Offroad modes

entropy

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So all of these offroad vehicles are coming with a gazillion of "offroad modes" Think of all the modes in the toyotas and the new ford. While our Jeeps pretty much have a manual transfer case and that's it. Sure there is BLD and all that, but it just works, you don't need to select anything. Lockers and sway bar disconnects have been in existence for years, and enabling these is a pretty manual process.

I go offroad quite a bit and I've never even used the hill descent control, I tried it once for a few seconds and it felt pretty weird. I get to the trail, disconnect my sway bar, drop the tire pressure, and have no issues at all climbing up the trail. And same thing do my friends with Jeeps.

I hear all these Toyota guys talking about crawl control this, and crawling mode, and sand mode, and all of these buttons. And I just dont understand why all of that is needed. What do these modes actually do? is it all just a marketing thing? It is funny because Jeeps don't have any of this gimmick and they outperform all of these other vehicles.
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JimLee

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So all of these offroad vehicles are coming with a gazillion of "offroad modes" Think of all the modes in the toyotas and the new ford. While our Jeeps pretty much have a manual transfer case and that's it. Sure there is BLD and all that, but it just works, you don't need to select anything. Lockers and sway bar disconnects have been in existence for years, and enabling these is a pretty manual process.

I go offroad quite a bit and I've never even used the hill descent control, I tried it once for a few seconds and it felt pretty weird. I get to the trail, disconnect my sway bar, drop the tire pressure, and have no issues at all climbing up the trail. And same thing do my friends with Jeeps.

I hear all these Toyota guys talking about crawl control this, and crawling mode, and sand mode, and all of these buttons. And I just dont understand why all of that is needed. What do these modes actually do? is it all just a marketing thing? It is funny because Jeeps don't have any of this gimmick and they outperform all of these other vehicles.
My traitorous buddy's bronco does the same meh job offroading no matter which of the many modes he's in, in fact he's given up on them because it takes minutes of button pushes and knob turns to get to them. I use hill descent control quite a bit, but most of our offroading out here is up the side of a mountain and then down the side of a mountain.
 

RubyRubi

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So all of these offroad vehicles are coming with a gazillion of "offroad modes" Think of all the modes in the toyotas, the new ford and the defender. While our Jeeps pretty much have a manual transfer case and that's it. Sure there is BLD and all that, but it just works, you don't need to select anything. Lockers and sway bar disconnects have been in existence for years, and enabling these is a pretty manual process.

I go offroad quite a bit and I've never even used the hill descent control, I tried it once for a few seconds and it felt pretty weird. I get to the trail, disconnect my sway bar, drop the tire pressure, and have no issues at all climbing up the trail. And same thing do my friends with Jeeps.

I hear all these Toyota guys talking about crawl control this, and crawling mode, and sand mode, and all of these buttons. And I just dont understand why all of that is needed. What do these modes actually do? is it all just a marketing thing?
I can respond to this with another Jeep. My other vehicle is a Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and it has select terrain, which I think was the first to offer the various off road modes. Those modes essentially do for the driver automatically what we do in a wrangler manually, kinda. Sand mode changes the shift points, adjusts the ride height and turns off traction control. Rock mode again changes shift points and ride height. And so on for snow and sand. Auto is auto. It just makes it easier for the novice driver, which most of the “SUV” “CUV” drivers are. When I off road in the Trailhawk I use the modes, it’s quick, easy and well thought out. When I’m in my wrangler I do all the same things essentially, but manually. I can’t speak for the softer brands. I doubt they’re well thought out or do much but they sure sound good in rugged off road commercials for the…Rav 4 lol.
 
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entropy

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I can respond to this with another Jeep. My other vehicle is a Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and it has select terrain, which I think was the first to offer the various off road modes. Those modes essentially do for the driver automatically what we do in a wrangler manually, kinda. Sand mode changes the shift points, adjusts the ride height and turns off traction control. Rock mode again changes shift points and ride height. And so on for snow and sand. Auto is auto. It just makes it easier for the novice driver, which most of the “SUV” “CUV” drivers are. When I off road in the Trailhawk I use the modes, it’s quick, easy and well thought out. When I’m in my wrangler I do all the same things essentially, but manually. I can’t speak for the softer brands. I doubt they’re well thought out or do much but they sure sound good in rugged off road commercials for the…Rav 4 lol.
I kinda get it. But I dont. I mean, if I am on an easy or moderate trail I just drive on auto, the jeep handles it. If I am actually going over challenging terrain, like crawling over an obstacle, I am on first gear and then it is all left to me to get over the obstacle.

So how would these modes help at all?
 
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entropy

entropy

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It doesn't bother me if other 4wd vehicles have a lot of dials and knobs and off-road modes. Doesn't make a bit of difference to me...
I get that. I am just curious.
 

Jtphoto

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It’s all just gimmickry for those Who don’t know how to drive. It’s a half azz solution. Just more computer control to bypass. Good on Jeep for leaving that crap out of the Wrangler.
 

RubyRubi

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I kinda get it. But I dont. I mean, if I am on an easy or moderate trail I just drive on auto, the jeep handles it. If I am actually going over challenging terrain, like crawling over an obstacle, I am on first gear and then it is all left to me to get over the obstacle.

So how would these modes help at all?
It’s honestly just for those who don’t really know what they’re doing. The computer does it for them. On my GC I really only use sand. I like the change in points and I don’t have to work the paddle shifters. It is gimmicky. It Jeep executes it well, especially on the Trailhawk. Most modern SUVs aren’t capable off road but the GC Trailhawk is. I have air adjustable suspension, rock rails, full skid plates, tow hooks, a true transfer case with 4 lo and more aggressive approach and departure angles. No other vehicle like it can say that. I’ve taken mine into very rough terrain and will come to With each new generation, drive modes and all lol. On the other hand, I love my JLR with a manual transmission. Sure miss that GC luxury when I’m not in it though.
 

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Not so much for the JL, but for the JLU, I wouldn't mind a trail turn. When you're making a hard left turn on loose ground, it would lock the back left tire, turning it into a pivot point for the whole vehicle.

I know that some purists will wrinkle their nose at a gimmick, but the Wrangler already has a gimmick of it's own. 2021 and newer Wranglers will have the Off-Road+ button which adjusts (optimizes) throttle response, transmission shift points, traction control, and a few other things for certain conditions.. It's rock-crawling mode when enabled in 4-Low, and it's sand/dirt mode when engaged in 4-High.

And it's also an error message when engaged in 2-High. HA!
 

Jtphoto

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Likely if you pulled the emergency brake on while in 4wd to do a tight turn you would have your turn assist. At the end of the day it’s all just gimmicks that cost you more.
Can you imagine a Wrangler with a 3” air lift on 37” Tires with a Hemi Direct from the factory.
 

Storey21

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Some of the gimmicks are great, like off-road +. The hill descent control scared the hell out of me while descending a steep off camber trail, it slammed on the brakes at the worst time and made my front end dive and rear end get light, real light. I haven’t used it since.
 

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@entropy To answer the question, they do change things. As stated before, they change shift points, or they change automatic braking that transfers power to spinning wheels. I think there is much less benefit than there is marketing, but there is benefit. As someone that daily drives a Toyota and a Jeep, and has taken both off road, there is significant benefit to some of the "software" or technology pieces found on other vehicles. A-TRAC (Toyota) has performed in ways that have very much surprised me. It is like having a software limited slip/locker. It works, in some cases, like a locker that flips on and off a hundred times as the traction changes (like climbing a steep loose grade). It works better than a locker in those cases because the other wheel isn't forced to lose traction (think crab walking on a slippery side-hill). There is certainly a place for that tech, although for the most part, the manual (Jeep) will get you to the same place.

I'd suggest watching a 4Runner video on Youtube, one where they bury it in the sand and then engage A-TRAC. You may not think it's the end-all of systems, but it might be enlightening as to what it is and how it works.

BTW, I don't understand Offroad+ what's it do?
 

Dyolfknip74

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@entropy To answer the question, they do change things. As stated before, they change shift points, or they change automatic braking that transfers power to spinning wheels. I think there is much less benefit than there is marketing, but there is benefit. As someone that daily drives a Toyota and a Jeep, and has taken both off road, there is significant benefit to some of the "software" or technology pieces found on other vehicles. A-TRAC (Toyota) has performed in ways that have very much surprised me. It is like having a software limited slip/locker. It works, in some cases, like a locker that flips on and off a hundred times as the traction changes (like climbing a steep loose grade). It works better than a locker in those cases because the other wheel isn't forced to lose traction (think crab walking on a slippery side-hill). There is certainly a place for that tech, although for the most part, the manual (Jeep) will get you to the same place.

I'd suggest watching a 4Runner video on Youtube, one where they bury it in the sand and then engage A-TRAC. You may not think it's the end-all of systems, but it might be enlightening as to what it is and how it works.

BTW, I don't understand Offroad+ what's it do?
It sets up for higher speed offroading. The opposite of Selec Speed which is offroad cruise.

Edit: it also does a bunch of stuff in lo as well.
 
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Jtphoto

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@entropy To answer the question, they do change things. As stated before, they change shift points, or they change automatic braking that transfers power to spinning wheels. I think there is much less benefit than there is marketing, but there is benefit. As someone that daily drives a Toyota and a Jeep, and has taken both off road, there is significant benefit to some of the "software" or technology pieces found on other vehicles. A-TRAC (Toyota) has performed in ways that have very much surprised me. It is like having a software limited slip/locker. It works, in some cases, like a locker that flips on and off a hundred times as the traction changes (like climbing a steep loose grade). It works better than a locker in those cases because the other wheel isn't forced to lose traction (think crab walking on a slippery side-hill). There is certainly a place for that tech, although for the most part, the manual (Jeep) will get you to the same place.

I'd suggest watching a 4Runner video on Youtube, one where they bury it in the sand and then engage A-TRAC. You may not think it's the end-all of systems, but it might be enlightening as to what it is and how it works.

BTW, I don't understand Offroad+ what's it do?
The Wrangler has BLD that does the same thing as A-trac. It activates the brakes with the abs system which helps to regain traction with the wheel that’s not spinning. It’s always activated.
 
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