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4x4 vs. 4x2



  • ron4ron4 Posts: 24
    In my work I had to go out, in any weather, and sometimes up steep, narrow and twisty roads and driveways.

    Studs are not for all people. They are hard on the roads, but they defineatly add a margin of safety on icey roads.

    I might add that most of the accidents I saw were caused by tourists that just couldnt seem to figure out that you cant drive like you are still on dry (or even rainwet) pavement.
  • My friend owns a 86 gmc diesel, two wheel drive, with a 4spd munci stick, and a 3.42 rear. Lives own a back road (canadian backroad), last road in town that gets plowed, and has few steep hills, and haven't got stuck once!. Got firestone 23575r15 on the corners, and no weight in the back. Impressed?
  • biglarbiglar Posts: 5

    Thank you for making my point!
    Maybe it's just that us Yoopers and Canadians know how to drive in the snow.
    'Course when you're up to your waist in it for 6 months out of the year you tend to learn quickly..............
  • Need some help.......W/I 30 days I'm going to
    order a dodge quad or a silverado. I like the
    Dodge styling/looks. I need some guidance. The
    Dodge would have the 318 or 360 and the Chevy
    would have the 5.3. Pro's & Con's. Thanks
  • i drove a Ranger 4x2 in Anchorage for years and got stuck exactly once: the rear wheels froze into the slush during breakup. Other than that, a couple of hundred pounds of sand in back and good studded tires did the trick (that, and avoiding the hill on 36th Ave.) ... The upside: the Ranger got 20mpg even in winter, and the 4x4 I replaced it with (a T100) never got out of single digits if I kept it in four-wheel drive.
  • stanfordstanford Posts: 606
    Of course, studded tires are illegal in most other states...
  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    The Chevy engine is better and the cab is more comfertable. I know a lot of Dodge owners with front end problems. The Dodge also sits a lot higher and got a solid front axle. If you use your truck as a car and do a lot of highway driving, probably better off with the Chevy. Check out the old body style also, may save you money.
  • Overall, 4WD is not needed. If it is too nasty
    out for a 2WD rear-wheel drive truck with weight
    in the bed of the truck, stay home! A little
    common sense and 2WD is all you need in almost
    all instances. I live in Wisconsin, and the most
    I use my 4WD is about 5 times a year while
    driving to and from work about 400 miles a week.
    In Wisconsin, at least, everybody thinks that
    they must have 4WD. That is the only reason I
    buy a truck with 4WD - RESALE to buyers who
    probably will never need 4WD in the first place.
    Simple as that!
  • stanfordstanford Posts: 606
    Of course you're talking about snow. There are plenty of reasons (light mud at a horse show for instance) why 4wd may be close to a necessity for you.
  • smith6smith6 Posts: 11
    I also live in Wisconsin and I agree that you can avoid driving in bad snowy conditions, but in some applications you will need the 4wd. I live and work on a farm and use 4wd every week. It may be fixing fence in the rain and mud one day and trying to get a 12 ton chopper wagon out of the hay field the next day. The best advice is to look real hard at what you ever think you might need it for and if in doubt get it anyway. When you do use it, 4wd is a livesaver(and backsaver).
  • I will be buying a compact p/u (dakota or ranger) in a couple of months. I live on the eastern side of Washington State where we get only 4 or 5 snowfalls (they stick around for weeks though). How beneficial would it be to purchase a 4x4? I have a 2wd '87 Nissan p/u and I get stuck on parking lots and just about anywhere. I even have 500lbs in the bed and good winter tires. I feel that even if I only need 4wd once a year that it becomes a worthwhile investment. What do you think?
  • kamberis,

    If you have problems getting stuck you just answered your own question. Factor in the increased resale value, comfort factor and option to go off road and IMHO it's worth it if you can afford the increased cost.

    Here in Pittsburgh, we seem to be on our second record breaking warm winter in a row. I bought the 4x4 mainly because of all the hills around here but the way things are going I may never take it out of 2wd this year at least for snow. But if I get to spend more quality time outdoors...well I can live with that. :)
  • mikec13:
    Hey, another Pittsburgher!!! Although it does look like the 4x4 needs may not be often this year, remember the winters we had about 4 years ago!!! I was the happiest man alive that I had a 4x4 during those winters...

    I agree with mikec13 in that you seemed to answer your own question. If you've found yourself already getting stuck in the past, the 4x4 will definitely make you happier on those bad winter days. The one thing I'm not sure on though is the added resale value. Has anyone actually looked to see if the resale value on a 4x4 is greater than the same 4x2 to the same degree that the extra cost initially incurred? Just something I've always wondered about...
  • Just sold a 4x2 Ranger and am waiting for my 4x4 Dakota. Regardless of what the "Blue Book" or Edmunds price for the Ranger, very little market for a 4x2 this time of year. Wound up selling it privately for 1k under wholesale (a truck that was in excellent condition).

    btw... I have an old Tercel 4x4 wagon. When we had that record snowfall, I couldn't drive my Ford across the street (despite weight in the rear and limited slip), but had no issues taking my Tercel on a 25 mile trip. If money isn't an issue, and you know that the 4x4 isn't magic, get one.
  • lwflwf Posts: 223

    Regarding "I will be buying a compact p/u (dakota or ranger) in a couple of months.........I have a 2wd '87 Nissan p/u".

    I had the same year and style Nissan you have, and although I thought it was a good truck, I too switched this year, to Ford. So it's obvious that several months ago, I went through the same pickup selection thinking process you must have had recently, and it seems we both came out the same door. Since the new Nissan 4x4s appear to be very competitively priced, could you perhaps indicate why you're not inclined to buy another?
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    This year I purchased a 1998 Ford Ranger kingcab stepside 4x4 XLT. 4x4 is the way to go for traction hands down no brainer. The extra cost is worth it along with the 4-5 mpg difference. Resale value of 4x4 is also much better than 4x2 trucks. There is also more demand for 4x4 trucks than 4x2. I guess it also depends on where you live and your lifestyle. I am an outdoors person who lives in Oregon. I use mine.
  • If you use it, then buy 4x4. If you don't use it,
    don't buy it. However, I don't hardly use it, but I admit it does come in handy when we receive a foot of snow (once or twice a year) and I can blow by everyone else stuck spinning their tires. If I was a farmer, I would definitely buy it because you are in mud, etc. quite a bit in the fields.
    As far as re-sale value, if you can afford 4x4, you will almost always get the extra $2,000-3,000 more it cost to purchase 4x4. However, by owning
    4x4, gas mileage will suffer by about 3-5 m.p.g. and the lack of power the engine has even if you do not operate the 4x4 also suffers somewhat. I should know, I owned and do still own a 4x4 and non-4x4 Chevy truck. The 2WD zips while the 4x4 model operating in 2WD is slightly behind.
  • damish003damish003 Posts: 303
    For what it's worth, here in Erie, PA, I've been stuck at least three times in my 4x2 Dakota. In my flat driveway, no less. We just got socked with quite a bit of snow, and I would give anything to magically transform my truck into a 4x4. I may not need it all the time, as I mostly do highway driving, but my next Dakota will be a 4x4 all the same. My 2 cents anyway.
  • stanfordstanford Posts: 606
    Many folk who get 4X4 only need it once a year -- that once a year may well be worth all the additional purchase and fuel cost however. My last 2WD truck got stuck in thin mud maybe 3-5 times over its lifetime. It was a CC diesel and had all its weight over the front wheels. Luckily, I was able to find assistance all of those times, but I swore that I'd get 4WD next time. And I did :-)
  • sichenzesichenze Posts: 8
    I thought I would weigh in with my 2 dollars worth. First I live in Northern Virginia which is not know for lots of snow. We get oour share but a lot more ice and icing up than really big snows. A foot is a large storm for us. I work in the Valley of Virginia in Wincester so I have to cross mountains to get to work or to get home. In fact I drive across the Appalacian Trail every day. The 4x4 is required for more than just the snow. We have lots of streams that flood in the summer and the higher clearance permits crossing. In fact at one place the police were only letting 4x4's through. Then the other reason is nearer to Washington DC we have people from all over the world who never have seen snow much less any experience driving in it. When they crash and spin out and block the road (there are so many of them) the police can not get to all of them righ t away so the only option is to go around them in the median or shoulder which is not plowed. This happens even on the interestates. Lastly, many of the roads that are in the area ore not paved. They call them gravel but that is being kind. Mud would be more like it. If you have to go down one of these roads 4X4 is the only way. I have a Ford superduty powerstroke diesel and get 19+ right now on th ehighway and 17.3 running around town and driving 50 miles in four wheel drive. Not bad for a 3/4 ton 4X4.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Posts: 2,728
    I have 4x4, but I always keep one thing in mind.
    Having 4x4 traction does not mean I won't get stuck. But if I do get stuck, it will be in a worse place!
  • dakotadakota Posts: 3
    I am going to buy a 4x4 soon and I have heard that buying high mileage (over 100k) 4x4 trucks is risky because they are prone to drive train problems. Any advice?
  • krankkrank Posts: 3
    Someone above mentioned getting like 3 to 5 MPG less with 4x4. Is this true? If you're running the truck in 2WD mode, shouldn't you get close to 4x2 mileage? Of course, you have some extra weight, but not THAT much extra.


  • krankkrank Posts: 3
    Hi everyone,

    I live in TX and pretty much never go offroad, but I am planning on towing a boat. Would it be good to have a 4x4 to get the boat out of the water and up the boat slip? Or is 4x2 good enough? (perhaps with a locking rear)

    (3000lb or less boat)


  • cdeancdean Posts: 1,110
    if you're only going to need it to get a boat out of water, i would just get a 2WD with locking differential. I pull a boat out of the water 15-20 times a year with 2 wheel drive, and the only time i EVER had trouble, was down on the TX coast (port o' connor) after a really high tide, the boat ramp was very slimy up where it is normally dry. but i've never wished i had 4WD.

    unless you know you will be at a very STEEP and very SLICK ramp, i'd just get a 2WD. best advice for pulling up a boat ramp is to slowly give it the gas, don't let your wheels start to spin. it helps having automatic trans. I did wish i had locking diff. sometimes. I think if you just get a locking diff., it should really be all you need.
  • huntmanhuntman Posts: 25
    I have 4x4 on my 99 GMC Sierra Ext Cab SLT. I got 4x4 because I am on a farm and use it fairly often: in fields, towing in low range, snow, and what not. I would get a LS rear axle with any truck I was to buy because without it you are just one or two wheel drive instead of two or three wheels guaranteed to move. 4x4 does decrease gas milage several miles per gallon, because of weight and parasitic drag on the truck itself. If you can afford to go without it save the money. If you need it, (not for prestige or only once a year), get it. For me I wouldn't go without it.

    The new GM's are a great truck and deserve consideration. We are lucky that we have three good automakers today to be competing.

  • mikec13mikec13 Posts: 26
    It turned out that we had very little bad weather this winter and I only used 4wd on the roads about 2 or 3 days. Much to my chagrin however, I wound up needing it for about a week or so just to back out of my sloping driveway when the temperature dropped after freezing rain and light snow. So it did come in handy, but I never expected that most of its use would be in reverse!
  • E3MP6E3MP6 Posts: 70
    Yes, 4x4's will usually run 2-3 mpg lower than a 4x2. You mentioned the weight, (that's one). Huntman picked up on the other, more drag. 4x4's sit up higher than their 4x2 counterparts (that's two). One of the mileage factors that seems to always be overlooked are the tires. 4x4's almost always come with a harder compound rubber with an off-road or street/off-road tread pattern. These can cause up to 2-3 mpg difference all by themselves (that's three). A little here, a little there, it adds up to a few mpg less.
  • mmillholenmmillholen Posts: 1
    I looking at a 1998 Chevrolet S-10 4x2 pickup. I was wondering if any of you own a 4x2 and what it acts like during the winter on snowy roads.
  • bobs5bobs5 Posts: 557
    I use to have an 1983 ranger 4x2,2.0L 4 cyl.,4 speed manual. The major pain was to get initial momentum going on the snowy roads, especially when trying to start moving on an incline. This truck did not have a limited slip rear, which might have helped with traction. I would put many bags of sand or cement in the bed, over the rear axle, which helped out a bit. Good tires are a must. Other than traction, it handled snow like any other car I've owned.
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