WAGONS – LARGE
Since the first Land Cruisers came to Australia in the 1970s evolution, not revolution, has been the name of the game, but in 2022 the 70 Series became much more complex and added the HiLux diesel option for 2024.
Land Rover diehards were disappointed with the design of the post-2020 Defender that was a more off-road capable Range Rover than a Defender. The only carry-over signature from the original Defender was aluminium bodywork. However, it’s here to stay and has been updated for 2024.
The old ‘square-rigged’ Patrol finished Down Under in 2016, leaving Nissan with the under-marketed Y62 petrol V8 model. The specification was wrong from the start and changes are still needed.
It’s no secret that the 2020 Defender was new bodywork and interior on a Range Rover/Land Rover chassis. The Ineos Grenadier aimed to be a true Defender replacement and was previewed Down Under in September 2022. We gave up asking for a road test vehicle in late 2023.
Toyota unveiled the next-generation LandCruiser 300 Series wagon in a global debut held in the 70th anniversary year of the legendary nameplate. The biggest problem is strangled supply that means long delivery delays.
Although the Range Rover’s price tag limits the number of potential customers, the marque has continued to show the way to all other 4WD makers since its introduction in 1970. Sooner or later all 4WD designers adopt features initiated by Range Rover. While most of us can’t afford a new Rangie, the used market is well populated with pre-loved examples.
Lexus’ LandCruiser-300-based LX combines all the ‘fruit’ from the top-shelf ‘Cruiser with Lexus’ additional equipment and legendary fit and finish. Deliveries Down Under began in mid-2022.
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.
Unless you’re heavily into off-road racing and rallies, you probably haven’t heard of Bowler, figuring it’s not what the Aussie cricket team needs, but reliable batsmen. Bowler is a specialist UK 4WD builder, producing vehicles that use old-design Land Rover Defender panels.
Nice wagon, but the original Land Rover DNA is long gone. A facelift model with new engines was launched in late 2020.
The Gelandewagen was originally planned as a German Army vehicle, but lost out to the VW Iltis and the first civilian version was produced way back in 1979. M-B has had three goes at selling the G-Wagon in Australia, with the 2017 models showing the flag as a backdrop to the Australian Army’s purchase of 1200 4WD and 6WD G-Wagons.