Do you need a 4WD for towing
Do you find a 2WD adequate for general touring or would you prefer to pay the extra cost for an AWD or 4WD vehicle? Tony Allsop weighs in.
Denyse and I have had either a 4WD or AWD for towing for many years. Prior to this we used Falcons and a Commodore. We have had three Territories now; two have been AWD and the latest, a 2WD.
This time we decided to buy a new Ford Territory Titanium 2WD as we wanted a petrol engine, (and Ford no longer make the AWD with a petrol motor). Also, Ford was offering a very special deal on this type of vehicle at the time of purchase. After heaps of Outback work and almost 40,000km, we have had plenty of time to compare the AWD with the 2WD for towing.
Our travels over the period with the 2WD have taken us to the very far west of Queensland and NSW, Mt. Kosciusko, SA and Victoria, and north to Cooktown. Towing has also included some pretty steep ranges as well as open highway, single lane, and dirt roads.
Firstly our caravan has a legal 1800 kg ATM. That's quite a lot for a 16" van, but we had it built strongly to handle rough work. The vehicle/van combination is perfect.
We have found that the 2WD has given noticeably better fuel economy, especially around town without the van, and there has not been any real difference in dirt road towing. We do not do beach driving or heroic 4WD dirt roads anymore, so the 2WD has been fine for our purpose.
On the negative side, I noticed some wheel spin taking off on wet roads. There was also an incident where we were camped on a small incline and we had to drive up a grassy slope to leave. It rained in the night and I could not pull up this slope on the wet grass. An AWD would have been much better. I also prefer the AWD for the safety features, but for general purpose use such as highway towing it has been fine.
We write our travel stories in CW for the majority of caravanners who visit places either on bitumen roads, single lane bitumen or maintained dirt roads, and have found the 2WD Territory perfect for this. However, for the safety features alone, next time we purchase a vehicle it will be an AWD.
What do our readers think? Do you find a 2WD adequate for general touring or would you prefer to pay the extra cost for an AWD or 4WD vehicle?