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Old 08-20-2014, 04:51 PM   #1
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NEED REAL WORLD DATA: 2WD vs 4WD mpg...

I can't seem to work the Search tool very well and I'm up against it, finding myself on a fast track that seems to get faster by the day. I'm looking at purchasing a Tundra this week, circa post-2010 models, and can't make up my mind between 2wd and 4wd. The specs say there's only a mile difference on mpg between the two when it comes to a 5.7L V8 engine. I plan on driving about 12,000 miles per year all through the western states but not bouncing a lot - I'll be trying to find jobs on the road and stay awhile when successful, so I'm thinking about 70% city/town driving the rest on the highway.

What I want to know is just how much less mileage does 4wd get in the real world?

Thanks in advance,

Jeff
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Old 08-20-2014, 05:10 PM   #2
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I think when it comes to 2wd vs. 4wd the difference in mpg should take a backseat to purchase, maintenance and repair costs. Not to say you'll have problems with a 4wd, but the decision should be based on anticipated need for extra traction. Do you think you'll encounter situations where a 4wd will make a difference? If so, gas mileage savings with a 2wd will quickly be consumed by one tow truck bill. On the other hand, 4wd's have more moving parts to break or wear out and their cost can be considerable.

What I'm really saying is forget about mpg and evaluate your real need for the extra traction a more expensive 4wd can provide.
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Old 08-20-2014, 05:12 PM   #3
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1 mpg sounds about right. I have had both but never two identical models, 2wd and 4wd, at the same time

and there are extra maintenance and repair costs

all in all, the mileage cost of the 4wd over the 2wd is
- well worth it if you need 4wd
- not a bigggie if you really want 4wd
- annoying if you do not want it or need it

If you think you may need extra traction, remember that unless you get locking differentials front and rear, in a 4wd truck, it only has 2 driving wheels in low traction situations.

Fitting aftermarket manual locking hubs will improve 4wd mileage and wear to the CV joints and front differential.
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Old 08-20-2014, 05:17 PM   #4
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I would imagine every type of vehicle is a bit different. I drive pretty much only GM cars and trucks, and living in Iowa, I buy only 4WD or AWD.
However, running in two wheel drive only, I get 1 to 2 mpg less than my friends with the same truck without 4WD.
I think it's a small price to pay for the convenience and safety factor that 4WD provides.
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Old 08-20-2014, 05:19 PM   #5
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I'm with Fred. Just go with what the manufacturers say about the mileage and then decide if you want a 2 or 4 wheel drive. We can't make that decision for you. If money is a big issue, get a 2wd but you might want to consider that implication if you want to sell.

My guess would be that you would be just fine with a 2wd. If you are not in a snowy climate you probably won't ever need one. Of course, if you are looking for jobs you might find one up in the mountains somewhere.

Too many decisions for us to make here on the forum. Decide for yourself and then go with it. Don't look back and don't question yourself.
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:20 PM   #6
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The MPG difference is so minimal you're likely to see greater differences with how you drive. If you're the kind of guy that plans on only driving on pavement and visiting fancy campgrounds with pull thru's then get 2WD. But if you ever want to explore the off beaten path, 4WD it is.

My trip out west is why I choose 4WD: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1...31282764187409
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:48 PM   #7
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If you plan to go off the beaten path. Where you will need 4 wheel drive. The TV is not the only thing you should consider.
A$'s sit low; not very much ground clearance. There are situations where owners have drug the bottom of their coach driving on city streets or entering a gas station.
IMHO If you need a 4WD vehicle to go camping. You need a different trailer. They call them "travel trailers" for a reason. Not "camping trailers".
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Old 08-20-2014, 08:54 PM   #8
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My feeling about 2wd vs. 4wd is that if the weather is that bad I stay put until it gets better. That is coming from a NW Ohio point of view.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
If you plan to go off the beaten path. Where you will need 4 wheel drive. The TV is not the only thing you should consider.
A$'s sit low; not very much ground clearance. There are situations where owners have drug the bottom of their coach driving on city streets or entering a gas station.
IMHO If you need a 4WD vehicle to go camping. You need a different trailer. They call them "travel trailers" for a reason. Not "camping trailers".
So you never unhook your trailer? I mean I follow this logic, but do you ever unhook? It's easily invalidated.

I see myself setting up camp and then taking my truck down the White Rim Trail for the day, and coming back to the campground for a relaxing evening.

Not taking my Airstream down the switch backs.

Also, in Colorado, there are a number of great trails, like Cinnamon Pass, which you can drive up in a couple hours that are offroad high clearance truck or suv only trails. And again, in Wyoming, some of the best hiking is accessed down Fire lane trails. A few of the best hikes I've done in the Wind Rivers need 4WD to get to, and they're still day hikes.

I'm pretty sure the OP said he was planning to full time at some point, so...



I mean 4WD vs 2WD is simple.

Will you use it or not?

Everyone will give you their opinion, but it's up to you to answer weather or not you'll use it.

Clearly, I lean towards, GET IT AND USE IT. Get outdoors. Explore. Leave the campground.

Or get 2WD, hide when it drops below 72 and get a golf cart to ride around the camp ground.
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:40 PM   #10
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Funny, one might think the 4x4 feature requires a remote situation to be necessary. That's not necessarily true if you have been parked on a slight slope, packed soil, with grass on top. When it rains overnight unexpectedly and you try to leave in the morning, spinning wheels can have you searching for assistance to get to the pavement that is mere feet away :-)
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:49 PM   #11
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Good points.
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