Torque shop

I am looking to buy a new sport utility vehicle (SUV). The dealer has offered me an option of two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive. What are the pros and cons of the two? Do I really need four-wheel-drive in Singapore?

The vast majority of cars on our roads are two-wheel-driven. Over the last decade or so, several makes have introduced four-wheel-drive - not just on SUVs but on saloon cars as well.

With powerful cars, four-wheel-drive distributes the power across all four wheels, making these cars easier to manage - especially in wet conditions.

The arguments for and against four-wheel-drive in performance cars will continue despite rising power and torque figures.

However, in an SUV which will be used exclusively in the urban environment, there is little in favour of four-wheel-drive. The additional drivetrain components add weight, which means increased fuel consumption and, of course, there is a cost premium that comes with an all-wheel-drive.

If you have no intention of using your SUV for off-road excursions in Malaysia, you need not opt for four-wheel-drive.

Shreejit Changaroth

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 16, 2017, with the headline 'Torque shop'. Print Edition | Subscribe