Nobody really needs a 4x4 - Rob C
A deliberatly provocative title, following Lib-Dem MP Norman Baker's Radio 4 interview.

But really a tale of my own stupidity and perceived reality.

I've had my old SIII Landy for about a year now, and it is now sadly off-road having been SORNicated by rust.
During that year I've driven it off-road, on-road in thick snow, up-hill and down-dale all using the 4x4 drive which has greatly improved it's performance in those trying conditions.

Except that yesterday, I discovered the vehicle has free-wheeling hubs and these have never been engaged with the axles in all that time.

Which is very funny, considering how much better the vehicle coped when I pressed the yellow knob down to engage the front wheels.

Hence my theory, which is that noboby really needs four-wheel drive, they just need to think that they have it.
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - Pugugly {P}
Mmmmm...went through this process about 2 years ago and got it slightly wrong. I live in the country and have a half mile lane
to get to a B class road (which is the last in the county to get cleared/gritted come snow-time, the only time the lane gets cleared is when a thaw sets in), I also need a vehicle for my hoobies which involve driving around in a 12 acre woodland in all weathers, so a family need was defined for a 4 wheel drive. SWMBO wanted a car to replace a company car after she changed jobs, so we combined the two and bought a Disco, which was fine but a compromise. She felt it was unsuitable for town driving and I felt guilty taking it into a woodland and scratching its shiny paintwork - it performed both roles reasonably well and never got stuck. Anyway I bought the Defender SWMBO bought a Mini, twelve months down the line the Defender is used off-road, never gets stuck, doesn't break down - I suppose a Ford Escort van would do the same've got me thinking.
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - Marcos{P}
Makes you think, until you get stuck in the Ford Escort van and then really wish you had a Land Rover.
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - Baskerville
I know three farmers quite well and their main on/off-road vehicles are: ancient Daihatsu 4x4 (Fourtrack?), ancient Subaru Legacy estate, ancient Escort van. At a guess none of these cars is under ten years old and anything they can't handle (not much short of a ploughed field from what I've seen) can be managed by the tractor. The bloke with the Daihatsu swears by them for their economy, robustness and repairability. He specifically won't buy a Landrover because he thinks they are overpriced for what they are and an old one is too much trouble. I hasten to add none of these farmers are part of, or even remotely connected with, what you might call the "County Set" so image really doesn't concern them.

Also, in Wales this weekend I noticed that those 4x4s really can't go round corners. They were holding up CARAVANS, for goodness sake.
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - volvoman
Well I know quite a few people who need 4x4's equipped with bull bars to protect them from the harsh environment they're used daily in. Every day they have to undertake a really arduous journey several times covering the sort of and terrain that only a really large, powerful off-roader can manage - manhole covers, white lines, zebra crossings and hundreds of metres of..... ASPHALT ! Yes, you've guessed it - the trip to the local primary school!
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - Mark (RLBS)
Don't forget, its not just whether or not you sink in mud and stop, its also whether or not you can get out again.

An Escort may do it some or most of the time, but if gets stuck its staying that way. 4WD, low ratio and locking hubs/diffs will virtually always get you out.

Anyway, politicians and their comments about "needing" a 4WD annoy me. Maybe I do need one, maybe I don't. But I want one and as far as I know right now, that means its nothing to do with them.

If you start on the "need" line I'll lay odds he doesn't "need" a house of the size he's got and could move into a much smaller one and give the larger one to a charity. Chances are, he doesn't "need" all his money, but I doubt he'll be giving that up either.

The one thing creeping into this country while I was away which really annoys me is this entire attitude of "I haven't got one / I don't need one / I don't want one and therefore you can't have one" whether that refers to 4WD or any other damn thing.

I cannot believe how everybody in this country feels that they have a right to tell everybody else what they should or should not have.

Me, I don't care whether you have more than me, less than me or just plain different to me, I neither envy you for what you have nor feel superior for what I have, I have nothing to say about what car you can or cannot have, although I might or might not want one myself.

Far too much envy in this country, and most of it from a bunch of busybodies who need something better to do with their time.

And as for 4WD being dangerous, I'd rather face a 4WD being driven properly than a Micra, for example, being driven with madness. The issue is the driving, not the vehicle.

I hate Monday mornings.
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - volvoman
Wow Mark - glad I wasn't behind you this morning :-)

The driving is of course more important than the vehicle but what about people driving great big motors they clearly can't handle ? All other things being equal, I think I'd rather be hit by a Micra than an armoured 4x4. I'm not sure how much of this is due to envy. I certainly don't envy the people I see driving these things to/from school or the local shops yet I admit to having more of a problem with the 4x4's than the guy who drives his daughter half a mile to school in his brand new SL55 AMG - a vehicle which has more performance than he could ever need or legally use here.

Anyway, we all have to accept the fact that Government will continue to restrict our choices as they are already doing so we'd all better start enjoying our cars whilst we still can.
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - Baskerville
I reckon the difference with farmers is that they know the land they are driving on and if they do make a mistake there is a 500bhp John Deere on hand to pull the Escort van out of the mire.

Like you Mark I don't care what people do either as long as their choice doesn't restrict my ability to make my own choices and enjoy the outcome. What I can't understand--and I appreciate this is a matter of taste--is why people like them. They are evidently something of a struggle, compared with a car, to drive on twisting fast roads, they are inconvenient in traffic, and they need to stop for fuel at frustratingly short intervals, to name just three drawbacks I can see. I know people like them and that's fine by me, I just don't understand why. Apart from the off-road capabilities the benefits of a 4x4--high driving position, lots of seats, lots of luggage space, general size--are done as well, if not better, by other vehicles.

Nobody really needs a 4x4 - Nsar
When we moved to the sticks - we live more than half a mile up a farm track off a B road, just about everyone who's come to the house, friends, delivery drivers etc look at our cars - Fiesta and ageing A6 asks why we haven't got a 4x4.

We seem to have become conditioned that the moment you leave tarmac you're in the wrong car. A triumph of marketing over reality and economic sense
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - joe
This talk of tractors reminds me of the time that I got one of my dad's tractors stuck in the mud. This takes some doing, and I only got stuck because I had a 10 ton grain trailer (full) hitched up.

We towed the whole lot out with an old crawler, max power at 1200 revs, and the engine didn't even dip when we let the clutch out. What a machine!

My Father has been a farmer for 50 years and has never felt the need for a 4x4. His view (shared by many local farmers) is that they are just a bit of a pose, or bought by people who want to "look the part".

That said, I agree with Mark. If we had to objectively justify everything we wanted to buy/own, then what a tedious place this would be.
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - Maz
Yes, they are unwieldy and difficult to control. They're certainly expensive and obstruct the view ahead. I think that looking down from their lofty positions makes them arrogant.

Perhaps most worryingly I've even seen them deliberately hit others.

Nobody really needs a politician.
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - Mark (RLBS)
>>Yes, they are unwieldy and difficult to control.

No, they are not.

>>They're certainly expensive

My business, not yours.

>>obstruct the view ahead.

Perhaps, but less so than a tractor, van, truck etc.

>>I think that looking down from their lofty positions makes them arrogant

Arrogant enough to see themselves entitled to say what someone else should or should not do ?

>>Perhaps most worryingly I've even seen them deliberately hit others.

I've seen drivers under the age of 21 do that as well, lets ban them.
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - Brill {P}
Don Marco,

Maz was speaking metaphorically.

Subtitute '4x4' with 'politicians'.

(I think)

Nobody really needs a 4x4 - Maz
Thank you Brill.

Your 2 Jags are in the post.
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - Mark (RLBS)


Sorry Maz. (sheepishly crawls off, resisting temptation to relieve embarassment with edit button).
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - Maz
Thanks Mark.

Let it be known that a Lesser Man in your shoes (a Frontera driver for example) might have used the 'no motoring content' technicality and scrubbed it.

I think you've shown a great deal of maturity for a 'teenager'. ;-)
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - pdc {P}
Perhaps most worryingly I've even seen them deliberately hit others.

I know someone who was out in his landrover on Bailden Moor when boy racer go stuck behind him. Boy racer is trapped for a few minutes before being able to overtake. Boy racer then 'took revenge' and drove really slowly, speeded up, then slowly again. Friend decides his landrover is more than a match for Nova, so next time boyracer slowed he didn't brake, and hit him.

My mum would call that justice.
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - Pugugly {P}
You certainly look the part in my defender - what that paticular part may be is open to debate, personally it could even be an anagram of part but I don't care - it earns it keep, witness this PM, dogs in back of Landie, 'cos its hot dogs go to river, come back get in Landie and drive home wet dogs in the back.
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - hootie
LOL - liked it Maz :-)

My own car is one of those that people often roll their eyes at when I go to the supermarket in it (Honda CRV)
Not that I imagine it has 4x4 capabilities, I'm not kidding myself, it's more of an overgrown estate car really.

For a petite driver, who lives out in the sticks, driving on tracks and narrow, winding roads, with very high hedges, it gives very good visibility, and yet a comfortable ride.
Our road has suffered ice and snow, and we are on a hill. The bottom of the road has suffered quite bad flooding - but my car has coped well with all of this, which gives me more confidence to concentrate on the driving.

I do a 12 mile round trip school run twice a day, which involves just these kind of roads, frequently having to pull over onto unkept verges and ditches. There is no public transport to take instead.

I also use it for 8 hour round trips when I have to carry a huge amount of large and bulky luggage - and it was one of the few vehicles to suit all my requirements, and then live up to expectations.

So long as I continue to drive it responsibly, then I fail to see why anyone in Whitehall should have any say in what I choose!
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - Obsolete
Blimey Mark, you are rattled. I remember the 70's when the politics of envy were far worse than today. I agree that we should be allowed to choose. My mother used to drive a Land Rover when she farmed almost 50 years ago, and it could go through driving deep mud like no other road vehicle.

But I do ask why a 4x4 that never goes off road should not obey the same safety regulations as other road vehicles. Is it fair to pedestrians to have bull bars on the front when for most users they are a fashion item?
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - ndbw
Yes Leif I fully agee apparently under EU regs. because they are classed as off road vehicles none of the usual things such as dangerous projections or pedestrian friendliness apply

Nobody really needs a 4x4 - THe Growler
Since I'm in Oz, up in The Top End, I can indulge myself again in this argument, after a few schooners of Victoria Bitter, b****y oath mate.

Wrong! Everybody needs a 4 X 4, anyone in anything with less than 6 cylinders must be a Pommie poofter, and I've rented the biggest Landcruiser I can find, with a factory fitted massive 'roo bar (that's bull-bar to the uninitiated) made out of stainless steel and wide enough to support a considerable sized bridge, AND similar bars along the sides. What's more 3 spotlights, referred to as driving lights. I'm told by the nice Hertz lady they're handy if I decide to deplete the animal population they can be used to dazzle kangaroos so I can pick 'em off with a shotgun.

Magnificent vehicle and any spoilsport who tries to ban these should be hung from the nearest lamp-post. Looking forward to a bit of rock-bashing in this beast.

Hertz have lots of them, all in white, all slightly reddish from the dust which never quite washes out. I do have one complaint though. Hertz bill you a per kilometer rate if you exceed 1200 kms a day. I guess you can't have everything.
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - Brill {P}
Growler . . . you're a tonic.
Nobody really needs a 4x4 - THe Growler
Simple...I'll keep out of pedestrians' way if they keep out of mine.

Value my car