While many 4×4 owners prioritize aesthetics over functionally this is definitely not the way to go when it comes to getting a new Bullbar. I’m not saying that the Bullbar shouldn’t add to the overall aesthetics of your car but the best Bullbar is a compromise between functionality and aesthetics.
A Bullbar has several other functions and muscling up your car is just one of them. The first and foremost function is the protection of the engine bay and the other components in the front of the car from collisions with animals and other objects. Other than that, a Bullbar can be used for mounting various accessories like antennas, sand flags, winch and driving lights.
When it comes to picking a Bullbar there are several factors to consider like the intended usage of your vehicle, the amount of load you plan on carrying, the accessories you plan on fitting etc. Apart from those factors you also need to pay close attention to the build and quality of the bar along with vehicle compatibility.
Here are 2 important things to think about before getting a Bullbar,
What Type of Material?
There are 3 types of materials used to make Bullbars. They are Steel, Plastic or Aluminium.
Out of these 3 types, it’s quite common knowledge that steel is the strongest type of material. Naturally, steel Bullbars are ideal for vehicles that drive in rough terrain or have a high chance of collision with a kangaroo in the outback for example.
Aluminium bars are made of metal alloys with aluminum as the main type of metal. In terms of strength, steel bars are stronger than alloy bars but alloy bars are much lighter. A lighter Bullbar will have a lesser effect on the overall handling of the car. They are also more resistant to corrosion when compared to steel bars.
Plastic Bullbars are much lighter than both steel and alloy bars but in terms of strength, there is a significant difference.
The design of the bar should depend on the intended usage of the vehicle. If you are planning on diving on rougher terrain, I suggest you’ll want to look out for more protection. If you’re a fan of rocky terrain then look out for Bullbars that provide outer tubes so that you can fit side steps and rails to protect the downsides as well.
If you are just looking for a bar so that you can mount accessories, then look for a bar that supports those accessories like winches. Bars with just the centre tube or one that mimics the tour bumper will work just fine.
No matter what designs you pick to make sure it is ADR compliant. AFN Bullbars are ADR compliant and high quality. Most of the Australian Brands are ADR compliant and unless your Bullbar is imported you do not have to worry about buying a non-ADR compliant bar.
The material and the design are the two main things you need to consider before getting a Bullbar. Everything else like aesthetics and price comes after. I believe the price should not be a factor when it’s regarding your personal safety. So always pick the best product even if it a bit over your budget.