Why Choose a 4x4 for the Northern Alabama Drive?

You've checked out just about every new car and truck, SUV and van here on South Clinton Street in Athens, and we'll bet you've found plenty to appreciate in each. But you're in search of something more rugged. After all, from Elk River Lodge State Park and the Athens-Limestone County Nature and Heritage Trails to the Huntsville, Decatur, and Madison, AL bush beyond, you're planning an adventure. Engine power's only the half of getting there, too. So, which model has the right drivetrain for the job?

Well, you may have noticed several choices, each of which transmits power to a vehicle's wheels differently. In fact, those options are fourfold. On the one hand, you've got "front- or two-wheel" and "rear-wheel," and on the other, "all-wheel" and "four-wheel," the latter commonly known as 4x4. You also might get the sense that some vehicles are more often of one kind than another. You're right! And, if this seems like a lot to think about, not to worry -- our experts here at Champion Auto Group are here not only to help you explore what's what. We'll also show you how and why a new 4x4 SUV or truck is the right choice for the highway cruise and off-grid outings alike in and around our Athens, AL neighborhood.

Let's foil four-wheel drive against front- or two-wheel-drive systems. The latter incorporate the whole drive package -- your engine, transmission, differential, and wheels -- in the front of a vehicle. 2WD and FWD vehicles meet everyday needs, to be sure, from your daily commute to hauling the family between school, recreational venues, and the long-awaited weekend. However, they do so with less drive than a rear-wheel-drive or RWD system, found in most entry-level performance cars and even a few pickups, wherein the driveshaft shunts power from an engine up front to wheels in back, using a differential for more precise 90-degree turns.

But Athens, located in our neck of northern Alabama, once a cotton and railroad town in the diverse country just north of the Tennessee River and Wheeler Lake, needs a different beast altogether. Its various terrain and restive climate call for all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive, where all four wheels get engine power, depending on the kind of driving you do.

You can find AWD on sports coupes like Dodge Challenger, performance sedans like Chrysler 300, and even among SUVs like Dodge Journey and Durango. 4WD/4x4 systems usually show up in new trucks like RAM 1500 and Chevy Silverado 1500 as well as SUVs like Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee. Both appear to do the same thing; however, this isn't the case. They differ in kind. First, AWD cars and SUVs only deliver four-wheel power where needed; their builds are called part-time AWD. However, even those with permanent AWD don't often offer the off-road settings orienteers need for Mother Nature's worst, whether that's slippery, Gulf water-blown surfaces, rocky, weather-beaten inclines, or the occasional freezing slick.

4x4 vehicles, however, do, and with a lower torque range, resulting in better traction and quicker acceleration. Plus, they usually show off features you won't find anywhere else, the kind that give you an inkling of their towing, hauling, and unbeaten-path utility -- towering ground clearance, shielded underbodies, articulating hitches, tow hooks, heavy-duty tires, and more. Together, these mean more reliability for traveling conditions galore, not just here in Alabama. There's even a potential bonus to owning a 4x4 down the road, too -- it can mean a higher resale value, since benefits abound all season long, no matter which.

Ready to learn more? After getting a feel for our new 4x4 truck and SUV lineup here on the Web, give is a call at 866-955-0192 or stop by -- we'll be glad to talk shop on what a new 4WD vehicle can do for you. The next step is a test drive experience you won't forget, and that's just around the corner!

Categories: New Inventory