ANSWERS: 44
  • It's part of the American dream... and it tends to help those who don't know how to drive the best
  • because there are a lot of different places to drive them in America. it helps a lot in snow too.
  • I must point out that I'm British, but we have a similar situation, parents often doing the school runs in 4x4s. My Mum drives one, but (apart from her superiority complex!) she has a back problem (prolapsed disc)and finds that the high position of the seat rather than being low down is more comfortable for her, especially on long journeys. It is also easier to get in and out for her.
  • Because it caters for their sense of impotence, being trapped in the web that is America. They must be terrified of some apocalypse coming, when they will all drive off into the mountains with their four-wheel drives and a fortnight's supply of canned food. It certainly must be some kind of psychological reason as there is no obvious practical reason for it; these vehicles gobble fuel and are terrible to drive.
  • With the car being an extension of your personality or your penis, either way Americans want them big!
  • Because American roads are wide and spacious (unlike European roads), and since Americans are told every day that they are the economic Kings and Queens of the world, they want to be the Kings and Queens of the road as well.
  • 1)Because it gives a false sense of security. People fail to realize that 4WD has all sorts of quirks that make it far more dangerous than 2WD in low-traction conditions at speed unless thee person behind the wheel knows about those quirks. Too bad driver's ed doesn't acknpowledge 4wds exist; they barely got around to realizing FWD exists! 2) Bravado "Hey, I got 4WD so I can go anywhere!" Yeah? Well, you live in a city. The worst terrain you'll ever see is a pothole and the only mud you'll ever get on your SUV comes out of a spray can!
  • Americans like to supersize things, whether it is a 4 wheel dive, the empire state building or a jumbo size fries and coke from maccas
  • The SUV's are like cell phones and bottled water. You don't need to know how to use them properly. You just have to be seen with them.
  • Mainly, because most autos and trucks manufactured, come with only front wheel drive. Not much choice left. Better gas mileage with front wheel drive, compared to conventional rear wheel drive vehicles.
  • To gain street cred
  • Because they have big roads! Unlike England which are so small and tiny.
  • The immense popularity of truck-based 4-wheel-drive vehicles (i.e. SUVs) has very little to do with 4WD. To be short and blunt, they're a fashion statement. Some Americans, particularly those with families, want a large vehicle to haul kids/stuff around. A station wagon or minivan would suffice for their needs, but those are "Mommy" cars, and no one wants to be seen in a "Mommy" car. In most Americans' minds, a minivan or station wagon makes the statement "Hi, I'm a Mom and here are my kids." In contrast, an SUV makes the statement "Hi, I'm a young adventureous outdoorsy type." The 4WD portion is rendered irrelevant by the facts, such as: 1) 90% of SUVs *NEVER* go off road. 2) Snow was not invented in 1990, and there were 4WD cars/vans available for decades. They did not sell well. 3) If you watch carefully, many SUVs are 2WD. 4) SUVs are very popular in states like California, Texas and Florida that never see snow. 5) Somehow, the vast majority of us (even in snow-bound state) managed without 4WD prior to 1990. As to why American's are so fashion-concious, I don't have a good answer
  • They think that when that great big snow storm really hits, that their 4-wheel drive will come to the rescue.
  • I have asked several American drivers who bought SUVs because I knew that they did not need it? They told me that the higher driving position allows them to see over the vehicle ahead and better anticipate danger. They also claim that their SUV is more survivable in a collision. Both arguments worked better when SUVs were fewer in number. Now SUVs are so common that seeing over the vehicle in front of you requires a Freightliner. When two SUVs collide I don’t believe the advantage will go to the SUV.
  • Most likely the sense of security that is associated with the mentality of "bigger is better" or "might makes right". Also a fascination with the country and rural life may influence some people, although they may never leave the city limits. I personally find most 4WD vehicles unsophisticated and impractical in urban life, even in the top of the range marks such as Lexus or BMW, and much prefer a stylish saloon or coupe for urban travel, which are often much safer than their SUV counterparts. An example is the Landrover Freelander SUV which despite being bigger only has a four star safety rating, but a tiny Citroen C4 has a five star rating and has been proven to protect the occupants to a much better standard.
  • It makes them feel safer. It also gives them more freedom. They like to know that they won't get stuck on that long trip out in the jungle on Friday, and that most trucks you don't have a choice: You might have to get a four-wheeler. And that the roads in America are wider, and that gives more freedom of veriety. If you have the money, you normally buy the best... The problem is how much gas it uses.
  • " I got the shotgun rifle and the four wheel drive, the country boy will survive."
  • I am an Australian ... I spent time in the U.S and Europe in 92-93 ... my answer is based on the fact that U.S fuel, oil and motor vehicles were much cheaper compared to other countries at that time ... Maybe this is why so many Europeans drive extra small cars? ... because their fuel is so expensive ...
  • Well, I am assuming you're referring to the large and unecessary 4x4s and SUVs that people decided that they "needed" as soon as they hit the market. Not only are they rugged, but they are also urban tanks. All the cool kids are doing it, so why can't we? There is a lot of bandwagon-hopping going on. However, there are also a lot of people (like myself) who own and drive all-wheel drive vehicles out of necessity. I live in a very rural area in the northeastern US; it's hilly, there are lots of frost heaves, and the roads are poorly maintained in bad weather. I need a car with higher clearance and better traction - but I also value the environment and my gas consumption, so I bought an AWD sedan (Subaru Legacy). So, in short, there is demand for more rugged vehicles...but there's no need to own an Escalade...
  • Insecurity. If it rains just a little, everyone freaks out and puts chains on their tires.
  • Ha! Perhaps you should have been more specific and said SUV? My mini-van has 4 wheel drive and I am nothing as described above. It was standard on the van and I needed a bigger vehicle to tote my family around town (three car seats wouldn't fit in our other car). Think about it, even a family of 5 can't comfortably fit in most sedans once you load in a couple car seats! ------------- Down rater, how is this not helpful? It answers the question in a truthful manner. Stand up for your opinion and simply say what you find not helpful...
  • Cutting over curbs to cheat vast mall parking labyrinths is the only real use for 4WD unless you camp a lot - I wouldn't pay for it myself. As for SUVs more generally there are some practical advantages: more than three kids, Ikea, Home Depot.
  • It sounds quite stupid but, they don't care about the enviorment that our children and their children will grow up in.
  • First, because America is huge. For us to travel to just another part of our state is more driving mileage than a trip in Germany to France. In Wisconsin as well, the climate is harsh and the roads are slick. A 4-wheeler allows better traction on back roads. In big cities, it allows people to feel safer. On the negative, there can be a thoughtless-ness about SUV drivers. However, they're more aware nowadays about what they're doing to the environment. Another part is that too many politicians have kissed butt far too long and haven't done what's best for all. Increasing taxes on gasoline like they have on cigarettes to what it costs to clean up the environment would lessen gas use, but would cause a huge outrage. Politicians don't want to do that.
  • A sensible reason to do so, would be because in the snow, rain or ice, an all-wheel or four-wheel-drive vehicle has what it takes to tackle the elements, and can hold their own on slippery roads without missing a beat. But how many American drivers are sensible?
  • it's because it is in-style right now like the people that jack up there truck just to drive on the street and not touch the dirt. it is pointless buy a car for what you will use it for.
  • Okay, four-wheel drive vehicle. This is just an opinion, but i believe it gives the drivers a false sense of security. like, if two wheel drive is great....two more has got to be fantastic. Most four-wheel drive vehicles are bought for off-road use. like hunters and people that live in remote locations, snow, etc. Four-wheel drive vehicles could also be a status symbol to some people.
  • That's cause there are only 4 wheels on a car. =P
  • I'm from far North America, so a 4 wheel drive comes in handy when there's 2 feet of snow and going up steep hills.
  • For a variety of reasons. I have one for work-related purposes as many others do. Some have them for recreation, hunting and such. Many have them for vanity which I believe is the impetus for your question. And that is exactly what it is, vanity.
  • I dont have one and I wish I did! Helps out alot when its snowing, you can park up on high curbs if the parking lots full, you can go off-roading. Just having the option of poppin into 4wheel is great to have cuz you never know.
  • Because they can...?
  • We need big powerful cars for our big powerful egos ;)
  • Snow,rain Backroads when traveling!!
  • down here it's for muddin!!!!!!!!
  • It's an ego thing thing really. These people are some of the most self centered idiots on the road! They drive these things at very high speeds! They are not designed for that! Then they wonder why they flip! If you want to drive fast,get a sports car! Yet these morons just don't get it. At least a sports car is nice to look at. But an SUV? Come on folks, it's a box! You're excited about a box? And the nerve of these people with Support Our Troops messages on their gigantic SUV's! The only thing they are supporting is terrorism in the Middle East with their gas guzzling ways! To be blunt, Americans are so stupid!
  • Who knows....more power maybe. But don't you think it would be cool to have a three-wheel drive car (with three wheels too)?
  • Because they choose to.
  • I'm guessing that because speeding gets such a bad rap, the male ego has to manifest itself in a "big offroad vehicle" image instead of a "super fast sports car" image. I will gladly allow anyone to prove me wrong. (I'm not against 4WDs, this was just an idle thought I had one day.) What happened to "muscle cars"? Plus, alot of those vehicles are really easy to write down as work vehicles, therefore people can claim tax deductions against them. Most of my co-workers drive great big dual cab utes because they easily double up as family cars, even though I think a van would be more practical for work. (But who am I to argue?) The ute is paid for by the company whereas if they had a van then they would also need a family car - paid for out of their own pocket!
  • They're the only things that can support their weight. :P
  • Why do so many non-Americans have non-four-wheel drive vehicles?
  • Can't speak for the big city dwellers or those that live in the South, but in Maine, if you live rural four wheel drive is a necessity. Even with four wheel drive we still need actual winter tires, not all seasons. Then again, down in Camden(think mini Conn. wannabe), it's used as more of a staus symbol for sure. Most of them could get by w/front wheel drive cars.
  • because 4 wheel drive helps when you're in mud or loose sand (usually in trucks)... but, the majority of Americans still Have 2 wheel drive in their cars

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