Not All 4x4s Are Created Equal- Here Are The Most Iconic Ones

September 15, 2021

There has been a growing demand for 4x4s in recent years. In 2020, over a million 4×4 vehicles were sold, surpassing $15 billion in sales from North America alone, according to a report from Global Market Insights. A 4×4 or 4WD/AWD is a vehicle whose engines power the four wheels evenly through a complex design of its drivetrain. A 4WD uses all four wheels at all times, and is great for going off-road providing power and traction on rough, slippery, and difficult terrain like snow, rocks, or mud. Meanwhile, an AWD only engages its 4- wheel capability to enhance road traction and is more focused on road safety capabilities. These vehicle configurations also have different variations such as an SUV/Crossover, a pickup, and even a sedan. Here are the most iconic 4x4s that continue to impress vehicle enthusiasts.

The Pickup Truck

Pickups today are one of the best vehicle options for going off-road due to their durability, reliability, and performance. The first pickup truck was made by Ford in 1925 as a Model T Runabout. It had a similar design to the modern pickup truck where it had an open flatbed at the back for cargo and a separated front cab for the driver and passenger. Toyota is one of the most successful and popular brands for pick-ups. The Toyota Tundra and Toyota Tacoma models are arguably the most successful worldwide. having been named Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year in multiple and different years. Not only are they popular because of their design and performance, but also because one can easily find parts to fix or upgrade the vehicles, such as a water pump gasket replacement. Another popular pickup is the Ford F Series, which has dominated the market in 2021. Historically, the 1978 Chevrolet C/K Series Truck has arguably sold the most in one year, having sold more than 1.3 million units way back in the year of its release.


SUVs were created for military use to transport cargo and hold more passengers than a pickup during the war with decent off-road capabilities. Today, the SUV has become a very popular and luxurious vehicle and is sometimes used as a status symbol for the well-off. Having sold almost a million units worldwide, the Toyota Rav4 is the best-selling SUV in 2020 and 2019. It’s a compact SUV with an AWD capability, depending on the trim, and has a very sleek look with decent off-road and on-road capacity. Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Suburban may not have cracked the top 10 in SUV sales all time, but it could very well be the most popular. It’s the only vehicle and inanimate object to have its star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and has appeared in more than 1750 films since the 1960s, and has never failed to make an on-screen appearance every year since then.

The Sedan

Sedans are not used for off-roading and there aren’t any 4WD models out there. However, there are lots of new model sedans that have the AWD option, technically making them a 4×4. BMW started the AWD for sedans way back in 1985 from their 3-series. It has then gained a lot of popularity than most modern cars today that have AWD capabilities, even more so than the Tesla.

Not all 4x4s are created equal, as evidenced by the variety of each category and the history of models and manufacturers. But one thing’s for sure– this vehicle type will continue to make waves among adventurous travelers through the years.

Featured Photo by Josue Michel on Unsplash