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Chris (aka-Moose)
Chris (aka-Moose), Technician
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Experience:  16 years of experience
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GM: 4WD..the highway with relatively good gas mileage..axle..Toyota

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I am looking for a 4WD vehicle that is good off the road (bird Hunting) and good on the highway with relatively good gas mileage. Can you suggest the proper axle and ratio? I am looking at GM and Toyota but have an open mind on manugacturer.



Hello, I'm Chris.
I will do my best to answer your question fast and accurate using the info you have provided. Thanks for visiting Just Answer.


Are you wanting a truck or SUV?

Do you want a large vehicle or mid size or small one?

What kind of fuel mileage are you expecting?

Give me a percentage the vehicle will stay on the road and off road?

Manual or auto transmission?

New or used and if used how old at max?



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks--should have furnished this too start with...I have been driving 4runners but find that I can get seating for only two people after putting one or two dog boxes in the back. I am looking for an SUV. The Tahoe or Yukon is plenty big. The new 4 runner may be. Fuel mileage somewhere between 15-17 in town and 20-22 on the road. Off road is two to three days a week from 5 months out of the year. Auto transmission with 4WD and a new SUV is fine. If you can suggest a good year for Tahoe or Yukon I would be glad to look at used ones.

I suggest a:

  • Ford Expedition
  • Chevy Tahoe
  • Toyota Land Cruiser
  • GMC Yukon
  • Used Ford Expedition 06-10
  • Used Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon (virtually the same vehicle) 2006 and 2008
  • Used Toyota Land Cruiser 02-08


Now just so you know if you jump up in size to a larger SUV like the ones mentioned above your going to see less fuel mileage. All are going to struggle to hit 22mpg, especially if the vehicle is outfitted with items like larger tires or a lift kit and extra weight from gear. Many are advertised in the 19-24 mpg range but the higher end is advertised under optimum driving conditions.


Now if you decide to get a truck and put a topper on it for the dogs then that increases your options and hauling capabilities and still keeps the dogs out of the elements. Like the Ford F150 or Chevy 1500 for example.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
OK but is there a real axle ratio that I should be looking for to optimize mileage? I won't be doing any towing other than a very light boat-canoe for creek or marsh duck hunting.

To get the best fuel mileage you need a axle ratio with the lowest number, this will hurt you on low end power like when off road but you can use low range if needed. Just coming out and saying you need this ratio cant happen because it all depends on which vehicle you choose. Each has different gears in the transmission. So if I said you need a 3.05 in the expedition and you did the same to the Toyota then the Toyota would have to low of a gear and be weak and the expedition would be set up for highway gearing. Most imports and smaller trucks and suvs use a higher numbered gear ratio and larger trucks use lower numbered ones.


For example on my truck. My F350 has a V10 with a 4.10 if it were a diesel it would come with a 3.73. If it were commercial and used as an ambulance it would have a 4.30. You can also get a 3.55 or 4.80 in this same model. As you can see there are alot of ratios just for one vehicle and the transmission gearing and engine power can be a factor on which is needed.

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