Friday Fun: Four-by-four, by four
In we explored the Forbidden Fruits that taunt our wildest automotive dreams, exploring the parts of our imagination where the cars unavailable to us become accessible at the touch of our fingertips. And since all of my choices were street-oriented, this week we’re going to look at the exact opposite end of the spectrum: off-roaders.
To keep it short and sweet, this Friday Fun is effectively a free-for-all. No budget limits, no border laws, nothing to stop you from putting the truck, SUV, or open-top wheeling toy of your dreams in your imaginary garage. And to make deciding easy, let’s say there’s four bays in that garage. They all do need to be street legal though. This week’s Friday Fun is the four-by-four by four, so have at it and let us know your picks in the comments.
We all know off-roading is a shitton of fun and that today’s 4x4s are as capable as they’ve ever been. The current crop of options available for purchase from a dealer is mind-boggingly wide and continues to broaden as the general buying public’s interest and excitement for off-roading increases. Or, at least the number of people who want to look like they wheel their rigs does so.
With my back the way it is post-surgery and knowing what it’s like to spend a day wheeling a beaten, battered truck with little to no creature comforts, my four four-by-fours lean a bit in the direction of comfort and luxury, but with an absolute ton of capability still built in. Here’s my choices:
Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
So what if it doesn’t have the size or power of the SVT Raptor? GM’s small(ish) pickup has the right stuff to be great on-road and even more so off. Okay, so it’s a bit down on power, but the available diesel engine gets phenomenal gas mileage and the size of the truck makes it feel more sprightly than it actually is. Meanwhile, those spool-valve shocks allow it to soak up bumps like they’re not even there, make jumping a somewhat safe possibility, and even improve ride quality on pavement. Plus, it’s not impossible to park, it’ll crawl with the best of them, and it’s still usable as a pickup. he ZR2 is proving to be a great truck, and it’s just hitting dealer lots.
4Runner TRD Pro
It’s no secret that I absolutely love , and if there’s one model out there that’s the pinnacle of what the current 5th-gen ‘Runner embodies as an off-road capable rig, it’s the TRD Pro. With enough comfort to spend a full day in the woods and enough capability to tackle damn-near any trail you could throw at it, the TRD Pro is a hell of a great compromise between wheeling ability and street-comfort.
JK Rubicon 2-door
There’s nothing like a Jeep, especially when it has the nimble mountain goat character of the traditional two-door with the roof off. The JK Rubicon is as capable as a stock rig comes, and the short wheelbase model reminds me of off-roading trips my father and I took in his lifted YJ Wrangler during my childhood. No question about it, I’d own one of these in a heartbeat.
Range Rover Sport SVR
This is a bit of a cop-out as I couldn’t decide which four-by-four should fill my fourth slot, but the SVR is a hell of a machine on-road that can still handle some off-pavement duty. The SVR would be an absolute blast to commute in and would laugh in the face of any inclimate weather Mother Nature could throw at it. And, in a pinch, it could easily manage some moderate wheeling…and even a track day. The best of both worlds? Maybe not. But just look at those seats!
Now it’s your turn to take a stab at it. You can buy any four four-by-fours, be them old, new, trucks, SUVs, domestic, foreign, whatever…so long as it has four driven wheels. Have at it.