Crawlability: Good and Bad
When you hear the word crawlability, what comes to mind? Does it conjure up images of a car with no suspension, or a car that’s only a hatchback?
The fact is, crawlers can be wonderful cars. They are driven by people who are driven. However, they don’t always come with great crawling capabilities.
There are some modern cars that can be considered crawlable. These include the Renault Megane and the Toyota Celica.
Crawl performance is often measured based on two measurements: wheelbase and rear track. The larger the wheelbase, the better, because it’s the length from which your car can turn. The more rear track, the better the off-roading capability.
Modern trucks have both a wheelbase and a rear track that make them attractive. In addition, they are often available in a wide variety of configurations for different types of driving, such as high, low, or low and high, respectively.
However, when your car has a lot of cargo capacity and a little bit of a long rear track, it is going to have trouble climbing narrow roads. That’s because those narrow roads require a much longer rear track, and thus, a longer wheelbase.
What about cars that are meant to be driven by themselves? Those can be good off-roading vehicles, but they also have limited crawling capability. You may think that they can do a lot with very little, but the fact is, if your car is too small, the fuel consumption and handling will suffer.
However, if your car has a full floor and rear end, it will have great capability for road crawling. The larger the car, the better its ability to negotiate the streets. Therefore, this makes sense for those who drive big cars.
Of course, in spite of the fact that a rear wheel drive (RR) vehicle is considered a good off-roader, they can only go so far. What that means is that you will never be able to drive your new or used RR off-road. However, it is possible to drive them on road surfaces that they are not designed to handle.
There are many companies who specialize in making conversions for vehicles that have been modified for road use, and some of these conversions are available in auto parts stores. It just depends on which shops you visit.
Aftermarket cars are another place where you can find better parts for a better and bigger difference. These can be custom-built off-road vehicles, and they may offer a superior ride than your local manufacturer’s vehicles.
Crawlability should not be thought of as a negative. Rather, it should be viewed as an advantage for drivers who enjoy off-roading, whether they want to go “fast” or not.