A common misconception is that a 4x4, loud, large and guzzles gas, this is not true. There have been vehicles in the history of 4x4s that are tiny, like the Suzuki Samurai.
Some urbanized areas will have 4x4 vehicles that are never actually used in the conditions that they were designed for.
The first practical 4x4 vehicle was the Willy's Jeep, created by the United States in World War 2. It was powered by a Ford flathead inline four engine. Later variations, like the Land Rover soon followed in it's path, sharing it's chassis.
Without Willy's Overland, Ford and the need for a smaller, faster all wheel driven vehicle, the 4x4 would not have been built in a manner that small vehicles can use it.
Person 2: yea, i drive it to the my job at JC Pennys every day
Person 1: what, never take it 4 wheeling?
Person 2: of course not! it might get dirty!
1. Driving to the supermarket / shops / retail park;
2. Driving to and from a School to pick up / drop off 4x4's owner's offspring;
3. Parked in a Railway Station car park (see Oxted railway station);
4. Putting dents in other people's car doors (see 1 and 3 above).
Even though a 4x4 is supposed to give the impression of a tough, rugged all purpose, all terrain vehicle, owners will often adorn them with additional fittings such as bull-bars to ensure that any school children bounce off them without scratching the paintwork and humourous spare wheel covers with animals humping each other to ensure the spare wheel stays nice and clean.
Modern 4x4s are decended from Landrovers used by farming folk who needed a vehicle that could traverse rough ground in all weather, but the modern counterparts are not likely to be found in anything as dirty and gritty as agricultural work, as most 4x4 owners work in offices and used by their spouses during the day.
All car manufacturers have now realised that their is no correlation to the amount of income and sense people have and hence all now offer expensive psuedo rugged vehicles and use highly trained salespeople who are able to keep a straight face when would-be buyers ask if child seats can be fitted and does it have a cup holder.
To see 4x4's at their best, it is usual to wait for the 1 day in 20 years when it snows heavily. Then the 4x4 owner can demonstrate the superb road holding capabilty of the vehicle as they return home after they've realised that the shops / schools / railways have all shut down because of the adverse weather.