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hirop

4X4 Options

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So at the weekend I had a run in with some black ice on a minor road in a remote part of Scotland whilst on a hillwalking day out. No harm to me or vehicle except some dented pride from needing to get towed out a ditch. This got me thinking, do I need a 4x4 vehicle and what would the options be?

I also struggle for boot space when there are 3 or more passengers, as 3 packs, 3 sets of boots, 3 overnight bags gets a bit much.

Right now, I've bought some snow chains to keep me going this winter - but I'm opened minded to changing my vehicle.

SUV's do confuse me, I fear style and comfort over true function. So far I've noted the following vehicles in what I think are 4x4 class but I need way more suggestions to look into this.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Mitsubishi Shogun (big engine but proper 4x4 by all accounts)

I also would consider a double cab pickup and have noticed these two. I'm open to this from the storage potential, but would shy away from them if they get insured as if vans.

Mitsubishi L200

Nissan Nivarro

Ultimately what I need it do is handle ice and snow on minor roads, on an incline. I see zero possibility of actual off-road driving. Perhaps a 4x4 estate would suffice?

So what are the options? Any experience or knowledge of other models?

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The Toyota Landcruiser will get you to the moon and back, and bits don't fall off! Not a cheap option though! :huh:

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4x4 won't help you with ice. Snow yes.

Absolutely! Ice is shiny! I lived in Scotland once, and I didn't need a 4x4! :blink:

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Cheap good allrounders - Hyundai Tucson and Jeep Patriot.

Really good in poor conditions - Diahatsu Terios, Suzuki Jimny

Really good in poor conditions and not tiny - Proper Landrover

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We go into this ad nauseum every year.

If you want to save yoursefl money get some decent tyres.

Winter tyres have better grip. Tread pattern, plus they have a special compound that stays softer in low temperatures. In general a 2 wheel drive on winter tyres will outperform a 4wd on normal tyres. I have seen it happen, with the idiot in the 4x4 looking on agog as the person in the crappy 2 wheel drive fiat panda goes up the hill with no problem whatsoever whereas the 4 wheeler is just stuck spinning wheels.

However, if you have near limitless money to splash out on fuel and really you are just looking to try and justify to yourself the reason for buying a 4x4 then maybe the 4 wheel is the better option.

Just don't buy a 4 wheeler with normal tyres and expect it to perform much better.

And as someone else said, ice is hard. Tyres do not get traction on it. Unless the tyres have spikes or you use chains it will not make a difference.

Just googled this :

http://www.autocar.co.uk/blogs/winter-driving/just-how-good-are-winter-tyres

The video wont play for me. I hope its good.

Edit : Thinking about it for a bit longer though your requirements do sound a bit extreme. If you really do want to go to these places in bad weather then maybe a 4x4 with winter tyres would be a good idea.

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You would have had exactly the same accident in a 4x4, probably worse as they are heavier. Well equipped 4x4s are really good for rough terrain (where ground clearance matters), and the ability to lock differentials and send traction to the two wheels still touching the ground. The other reason for a 4x4 is towing - because they are heavy, they can tow much bigger loads than the average car.

Apart from that, they are slower, use more fuel and generally handle far worse than the car equivalent.

I have a well equipped Defender and a conventional front wheel drive saloon with winter tyres. On snow or ice I'd take the saloon any day. Clearly my driving involves conventional roads. If your work is at the top of Ben Nevis, then the 4x4 may be a better proposition.

Buy an estate car and slap some winter tyres on it.

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Get decent tyres and learn how to drive in adverse conditons.

I drove a BMW Z3 all through last winter, in the snow on un ploughed roads. I was fine, passing 4x4's that were spinning all 4 wheels......

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I'm not a piston head and I'm open to all suggestions. Whilst I was in the ditch, the only vehicles making it up were pickups and a suv style 4x4. The last one I'd say struggled with it and only just made it. It was an un-gritted very minor single track road which is normal here, going from 0 to 450 m.

So even with winter tyres I'm still looking at chains for the inclined ice aspect here - have I got that right - I can see that logic as all the snow chain manufactures have versions for 4x4 sized wheels and tyres?

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I'm not a piston head and I'm open to all suggestions. Whilst I was in the ditch, the only vehicles making it up were pickups and a suv style 4x4. The last one I'd say struggled with it and only just made it. It was an un-gritted very minor single track road which is normal here, going from 0 to 450 m.

So even with winter tyres I'm still looking at chains for the inclined ice aspect here - have I got that right - I can see that logic as all the snow chain manufactures have versions for 4x4 sized wheels and tyres?

You can get chains for normal saloons, must admit though I have not tried in this country. In places where chains are mandatory my guess is all sizes are more common, certainly I have had chains on a saloon before in the States, as well as 4x4s.

A 4x4 on chains is pretty good, but there is a limit to how big a snow bank it can drive through. :(

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With out knowing exactly what tryes was on the 4x4's and the skill level of the drivers its hard to say.

Lets say you spend 6k on a 06 plate disco, the first winter you'll be in a ditch, as you left the low profile summer tyres on the wheels, then you find to put any decent winter tyres on you'll need smaller wheels, as they wont fit in the arches, or they dont do that low a profile.

All your going to do is as at least 500kg of momentum to your error.

Winters in the UK are not harsh enough for a proper off roader, even countries where they have proper winters they still drive "normal" cars. The best investment you ca make is find an adverse weather driving course or a skidpan that csn simulate weather and have a couple of lessons.

The main reason you ended up in a ditch was you was simply driving too fast for the conditions, and no type of car will fix that for you

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I drive an Audi with quattro drive. I have also fitted winter tyres the last couple of years. 4 wheel drive with winter tyres performs very well indeed on snow. It will help on ice, but ice is ice, and it offers very little grip.

An Audi with quattro drive is good all year round as the fuel consumption penalty is low.

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The main reason you ended up in a ditch was you was simply driving too fast for the conditions, and no type of car will fix that for you

Not really. the vehicle lost traction on the incline. i had to reverse (slide) the vehicle back down the road as there was no getting going again on the black ice. Not that easy to achieve on winding road in the dark (7.00 am winter twilight starts are the norm when the days shorten for hillwalking). I caught the verge on a bend and that was that, ditch time. my fault, no problem with that, but it was nothing to do with whoring it up road too fast for the conditions.

But that's not important here, I want to better control the original issue, lost traction on ice, lost ability to move forward, couldn't get to my destination, ruined my weekend.

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My mum has a Nissan X-trail, it seems a good all-rounder, I remember her taking me up Hardknott Pass in the wet, engaging the 4wd made a big difference to be able to get up the hairpins. Seems a good car, she is very happy with it.

My only real experience on ice is on the push-bike, I have Nokian studded tyres and would not go out in the frozen countryside on normal tyres now. If I got a car again I would say swapping to winter tyres would be a high priority.

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Winter tyres are the way to go as others have said.

A 4x4 around with summer wheels/tyres will do precisely nothing to aid your predicament.

Winter tyres offer much better grip on ice. Think how you might have done in your car with winter tyres:

Much cheaper option than getting rid of your motor too; depending on the type of car you can get second hand steel wheels or alloys for not a lot of money and a set of part worn winter tyres can be pretty cheap or get new from any internet retailler of your choice. (get 4 though, some people only put them on the driven wheels which is a recipe for disaster)

If you can arrange a local fitter, this site is often competitive for ordering winter and summer tyres imo:

http://camskill.co.uk/

edit to add, you don;t have to be a petrol head btw, just fit and forget. If you have space for a spare set of wheels/tyres, you can change them yourself or just take them to a local fitter and give them £20 or whatever.

edit2- Look at the sticker in the door shut, or in your manual to find out the tyre size required for winter tyres. It is often possible to get smaller tyres which can make them less costly, but you can only benefit if you can get a second set of wheels of course.

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Not really. the vehicle lost traction on the incline. i had to reverse (slide) the vehicle back down the road as there was no getting going again on the black ice. Not that easy to achieve on winding road in the dark (7.00 am winter twilight starts are the norm when the days shorten for hillwalking). I caught the verge on a bend and that was that, ditch time. my fault, no problem with that, but it was nothing to do with whoring it up road too fast for the conditions.

But that's not important here, I want to better control the original issue, lost traction on ice, lost ability to move forward, couldn't get to my destination, ruined my weekend.

I never said whoring it up the lane, too fast could be by 5mph or less. I would say 80% of your issue was education

You suffered a loss of momentum then, which can be caused by driving too fast up a hill, tyres spin and you grind to a hault. Putting the car in second gear and releasing the clutch with little or no accelerator, thencwhen you was moving take your foot off the accelerator amd let the car pull it self up. Yes its slow, but its safe. In a diesel its easier, but doable in a petrol as well.

Also dont brake, dip the clutch, braking and lock your wheels up, loos traction and control and your in a ditch

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I never said whoring it up the lane, too fast could be by 5mph or less. I would say 80% of your issue was education

You suffered a loss of momentum then, which can be caused by driving too fast up a hill, tyres spin and you grind to a hault. Putting the car in second gear and releasing the clutch with little or no accelerator, thencwhen you was moving take your foot off the accelerator amd let the car pull it self up. Yes its slow, but its safe. In a diesel its easier, but doable in a petrol as well.

Also dont brake, dip the clutch, braking and lock your wheels up, loos traction and control and your in a ditch

i was going pretty darn slow at the time as it would have been mental to do otherwise, perhaps too slow i thought in hindsight, anyways can't change any of that now. i did try to pull away in 2nd gear once I realized it was not going to pull up in 1st.

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I also would consider a double cab pickup and have noticed these two. I'm open to this from the storage potential, but would shy away from them if they get insured as if vans.

Is van insurance higher/ worse? And is there some sort of definition that makes some 4x4's 'vans'?

I am in the early stages of looking for a 4x4 SUV so I am curious about your comment.

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Is van insurance higher/ worse? And is there some sort of definition that makes some 4x4's 'vans'?

I am in the early stages of looking for a 4x4 SUV so I am curious about your comment.

Yes but no!

I am sure there's a load of bogs in your part of Surrey! I probably shat in one once! :blink:

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Van insurance can be high, but I'd hope that non-commercial use of a Van was much more normally priced but I don't know. I don't know how a pickup is viewed at all for insurance purposes, it is a commercial working vehicle & that is why i feared it would jumped on by insurance companies.

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Is van insurance higher/ worse? And is there some sort of definition that makes some 4x4's 'vans'?

I am in the early stages of looking for a 4x4 SUV so I am curious about your comment.

I think you pay a higher toll for a double cab than a car or ordinary 4x4 on the Severn bridge and Dartford crossing, but not on the M6 Toll. Having typed that out, I realise now it's not a hugely important point.

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