Skip to Content

How Fast Can You Drive In 4X4 High?

Knowing the speed limitations of of your vehicle is essential since this knowledge helps you know when to ease up on your car. We have consulted automotive experts on how fast can you go with 4x4, and here is what we got from them.

The maximum speed you can go in 4WD or 4x4 will differ depending on the vehicle's model and year. But the maximum speed you would want to go for any model is no more than 55 mph on 4WD high and no more than 10 mph on 4WD low. 

It is really not advisable to be driving your SUV or truck in 4WD unless you are on loose surfaces. Driving fast in 4WD on a high-traction road may cause some of your components to break. For more information about 4x4 and 4WD, keep reading below.

Before you continue reading, let us say we hope you find the links here useful. If you purchase something through a link on this page, we may get a commission, so thank you!

Ford Bronco 4x4 showcased at the SEMA Show, How Fast Can You Drive In 4X4 High?

How Fast Should You Go In 4X4

Offroad desert safari in Dubai.

When driving in a 4x4 or 4WD, you must really watch your speed. Going fast on an SUV or truck is quite dangerous because of their higher ground clearance and different suspension.

If you plan to drive a bit faster, make sure that your vehicle is not in its 4x4 mode. Below is the recommended speed you can run your car on different surfaces. 

Roads & Highways

When driving on the road, especially a highway, you should avoid driving on 4WD, whether that be on 4WD high or low. Driving in 4WD on a surface with a lot of traction can cause drivetrain binding.

Drivetrain binding is driving a part-time 4x4 or 4WD vehicle in 4WD high or in 4WD drive mode. It's caused by the lack of slippage between the tire of the car and the surface of the road.

Without enough slippage, the 4WD drivetrain can't function properly. There will be a potential build-up of energy that may cause serious damage to your drivetrain components and even your transmission.

If your vehicle somehow gets stuck on 4WD, it's best to keep your speed below 55 mph and don't drive on the highway. If this happens, it's better to have your vehicle towed than risk the components of your car.

Driving fast on a vehicle with high ground clearance is dangerous since the car will need more space to stop safely. Slamming on the brakes of a speeding vehicle with high ground clearance can make the car tilt forward, which may cause you to lose a bit of control.   

Remember it is not a good idea to be speeding on a public road. This is not only dangerous but also illegal. If you want to test the speed of your vehicle, bring it to a track or private road.

Off-road

If you want to test the top speed of your 4x4 vehicle on a dirt road, a lot of factors will play into that. The fastest speed you can reach will depend on your car's model, engine, tire setup, suspension setup, and more.

Most vehicles that come out of a dealership will not be able to go very fast on 4WD high, this drive mode is meant for driving on rough or loose surfaces. Remember that driving fast, especially on loose surfaces, can be dangerous.

Dirt, gravel, and sandy roads can be tricky to drive on at lower speeds, and exceptionally hard and dangerous at higher speeds even if you have 4x4 or 4WD mode on. These types of roads will have bumps and ditches that will rock your car once driven on.

If you want to drive fast on 4x4 or 4WD, your vehicle must have the parts to be able to handle all that stress. Without the proper modifications or parts, driving fast on 4WD high will cause your car to be unstable, and you have a higher risk of breaking its components.

With proper components installed on your 4x4, you can definitely go fast. But again, a 4x4 is not meant to go fast but is meant to give you more traction. staying below 55 mph is still recommended to extend the life of your car.

Driving fast no matter what on the road is dangerous. That's why it is best to do this on a track or on private roads. This will ensure that no other vehicle will be coming your way.

What Are The Best Modern Off-Road Vehicles?

jeep outdoors adventures

4x4 and 4WD are great vehicles that can handle harsher surface conditions compared to other cars. But they cannot be taken everywhere, especially in extreme road conditions.

For this, you will need a certain vehicle design to take on specific surface conditions, and the best type of vehicles for these are off-road SUVs or trucks. Off-road vehicles are perfect for adventurous people because they can be used as daily drivers or weekend warriors.

Below are some of the best modern vehicles for off-roading. Note that the following cars are not ranked in any way.

Ford Bronco

Ford Bronco Wildtrak on a scenic road in the .3D illustration.

The Ford Bronco has been one of the go-to off-roading vehicles. The older models of the Bronco are an off-roading classic and can still be seen driving off-road to this day.

The new generation of the Ford Bronco is a vehicle designed for users that are looking for explicit design, capability, and exceptional durability. The redesigned Bronco has already outshined other Ford SUVs.

The Ford Bronco is now powered by a 2.3-liter four-cylinder turbo that pushes out 270 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. The Bronco also has a 10-speed transmission.

Here are some of the other features of the Bronco:

  • Front and rear independent suspension
  • Locking differentials
  • Semi-auto balancing technology
  • Wheelbase of 116.1 inches
  • Ground clearance of 11.6 inches
  • Towing capacity of 3,500 pounds

The new model of the Bronco now comes in a four-door design and is not as square as the previous models. But you still have the option of a two-door design. You also have the option for a 35-inch tire mounted on the rear of the car and a removable top.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

A 2018 Jeep Mopar Wrangler Rubicon vehicle at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), one of the most influential car shows in the world each year.

If you want a vehicle with a powerful off-road capability, then the Wrangler Rubicon is the right car for you. The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is one of the top off-roading vehicles that outshines other jeep models and its competitors.

The Jeep Wrangler has a 6.4-liter V8 engine that pushes out 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, which is paired with 8-speed transmission. The Wrangler has a lot of power for both road and off-road driving.

Here are some of the features of the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

  • 32-inch all-terrain tires
  • Functional hood with Hydro-Guide Induction System
  • Dual-mode exhaust
  • Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters
  • Wheelbase of 118.4 inches
  • Ground clearance of 10.3 inches
  • Towing capacity of 3,500 pounds

The Jeep Wrangler has removable parts, making the process of installing a larger tire a bit easier. The Wrangler also offers a tire mount in the rear and removable roof and doors.

Toyota Tundra

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro CrewMax 2022

Toyota is known for making exceptionally strong vehicles, and this also goes for their off-road capable cars. The Toyota Tundra is a truck that competes with vehicles, such as the Ram Rebel and Ford Raptor.

The new Toyota Tundra TRD Pro does not have a v8 engine anymore but is now powered by a 3.5 twin-turbo v6 hybrid. The Tundra's v6 produces 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque, which is paired with a 10-speed transmission.

Here are some of the features of the Toyota Tundra.

  • Fully-boxed ladder frame
  • Composite bed
  • Tow-Haul modes
  • Double wishbone suspension upfront
  • 5-link multi-coil suspension in the rear
  • Wheelbase of 145.7 inches
  • Ground clearance of 10.4 inches
  • Towing capacity of 12,000 pounds

Though the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is not out yet, it is said to be released this coming spring. The Tundra is a very good pick for people who want extra comfort and the ability to go off-roading with ease.

In Closing

Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited Rubicon Recon in desert

Driving fast in 4x4 high is never a good idea especially if you are on a high traction surface. Doing this may cause the components of your vehicle to break.

4x4 or 4WD high is best used for looser surfaces such as ground, gravel, or sand. Take note that it's never a good idea to drive fast unless you're on a track or private road.

There are a lot of great 4x4 vehicles out in the market now: the Bronco, Wrangle, and Tundra are just a few of the best picks if you are in the market for one.

Choosing the type of 4x4 off-roader is also essential since they all drive and feel different. Take your time in looking at the specs of each vehicle before making your final decision.

For more automotive topics and tips, check out the following post below.

Can You Switch To 4 Wheel Drive While Driving? [Popular Off-Road Vehicles Checked] 

Does The Ford Bronco Roof Come Off? [With Instructions On How-To]