Purchasing the perfect 4WD or SUV vehicle - Part I

Advantages of a four wheel drive vehicle are many. They offer great connection to the road as all four wheels are involved in the friction with the road that helps a vehicle accelerate. Four-wheel drive autos are also great for driving on hilly or rocky terrain and in off-road locations. Their traction enables for greater control in sandy, dirty, or more weather-intensive settings. To many homemakers, a four-wheel drive vehicle delivers the best in safe driving control in rough conditions. This is important when transporting your most precious assets - your children. As a car warranty company we like them for their rugged and unchallenged reliability. Parts are hard wearing and solidly built, after all who wants to breakdown on a dirt track miles from the nearest town?

Not all four-wheel drive vehicles are created equal, however. It is important for the discerning car shopper to know what the best vehicles are and how to find them. There are many great stable car manufacturers who offer great options.

Perhaps no car maker has better made use of the capabilities and marketing of a solidly built four-wheel drive vehicle than Land Rover; formally a UK owned company sold on to Ford who in turn recently then sold the Land Rover brand to Tata Motors. Tata are an Indian owned company famous for making one of the smallest and certainly among the cheapest cars on sale today. This well-known maker of all terrain and off-road vehicles has been making four-wheel drive autos since 1948. The Range Rover, Land Rover Discovery, and Defender are the three products the company currently sells in the four-wheel drive category. Despite having been overtaken somewhat by other prominent car makers that have evolved the four-wheel drive category, Land Rover stays a popular choice for some.

The Hummer - Ultimate four wheel drive vehicle

A popular four-wheel drive vehicle that offers size, power, and control in today's marketplace is the Hummer. Made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the late 1990's when Arnie formally an Austrian Bodybuilder and seven times Mr Universe promoted greener policies for California while still owning and driving his diesel guzzling Hummer. Essentially a Hummer is a Tonka Toy for adults! Jeremy Clarkson has test driven the Hummer H1, Hummer H2 and Hummers H3 on Top Gear a BBC2 TV show which he hosts along with Richard Hammond and James May. If memory serves Jeremy Clarkson got 2mpg at one point during the tests with the H2! Not a green alternative vehicle by any means! It seems the only way to get a vehicle with lower green credentials than that would be to buy a M1 Abrams battle tank, The M1 is informally known as "The Beast," "Dracula" and "Whispering Death," referring to its impressive firepower and quiet operation according to the web site www.howstuffworks.com

With designs based on their armored war vehicle predecessors, the GM Hummer line has brought the power of an armored war vehicle to the consumer market with more sleek and stylish looks. Initially perceived to be a car more appealing to men, Hummer's are becoming more popular among women with younger drivers in the States, a surprising fact considering the fuel prices. here in the Britain we have taken to the chop shop with many Hummers. Pardon you may be asking, well one of the most popular limousines for hire is the stretch Hummer limo! 

One of the important decisions for the four-wheel drive shopper to make is whether to for a powerful vehicle, like the Hummer, or a lighter SUV or four-wheel drive model. Many manufacturers have offered light SUV models that offer the space of a larger four-wheel drive but the light driving touch of a sedan or station wagon. 

Suzuki, Mazda, and Jeep have all made models to fit this middle combination of features. Additionally, popular value-oriented four-wheel drive models have become increasingly important in tougher economic times. Kia has revolutionized the value concept in the four-wheel drive and light SUV categories with its great product at affordable prices mentality.

Things To Consider In The Global Market

Petrol and diesel prices have finally started changing the driving expectations of image-conscious American men according to an article I was recently reading in the Boston newspaper online called Boston.com The article was entitled "What do real men drive" and it's all about the size of their trucks! Vans to me and you in the UK. According to salesman Steve Ferguson, who works at a Saturn dealership (Car make); "You have someone coming in with, say, an F-350 [Ford pickup], looking at a four-cylinder Saturn Vue," says "It's definitely not something they would have imagined doing." With the American motor industry suffering through a prolonged sales drought, smaller cars are actually enjoying sales spikes. One car dealership in San Francisco has found that that many US male buyers are trading in SUV's (Sports Utility Vehicles) for the BMW-owned brand Mini!.

Until now the car I would most like to own is the (Ford Mustang) has been considered a woman's car in America and this is not speculation either! I spend 6 weeks in Texas last year and although I saw hundreds of Mustangs in Houston, I only ever saw ONE being driven by a male in that whole time. Today I am sure that is starting to change.

Perhaps more than its fuel economy, the Mini's classic British design and emphasis on performance has boosted it during the current shakeup. Time will tell, but its good news for the environment at any rate.

Part II examines in more detail the benefits of 4WD vehicles for specific users.