Offroad vs utility category

I’ve noticed something weird while building crawlers for drive, the offroad segment was not quite happy with my spartan designs favoring weight, offroad agility and practicality. instead they kept pushing for comfort, utility and sportiness.

basically if you go and build something for the offroad segment, it’ll be loved by utility and premium segment too and will closely resemble a modern suv, more than an offroad car.

seems to me the two segments are heavily conflated.

on a side note, 4x4 acceleration doesn’t take into consideration the 4x4 drive, using instead the open diff to calculate wheelspin, 0-100 times and, ultimately, sportiness.

Accelerating with 4x4 mode engaged in pavement surfaces (as automation uses for calculations) will damage your tires (and it is not how it is supposed to be used the 4x4 mode anyways)


on a side note

ay lad, there’s a fuckton 4x4 on the road accelerating happily and safely right now, is that enough as a counterpoint or do I need to go and waste time with this so we can stay to the main point

yes, its a side note, he’s addressing the side note you brought up. If you didnt want someone to address that, then you shouldnt have brought it up in the first place.

As for your main point, first off it the demographics change depending on the market. I assume you’re just using the standard Gasmean market, which is loosely based on the US market. In the US market most offroaders tend to be flogged as premium SUVs anyways since thats what the market wants. ie. The Land Cruiser. Another thing to consider is that rock crawling is a very niche form of offroading. If you set it up specifically for crawling, then only a few will want it.

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Well, look at modern cars in the most competent segment, like the Patrol, Geländewagen, Land Cruiser or even the Defender, and there is a reason that they doesn’t look like a Land Rover series 1 anymore… Not even people buying cars in that class are satisfied with tent chairs, manual steering and sing-your-self audio system anymore…

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I have thought about it quite a bit two, this is my take on it. Who buys 99% of the SUV’s, and what are they looking for.

As Knugcab stated they aren’t really looking for the best off-roader, but something that is comfortable and looks like the rugged I can do anything type. I wouldn’t even say specifically rock crawling, but any form of off-roading beyond a maintained gravel road is considered a niche market as improving the off- road capabilities quickly makes compromises that turns off a larger segment of buyers. The same is true for the Utility market, the pickups have become more of an image and status symbol item, functionality is going away in favor of image and 4 larger doors. And this is coming from someone who owns a modern 4 door 4x4 pickup and finds his 19 year old compact pickup to me more useful much of the time.

Yes locked into 4x4 and locked diffs will let you accelerate in a straight line better, but if you need to turn you have massive amounts of under-steer and the wheel gets real heavy even with power steering.

edit: its what people are buying, and the game reflects that.


Well, I agree on part of it.

The truth is that there is no market for a car that can run extreme offroading from the factory, like a rock crawler, formula offroad or similar. Sure, the offroaders of today can’t do it from the factory, but the Willys MB couldn’t do it either, neither could the LR series 1 or any other of the early offroaders, despite their lack of creature comforts.

The market for soccer mom SUVs is something different, there offroad capabilities doesn’t matter for most buyers, but the cars I mentioned is beyond that market. The Mercedes Geländewagen, for example, if we ignore the current model that came out months ago and still looks like the old one despite being all new, it was built for almost 40 years, the offroad capabilities was unchanged and it still saw lots of serious use, for example in the Swedish army. But while the 1979 model had an interior that was almost like if it was straight out of a 70s Mercedes van, the newer models, even in the “professional” trim that didn’t care much about luxury unlike some of the trim levels, was more like a passenger car inside, somewhat similar to the W124 E-class so not really up to date, but still passenger car levels.

Another example, I have a Datsun 720 4x4 and my friend has a 2016 Ford Ranger (Thai built version), going trips that’s longer than 50 kilometers with the 720 is a pain while the Ranger is as good as any regular modern passenger car (sure it’s not 7-series or S-class levels) when it comes to comfort. Does that mean that the Ranger is any worse offroad or is less utilitarian? Of course not, I see no reason why it can’t do anything that my 720 can do. The 720 was a strong seller in its era, because no other compact 4x4 diesel pickup was any better, but today they would not sell a single one if they tried, because people nowadays actually want pickup trucks that aren’t a pain to drive, and there IS alternatives that can fulfill that requirement…

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