The Best 4WDs on the market
Posted by: Lydia on 2/11/2020
Aussies have a real love for all things on 4 wheels. As a country of around 25 million spread across a massive continent, we've long relied on our vehicles to get us from A to B.
But over time, our needs and interests have evolved. At one point, seeing a 4WD within the urban sprawl of an Aussie capital city would have been pretty rare, but today they’re among the most popular vehicles in use all across the country.
There are many reasons you may want a 4WD, and there are plenty of them on the market. But not all 4WDs are made equal, and certain models may be a far better fit than others when it comes to meeting your particular needs.
That’s why it’s important to consider various factors and research available models before you go and get the keys to a new ride.
Determining the Best Vehicle for Your Needs
A 4WD vehicle can be tremendous, but it can also come with unique challenges. It’s important to keep in mind that in certain circumstances, another type of vehicle may be ideal for you and your needs. If you’re looking for a 4WD primarily for extra storage space when you take a road trip, that’s not the same as needing one that can handle week after week of trekking through the harshest off-road conditions.
For example, let's say you’re a keen surfer that brings your dog along on a weekend surf. Sure, a 4WD can be a good fit to get you and your board(s) to the surf each week, and your 4-legged friend would have more than enough room to join you in the backseat. However, the closest you get to off-roading is likely when you encounter a little sand in the beach’s concrete car park. In this case, the hard yakka capabilities of a 4WD won’t really come in handy, and the longer profile of a station wagon would be better suited to your needs.
That said, there's nothing inherently lacking or bad about the 4WD. However, there can be trade-offs, so when going for a vehicle that's set up for use on Australia’s hardest roads, it’s great when you actually travel them.
For one thing, fuel for 4WDs can cost more. In addition, they can be more cumbersome to park, and they can come with a somewhat more painstatking driving experience compared to other vehicles. It's therefore a good idea to consider these factors and confirm that you really need a 4WD. That way, you can be sure you know exactly what features you require and can identify which 4WD will meet them.
1. Jeep Wrangler
For any purists with a real love for auto history, it’s hard to go past the Jeep Wrangler. Tracing its heritage all the way back to World War 2, today Jeep is widely credited as being the oldest producer of 4WDs in the world. With almost 80 years experience in the field, Jeep has designed a 2020 Wrangler that represents a fantastic mix of modern power and timeless design. All gearheads should own a Jeep at least once in their lives – and every day can be a fun adventure with one.
2. Mercedes-Benz GLBIf the idea of a 4WD appeals, but you’re weary to give up the touch of luxury more commonly found in other vehicle types, then a Mercedes-Benz GLB could be perfect for you. With an elegant interior, MBUX infotainment system, and an industry-leading personal assistant voice command package, this is a fantastic 4WD for those looking to travel the open road for the first time. Although this luxury comes at the expense of some of the rugged features that the more traditional 4WDs include, this is an auto that easily doubles as your weekday commuter or weekend cruiser.
3. Mitsubishi Pajero
For anyone anguished over whether to go with a Jeep or GLB, the Pajero may be a great compromise. Mitsubishi has created a fantastic all-rounder with this 4WD. Broadly speaking, the power of engines in this series won’t turn heads, but it’ll get the job done, and these vehicles are capable on-road and off. While others like Mercedes are perhaps winning the most acclaim for cutting-edge tech, the Pajero joins the Silver Arrows as a manufacturer making a 4WD with ample interior space. A great pick for someone seeking a truly versatile 4WD.
4. Toyota Landcruiser
For many serious 4WD fans, the Landcruiser is “the one”. Of course, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t other outstanding 4WDs out there – the other 3 listed here are indeed outstanding in their own way – but the Landcruiser is so often seen as a class above all others. It’s a terrific 4WD that comes with Toyota’s famous reputation for reliability and – for the rare times when something does go wrong – easy availability of parts at countless locations across the country. There’s a reason Toyota sold 10.74 million vehicles in 2019 alone, and a road trip with a Landcruiser will go a long way to explaining it.
Hitting the Road
Finding the right 4WD can take time and effort, but a 4WD can indeed be absolutely fantastic. You should always factor in the unique aspects that a 4WD can provide, and even if you find a 4WD that you like but isn’t quite perfect, it may be possible to have a word with the dealer about add-ons or after-sale modifications.
It's also wise to think about insurance, because it’s no secret that 4WDs can be at a higher risk of mishaps and sustaining damage given the tough trails they take. By taking the time to consider all angles at the start, you'll have peace of mind when you finally get the keys to your new ride. Then, all that remains to be done is to rack up a ton of miles and adventure in your new 4WD.
What other great 4WDs do you have your eye on? Let us know!