6-8 people in a civic can go almost anywhere! When it gets stuck, everyone out and push. Dropping 800-1500 lbs of passengers and turning that into 12-16 legs planted in the dirt makes one heck of a recovery tool.Every time I used 4x4 locals would come past me in a honda civic with 8 people in it.
When you are only 1 person, or 2 in a much heavier 2wd rig, you have to think a bit more. Especially if you are in a place where you don't have friendly locals to help push... And not everyone with a tow strap is a friend with your best interests at heart. I've seen some cruel and improper tows because one asshat thought another needed a "lesson".