How To Compare 4x4's
Four Wheel Drive Vehicles or 4x4 or 4wds are perfect for rugged and rough driving terrain. But when it comes to choosing the 4x4 that meets all your requirements for performance, space, and comfort - the task at hand is a difficult one. A useful way to compare vehicles is to go out and read 4x4 reviews. Start comparing the vehicles in terms of their attributes and how they will suit your needs best. Below are some of the great ways you can compare 4x4 vehicles.
Off Road Performance:
A big category for comparing 4x4's is the area of off road performance. How well do the different models in your price range perform on a steep incline or hill, rocks and stones, slippery or muddy terrain, in water crossings or on sand. The internet is a great source of information for these various factors. Asking on forums and related blog sites may previde information from owners of these vehicles also. If off road use is the biggest intended use for the vehicle (common motivation for purchasing a 4wd) this is probably the biggest factor in deciding which vehicle you buy.
Towing is a key use for an SUV or 4x4 vehicle. Often boats and camper trailers are towed by 4x4s and this kind of work takes its toll on an ill equipped vehicle. Discover the various weight pulling capacities of different vehicles. Consider what type of items you plan on towing with your new car and rule out vehicles with weight ratings that dont suit your needs. This can be a big factor when comparing 4x4 vehicles.
If you plan on using your 4x4 for off road purposes, ground clearance is key to how it will perform. Consider the types of environment you wish to use your 4x4. If you are driving in rocky areas where crawling over steep inclines and large boulders is your thing - you're going to need all the clearance you can get! Beach driving and mud driving may also require additional clearance if you come across large ruts or washouts. Take note of the position of the diffs and the clearance beneath them. Factor in the ramp over angle and departure angle when deciding on your next 4x4.
The type of tyre you run on your 4x4 can greatly affect its drivability off road. Traction, hill climbing, clearance and comfort are all affected by tyre choice. See what the size of the tyres that come on the vehicle are. Make note of the legal maximum size you can run on each vehicle if you plan on modifying it. Pay attention to tread type and depth. Choose the appropriate tyre for your destination. If your vehicle is spending a lot of time on road - a mud tyre is not the best choice. However if you plan on wheeling every weekend, muddies might suit you better.
4x4's come in a lot of different engine capacities. The engine size, horsepower, torque and number of cylinders should all factor into a 4wd review. Using the vehicle for different purposes such as climbing hills, towing, off road racing will require different types of engines. The choice between petrol and diesel engines is also a big factor when reviewing a 4wd. If you are unsure about how much engine power is required, it is best to aim as high as possible to ensure the vehicle will be adequate.
Read 4x4 Reviews. There are a large number of 4x4 review websites and magazines that review 4wds. Looking at reviews from other owners can be a great source of comparative material on the different models in your price range. The great thing about reviews is they give you more than just stats and figures. They let you know in a more qualitative term what the driver experience is like.
Test Drive The Vehicle:
Finally, it is important to test drive various 4WD vehicles to see which ones feel the best as far as comfort, handling, and interior features (dashboard controls, lights, air conditioning, and sound system, etc). Even if you can't test drive the vehicle in rugged conditions, just driving it around the dealership or on a nearby road can give the driver a feel for its attributes. Often you can find a park or side road that will allow you to take the vehicle onto grass or dirt and allow you to test out its 4wd modes. This is important as you need to be familiar with the different settings of the vehicle.