4-wheel drives are amongst the best selling cars across the UK. And it’s not hard to see why - a 4WD comes with a number of benefits, from additional traction in tough driving conditions to lots of boot space. If you’re considering buying a four-wheel drive, you can learn more about how they work and their many advantages below:
What is a 4-Wheel Drive?
With most cars, the engine powers either the front or rear wheels. As the name suggests, with a four-wheel drive, the engine’s power is sent to all four wheels. Many models are able to move torque between the two sets of wheels as needed, and may also be able to switch to a two-wheel drive when appropriate, in order to improve fuel economy.
There are two main types of 4-wheel drive - mechanical and electronic. With the former, power is taken from the vehicle’s transmission and distributed to the correct axles. With electronic 4-wheel drives, sensors on each car wheel will monitor things like wheel speed and traction, and a control unit will use this data to determine where power needs to be sent.
As electronic four-wheel drives use more advanced technology, they can be more expensive, but the performance tends to be smoother. Both types of 4-wheel drive come with various advantages though - we’ve gone through some of the main benefits below!
1. Off Road Capabilities
4-wheel drives are probably most famous for their off-road capabilities. So if you live out in the countryside, or often go on trips that take you off the beaten track, having a 4-wheel drive can really come in handy! The use of all four wheels gives the vehicle additional traction and grip - you can continue moving forward even if only one wheel is fully touching the ground!
The iconic Land Rover Defender is a prime example of some impressive off-road capabilities - whether you’re going through mud, water or sand, the Land Rover should be able to navigate the terrain with ease.
2. Low Fuel Consumption
Although four-wheel drives have a bit of a reputation for poor fuel economy, some of the newer models may be more efficient than you think. New engine technologies have meant that some 4WD models have better fuel efficiency than older two-wheel drives.
You may also not realise that you can get plug-in hybrid four-wheel drives, such as the Mitsubishi Outlander. This car boasts almost 140 miles per gallon, and has CO2 emissions of just 64g/m.
3. Powerful in Tough Conditions
If you’re driving in snow and ice, you’ll need extra grip, as well as extra power. Thankfully, four-wheel drives have both of these things, and can be a safe choice when driving in poor weather conditions.
And when it comes to power, because a 4WD has power in each wheel, their towing capacity is often much greater than a standard vehicle. So if you’re looking to get a car that can tow your caravan or trailer, vehicles like the Jeep Grand Cherokee or Mitsubishi Shogun are great options.
4. Loads of Space
When you think of a 4WD, you’ll almost certainly be picturing plenty of space. Most models are far more spacious than a standard two-wheel drive, and some even have the option of extra seats in the back, increasing the car’s capacity to seven people.
If you’re going off-road, chances are you’ll be taking a lot of stuff with you, from camping gear to sturdy walking shoes! Lots of models have a huge capacity - the Range Rover Evoque has a 591 litre capacity in the boot, which can increase to 1383 litres if you put the rear seats down. So when it comes to space, if you’re looking to load up your car, there really is no better option than a four-wheel drive.
5. Flexible Driving Features
While you may primarily think of 4-wheel drives as off-road vehicles, they are also great for urban driving too. You can even get less bulky 4WDs that have been designed to be driven in the city, such as the MINI Countryman or the Mercedes-Benz GLS.
As mentioned above, you can also get four-wheel drives that can interchange between 4WD and 2WD, which allows for better fuel economy. You can also decide which option to opt for depending on your driving terrain, offering a smoother ride no matter where you are.
Thinking About Buying a 4-Wheel Drive?
If you’re ready to invest in a four-wheel drive, Wheelie Good Finance can help! We work with a range of car finance providers, so even if you have a bad credit score, we will do our best to find you a suitable lender.
Use our car finance calculator or get in touch with us today to find out more about the various options available!