Buying a 4×4 Truck: Is It Worth the Cost?

19 Apr

One of the problems many consumers face is deciding between 4×4 and 2×4 trucks.

Everyone knows that the 4×4 model will perform better in off-road conditions or nasty weather, but the lower price tag and better fuel economy of a 4×2 are undeniably tempting. So, what’s the solution?

4×4 Is Usually the Right Choice

When you look at all the pros and cons of both 4×4 and 4×2 trucks, the 4×4 comes out on top by a whisker. The only situation where you’ll be better served by a 4×2 is if the vehicle will only be driven on sealed roads in an area with consistently moderate weather. Outside of that dream scenario, you should fork out a little extra for 4×4, and here’s why.

Converging Prices

First of all, the price gap between 4×4 and 4×2 trucks is closing fast. It seems that with every generation of pickups that come out, the difference between them has slimmed – so the extra amount you’ll be paying is getting smaller all the time.

Your Resale Value will Be Better

Whether you’re buying a truck for private use or as part of a business, it’s always nice to recoup some of the cost. A 4×4 truck will tend to hold its value better than a 4×2, largely because there is more demand for vehicles with 4WD capabilities than those without.

Some studies have estimated a 4×4 truck will retain 64% of its value after three years, compared 50% or less for 4×2 vehicles.

4x4s Are High Maintenance? Not Anymore!

One of the common arguments against 4×4 trucks is that the additional machinery in the vehicle will mean higher operational costs.

These days, that idea is simply outdated. The average number of days between repairs for both 4×4 and 4×2 trucks has been increasing consistently over the last decade and, more importantly, they’re basically equal. Aside from fuel, the per-kilometre operating costs of a 4×4 truck are identical to a 4×2.

Fuel Economy… Don’t Worry About It

It’s true that the fuel economy of a 4×4 truck is inferior to its 4×2 cousin but in the scheme of things that isn’t as important as you might think. For one thing, the difference isn’t that much, and it’s dropping all the time. The factors that reduce fuel efficiency in 4×4 trucks are additional weight, friction from additional engine components, and higher demands on the engine.

Nothing can be done about the extra weight, but the other factors can be mitigated. Modern synthetic lubricants have reduced additional friction to surprisingly small levels. Switching to 2WD mode when 4WD isn’t needed will minimise extra demands on your engine.

There’s also the fact that 4×4 capabilities reduce the chance of your vehicle crashing or getting stuck. That means savings in terms of towing, repairs, and downtime.

No vehicle is perfect, but 4WDs will win most of the time. If you’re looking for new 4WD parts for your 4WD, contact Perth 4WD Centre. If you want to consider your second-hand 4WDs options, have a look at our second-hand 4×4 for sale.