Why is the mpg worse in a 4×4 compared to 4×2?

I’m looking into getting a Toyota tacoma 4×4 pickup and the difference bet the 4×4 and the 4×2 was almost 5 mpg all around. Do the people who test this have the truck on 4×4 the whole time? Or is it the 4×4 system that’s lowering the mpg, I’m guessing from weight or more gas being sent to the system… i have no clue

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3 Responses to Why is the mpg worse in a 4×4 compared to 4×2?

  1. gracien69 June 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    It depends on how you define worse. Good call on choosing the Toyota especially in the reliability dept. But just like any other car or truck the more options you add… 4 wheel drive, 4 wheel steering, etc. the more weight you add to the package, Hence a little more pain in the miles per gallon dept. Do consider also that the more moving parts you have the more maintenance…and more room for something to break. If you are religious in off road trails then maybe 4×4 is right for you, Do realize also that a 4 wheel drive system does have benefits in sticky situations but… its not a fix-all in the physics dept.do slow down. If my recollection serves me I do believe the tacoma is not available with Full-Time 4 wheel drive, this means its engaged by you …when you need it. Otherwise you bind up the system if you leave it engaged on perfectly dry roads, unnecesary wear and tear, and a really defined repair bill !

  2. Rogue June 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Its the additional weight.

  3. Sean June 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    All the testing is done under controlled conditions, and it’s done under normal driving conditions. So, in a vehicle that you can select between 2 and 4 wheel drive, it’s done in 2 wheel drive. Also, the ratings are done on a dyno, in a room, not on the road, so the ratings have very little to do with weight. The main reason for the rating difference is because of the drivetrain. Because it’s 4 wheel drive, it has an additional device in the drivetrain, the transfer case. This is just another device that reduces power transfer to the wheels and requires a heavier foot to accelerate at the same rate, which reduces fuel economy.