4WD Vs Gas Efficiency?

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What type of vehicle do you own?

Poll ended at Mar 31, 2008 3:00 pm

I own a 4WD vehicle.
16
40%
I own a fuel efficient vehicle.
5
13%
I wish I owned any vehicle!
1
3%
My 4WD is fuel efficient -- I have the best of both worlds!
7
18%
I own multiple vehicles.
11
28%
 
Total votes : 40

4WD Vs Gas Efficiency?

Postby Caver1402 » Mar 26, 2008 3:00 pm

I was pondering this recently, especially because I recently bought a new vehicle. It's 4WD, but not fuel efficient. I decided to take the plunge anyway because I've wanted once since I was twelve. :big grin: I was wondering what others were driving, and what were their thoughts? Good fuel efficiency is nice for a long drive that some of us have to make to get to any caves, but then when you're near a cave, 4WD is sometimes a necessity, too. Ugh! (I bought a Wrangler in case anyone was wondering).
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Re: 4WD Vs Gas Efficiency?

Postby JoeyS » Mar 26, 2008 3:28 pm

Right now I have a 4WD F250 deisel that, surprisingly, gets better mileage than the average cave-ready Tacoma. About 19 mpg if I'm travelling light on the highway. I am looking at getting a gas burner at some point, because deisel is more expensive than gasoline, so the advantage is minimal. I was discussing MPG's with another caver recently, asking him about his all wheel drive crossover vehicle. He does better than me, but not as good as I'd imagined.
Excellent topic, BTW...
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Re: 4WD Vs Gas Efficiency?

Postby graveleye » Mar 26, 2008 3:41 pm

I don't have a 4WD, but I have a Silverado with a 5.7L motor. It's fun, fast and rugged, but it sucks gas.
My other car is a '02 Trans Am and only accepts high octane, so I am just screwed when I go to the filling station whatever happens.

I guess I'll have to get a Subaru if I want to keep caving. :shrug:
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Re: 4WD Vs Gas Efficiency?

Postby Caver1402 » Mar 26, 2008 4:03 pm

I've heard Suburus are good, reliable cars ... but they are expensive! Before my Wrangler, I had an '05 Neon. It was manual and I liked that, but it definitely wasn't 4WD. Now I have an automatic, and kind of miss manual, but it was an okay exchange for the fun of the Wrangler.
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Re: 4WD Vs Gas Efficiency?

Postby Nico » Mar 26, 2008 4:26 pm

We have a 4WD 4 door Diesel Dodge Ram.. Better mileage than a gasser (bout 19 mpg combined) the great thing about it is that diesel here is always cheaper than gas at the pump, and even cheaper if you buy it from truck drivers/machinery operators, oh there's also agricultural diesel at a low price, we're lucky to not have the red dye in it like in the US. :banana:
only thing I dont like is a bit of a stiff ride cause its made for towing more than anything else
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Re: 4WD Vs Gas Efficiency?

Postby Grandpa Caver » Mar 26, 2008 4:44 pm

I'm driving a '92 S-10 with a V6, not 4WD. Good gas milage & here in Indy 4WD is not so much of a necessity (usually). With 230K on the S10 I'll soon be looking for something new. This time it will probably be 4WD but I'll stick with a V6 in something like an S10 or Ranger. I'd be happy with with a Suburu but not with the price!
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Re: 4WD Vs Gas Efficiency?

Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Mar 26, 2008 6:27 pm

I have a 91 Toyota Camry wagon, 2.0 litre manual, it still gets good fuel economy even when compared to more recent cars of about the same size. It's a great car and very useful and practical, I also find it fun to drive and handles well. It's approaching a half million kms at the moment. :kewl:
I have other cars, they're all mini's, mokes, or morris 1100s all with engines smaller than 1.3 litres and down to 998cc. :woohoo:

I'd recommend my model Camry to anyone provided they aren't 4wding or towing every weekend, even though some of our caves require a 4wd to get to there is mostly someone who has a 4wd and can help out.
I reckon if you drive a manual you can get a lot more out of the engine you've got, so you don't need a gas guzzler, also I'd be lost for things to do if I wasn't changing gears. :laughing:

PS: I think manuals might be a lot more common here than in the US, AFAIK most of our cars are manuals but there are still a large amount of autos.
PPS: fuel here is nudging AU$1.50 a litre, which makes it (1.5 x 3.78 = AU$5.67/gallon) which as far as I can see makes us about $2 a gallon dearer than you guys are paying (the AU$ is about 90 ish US cents ) so not a huge difference there...there was talk of fuel going above $3 a litre within the next couple of years :yikes: :hairpull: with that prospect in sight I won't be buying a full on 4wd that's for sure, I might even end up buying a motorbike instead.

<EDIT> I worked out fuel economy figures my camry gets up to 7.87L / 100km I just looked up the new camry gets 8.9L / 100km for combined driving from a 2.4L so they probably come out pretty close to being on par.
Last edited by fuzzy-hair-man on Mar 26, 2008 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 4WD Vs Gas Efficiency?

Postby NZcaver » Mar 26, 2008 6:32 pm

Good topic.

I have a '98 Ford Exploder, er... Explorer V6. It has selectable 4WD high and low ranges, plus the automatic 4WD function which supposedly kicks in if it loses traction. Woohoo. It usually manages to suck about 17 mpg for most of the traveling I do. I'd love something more fuel efficient of somewhat comparable size to fit my worldly possessions as I move back and forth across the country. But with all the miles I have on this one, I'll probably squeeze all the goodness out like an old tube of toothpaste before I finally upgrade (to another pre-owned vehicle, of course).

Here's an idle thought. For the mere few of us who spend the majority of our driving time on the open road rather than in stop-and-go city traffic, is it really worth paying the extra big bucks to get a hybrid vehicle? They seem like a great idea to have around town, but how do mid-size hybrid vehicles do on long trips versus similar non-hybrids?

And is it just me, or is the recent increase in diesel prices nothing short of ridiculous? :shock:
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Re: 4WD Vs Gas Efficiency?

Postby pacaver » Mar 26, 2008 6:48 pm

My cave-wagon is a Ford Ranger compact pickup with 4wd, manual transmission, extended cab, and most importantly a vinyl floor to make cleanup easy. It averages about 20 mpg and for me is the perfect cave vehicle. My normal daily driver is a Suzuki DR650 which gets about 55mpg. I only put about 7K a year on the truck(mostly WV and the occasional TAG trip) but over 10 on my bikes. For me a bike for commuting is a no brainer, way more fun than a truck, much easier on gas along with being inexpensive to purchase/maintain. They're also used for grocery getting; a lost creek Gorilla cave pack will hold an amazing amount of food and I just bungee any large boxes like frozen pizza to the rack on the back.
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Re: 4WD Vs Gas Efficiency?

Postby JackW » Mar 26, 2008 7:41 pm

Jeep Cherokee, but you'd know that. I don't drive it during the week. Its for trips and getting groceries :big grin:. Being in the city I ride the bus and train; you're in the burbs and that is where you'll lose your shirt on the gas consumption of a Jeep. Welcome to the Jeep club though! Get tow hooks for the front and either a class 4 hitch or a rear recovery point and you'll be set for most off-road excursions. Recovery points are for getting un-stuck. You will eventually if you plan to use it as it was designed. :banana:
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Re: 4WD Vs Gas Efficiency?

Postby tncaver » Mar 26, 2008 8:00 pm

Cumberland Plateau caver here. I have been driving Toyotas since 1977. My current truck (1990's model),
gets 20 to 25 mpg depending on the terrain. It is a 4cylinder 5 speeed. The best engine/transmission
combination for Toyota truck four wheel drive in my opinion. Cruise control helps it get good gas mileage
on the interstate and rural highways 55mph or above.

I use a Toyota Camry for caving when I don't need four wheel drive. It got 38 mpg last weekend which is way
more than it is rated. Typically it gets 30 mpg.

So the bottom line is that having a 4X4 for offroad caving is great but having an economy 4 cylinder front wheel
drive car is also great. Buy both....used, like I did. Get the best of both.

If our country gets smart in the future, diesel might be the best option once we become independent of
Middle Eastern crude oil and switch to mostly biodiesel. Until then, having one of each desirable kind of vehicle is the
best option. I buy used. It has worked for me for the past 25 years. Just be sure to inspect a used vehicle really well
to be sure it is a good one before you buy it. :driving:
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Re: 4WD Vs Gas Efficiency?

Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Mar 26, 2008 8:30 pm

tncaver wrote:I use a Toyota Camry for caving when I don't need four wheel drive. It got 38 mpg last weekend which is way
more than it is rated. Typically it gets 30 mpg.

Wow 38 miles/gallon (16km/L) is good going!! the 30 mpg is more typical for mine, but I'm mostly driving a bit fast to get the best mileage figures... :roll: :oops:
Which year camry is yours?

tncaver wrote:I buy used. It has worked for me for the past 25 years. Just be sure to inspect a used vehicle really well
to be sure it is a good one before you buy it. :driving:

:agree: and I don't believe the new cars are that much better that it warrants upgrading (possibly excluding if were going for a hybrid as they aren't really that available 2nd hand). Buying a good 2nd hand car is SO MUCH cheaper and you don't suffer the crippling loss of value within the first couple of years. My camry is almost worth now what we paid for it about 8 years ago. :woohoo: In case you didn't catch it I am really quite taken with my camry :kiss: :laughing:
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Re: 4WD Vs Gas Efficiency?

Postby tncaver » Mar 26, 2008 8:43 pm

fuzzy-hair-man,
My Camry got 38mpg only one time ever coming back from the Cumberland Plateau (downhill most of the way
to Nashville). I used cruise control at 55mph all the way. It usually averages 30mpg going up hill to the plateau
and for city driving. It is rated up to 33mpg. It got 36mpg one other time, but 30 is average. Cruise control
definitely saves gas on the highway if traffic isn't too bad. My truck averages 20 to 22.5 mpg. Not too bad
for 4X4.
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Re: 4WD Vs Gas Efficiency?

Postby Amocholes » Mar 27, 2008 3:36 am

I have a 2006 Ford F150 2WD that gets about 19 on long trips, 16 around town. My everyday vehicle is a 2007 Honda Accord that gets 29 around town and almost 34 on trips.
When facts are few and far between, hypothesis defies all logic, as to how an individual came to the conclusion, that the point that they are trying to make, is indeed true and not just the fabrications of a deluded mind.
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Re: 4WD Vs Gas Efficiency?

Postby InTucky » Mar 27, 2008 6:04 am

I have a 2000 Toyota Tundra 4x4, and is sucks the gas, but it is always nice to have a 4x4, and a truck around. I get around 15mpg driving in town, and around 18 on the interstate. I'll soon be looking for a new car for my wife, so I can drive her 98 camry, and let the truck sit. Turn the camry into the smelly caver mobile :grin:
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