What to look for in a new 4WD vehicle

So, you’ve decided that you want to be a little adventurous and trade in your Holden sedan for a brand new 4WD. The problem is, you’ve never owned a 4WD before and don’t know where to begin. Well, you’re in luck folks! Today we’re going to provide you with a simple guide about what to look for in a new 4WD vehicle.

Now, there are a multitude of 4WD products and accessories that can be purchased for your vehicle that are designed for different purposes, however this guide aims to give you a basic overview of the main differences in 4WD vehicles.


The first place to start is with your budget. While there are heaps of 4WD vehicles on the market at varying prices, it’s important to consider additional costs that may not be factored into the listing price. There’s a big difference between the listing price and the drive-away price – stamp duty, registration, dealer charges and insurance premiums are all additional costs that get added onto the listing price. When you speak with a dealer, always ensure you get quoted the drive-away price. This generally doesn’t include insurance though, so you’ll need to factor in this expense before you can find the true cost of the vehicle. The last thing you want to do is blow your budget by not doing enough research.


Size will play an integral role in the type of 4WD you purchase. How many seats do you want? If you have a big family that requires seven seats, then the majority of new 4WD vehicles won’t suit your needs. A Toyota Land Cruiser or Nissan Patrol both have plenty of space and would be best suited to you. On the other hand, if you’re single and just want a 4WD for urban use, then there are small options available such as the Jeep Wrangler that only seat four. You’ll also need to factor in cargo space if you plan to go camping or off-roading. While there are exterior accessories like roof racks that will greatly assist with your cargo needs, it’s always better to have more interior space in the vehicle to start with.


While petrol or diesel engines was once an important consideration, most new 4WDs only come with a diesel engine. Despite this, some vehicles are available in different engine sizes and power options, and this will also affect costs such as fuel consumption and insurance premiums. The most common 4WD vehicle that is available in petrol is the Toyota Hilux. Generally speaking, petrol 4WD’s consume more fuel than diesel for urban driving and off-roading, however servicing costs are cheaper and less frequent than diesel vehicles. In any case, you can easily check a vehicle’s fuel consumption by looking at the official government required label on the windscreen on all new vehicles.


Another important question to consider is if you want a manual or automatic transmission? Some vehicles are only available in automatic while others are only available in manual, so you may not need to make this decision. But if you do, a lot of it comes down to individual preferences. There is a general misconception that manuals are better suited to off-road driving, however this simply isn’t the case. Automatics with driver-selectable gears are sometimes better suited to off-roading than manuals given they have a torque converter along with a smooth power delivery. As a general rule though, automatics work much better with higher torque engines than engines that require a lot of revs.


The majority of decisions made when choosing a new 4WD vehicle really boils down to your personal preferences and the purpose of the vehicle. Choosing a vehicle for urban use will be significantly different than a vehicle designed for off-road touring. Some important considerations to keep in mind is your budget, the size of the vehicle (including cargo space), along with the engine and transmission types.

There are plenty of 4WD products and accessories for all types and models of 4WD vehicles, so if you’re interested in enhancing your vehicles performance both on and off-road, get in touch with TJM Australia on 07 3865 9999. Alternatively, use their handy store locator to find the TJM store closest to you.