Car capabilities for the road less travelled…

4×4 vs. 4×2: What’s the difference and which is better?


Whether you're in the market for a hatchback, SUV, sports sedan, or bakkie, you will certainly encounter two types of drivetrains: 4x4 and 4x2. How do these two propulsion systems vary from one another? What are the pros and cons of each? 

Hopefully, after reading the following information from, deciding on the drivetrain you want or need will be considerably simpler.

4X2 :

A 4x2 drivetrain provides drive or power to the front or back axle of the vehicle, hence just two of the four wheels. 

4X4 :

A four-wheel drivetrain transmits power or torque to all four wheels of a vehicle. 


Compared to 4x4 vehicles, many of the advantages of a 4x2 are weight-related. A 4x4's fuel economy, payload, and towing capacities are all inferior to those of a 4x2 because of the additional components required to give torque to all four wheels.

Additionally, 4x2’s have a cheaper base price. Typically, the price difference between a 4x2 and 4x4 vehicle runs from R10 000 to R30 000. Due to their weight distribution, two-wheel drive cars have greater handling and are easier to operate.


4x4 vehicles are superior to 4x2 in terms of off-road capabilities and rugged terrains, especially in mud, river crossings, and steep inclines. 

Although 4x4’s may have a lower payload or towing capacity than 4x2s, they boast superior towing capabilities on slippery slopes, such as a boat ramp or a slick incline.


People who live in warm, flat climates with no sleet or ice find the disadvantages of a 4x2 vehicle less significant. However, if you enjoy off-roading or reside in mountainous, rugged regions, you might find that a 4x2 vehicle doesn't quite meet your needs.


4x4’s have a higher base price and are marginally less fuel efficient than 4x2’s, making them more expensive to own. The additional drivetrain components also make 4x4’s more costly to maintain and potentially more difficult to operate.


A 4x4 will make driving in challenging conditions easier and if you’re off to explore the road less travelled, it’s  a great option if you prefer off-roading or if your job requires you to work in an off-road setting.

However, due to greater production expenses, they are more expensive than a 4x2. Also, due to their higher weight, 4x4’s have a diminished towing capacity and lower fuel economy.

On the other hand, 4x2’s are more affordable, and, due to their smaller weight, have greater towing capacity and fuel economy than their 4x4 counterparts. 

However, 4x2’s will have less traction and stability, meaning they cannot manage off-roading or challenging weather and road conditions as effectively as a 4x4. offer a convenient, simple, and safe car purchase experience. Consumers are spoiled for choice with numerous 4x4 and 4x2 options available and a network of more than 300 trusted vehicle dealerships across South Africa, representing more than 30 car manufacturers. Chat to a dealer to learn more about the insurance you'll need when purchasing your 4x4 or 4x2.

Each dealership is Motus-certified and backed by more than 70 years of automobile retail experience, so you can purchase, sell, finance, and service your next vehicle with confidence – with just one click!

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