As seen on:

SMH Logo News Logo

Call 1300 303 181

Australia’s Best New Car News, Reviews and Buying Advice

Big Bruisers

I wonder which of the big 4×4 bruisers you’d rather be seen in.  I mean we are spoilt for choice when it comes to competent off-roaders that are, more often than not, seen on the smooth streets of Australia’s main cities.  Unless you have a reason to bush-bash, I bet you rarely take the mud grips off-road; or am I being a little bit presumptuous?  Anyhow, of the go-bush 4x4s, which are the ones you would be rather be seen driving?

Are you going to want the showy-off Discos, Rangies and Lexus LXs for cruising the streets at night and taking the in-laws to the biggest shopping complex in the CBD?  I can see the value in these premium brands.  Who wouldn’t want to impress others and offer a great night on the town in one of the most luxurious 4x4s around?  Aside from the fact that they carry all the hardware for conquering Uluru, these are the vehicles that are sumptuous, proud and cocooned in leather.  They’ll sooth every occupant’s whims, soak up the bumps and drive over the top of the poor sod in front who may dare to be in your way.  Satellite navigation is available on these models to get you from the coffee shop to the rest room, while parking is care-free – with all the latest Park Assist technology.  Park Assist is a feature that tells everybody in the back seat that you have no idea where the corners of the big Rangie are – and even if you did, you wouldn’t be able to manoeuvre yourself out of a paper bag!

Cayennes, X5s and Q7 V12s are the 4×4 performance machines that, though they may look impressively large and muscle bound, are left dragging the chain in any serious off-road excursion.  Yes, they can hit 100 km/h from a standstill in under 6 seconds.  Yes, they look impressive, and often offer luxury features to mimic a Rangie.  And, yes, they are 4WD.  But take them to Uluru, and they are like a fish out of water.  I still want one, though!

Then there’s the Land Cruisers, and Patrols – and I’ll throw in the Pajeros and Hiluxs.  They’re never quite a luxo match to the snobby Rangies or LXs, but they do know what mud is.  Built with the Outback in mind, a trip to the top of Uluru and beyond is a walk in the park for these rugged beasties.  I won’t let the Land Rover marque down here, as I reckon the Defender is one of the most rugged 4×4 machines you’ll find anywhere.  This is the iconic off-road workhorse that can run with any of the Patrols and Land Cruisers to the other side of the globe, the long way!

I know I haven’t mentioned every 4×4 around.  And, if you’re offended, then you are probably as fond of 4x4s as I am.  There’s nothing quite like them.  Big 4x4s can do pretty much anything: from running the errands to heading off to the CBD, from bouncing over the curb to taking half the cricket team to the next State.  And, if you choose carefully, your 4×4 might just get you over the top of Ayers Rock.

It’s all about taste, anyhow.  Don’t you think?  4x4s – you either love them or hate them.