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4WD BUYERS GUIDE

Buying the right 4WD is critical and in this Buyers Guide, we highlight the strengths and weaknesses of new and used wagons, utes and heavy duty off-road vehicles. Also in the Buyers Guide are motorhomes and campervans. Many of the vehicles tested have video reports to let you see how they perform on and off road; and some also include tow tests. There are also suggestions for desirable bush modifications.

LATEST ARTICLES

BUYING ADVICE

Hybrid 4WDs are the future in Australia

Hybrid 4WDs are the future in Australia

Every vehicle maker is now committed to electrification in some form on all new models. For Australian-market 4WDs it’s a certainty that we’ll see ‘real’ 4WDs – vehicles with true off-road capability – in increasing numbers in the next two years.

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4X4 CAMPERVANS

HEAVY DUTY OFF-ROAD VEHICLES

Bush fire fighters need better equipment

Bush fire fighters need better equipment

The volunteers who risk their lives and give up their time to defend life and property from disaster deserve our highest praise and long-postponed remuneration as well. The under-funded bushfire effort in this country is a national disgrace.

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Isuzu NLS 200

Isuzu NLS 200

Isuzu Australia hasn’t dominated the local truck scene by accident, but by carefully analysing every possible market segment. The latest release is a ‘softer’ 4WD than the go-anywhere NPS, targetting customers who need a traction truck, not an expedition vehicle. 

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4X4 MOTORHOMES

Huber/AL-KO electric chassis and trailers are coming

Huber/AL-KO electric chassis and trailers are coming

Well known light commercial chassis and suspension maker AL-KO has teamed up with German electric propulsion specialist company, Huber Automotive, to produce new hybrid chassis for light commercials and motorhomes, and an electric trailer chassis.

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Suncamper Sherwood S Series

Suncamper Sherwood S Series

Suncamper’s Sherwood looks like a cross between a slide-on camper and a motorhome, but it’s a proper C-class motorhome, albeit a compact one. Our colleagues at iMotorhome took one on a bush excursion.

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SOFT-ROADERS

Genesis launches its first SUV

Genesis launches its first SUV

The production GV80 realises the vision of the GV80 Concept first shown at the 2017 New York auto show. The interior and exterior styling of GV80 was a collaboration between Genesis design studios located in South Korea, the United States and Germany.

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Soft-roader – 2WD or 4WD

Soft-roader – 2WD or 4WD

The success of the Peugeot 2008 DKR race machine in the 2016 Dakar event has prompted some off-road enthusiasts to suggest that there may be a place for a 2WD to challenge the accepted ability of a 4WD for off-road touring. It’s not that simple.

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UTES & CAB CHASSIS – LARGE

HSV Silverado

HSV Silverado

Released in mid-2018 the HSV-modified Chevrolet Silverado 2500 range comes with truck-diesel grunt.

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Electric LandCruisers

Electric LandCruisers

Many industries are interested in zero-pollution electric vehicles – particularly underground mining – and the ubiquitous LandCruiser ute is an obvious candidate for electrification.

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UTES & CAB CHASSIS – MEDIUM

HSV Silverado 1500 LTZ Premium

HSV Silverado 1500 LTZ Premium

The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Premium edition has been given the right hand drive treatment by HSV. Like all US-market ‘1500’ series utes it has limited payload of around 700kg, but can tow up to 4500kg.

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Jeep Gladiator

Jeep Gladiator

Jeep has re-entered the Australian 4WD ute market after an absence of 35 years. The newly announced Gladiator is based on the Wrangler four-door, but with an extended wheelbase.

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WAGONS – LARGE

Bus 4×4-converted Toyota Granvia

Bus 4×4-converted Toyota Granvia

The Bus 4×4 AWD conversion kit for the Toyota 300 Series Granvia features full time 4WD, high and low range gearing, and high ground clearance, putting this premium people mover into the large 4WD wagon category. 

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Lexus

Lexus

Based on LandCruiser 100 and 200 Series the Lexus 470 and 570 models have never achieved the Range Rover cache they obviously craved. However, they’e beautifully assembled machines with silky-smooth petrol V8 power.

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WAGONS – MEDIUM

Mahindra XUV500 seven-seat wagon

Mahindra XUV500 seven-seat wagon

Mahindra is best known for its sturdy, great value for money Pik Up ute range, but the global-scale Indian company also makes a bargain-priced seven-seat wagon.

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SsangYong Rexton

SsangYong Rexton

The 2019 SsangYong Rexton has been released with optimism from SsangYong Australia that it will do much better in the market than its predecessors did in the past.

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WAGONS – SMALL

Ol’ Number One

Ol’ Number One

This Land Cruiser FJ25 was the very first Toyota 4WD purchased by Leslie Thiess. Enthusiasts refer to this model as the great grandfather of Toyota’s 70 Series, reckons Jim Gibson.

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Mitsubishi Pajero 3 Door

Mitsubishi Pajero 3 Door

Mitsubishi’s re-introduced three-door wagon lasted only four years, from 2007 until 2011. The current-shape three-door was available overseas from the introduction of the NM monocoque-body-chassis model in 2000, but wasn’t brought here until the 2006 NS re-skinned model.

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Banner – Isuzu Truck

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