Have you had this dilemna – you’re buying a new family car, but husband and wife want different things. It’s probably a common discussion going on in houses up and down the land. He wants big and powerful while she wants practicality and driveability.
This is a debate currently going on in my household, and one which I expect to carry on for the next year or so, at which time we’ll be ready to start seriously car hunting. In the meantime we’ll keep on discussing what we want from our next car and keep an eye on what’s available in our price range. The ultimate challenge is to find that 4×4 that really does look beefy enough for him, but offers the space and driveability to keep me happy.
Who will ultimately win? As always, there’s going to be a compromise or two along the way. The question is who’ll be making it. I think I know…
The new Ford Ranger, on sale around November, will be on show at Ford’s stand at April’s Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC, Birmingham. The Ranger will be available in three different cab body styles, 4×2 and 4×4 drivetrains, two ride heights and four series choices plus, with an all-new chassis frame, front and rear suspension and steering system, it’ll have a towing capability of 3,300kg, up 300kg on the current model.
Steve Clary, commercial vehicles director, Ford of Britain, said, “With the CV Show reverting to its traditional format this year, we are delighted to be in attendance and supporting the message of innovation and development in road transport. We will be exhibiting a comprehensive range of our existing vehicles and some of our exciting future models.”
Pricing will be announced nearer to the launch.
Just how far have things moved on? We take two similar-sized 4x4s, a 1943 Ford Jeep and 10-reg Suzuki Jimny, separated by 67 years of motoring evolution and pit them against each other on the glorious greenlanes of Snowdonia
Words: Toby Savage; photos: Wayne Mitchelson, Toby Savage
Our choice of vehicles for a true comparison of ancient and modern 4×4 was easy. Representing the formative years was my 1943 Ford Jeep, Grandfather of the whole leisure 4×4 market and designed purely to help achieve victory in the Second World War. The Jeep has always enjoyed a great reputation for off-road ability and this particular one is in excellent condition and shod with a new set of Michelin XZYs.
March 2011 Issue of 4×4 Magazine
As we look out of the window at the continual grey skies and listen to the wind howling, we realise that there is another month to go of winter and possibly more snow and ice on the horizon. What better time, then, to turn to more positive thoughts, especially the mouth-watering prospect of jumping into a 4×4 and embarking on a great adventure.
So, to get you in the spirit of adventure, we have a special Expeditions feature.
For the 4×4 owner with a healthy appetite for exploration, adventure travel is the ultimate experience. For many, expedition travel conjures up an image of the desert or jungle; but the world is a very small place these days and there are plenty of other arenas to test your extreme driving skills and ability to survive in taxing and difficult terrain. To that end, we asked three of our regular contributors who also enjoy the envious privilege of being extremely well-travelled off-road experts to share their experiences. Their expertise embraces all forms of off-highway terrain. In this feature, we particularly highlight desert and ice and snow conditions, plus also offer a look at overland travel in general.
Nigel Fryatt – contributor
Once the initial shock of the snow had passed, it’s fair to say that we started to really enjoy our Rav4 last month. We spoke last issue about how impressed we are with the Continental ContiCrossContact winter tyres that we have fitted and have no hesitation of once again recommending that every reader considers doing similar. We live on a steep hill, which means that it quickly turns into a set from some disaster movie as the road becomes littered with abandoned vehicles within a few hours of any heavy snowfall.
Louise Limb – contributor
Christmas, that most expensive indulgence; the weather has now merged into a uniform dull, wet, depressing grey murk and the ominously spreading oil leak beneath the engine bay that the tyre fitter thought might be the transfer box – could be why the Grand’s been lumbering about like a farting buffalo – turned out to be precious diesel leaking from an invisible crack in the diesel filter housing.
‘Oh no!’ I heard myself cry, ‘that sounds a bit pricey to fix’. It wasn’t the first plastic item on my car to yield (first the rear door handle and last summer the power valve) and I did wonder if the parts on (evidently not so) ‘Trusty’ were up to the actual business of being used.
Ann Lockley – contributor
Christmas arrived a month late here in Canada but I am not complaining – not one bit! TerraFirma and Rock Island Rovers stepped up to the plate and sent along the promised parts to get my poor stricken Kelsey up and running; without the wobble, I hope.
So my lovely package from Santa included included: Big Bore Expedition Shocks, Heavy Load Front & Rear springs, Rear Spring Dislocation Cones, Rear Top Shock Mount Relocators, poly bushing kit, all from TerraFirma plus all three ball joints and an ignition coil purchased here in Victoria, so how good it will work is anyone’s guess!
Garry Stuart – contributor
Jamie Stuart is my contractor, surfer and snowboarder son. He bought the Freelander in December 2010 after a long search for a good example at the right price. Jamie would have liked a Discovery but wanted as new a vehicle as his budget would allow so he looked at Freelanders instead. He has always been partial to the Solihull brand as he spent much of his youth around Nightingale Farm, Swindon where Michael Hall plies his trade in quality used Land Rovers.
Wayne Mitchelson – contributor
This is my fifth year of Td5 ownership. The drunken eBay purchase has proven to be the best vehicle I have ever owned. My pockets are not deep enough to run a car and a Land Rover, so the 90 needed to be the do-all vehicle. My weekly commute varies massively, the nature of being a freelance. The miles have been creeping up, however, and are now close to 200,000.
I have been a stickler for servicing the mechanicals on the truck and I think this has proved cheap insurance over the years. I had the transfer box replaced a few years ago and replaced it with a Discovery item, giving me a more comfortable cruising speed and much better fuel economy.
Hils Everitt – editor
As you’ll see from our UK adventure on p48 when our brilliant little Jimny took on the mighty 1940s Ford Jeep in glorious Snowdonia, the Suzuki long-termer equipped itself extremely well on the rocky lanes, some of them really quite tricky in places. To receive the nod of approval from Toby, a veteran of off-roader and staunch Land Rover/Jeep fan, is a true accolade for the Jimny.
The Jimny enjoys a superb heritage. I, in fact, learnt to drive off-road years ago in a Suzuki SJ – now that was a top vehicle and you still see them buzzing around off-road driving days, many with lifted suspension, body mods and winches attached. They are superb off-road and the Jimny is not a bad successor.