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What's the most fun/weird/interesting/cool but still practical to own AWD/4WD vehicle?


Makes sense now, all is well.


I wouldn’t blame it on the alcohol, but rather on the Dunning-Kruger effect.
Or I might be totally wrong, but I’m just talking from experience from Finnish conditions, comparable to Alaska


I have a 2003 Overland with the HO 4.7. Picked it up for next to nothing about a year ago now. Less than 100K on the clock but had been sitting and needed brake lines. Did the work myself. Been really happy with it

Agree. Things are total beasts. Never had any issues with it in snow or mud.

Lol this. Especially with the heat… Ugh god is like offroading a living room


I had a Ford E150 van with Fords 4 wheel drive and what a turd that was. Got stuck in that more than anything even a miata had more traction.

I’d get someone to hit the gas while I watched the wheels and I’d have 1 out of 4 wheels spinning. Turn traction control off? 2/4 wheels spin.

Idk if they labelled it as 4WD or AWD but it sucked balls. And it was always pretty weighed down too.


No? You have no idea what you’re talking about. They are mechanically drastically different. Watch the videos posted by @sgtawesomesauce rather than just making claims that you know nothing about. They both may provide the same utility in your life, but they are not the same and saying so just demonstrated foolishness.

Great videos, regardless of how much you know. I sent them both to a buddy who’s the captain on his school’s SAE Baja team so he can show them to some of the younger member. They’ll appreciate them. Thanks!

Why is that? Is there a mechanical reason or is this your personal preference?

I appreciate your contribution, but I’d argue that it ticks none of my boxes other than the AWD one. I have a car I can commute in that’s fun to drive and is fine for the snow I see here. If I’m going to snag something as a 3rd vehicle I want it to be something I’ll actually want to drive and that I can take on trips when I visit home in UT or want to head up to Vermont or something. That’s a boring Suzuki, imo. I want something interesting, weird, fun, and likely more capable than that.

Lol, I actually quite like the 5 door layout, but I wish they didn’t cost so damn much! If they’d manufactured the 5 door in the early '90s and I could get one for $10k-$15k I’d be all over that! Thankfully I don’t need the space on this one that much so I can shop around the TJs, and I’m sure I’ll be much better off for that.

Nice snag! I’m considering the Grand Cherokees of a gen prior to 2003. '96-'98. To tick my boxes for interesting and cool, it’s easy to find ones that are in great shape with a couple tasteful aftermarket parts for not that much money.

Lol it reminds me of a friend who had one of the first gen Chevy AWD Astrovans. I went to school at a campus that sort of sat on the side of a hill in PA, and when we’d get frozen rain he could never get up to his apartment because he couldn’t climb the icy hill with 1/4 or 2/4 wheels spinning. It was a sweet van if you didn’t mind looking like a child predator and you happened to live in California, but it wasn’t quite right for a winter environment.


Just a guess here but the AMC 4.0L I6 is one of the most bulletproof engines ever made with many going over 300,000 with little maintenance. They are also pretty torquey at low RPMs which is nice for offroading. Really are a great engine and one of my favorites. Had a few Cherokees with them in there. Great SUVs

More generally I6s are inherently balanced and smoother than V6s (typically). Also can be easier to work on.


Doesn’t those videos posted explain the things I said?


Yeah, check this guys channel out. There’s tons of awesome, well produced content on there.


That 4WD is like traction control on 2 wheels and that 4WD is marketing BS? Not even close. I think this demonstrates that you also don’t understand how traction control works. Traction control on an AWD car is an active torque transfer with different percentages of torque going to different wheels based on constant monitoring of those wheel speeds and shaft torques, whereas 4WD is a mechanical lock that constantly works to keep all 4 wheels turning at a constant speed by delivering torque to all 4 corners. The idea that 4WD is “marketing BS” is, honestly, stupid. It’s a mechanism that is vastly superior to AWD in offroad circumstances, on ice, in snow, and in any situation where the most important thing is delivering power to the ground. AWD is better used when you are going to be spending a vast majority of your time on-road, but the important distinction is that there is an ECU/TCU between you and the ground, and if you want to deliver power in a consistent way to all 4 corners you’re going to have a very difficult time doing that unless you can trick the traction control sensors (Google search for articles on AWD drifting for more info). Key point, they are different and are used differently, and if you think the same then you are hindering your ability to get the most out of whichever system you happen to have in your vehicle.

I work as an engineer in the auto industry on drivability, engine controls, and calibration, but I only work with I4s and V6s, so my instinct was that V6s are the GOAT because of how balanced they are in comparison to I4s. A great engine is a great engine though. I’ll do some more research into the I6 AMCs. One of the deterrents keeping me away from snagging a cheap Isuzu VehiCross is that the engines have a tendency to last until 250,000 or blow at like 80,000. So all these “low mileage” VX in the 80-100k range are either wonderful beasts or ticking time bombs. I’m not opposed to a rebuild on something made for that (think an old VW 1600, of which I’ve done a couple), but rebuilding a modern-ish Japanese engine might be a bit more of a chore, eh? Either way, that’s good to know.

Thank you! Yeah I had been. I’m currently watching his video on winter tires in cold but dry climates. Hoping to glean some more insight onto the age-old argument of all-season vs winter, given that no tire company actually publishes skid-pad result in various temps. Grumble grumble.


I can respect that but you didnt really describe what you want out of it other than icy snowy use, which its more than capable. My younger brother has one, its fun, and different. You dont see them at all where I am. If you put snow tires on it, it would easily out perform many things that cost way more.

Maybe you should be more specific in your use case for it? or what you think is cool/fun… To me it sounds like your just looking for a jeep. Which would be the opposite of fun/weird/interesting/cool imo. Well at least the weird/interesting/cool part.


What are your feelings on the older pre chevy trackers?


Yeah V6s are generally better than I4s but less smooth (and not inheriently balanced) like an I6.

Primary reason why V6s are the main choice over I6s these days is a result of packaging and manufacturing considerations. A V6 is much shorter and can fit easier in most cars (especially transverse mounted FWD ones) where I6s are more suited to longitudinal mounted RWD setups which are less common.

V6s can also share tooling with a manufacturer’s V8s usually making them cheaper

BMW and a few others still use I6s


So about that Subaru…


I think you mixed 4WD with AWD, but, I’ll check back in 8h.


I think y’all should just agree to disagree and drop it.

It’s a pretty pointless debate


I totally agree on that. Suzuki has always made nice vehicles. They’re very capable and I don’t mean to disrespect the brand or diss the car. It’s just not a very interesting car to me, as it lacks quirk and charm. It’s simple and very good, but not interesting.

As for my use case, it’s to have a (not really necessary) vehicle I can use when it gets a bit hairy out. More than anything, I’ve just always been a 2-car person since I like having a backup, and with my intention to sell my truck I plan on buying something to replace it that I don’t really need but do want. You rec of the pre-Chevy Tracker is great! Certainly ticks the weird/quirky box for me. I’ll check them out!

Right, every I6 I’ve ever owned has been in a European luxury or semi-luxury car (Volvo XC90, for example). They’re just not cars I chose to work on on my own, so I’m not as familiar with them.

Great cars! Loved mine when I had it. Had it for all 4 years of college in the snowy northeast and it was a lifesaver. The way you could feel it change where it was delivering power was really instructional into how well-designed AWD system benefit the driver. Just got tired of it as it started to need more and more repairs and decided to move on.

K bro. I didn’t, but k.

The earth is flat and the reason your computer runs faster this year than the one you bought a decade ago is because they put a faster hamster on the wheel inside that powers it, but hey, it’s a pointless debate even if I obviously don’t understand the mechanisms at work but am willing to spread it all across the world. Let me. It’s cool.

I don’t like when people try to act knowledgeable about things they no nothing about. Truth and information shouldn’t be taken lightly. I understand that this is just a (world’s best) forum, but c’mon, man! To a person who loves cars they are like one step away from the flat earth/mouCPU statement. It’s obviously not an important argument in the grand scheme of anything though, so I appreciate your mediation.


On the serious side Subaru’s are some of the safest most reliable cars.
My love for my WRX is well documented.

On the fun side, I enjoy watching Fred’s adventures. They do the typical YouTube stunt of buying an old vehicle, spending a weekend making sure that it won’t kill them, then attempting to drive cross country.

This is fun / weird / interesting / cool but wildly impractical.
My favorite comment was “It can do almost anything, but it won’t do anything well.”


That’s become a serious genre on youtube. Enjoyable content though. There’s nothing interesting about buying a 370z from a dealer and roadtripping it though, so I totally get that.


Basically what DerKrieger said.

Just a guess here but the AMC 4.0L I6 is one of the most bulletproof engines ever made with many going over 300,000 with little maintenance. They are also pretty torquey at low RPMs which is nice for offroading. Really are a great engine and one of my favorites. Had a few Cherokees with them in there. Great SUVs
More generally I6s are inherently balanced and smoother than V6s (typically). Also can be easier to work on.

Yeah, just not too hot on V6s. They don’t sound nice, and every minivan and small SUV has got one.
If you’re looking at JKs, stay away from the pre 2012s with the 3.8. Not as reliable nor as powerful as the 3.6 pentastar in the 2012 and newer JKs. Jeep Forum has dubbed the 3.8 the minivan engine and the 3.6 the Jesus engine, lol.
And with the TJs, while the 2.5 isn’t near as powerful as any 6 cylinder, they’re solid engines and they’ll keep you outta trouble.


FJ would be my pick

Broncos are cool for the bubba factor.