Do you like your job? Do you go to work with a smile? Are you eager for Monday morning? Alright alright, I was just asking. Because it’s hard not to imagine that that is exactly the life of some of Jeep’s engineers and stylists.

So here’s your job brief. We want you to come up with eye-catching, nay, outlandish concept vehicles. No, not just on your screen, you then get a hand in actually making real, working versions. Do they have to be sensible and production-ready? No, but if you could keep it halfway realistic that would be great. Oh yes, and there’s another
thing too.

Every Easter we want you to take them to Moab in Utah and show them in their natural surroundings to a wildly enthusiastic audience. Then you can drive them around the stunning rocks, and then stop for some food and drink in the early year sunshine while you chat to the public, most of whom own Jeeps.

Read the full article in the May issue –


Ironman 4×4 is well known among off-road enthusiasts in the UK, with a wide range of accessories allowing customers to enhance their vehicles and prep them for work, play, camping and expeditions. The Australian company has long been seen as one of the go to suppliers for Japanese vehicles, in particular Toyota – and its importer in the USA recently built a trio of concepts designed to demonstrate its wares, with two of them being from the world’s highest-selling 4×4 maker.

We’ll look at the more obvious choice, a Tundra full-size double-cab, in a future issue. But here’s a Toyota that’s very familiar back home – albeit not in this form. ‘More and more people are using crossovers and CUVs to take them on adventures,’ explains Ironman. ‘Because of this, Ironman 4×4 has outfitted a Toyota RAV4 with numerous parts and
accessories to show the vehicle’s potential as an adventure platform.

In America, the RAV4 comes with 2.5-litre petrol engine which can be a specced to drive either the front or all four wheels and, in the latter form, combined with an electric motor to create the RAV4 Hybrid. It’s fundamentally the same vehicle we know and love over here.

Read the full article in the May issue –


Lifeless eyes stared back at me from the other side of the glass, their hollowed and blackened recesses screaming out in anguish. A web of fissures radiated from a dime-sized hole in their stained and hairless temporal lobe.

A second pair of empty sockets to the left, another to the right, another above, another below. Stepping back revealed thousands of soiled skulls, each defaced in similar fashion – the remains of entire villages. Beneath my feet, bone fragments, teeth and clothes leached up through the muddy soil, gruesome evidence of a horrific chapter in the annals of a small country in South-East Asia. This was Choeung Ek, the most notorious killing field of the Khmer Rouge and the final resting place of 8895 innocent Cambodian souls.

No story about Cambodia would be complete without mention of Pol Pot and his genocidal regime which, in the second half of the 1970s, murdered as many as two million of its own citizens. But I had come to embrace where it is today, absorb its vibrant and animated culture and delve into what its future holds – while exploring its rich back-country aboard a fleet of Land Rover Defenders.

Read the full article in the May issue –


We test drove the Mustang Mach-E a couple of years ago and weren’t hugely impressed
by it. So a second opportunity to try an example from the current model year, over the same roads as last time, was
very welcome.

So too was the vehicle’s cabin – which was much nicer than we remembered, especially the dash. The upper surface is still all hard plastic, but then there are fabric, carbon and leather effect elements with full-width heating and air-con outlets sandwiched between them. Then there’s an enormous tablet-style screen in the middle of it all – actually, it’s more like an upright laptop than a tablet – with a rather cool multi-function dial housed within it. You can’t help but feel that it’s a bit of an ‘anything you can do’ pop at Tesla, but whatever it is it looks the business.

There’s a comparatively small digital dash along from it, visible through the steering wheel, and between these and a
couple of buttons on the steering wheel that’s your lot. It’s very minimalist in this way – but then you’re surveying it from a big, comfy driver’s seat with soft, supple leather trim and plenty of leg, elbow and head room, so it’s not short on old-school luxuries either.

Read the full article in the May issue –



The antiquated and overloaded electricity grid in the UK received a tiny piece of good news lately. Which is that we’ve got one fewer electric vehicle to keep powered up. Or, to put it another way, hurrah! The very first all-electric Series IIA Land Rover has been shipped off to the USA, showcasing as it does Britain’s determination to honour classic vehicles while being environmentally responsible.

The two key players here are Everrati, rom Oxfordshire, and ‘Craig’ who owns a corporate and equestrian law practice
which allows him to collect classic cars to drive around his polo fields in Florida. Symbolically, the handover of the vehicle took place at the Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington, Florida. And it’s not at all symbolic that the venue is referred to as ‘The Disneyland of Polo’.

Craig talked about protecting the environment and sustainability, which is presumably why he bought an old Land Rover, had it totally rebuilt with electric drivetrain and then had it shipped or indeed
flown across the Atlantic Ocean.

Read the full article the May issue


On 3 August 1887, lawmakers in the El Dorado County, California passed a decree which classified the mountain trail between Georgetown and Lake Tahoe as a public road. Little did they know it at the time, but the right of way they had created was to become possibly the world’s most famous 4×4 trails.

The ‘road,’ which at the time was used only by stagecoaches, passed through Rubicon Springs – where, twenty years previously, John and George Hunsucker had built a riverside log cabin at the foot of a towering granite cliff. They went on to develop the site into a productive livestock and hunting ranch, before setting up a thriving business bottling the spring water.

Just under two decades had passed when Vade Phillips Clark, the daughter of landowner Joseph Phillips, approached the Hunsucker brothers and made them a successful offer for their holding in Rubicon Springs. She also bought a
second parcel of land at Potter’s Springs, around a mile away on the trail – which, less than half a century after the first white man ever laid eyes on Lake Tahoe, was now home to a fully fledged tourist resort.

Read the full article in the April Issue of Overlander 4×4

There’s not a lot to put the wind up you like the words ‘frozen lake.’ If you’re from Scandinavia, or Alaska, or no doubt large parts of Russia, driving on seasonal ice is about as remarkable as going to the toilet. But to us flimsy Brits, who see half an inch of snow and lose the capacity to think, a sniff of the idea is enough to send us into a swivel-eyed

Have the Health and Safety people been informed? Has someone done a risk assessment? Who checked the depth of
the ice? What if it breaks? How can they be so blasé about it? Is it frozen all the way to the bottom? Is this all a sick joke and we’re about to be plunged to a shivery end? Oh yes, and look at all this snow! Everything must grind to a halt and everyone must unleash their inner crap driver upon each other. It’s the law! Forgive me. We’re British and it’s what
we do.

So here’s the first thing I learned aboard a convoy of Nissan Ariyas and X-Trails amid the extremely white landscape of
late February in Finland. You can drive a car on just 15cm of lake ice. A bit more is better, but that’s enough. A cheerful former rally driver told me this, with the patient demeanour of someone who’s used to talking to idiots.

Right now, he explains, we’ve got more like 60cm below us. Someone’s been out there in a nine-tonne tractor and they didn’t cause even a crack, so stop being so lame about it. He didn’t say the last bit, I said it to myself.

Read the full article in the April issue of Overlander 4×4.

Isuzu is on a mission to enhance the D-Max’s image as a lifestyle vehicle in this country. And, as usual, it’s doing a good job of it, with the range-topping V-Cross building an ever-stronger presence in the sales charts.

A pick-up range needs to be built on a solid foundation, though, and that’s where the likes of the DL20 come in. A couple of years ago, Isuzu widened the options in its line-up allowing this model to be ordered with an automatic gearbox – and that’s what we have here.

The D-Max has also had a mild facelift in the relatively recent past. This amounts to a more aggressive looking grille, as well as a revised design of alloy wheels and, in the case of the DL20, new premium woven fabric upholstery. Oh, and some of the paint options have been updated.

Not exactly big stuff, then. But it makes a surprising difference, especially the grille. The vehicle is mechanically identical to the model from before the facelift, but the new look really does stand out. Climbing in, the new seat fabric feels stout and robust. It’s dark grey, with contrasting light grey stitching, but more to the point you’d expect that it’s going to last a good long time. The seats themselves as well shaped to hold you, too – we did a couple of lengthy trips in our DL20 and never got fatigued. Heartily unimpressed by the state of the traffic (they were lengthy trips in more than just distance), but not fatigued.

Read the full article in this month’s issue of Overlander 4×4.

A vehicle with one of the longest running names in the market, the Suzuki Vitara has been coming to the UK since 1991. It’s changed a lot in that time, of course – from the Vitara to the Grand Vitara and back again, through various sizes, shapes, body configurations and chassis set-ups and, notably, in and thankfully back out of a deep trough
immediately after turning its back on old-school off-road tech.

What it has become is a very sound choice at the budget end of the SUV market – and it became sounder than ever a couple of years ago with the introduction of a full hybrid engine. This mates a 1.5-litre petrol unit to a 140-volt electric system. Not the biggest beast on the market, but the motor adds 33bhp and 44lbf.ft to the engine’s 115bhp and 101lbf.ft – not creating a huge total, but that’s something like 25% of the vehicle’s output so it’s not to be sniffed at. Especially as part of its job is to smooth out the gearchanges in an automated manual box.

How well does it do this? Quite effectively, in fact. Normally, we hate automated manuals, but the Vitara doesn’t jolt and bump its way through the gears and whether you’re taking it easy around town or asking for more on the open road it’s smooth enough not to cause any upsets.

The engine is pretty loud, however, with an ever-present background note that rises to become quite raucous under load. It’s not short of zest, with better performance than the raw figures would give you to expect, but it sounds as if it’s straining to move the vehicle around. You do get used to it after a while, but t would be so much better if you didn’t have to in the first place.

Read the full article in the April issue of Overlander 4×4.

How many hobbies should a person have? The answer appears infinite. Certainly in my own case,
in addition to green lane activities.

I birdwatch, help run a charity and do a load of other, sometimes questionable things. The most questionable of all is a love of fact checking. You know the kind of stuff – using Facebook to sensitively correct misunderstandings about stuff like immigration, electric vehicles and especially the flat earthers. And in that latter case I have a particular speciality, having spent many happy hours arguing with many Americans about the nature of our planet.

One thing I have learnt (although I don’t actually seem to have really learnt it as I’m still banging my head against the wall) is that arguing with fanatics is entirely pointless. They simply are not interested in facts and truth and common sense, or even the evidence of their own eyes. The have an opinion, however mad it might be, and all they are interested in is shouting about it, regardless of how unrelated to reality it might be.

Read the full article in this month’s issue of Overlander 4×4.