Does one really need a 4x4?

Hairyman

Ludwig Leichhardt
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Yes, I know it is really a personal choice/decision/need but given a cold cost v benefit analysis?
Its been said that a swimming pool is a hole in the ground you pour money into, a boat a hole in the water,
a horse a hole in the paddock and a 4x a hole in the road you pour money into.
No doubt a 4x can get you to some great out of the way places but does it also tend to take you past
a lot of interesting places at high speed too?
 

Lepmeister

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I had the same thoughts...

ended up saying to myself that "When the fire trail gets too rough, that's when you get out and walk".

But it is nice to have a mate with one...
 

SimonM

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Well my Defender never goes past anything fast.

Having a 4x4 has allowed me to do the Simpson Desert, Northern Territory, outback QLD, and SA plus other areas with more peace of mind than if I didn't have it. Plus I have another trip to the Simpson planned in a couple of years time. I don't smoke, drink alcohol, have a TV or a full sized fridge (we use our camping fridge) so it balances out.

You certainly don't need one though. I just like it, and I like being able to work on it myself hence saving some money.
 

pap11y

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I was really keen to get a 4x4 but the ones I like Prado and Landcruiser have engines that are way to big....

I love the idea of 4x4 motoring. I wouldn't do it often but it would be great to know I could if I wanted to...

I had a Landrover Discovery and it cost me bigtime. It was an awesome 4x4 but had a terminal issue and I lost a bundle of money...
 

Mozzie

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I dont think we would be with out our new Triton 4X4 now, we did at first buy a new 2WD Triton
and several times we got bogged just on slippy wet grass *stoopid* so we traded up, best thing we did.

Yes you can zip by and miss a lot of good stuff, but quiet often we are on a mission of location, be it a walking head or kayak drop off.

I think we have SEEN MORE now, so many more locations have opened up for us.

having had 2WD vehicles previous, we pretty much covered all available location but now being 4x4 we have expanded our range into more remote areas.

yes we have come across impassable roads, we just park and do the rest on foot :)

I do have a 4WD subaru, its 22 years old now, (love the ol gurl) BUT its so low to the ground, its not the best for fire trails ...mind you it is a Group A Turbo in mint condition, NOT getting it scratched.
 

kiwibro

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I have a 2004 navara. Runs on fumes and gets around to most places. Is great because I can load a troop into the cab and have enough gear for everyone in the tray. I still like to on foot it but its good to get a camp set up and walk all around that.
 

JM9422

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I can barely pass grey nomads towing caravans. It's good being able to work on them yourself, even better when they're older than EFI and you pop the bonnet and can see an engine without a tangled mess of comforts and complications. Same can be said for older cars, but I've grown up in slow smokey diesels and I'm in no hurry to get anywhere anyway.

I can't see the point for them in Toorak tractor mode, to each their own though.
 

Medic Ben

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I'm the same as Mozzie. I have a new triton 4x4. Best thing I ever bought. Love it. I do a lot of Sydney city driving with no probs but goes hard off road too. Not needed but still good fun :D
 

Taplow

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I've just rented one when I've needed to - was able to visit Chambers Pillar, the Kimberley Region or the Daintree, then give it back and fly home. Ideally I wouldn't want to look after a big car for 365 days a year when it would be used only for shopping and school runs by Mrs T, but out of necessity we do run a people mover which is incredibly thirsty so I don't save on fuel anyway:triste:
 
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Aussie123

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I guess no one "needs" anything, but a 4x4 allows us to get places which we otherwise couldn't get to and, very importantly, it usually allows us to get out, even if the weather changes or we encounter an un-expected "snag".

You don’t need a 4x4 just because others have them, you can safely go plenty of places in a 2WD.
 

AussiePreppers

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I've seen you take your car some places Hairy, and agree with your sentiment. I think a good suspension, a decent set of tyres with a high ply count, and you wouldn't really miss out on much if you were prepared to hike as well. I would put it a bit differently, rather do you really need a 4wd, do you let not having a 4wd stop you? :)
 

Anthiron

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I've got a suzuki lj80 hardtop that cost very little. Uses so little fuel it should be criminal (800cc F8A engine), goes absolutely everywhere and is simple as hell if anything goes wrong.

It is a great thing to have but I am a car/bike nut and have a few options to choose from.

Back when the only car I had was a 1960 Volkswagen Baja. I still got to all the places the zook gets me with only 2wd.

Nicko
 

Hairyman

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I have been and sill am a bit of a landrover tragic.
A S11, two Ser3 in the past and currently I have a Td5 defender wagon that is awaiting repairs.
But not having a running 4x doesn't keep me fro getting out and about.
 

Tas

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I've got a suzuki lj80 hardtop that cost very little. Uses so little fuel it should be criminal (800cc F8A engine), goes absolutely everywhere and is simple as hell if anything goes wrong.



Nicko
Awesome little bus, been searching for a project lj80 nice one mate
 

Mickldo

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I have been and sill am a bit of a landrover tragic.
A S11, two Ser3 in the past and currently I have a Td5 defender wagon that is awaiting repairs.
But not having a running 4x doesn't keep me fro getting out and about.
9 out of 10 Land Rovers ever made are still on the road.

The rest made it home.


Seriously though. I have been a 4wd nut ever since my family toured around Australia in 1978. I started buying my own 4wd magazines when other kids were buying comic books. When I left school I got an apprenticeship as a mechanic at a 4wd workshop and have specialized in 4wds ever since. I've belonged to 4wd clubs and have been very involved with the local 4wd community. A heap of my mates compete in winch challenge events and I help them out building their rigs and pit crewing for them. I am currently employed at a fabrication shop that builds work trucks for Ergon Energy, we build Nissan Patrols and Isuzu NPS 300 4wd trucks. I am planning on doing an advanced 4wd driver training course so that I can eventually become a 4wd driver training instructor (my mate runs the school).

I'm an old school 4wder. I drive a diesel, manual Toyota Land Cruiser HZJ105 GXL with solid axles front and rear, lift kit, mud tyres, etc. I personally don't like petrols, autos, IFS (or IRS), driver assist technologies, etc. I enjoy 4wding as an activity. But I also enjoy hiking, camping, kayaking, canoeing, abseiling, rock climbing, fishing, trail bike riding and last but not least bushcrafting. For me it is all about spending time in the bush. Even though I am a 4wd tragic when I am in the bush they are nothing more than a form of transport to get me into areas that a normal car can't get in to. There is a lot of areas that I go into that are definitely 4wd (or trail bike) only. It would be a LONG walk to get to the same areas if you went in by car and then walked the rest of the way.

I understand what you are saying Hairyman by driving by the good areas and not seeing them properly like you would if you were on foot. I mostly use my 4wd and trail bike to explore new areas and then plan to return at a later date for a hike or whatever. I have found a lot of good areas while out exploring in my 4wd. The problem is I find more areas to go back to than I have time to actually get to. At least I won't run out of ideas of places to go.

With my fourby I have been to the Simpson Desert, Flinders Ranges, Daintree, Fraser Island, Canarvon Gorge, Lake Eyre, Oodnadatta Track, Birdsville Track, Strezlecki Track, CREB Track, Bloomfield Track and many, many more places. I have been to Land Cruiser Mountain Park, Manar Park, and a couple of other smaller, private run 4wd parks. I also tow my boat, camper trailer, and other trailers so having a good towing capacity is important to me too.

Yeah I have a big 6cyl 4wd wagon but being diesel I get pretty reasonable fuel consumption for vehicle that size. The Cruiser wagon is actually shorter than a Commodore station wagon, its just taller and a little wider. Having the bullbar and rear bar allows you to judge exactly where the corners of the car is so I find it actually easier to park downtown than my Subaru wagon I also own. Out on the highway I prefer driving the Cruiser too. The longer wheelbase and bigger tyres and aftermarket suspension gives a smoother ride. The higher driving position allows better vision. The aux lighting makes night time driving safer and the bullbar they are mounted to provides a bit more insurance in case of animal strike. My Suby is a great little car but I hate driving it. I can't wait to get back into the Cruiser.

So, "Does one really need a 4x4"? Not really, they are a luxury but if you have the lifestyle to use one they are basically essential. I use mine quite regularly, whether it be driving out into the forestry after work so I can go trail running (a couple of days a week), towing my camper trailer to go camping with my family (going this weekend), taking the Scouts in my Troop to the start of a hike where a normal car can't get to (in a couple of weeks time), or taking my long service leave and touring Cape York, Gulf, Arnhem Land and the Kimberlies (next year). I can't imagine my life without 4wds but I understand how they may not be for everybody.
 

Neilsk

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i have a 2012 Nissan Navara. i got it new through work and its the second fwd i have had. previous one was a Nissan Patrol. I love the 4wd because it offers a different way to explore the outback. it can also make a dodgy road a fair bit safer especially in the dirt. i was towing a camper up a steep dirt hill, the back end of the car started to slip and skid. flicked it into 4wd high and all of a sudden perfect traction.

Been to many places you couldnt in a normal 2wd. either too rough to drive or too far to walk.
 

cookie

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Interesting discussion! Its a topic I struggle with constantly trying to justify getting a 4x! We are a 1 car family and thus far, I cant bring myself to put a huge car on the road for trips to the shops, school and sports for the 4or5 trips a year that would require a 4x. We do lots of hikes and bushwalks but certainly, there are trips we cant do with friends due to a lack of 4x.

I had a series 2a before the kids arrived on the scene and usually managed to get myself into places I had no business being :)
 

Blake

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You most certainly dont need a 4x4 to get to remote areas these days. That being said they give you excellent flexibility and one less thing to worry about. I dont find owning a 4x4 to be much more expensive then a 2wd car. It depends what you own and how efficient it is. Buy Japanese. My BT50 is fine on petrol 8-10L per hundred, and never breaks down, ever. Just keep up with the servicing and replace bits when needed during service but ive never had anything major happen to it that cost me the world or stopped me getting to where I wanted and it gets pretty worked.

The exception is the landrover lovers but they know what they are getting into and accept the punishment. There is something special about them I admit. ;)
 
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