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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
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Two wheel drive or 4X4 ?

Hi folks,

I've just joined. I need to replace my ageing Shogun, as a large 4x4 is no longer required since getting rid of my twin axle caravan. I have always had a soft spot for Pandas and had an original one back in the 80's.

I was wondering if a standard FWD would do the job with winter tyres rather than the 4x4 version. I also have a small trailer which would be used occasionally. There appears to be plenty standard cars in my 3.5K to 4K budget, but not many 4x4's. My location is rural Aberdeenshire and access to our house is down a farm track.

Am I being over ambitious with this idea or should I look elsewhere.

Your thoughts please.

Cheers,

Ian.......
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
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Re: Two wheel drive or 4X4 ?

Quote Originally Posted by ian2144 View Post
I was wondering if a standard FWD would do the job with winter tyres rather than the 4x4 version.
The answer to this probably depends on slope and ground clearance on the farm track.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #3
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Re: Two wheel drive or 4X4 ?

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
The answer to this probably depends on slope and ground clearance on the farm track.
I suspect that answer is yes, a 4x2 would be just fine. Find yourself a Twin-Air Trekking model, as they have the slightly lifted suspension of the 4x4, plus a more technically able Traction+ system of torque-vectoring to put the brakes on a spinning wheel to keep you moving. Put a set of slight more butch tyres (plenty out there) and you should be good.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #4
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Re: Two wheel drive or 4X4 ?

We have a 2004 Panda 1.2 2wd and live up a fairly rutted track.

I find that the Panda has fairly good ground clearance, though not exceptional. It's got plenty of grip though. New front shocks and springs solved it's tendancy to bottom out on the bumps.

I fitted a sump guard, bought from:
https://www.sump-guard.co.uk
(from Romania, where I suspect they know a bit about poor roads)
mainly to protect the exhaust, which is rather vulnerable where it runs under the engine. Very pleased with it, bolt on with no modifications so easy to return to 'standard' later.

The Panda is small and nimble with a tight turning circle and short overhangs, all good things when driving offroad, you can turn it around in a pretty tight space.

In winter, tyres will be the key, something fairly chunky will make a big difference and easily out-perform a 4x4 with road tyres.

I've driven a Citroen AX places where I struggled with a tractor.
I also have a lot of experience driving 4x4s (trials, greenlaning).

French farmers and hunters love their Citroen C15, Renault Express and Fiat Fiorino vans, fitted with rally/autocross tyres they're very capable.


I'd say, if you didn't need to use the difflock on the Mitsu, or only ran road tyres and if the ruts aren't too deep, then a Panda (or anything else similar) with road-legal rally/autocross tyres will be more than enough.


Panda's are also light, so if you do get stuck, a cheapie 1500kg hand winch will get it out easy enough.
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Last edited by Steve145; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:39.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #5
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Re: Two wheel drive or 4X4 ?

Our access road has only a slight gradient and fairly flat. My other car is a GT86 which goes in and out fine previous had run a Caterham with out issues.....welll in the summertime !
Never thought about the Twinair Trekking version, probably beyond budget.

The idea of a sumpguard, sounds a sensible mod.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6
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Re: Two wheel drive or 4X4 ?

I'm in the highlands and for me the first two things for climbing snow are, tyres and ground clearance, all wheel drive comes as icing on the cake.
In winter I use a snow tyre from vredestein, admittedly on a Subaru, but the traction available is immense and I would say 80% is down to the tyres.
Wife's 4x4 panda now has winter biased tyres but can't tell you what they are like because we have had practically no snow this year, possibly due to climate change, all wheel drive is luxury you can afford to forego.
I did consider a front wheel drive panda but decided the clearance was essential.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #7
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Two wheel drive or 4X4 ?

Well I can only advise based on personal experience but I think the FWD Panda is more than able to hold its on slippery surfaces.

While I live in a urban environment, my family live on a farm.....in the Highlands up north. 10-12 times a year I am up there, often in the ice and snow and manage to get around with no difficulties.

I should also add that I normally fit winter wheels between September and March which are fitted with Michelin Alpin tyres and I can say honestly I have never got stuck, even after biblical snow in the highlands. I have taken one of the Panda's to Finland in 2014 and it took it in its stride too. The Alpins work really well in mud and off road within reason. This year I've changed tactics and as the winter tyres are at 3mm, I've changed my summer tyres for Michelin Crossclimate + and over the past few days they have dragged my across the fields no problem.

I believe a 2wd Panda will be just fine, you can choose the 4X4 if that is what floats your boat but for the most part I think it's not needed. Tyre choice can make a massive difference and the right ones can make the Panda a tidy car in all conditions.

Hope this helps bud.
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Last edited by Alexiloki; 2 Weeks Ago at 21:07.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #8
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Re: Two wheel drive or 4X4 ?

My soon to depart TA 4x4 wasn't really bought because I'm rural or due to ice and snow. I've had so much confidence in standing water. Hardly any round lanes near work 40 miles south but need Panda due to it being narrow. Also tight junction for oncoming traffic that turns left and misses me by inches. So another 1.2, last of the pre facelift. Will be my 3rd 1.2 Easy in white though
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #9
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Re: Two wheel drive or 4X4 ?

Quote Originally Posted by Al D View Post
My soon to depart TA 4x4 wasn't really bought because I'm rural or due to ice and snow. I've had so much confidence in standing water. Hardly any round lanes near work 40 miles south but need Panda due to it being narrow. Also tight junction for oncoming traffic that turns left and misses me by inches. So another 1.2, last of the pre facelift. Will be my 3rd 1.2 Easy in white though


I have to say, maybe I'm Biased but I do like the Panda in white, I think it suits them really well!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #10
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Re: Two wheel drive or 4X4 ?

Quote Quote:
I need to replace my ageing Shogun
Shoguns are pretty bullet-proof whereas Fiats aren't quite waterproof .. well, not for long, anyway.. I think I'd be tempted to keep the Shogun

I have a 899cc Cinquecento and an old 4 litre Jeep. I know which one I'd rather drive down a farm track.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #11
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Re: Two wheel drive or 4X4 ?

Quote Originally Posted by glenn2602 View Post
Shoguns are pretty bullet-proof whereas Fiats aren't quite waterproof .. well, not for long, anyway.. I think I'd be tempted to keep the Shogun

Sadly, my Shogun has not been the bullet proof beastie it should have.

No more to be said, it's time to move on.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #12
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Re: Two wheel drive or 4X4 ?

Quote Originally Posted by ian2144 View Post
Sadly, my Shogun has not been the bullet proof beastie it should have.

No more to be said, it's time to move on.
I had an imported Pajero for ten years, apart from a biannual rear exhaust, and one alternator, it couldn't be killed, in spite of not servicing it for the last three years that I had it, it just kept passing it's MOT.. eventually gave it away.

Oh' rear springs, ate those, but cheap as chips to replace.
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Last edited by gullyfoyle; 2 Weeks Ago at 22:12.
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