What Does Buying a Used 4x4 Offer over a Used 4x2

July 9, 2014

It may be difficult to understand how a used 4x4 is different than a used 4x2 vehicle—and why used 4x4s often cost more than used 4x2 versions of the same vehicle. The following information should help explain some of the possible advantages of buying a used 4x4 over a used 4x2 vehicle.

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Generally speaking, a used 4x4 vehicle has a stouter chassis with bigger tires and more ground clearance than a used 4x2 vehicle. While this type of (raised) suspension makes used 4x4s more aesthetically appealing to many people, there are important functional benefits as well. For example, used 4x4s often have an extra degree of ruggedness for traveling over rough or broken pavement, and their extra ride height can provide the ability to climb over more significant trail/off-road obstacles than might be possible with a used 4x2. Furthermore, used 4x4s offer the capability to distribute the engine power/torque across all four wheels, which can provide extra traction in comparison to used 4x2sbecause even those 4x2s that are equipped with limited-slip differentials can send engine power only to the two rear wheels. This added traction capability (front wheel control) can make towing easier, especially when going up slippery grades, and it would also be important to those who expect to drive regularly in wet/snowy weather.

However, used 4x2s do offer some potential advantages when compared to used 4x4s. For example, some used 4x2s do actually offer greater towing capacity (in terms of absolute pounds) than the 4x4 versions of the same vehicle (check with manufacturer or dealer for exact specifications). Additionally, due to their reduced mechanical complexity and less weight, many used 4x2s will offer better fuel economy (mpg) and lower overall ownership costs than the 4x4 version of the same vehicle.

When shopping for a used pickup truck or SUV, it pays to compare the relative benefits for both 4x4 and 4x2 versions of each model. Moreover, every shopper should also consider how relevant/valuable those particular benefits are to them (according to their own driving needs and requirements) before making an offer on any used vehicle.

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