ride cannot take it, now sometimes things can go out of control and a 4x2 might end up in a claim, where a 4x4 might not, just a hypothesis. Now that is what I call no claims bonus.
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Old 27th January 2012, 08:50   #96
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

Im putting in some comments and submissions marked 'SB:' below your individual sentences.

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Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
If crossing a rocky stream is a 'maybe' for a 4x2, its a 'sure can'for a 4x4, that's pretty much all the difference (assuming its the same driver).

SB:I would use specific types of vehicles for specific work/ terrain. For example I wont use my Yeti to cross a rocky stream because its tyres (as per the OEM ones in India), would not be able to handle it, while the car possibly can.
Also, since it is an expensive thing, I dont want possibilities of water and muck etc in my electric fiddlies! I would prefer, for such things, to use a mechanical monster like a Gypsy or a Mahindra 540. Dont forget that every time your 4x4 goes off roading, you have to check it over thoroughly afterwards and possibly spend some money and do maintenance work on it so that it continues to give good service.

A lot of cars go to Ladakh every year, I'm sure even worse terrains are done by 4x2 cars all over the world but would a 4x4 make life easier? Yes

SB:100%. For ages I have seen elderly Ambys and Fiats buzzing about in the hills where one would have thought only a 4x4 can go. Then came the humble and light M800, the M Van and later the simple Tata Indica and even the Bajaj Auto (RE80) - all of which are very happily used by various people who live in smaller villages, hamlets and estates all over the Nilgiris, Coorg, Munnar and other such places and are used for all manner of things there including cargo transport, people and animal transport etc! Not all of them can afford to own one vehicle for personal use and another for rough/ work use so they make do perfectly well with just one all purpose vehicle.

Would there be less chance of getting stuck and one wouldn't have to improvise with wooden planks/rubber mats etc? Yes

SB:I agree. But I would also submit that I would specifically choose the type of vehicle to use in case there is high potential to get stuck in deep-ish water, thick sludgy slush, deep ruts, heavy mud or soft sand. The vehicle in such a case would be a simpler, mechanical 4x4 in all probability, unless I go on a course where they are using the fancier vehicles like the LC or LR or Montero etc.

Simply put, if you think you could land up in a 'maybe' situation with the kind of road trips you do, but have the moolah to change it to 'sure can' instead, do it.

SB:This is correct and I agree with you. I bought the 4x4 soft roader on account of the safety aspects and overall capabilities bearing in mind the occasional conditions which I might encounter, which need 4x4 etc. But the additionals are ESP, ASR, Traction Control etc which in conjunction with 4x4, are a boon on wet grassy slopes, for example!
However, I would not go actively seeking slush or mudpits to put my vehicle to the test. For one thing, I no longer enjoy getting as dirty as that and I have to thoroughly do the cleaning and checking of my vehicle afterwards which takes a lot of time. I have done quite a bit of that sort of stuff when I had my Gypsy(s), or the use of my Dad's MM540/550 and I am "fed up and fulfilled" with it now. Put simply, I am no longer interested in that level of leisure off-road stuff and certainly not in my Yeti.

I'd get a 4x4 next only because I've taken my swift a lot of places which would have been more enjoyable if I had a 4x4.

SB:Yes, I agree. This is why I also preferred to buy a lighter 4x4 rather than chug along with the heavy 2WD Scorp. I owned it for 4 years almost. On several separate occasions in different places like Ooty, Masinagudi, Coorg etc, I suffered on account of 2WD wheelspin and the smell of the clutch saute-ing. I didnt like that one bit.

A 4x4 for peace of mind and even more enjoyment than a 4x2, hell yeah!
SB:Me too. A resounding Yeah! But the disclaimers in terms of usage patterns are illustrated above too!

Last edited by shankar.balan : 27th January 2012 at 08:54. Reason: fonts and style etc
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Old 27th January 2012, 19:50   #97
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

@Shankar Balan
I completely agree with your experienced view on this issue, now a days softroaders are the norm simply because even the younger lot (who are not off-roaders genetically) will not prefer to do an OTR, they would simply come across interesting terrain in their quest of exploring and most of the time with their families and would not really take chances even in their 4x4s considering the damage to their rides, also the fact that they wouldn't want to get dirty. This is also added to the reality that most of us cannot afford more than 1 car (not just finances but parking and low usage issues). In this scenario it becomes imperative that a soft-roader excels as a car on highways, becomes an SUV for those non-existent roads. These soft-roaders may not do everything in great style but will do everything in a limited respectable manner expected by the driver, Jack of all trades master of none?
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Old 28th January 2012, 09:44   #98
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

Yep! Bang on. What one requires these days is a nice, comfortable, safe, all purpose vehicle in which one can go to the Club or Office or on a bit of a wild road adventure. Of course the state of the roads in most so called Metro cities themselves is pretty abominable.
With changing lifestyles and more disposable income a larger percentage of people are taking to the roads on weekends and stuff, to do some exploring around their areas of residence - be it North, South, West or East India. The relevance of cross over vehicles for such a market is definitely very high.
Hence more vehicles like the Abominable Snowman become very useful as well as desirable.
The small percentage of hard core leisure off road enthusiasts and people who need that level of off road capability in the course of their daily work, will still keep buying the hard core 4x4 vehicles. For regular blokes like you and me, a crossover with good capability and high ground clearance is more than sufficient.


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@Shankar Balan
I completely agree with your experienced view on this issue, now a days softroaders are the norm simply because even the younger lot (who are not off-roaders genetically) will not prefer to do an OTR, they would simply come across interesting terrain in their quest of exploring and most of the time with their families and would not really take chances even in their 4x4s considering the damage to their rides, also the fact that they wouldn't want to get dirty. This is also added to the reality that most of us cannot afford more than 1 car (not just finances but parking and low usage issues). In this scenario it becomes imperative that a soft-roader excels as a car on highways, becomes an SUV for those non-existent roads. These soft-roaders may not do everything in great style but will do everything in a limited respectable manner expected by the driver, Jack of all trades master of none?
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Old 28th January 2012, 09:55   #99
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

A front wheel drive Crossover would be the perfect vehicle for what the majority of end users want from their vehicle. With more stable highway speed handling its a much better option than a SUV.

Infact even in the present SUV's the XUV 500 with front wheel drive will go through most areas a rear wheel drive SUV will have difficulty in.
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Old 28th January 2012, 13:46   #100
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

Possibly you're right but the XUV with its pretty large ish proportions can be slightly difficult to handle on very narrow and steep tracks. But capability-wise in terms of FWD vs RWD I dont doubt your statement.
I wonder how it will fare on that particular track that I tried going up in my Scorpio and failed though!
By contrast, the Yeti 4x4 was able to happily buzz up a 40 degree incline with absolute minimum of fuss and grumblings! The hill hold is really helpful because for that vital 3-4 seconds it prevents the car rolling back till you engage the 1st gear and release the clutch. Very useful! While one may be used to heel and toe and all the traditional techniques, it is much better that the car itself is more intuitive and requires less driver interfacing in these matters. From a convenience point of view that is!


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Infact even in the present SUV's the XUV 500 with front wheel drive will go through most areas a rear wheel drive SUV will have difficulty in.
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Old 28th January 2012, 14:57   #101
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

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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.
Thank you for your wonderful contributions so far in this thread. There is something I would want to ask you regarding the Yeti 4x4 system that you referred to in your post,just so that it helps to clear the mist between the 4x4 Yeti variants. I am aware there is the 'off-road assistant' in the top variant. The same is not there in the lower variant, but it is still labelled a AWD 4x4. Is there any difference in the 4x4 capabilities between the two?

I ask this because if the 'offroad assistant' switch in such vehicles merely
calibrates the throttle response,ESP, etc to off road conditions , then I suppose the lower version (which also has EDL, ESP etc) can negotiate off road to a large extent. Hope you got my question, and hope its not OT!
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Old 28th January 2012, 17:20   #102
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

Yes, you're absolutely correct in the below understanding.
The Off Road Assist button merely re-calibrates the ABS, ESP, Traction control etc to give one a more "optimum" performance off the main tarmac. However, it cannot be taken to seriously slushy, snowy or watery or sandy bits like perhaps a Toyota Land Cruiser or Pajero can.
I would simply not bet on the Yeti if it were pitted against a 20 year old MM 540/550DP in seriously off road conditions. It is a soft roader, not a hard core off road machine. The main thing is that people get confused in their choice and suddenly start hankering after the capabilities of a hard core off roader while still wanting to retain the comfort, luxury and safety/ security of a modern sedan and at the same time people want a price advantage.
It is very tough to meet all these criteria and hence, the best compromise for such things is the soft roader crossover such as a Yeti and/ or other vehicles. You get the best of both worlds this way and for me, this is just right for my particular needs/ wants.

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Originally Posted by R. Kotwal View Post
I ask this because if the 'offroad assistant' switch in such vehicles merely
calibrates the throttle response,ESP, etc to off road conditions , then I suppose the lower version (which also has EDL, ESP etc) can negotiate off road to a large extent. Hope you got my question, and hope its not OT!
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Old 18th February 2012, 15:01   #103
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

Last week was a revelation of sorts for me. Was in Goa driving my Corolla, never had problem with GC (did not venture adventurously though). But one evening close to the beach when I was trying to park in a overcrowded space, to be safe took the car in reverse off the road where there was some very dry sand, just wanted to make sure the car can come out so kept the front tyres on tarmac so I will have traction when coming out, luckily I decided to move out again just after I parked to make sure it will come out. And there it was, the front left tyre completely lost grip and started to spin burning the rubber to glory and later even the right one, the car just couldn't move out and I had to take help of men around to push the car a little, and with some effort I did move out, leaving a trail of rubber marks and the smell of burnt rubber in the air. Later that evening When I came out I saw about 3 cars struggling like mad to get their cars out in a similar situation, Wagon R, OHC and Swift all of them did not take that precaution what I had taken of keeping the front wheels on the tarmac.

This has sealed the deal for me and shown me the reality of how vulnerable is a 4x2 with HT tyres in such situations. IMHO its either a comfortable sedan or a 4x4 SUV, there is no logic in having a 4x2 SUV, unless one is using it on bad or not so good roads (in the city or outside) most of the time, cos a little bit of trial like the one I had, and it fails. A 4x2 car is not that heavy, imagine a 4x2 SUV with all the weight in such a situation.

Last edited by zulfi hansi : 18th February 2012 at 15:14. Reason: typo mistakes
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Old 18th February 2012, 17:08   #104
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

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Later that evening When I came out I saw about 3 cars struggling like mad to get their cars out in a similar situation, Wagon R, OHC and Swift all of them did not take that precaution what I had taken of keeping the front wheels on the tarmac.

This has sealed the deal for me and shown me the reality of how vulnerable is a 4x2 with HT tyres in such situations. IMHO its either a comfortable sedan or a 4x4 SUV, there is no logic in having a 4x2 SUV, unless one is using it on bad or not so good roads (in the city or outside) most of the time, cos a little bit of trial like the one I had, and it fails. A 4x2 car is not that heavy, imagine a 4x2 SUV with all the weight in such a situation.
If all the 4 wheels get in to a deep-loose-dry sand, even a 4X4 will get stuck. But if the surface has some patches of grass/weed and hard surface, chances of 1 or 2 wheels getting traction is more in a 4X4.
But having 4X4 does help to an extent. Once I had taken my Fusion on to a beach in Murdeshwar had the car had to be pulled out by a Tempo Traveler after getting stuck. This prompted me to look for a car with a 4X4 and I eventually bought a used Forester. I visited the same spot in the Forester and came out without any issues

Last edited by Guna : 18th February 2012 at 17:20.
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Old 18th February 2012, 17:43   #105
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Default Re: Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?

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This prompted me to look for a car with a 4X4 and I eventually bought a used Forester. I visited the same spot in the Forester and came out without any issues
Sir, you are one of those rare breeds who owns a dream called Forester, for long I was hunting for one and gave up when I couldn't find any good ones, I think this is the most capable off-roader in a budget, I can't help but ask you, how do you manage to maintain it, spares, service, cost of running (mileage etc). I'd love to rekindle my romance but dread the spares and service issues. Are there any good ones available?
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