Our Conversation on 4×4’s from Which? Car editor Claire Evans was divisive. Some of you were in favour of the cars, but others where averse to them. Which side of this car debate do you sit on?
Which? Convo commenter Dave thinks most of us don’t really need 4x4s:
‘Clearly the army and folk who need to earn a living by motoring off road need to have four wheel drive vehicles.
‘As for most of the rest of us, we really don’t need them and we could save a lot of CO2 production if we stopped using them or converted them to two wheel drive.’
Fans of 4x4s
Michael Keen bought his first Discovery in 1995 having first seen the car at the London Motor Show when it launched:
‘235,000 miles later I reluctantly decided to part with it because of rust and replaced it with a second-hand, low-mileage series 2 TD5 model. I tried a series 3 but found it a bit of a “tank”. (Incidentally, my old Discovery is still going strong as an off-road special with more than 250,000 miles on the clock!)
‘I have no experience of other 4x4s, but with Discoverys, you either love them or hate them – and I love them.’
ESPUK says that his home location necessitates a 4×4:
‘I am very happy with my Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 crd. A Mercedes engine and gearbox mated to Jeep suspension allows me to live in the deep campo for three months every year which pleases my doctor as well.
‘Non-4WD visitors have to park at the entrance to the valley where I live having previously arranged a pickup time, which is ideal for ensuring only welcome visitors arrive.
‘They are simply the appropriate vehicles for this region and cope with flash-flooded river bed roads as well as motorways. Having bought a four-year-old it has cost less than 400€ in repairs over the last 4½ years with low fixed costs for this 67 year old.’
Not a fan of 4x4s
Pretium doesn’t hold much of a candle for 4×4 reliability:
‘Having owned a Freelander I would say that the major requirement that seems to be missing is reliability. A head gasket blew at 70,000 miles and throughout its life with me the electrical connectors were anything but! Apart from the above, it was a nice 4×4. I will not be buying another.’
Figgerty doesn’t have much regard for 4x4s:
‘I have never owned a 4×4 as I live in the city and a normal car suits me just fine. I do however find 4×4′s a real hindrance to my comfort and safety. In car parks they take up more than a fair share of a parking space and overflow into mine. I then find that I’m unable to open my door fully so entering or exiting my car, with a sometimes dodgy back is almost impossible. They reverse without thought to smaller vehicles and use their size to dominate.
‘If I follow a 4×4 in traffic I have no idea what is happening ahead as they block my view. The same applies if we are side by side and they are waiting to turn right, I can’t turn left until they move as again I can’t see when it is safe to move. If I’m in a collision with a 4×4/urban tractor, I know I or my supermini will not come off best.’
Chris used to be a fan, but is no longer:
‘I had a 4×4 a couple of years ago. I quite liked it at first but eventually realised the thing had abilities I simply didn’t need 99% of the time and, it had a drink problem, got though tyres quicker than I liked and because of the complexity of the transmission was more prone to going expensively wrong.
‘If you live on a hill, it’s great you can get up that hill on the few days a year it’s covered in snow and ice. However, I found most winters “going” wasn’t really the problem with any car, “stopping” was the problem and 4×4′s are really no better at that than any other car.
‘Don’t think I really need or will get another. I’ll spend the petrol savings, the repair savings and the tyre cost savings afforded by my mid sized hatchback on me (or the gas bill).’
Would you buy or have you bought a 4×4? Is this because you felt it was required for where you live, or you just liked the look of them?