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  1. Default Help with Gatlinburg trip!

    We're planning a trip to Gatlinburg, TN this summer. I was wondering if an SUV/4WD is necessary for this trip or would a mazda 6 sedan be fine, considering the steep curvy roads I heard about?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default No need for any special vehicle.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Having only been there twice, and each time in an ordinary sedan, though I no longer know which make, I doubt you'd need a 4WD. The Mazda should be fine, assuming it has been well looked after and is in good condition.. It is actually a very nice car. Yes, the roads are hilly and curvy, but easy does it. Everyone drives at the same safe speed. There are also ample pullouts for slower large vehicles to pull over and let others pass.

    Have a great trip, it is a lovely area of the country.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Despite what some car commercials might lead you to believe, there are almost no places anywhere in the US where 4 wheel drive is truly needed. Certainly, a major tourist town like Gatlinburg, visited by millions of people each year is not close to being one of them.

    The other thing worth noting, if you're concerned about "steep curvy roads," then a car - like your Mazda - would be a much better choice than a top heavy SUV. A low to the ground car will always vastly outperform an SUV on curvy roads.

  4. Default

    Thank you Lifey and Michael. That was very helpful and reassuring!

  5. #5


    My wife and I had our honeymoon in Gatlinburg 3 years ago, we rented a cabin in the hills. I would say a sedan would be just fine. One thing I`ll warn you about is the main road thru town has street signs at the intersections, but they are in numbers instead of the "real" name of the roads. It made finding the right roads the first time thru pretty frustrating. Hope that helps a little. Cheers!

  6. Default

    I happen to live very near Gatlinburg, but I seldom go there as the traffic can be horrible, especially on the weekends. You did not say where you are coming from, but as to the car, any car that will not over heat if stalled in traffic will be fine. the only real curvy road you will see is US441 over the mountains inside the Great Smokey Mountains Nation Park, and even that is not bad. Bad Traffic times: Fri/Sat going to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg. Sunday, leaving the same. The Traffic is especially bad on State road 66, which is the main road to Gatlinburg from Interstate i-40 at exit 407. Work is going on at that exit to help the congestion at peak times. It is near completion so if that route is in your plans you might check with the TN D.O.T on the status.

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