Amongst all of the world’s four wheel driving buffs, there has been a long-lasting argument comparing nudge bars and bull bars. When shopping for aftermarket 4WD products, all buyers come to a point where they must question which frontal bar product they wish to purchase. For most people, the choice between a nudge bar and a bull bar is a daunting one.
As off-roading specialists, we have engaged with many customers that face this dilemma. Although many 4WD enthusiasts bow down to bull bars, there are still quite a few consumers who are perfectly satisfied with their nudge bar.
First of all, in order to distinguish which 4WD aftermarket accessory is best, we need to recognise what their chief purpose is and why a bar is needed for your vehicle. Essentially, these bars are designed and installed for three central reasons:
- To protect your vehicle in the case of collision (this could be an animal, tree scrub or another car).
- To protect the cooling system from unwanted debris.
- To enable better recovery with winches if the vehicle becomes bogged or stranded.
Almost everybody who owns a four wheel drive, loves their four wheel drive. It comes hand in hand. Therefore, it is no surprise why these vehicle owners would want to protect their beloved car. However, will nudge bars and bull bars provide the same level of cover?
To decide between the two bar systems, we need to nut out the key differences between nudge bars and bull bars.
One of the major differences between nudge bars and bull bars is their price. Notably, nudge bars are a cheaper 4WD accessory, whereas bull bars can often be double or triple the price. Whilst some people may be looking for the cheapest nudge bars possible, others will be happy to pay additional if it means a better quality product.
Bull bars and nudge bars have different designs. While a bull bar reaches around the full extent of your vehicles front, a nudge bar only presents a barrier across the front-most area. According to many people, a bull bar appears visually tougher, whereas a nudge bar is a less intrusive accessory.
Although nudge bars and bull bars are installed onto the same part of your vehicle, they have different levels of effectiveness. Because of the difference in size, one option provides more protection and coverage than the other.
Bull bars are the bigger bar option, so they can essentially protect the entire frontage of your vehicle, including the headlights. Nudge bars, on the other hand, are smaller and will only protect you from straight-on collisions. They are usually not as strong and stable as bull bars, so they might also be less capable during recovery proceedings. It is important to note that these measures of quality are also dependent on the brand of bar that you purchase, as well as the particular material types that are incorporated into the design.
Picture this. If you hit a kangaroo whilst out and about, a nudge bar will only provide some protection. In the case that the kangaroo hits the front side of your vehicle, it might provide no protection. On the other hand, a bull bar can give protection, even if you do not hit the kangaroo directly front-on.
Should you get a nudge bar or bull bar?
At the end of the day, bull bars do provide more protection for your vehicle. They are typically a stronger product that can offer you greater capabilities and value. The catch? Their price tag is not as heart-warming.
Whether you decide to purchase a nudge bar or bull bar will depend on your individual needs and budget. If you only have minimal cash to splurge, it might be best to only invest in a nudge bar. However, if you are willing to invest in a product with better functionality, you could look more seriously at bull bars. You should also consider that you may have to pay for bull bar installation, which will be an additional cost.
You can purchase both nudge bars and bull bars online for reasonable prices. We recommend dealing with popular Australian 4WD brands, such as Dobinsons.
Depending on the type of vehicle you have, certain bars may or may not be appropriate for you. Before purchasing any 4WD products online, you should check that it can be installed on your specific vehicle make and model.
Our online 4WD store has a variety of car aftermarket products that can amplify the capabilities of your vehicle. As well as nudge bars and bull bars, we provide other protective product and recovery gear to support your off-roading adventures. If you need any information on a specific product, you can contact one of our expert team members.