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Old 08-24-2018, 02:52 PM   #1
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Why 4X4 vs 4X2?

I have been studying this forum for awhile now and find that most of those who are using full size pickups are using 4 wheel drives. I am wondering why this is the case. I know some reasons in favor of the 4 wheel drive, better resale, snow, off road use, can't find in stock - must special order. And these are the advantages that I see for the 2 wheel drive - less parts to break down - more payload capacity - better fuel mileage - less initial investment (especially if you plan to keep the vehicle long term).
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Old 08-24-2018, 02:59 PM   #2
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On some trucks you can get a locking rear end that gives you another drive wheel. A lighter, cheaper solution for some...just don’t plan on using it on an icy road that is slanted towards the ditch.
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:09 PM   #3
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Seems you asked and answered your question in your 1st post, are you asking for each persons reasoning?
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:19 PM   #4
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Welcome Ronn.

I was thinking the same as Bob, you kinda answered your own question. Around here there are very few 4x2 pickups. Traction in the winter snow is abysmal without four wheel drive. A dealer would never bring one in on the lot as he could get stuck with it.
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:22 PM   #5
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Give me a 4x2 truck with positraction or limited slip and a set of chains and I'm happy. that said, it is hard to find 4x2 trucks without special ordering one..
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:26 PM   #6
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It's hard to find a new truck in South Texas that isn't a 4WD. There also isn't really any winter here, and most truck owners don't go off road with their trucks either. My guess is that the majority of 4WD owners around here don't even use it. I don't know why they almost universally expect it, but they do.

I had to order my truck as 2WD. If I intended to go offroad, boondock on rougher terrain, or if we actually had a winter season, my choice would have been different.
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:36 PM   #7
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Canuck with 4x4 truck here. I have used the 4x4 maybe 6 times, 3 times while towing. Basically the towing need amounted to needing more traction due to either ground slope and/or loose gravel/sand conditions and the drive wheel would spin.

If resale was no concern, I’d get a towing friendly 4x2 truck. Does that help?
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:38 PM   #8
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Thanks for your reply guys, I was wondering if I am missing something besides winter and I should have addressed the snow / winter. I ran a business where we used multiple rear wheel drive sedans (Lincoln Towncars), while my competitors did not use "snow" tires and had many incidents, our experience was great. In our 13 years of use we only needed a tow once (the driver tried to go through snow deeper that the undercarriage of the vehicle). Blizzak's Winter Tires, hard to believe the traction these tires provided.
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:41 PM   #9
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Yes, thanks for the reply BCnomad
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:44 PM   #10
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Thanks Robert, I was hoping it might be different in the southern states and I might locate a vehicle there. It looks like it will be special order time for me.
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:46 PM   #11
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I lived in St Paul Mn for 60 + years . When I went looking for my last 2 trucks all that was on the dealer’s lots were 4x4 trucks . To get a 2 wheel drive truck it would have to be special ordered from the factory . The price of ordering a new 2 wheel drive truck was several thousand dollars more than buying a 4 wheel drive truck off the lot .
I had a 1999 two wheel truck and when it came time to trade I paid the price
Your original post summed it up pretty well
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:51 PM   #12
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I've had a 4x4 vehicle of some type for the last 20 years or so. Decided my first one was needed after I couldn't get from the house to the highway because of snow and almost missed getting to work (in northwest Missouri).
A 4x2 will usually be a more comfortable ride and drive. It also probably won't set up as high as a 4x4.
A 4x4 will be a stiffer ride because of heavier suspension. It will also set up higher.
I have had to use 4x4 a couple of times while towing, usually because of problems with wet grass or mud in a campsite. Other than that, I may use it one or two times a year here in Tennessee. So the question is..... Do I need 4x4? Realistically, probably not. But...... It sure is nice to have when I really need it.
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Old 08-24-2018, 04:13 PM   #13
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I've only really used 4 wheel drive a few times but i was very thankful to have it when i needed it. We have had mild winters last few years so i haven't needed it. Used it once in Nevada with no snow to get my horse trailer out of a touchy situation. Like air conditioning I don't use it very often but really thankful i have it when i have needed it.
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Old 08-24-2018, 04:15 PM   #14
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I went with an AWD SUV (Highlander). Partly because the rear suspension is apparently beefier on the AWD version, but mostly because it's about the right amount of "extra drive wheels" for my use case. Things like having enough traction to get to a good stopping point if I get caught by a surprise snow/sleet, or pulling over onto a shoulder that's a bit softer/slicker than I thought. The Highlander's AWD is.. not great, but it's good enough for what I need. True 4x4 would definitely be overkill, though as a believer in overkill/precaution I might end up going with it anyways if I ever switch to a truck.
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Old 08-24-2018, 04:16 PM   #15
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Thanks Steve, I am glad to see your point of view on ordering and paying more. What I am thinking (and I think maybe finding with the F150 anyway), is big discounts when buying "in stock" trucks, but to get the truck I want they add other things I don't need, this creates a great discount. Bottom line with the in stock purchase you get a good discount but the price ends up pretty close. I don't plan to buy a stripped model, but do not need many of the added on items that create that big discount. With that I also get more weight (less payload) more options to potentially need service and poorer mileage. As far as decked out, yes I love it, but usually there are items added that just add to the sticker and create the idea that I got a "loaded" truck for a great price.
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Old 08-24-2018, 04:16 PM   #16
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4wd

I grew up in AK, my 1st 34 years were there. Everyone had 4WD cause you gotta have it for snow and ice. I always had FWD and never got stuck. Used studded snow tires on my winter set of rims. My couple pu trucks were RWD only with positraction. OK, so they ended up in a ditch a couple times...but you would pay $40K +++ for that peace of mind?

Now we live 12 miles off the grid in AZ. Dirt not gravel roads. Still driving FWD and in 17 years out here have not been able to get through a washed out road 2 times. All the neighbors have 4WD or AWD. We just don't see the need.

We do now own a Jeep Grand Cherokee with AWD/4WD for towing. But it is a dog in the mileage dept compared to the sedans.
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Old 08-24-2018, 04:50 PM   #17
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4WD is useful to have and may be required when you least expect it. For example, you could pass through the aftermath of a severe hail storm at the end of July while towing your Escape and need 4x4 to safely make your way across the accumulated hail.
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Old 08-24-2018, 04:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Upfisk View Post
I grew up in AK, my 1st 34 years were there. Everyone had 4WD cause you gotta have it for snow and ice. I always had FWD and never got stuck. Used studded snow tires on my winter set of rims...
I think this is a pretty common experience. It's certainly mine: for over three decades I've lived where it is winter about half the year - most of that in a rural area where most of my neighbors have 4WD pickups and/or SUVs "because you need it in the country" - and I've never had 4WD/AWD (although I have very occasionally driven them). Driving just two wheels has never been a problem. I do use winter tires in season, on a separate set of wheels for convenience (and to save the cost and wear and tear of mounting/dismounting). Most of my towing has been with a front-wheel-drive van, again without a problem (although I have also towed with RWD vans, pickups, and a motorhome). Still, with the extra drag of a trailer, I would prefer AWD... if it didn't come at excessive cost. When we bought the Sienna we were not yet planning on towing, and I skipped the AWD because it cost $4K extra and because it eliminated the spare tire.
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Old 08-24-2018, 04:55 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by gwvwadc View Post
A 4x2 will usually be a more comfortable ride and drive. It also probably won't set up as high as a 4x4.
A 4x4 will be a stiffer ride because of heavier suspension. It will also set up higher.
That's probably no longer true of typical full-size light-duty pickups (F-150 and similar), although it has been true in the past and may still be for some specific models (e.g. Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tacoma). In some recent heavier models (e.g. Ford F-250) the 2WD has an entirely different type of front suspension from the 4WD... and yes, the 2WD is better-riding and lower (in the front).
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Old 08-24-2018, 04:58 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
That's probably no longer true of typical full-size light-duty pickups (F-150 and similar), although it has been true in the past and may still be for some specific models (e.g. Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tacoma). In some recent heavier models (e.g. Ford F-250) the 2WD has an entirely different type of front suspension from the 4WD... and yes, the 2WD is better-riding and lower (in the front).
I drove a friend's 2018 F150 for about 200 miles. The truck was almost identical to mine except it was a 4WD. The ride was noticeably firmer and harsher on the bumps. I commented to my friend that the 4x4 made it much stiffer and harsher, but he pointed out he also had a heavy duty payload package. That was the real reason, not the 4WD.
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