Best Buy Travesty
I was greatly disappointed with “Best Buys in Used 4x4s” (Jan. ’12). Not once did a Nissan appear on the list or even get an honorary mention, even though we have the Titan, Frontier, Xterra, Pathfinder, and the Hardbody in 4x4 and 4x2 trim models.
You did mention the Samurai and the Bronco, which are known to be the worst 4x4 vehicles of all time. So to not even be mentioned is a travesty. I somehow feel like your magazine is no longer portraying the best interest of what your broad range of readers want to see.
Sorry you disagree with our best buy list, but we still stand behind it. The story was meant to include vehicles that would make good off-road projects. All of the Nissan 4x4s you mentioned have somewhat-delicate IFS suspensions. These are difficult and expensive to modify. And even when modified they provide lackluster performance off-road. We could not in good conscience include them because there are other, much more durable vehicles in the same class as the Nissan vehicles you mentioned.
I literally was waiting for the next issue of Four Wheeler to come in so I could cancel my subscription, but then I saw you’re the editor and I had to write in. I get Petersen’s 4-Wheel and Off-Road, Jp, and Four Wheeler and I look forward to reading them every time I get one, except for Four Wheeler. Usually there is some lame story about a couple a guys camping in the desert in a green Ford truck with a camper on the back, which is pretty lame compared to a ’72 J2000 rockin’ through Moab. You see, I am a cadet at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut, but I am from North Carolina. And a lot of people just do not get my obsession with Jeeps, muscle cars, and eight-tracks. So, I don’t get to express my love of these things easily around here. But these mags give me an escape from this place. I have a ’78 CJ-5 Renegade with a 304ci V-8 and the original tan Levi seats with a T-150 tranny. I also have an ’81 Cherokee with a 360ci V-8 and a TF727 that I miss everyday. I attached a picture so you could check ’em out and see why. I look forward to seeing your positive effect on the mag with more humor, variety, and hardcore wheelin!
3/c Alex Sullivan
We’re getting screwed. We don’t have a single truck in this great country of America that gets better than 27 mpg (Ford Ranger). The UK, or mother country on the other hand, has a handful of trucks and SUVs that get over 35 mpg (diesel). Domestic vendors refuse to bring these to the US. It ticks me off.
Do a story on European 35 mpg 4x4s. We deserve to know the truth. Great fuel economy is being withheld from Americans. It’s such a travesty in this time of economic dreariness.
Eagle Mountain, UT
While there’s a limited amount of technical data that applies to my preferred mode of motorized off-roading, I typically do find something of value in every issue of Four Wheeler. I enjoyed your recent article about buying military surplus vehicles (“Drab is Good,” Jan. ’12), but you left out some additional attractive and unique choices. I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of Pinzgauers, Mercedes G-Wagons, and Unimogs in your off-roading adventures. As many were former military stock, perhaps you should consider a follow-up article about other mil-spec vehicles that have found their way to North America such as my ’74 Pinzgauer 712.
LJ or TJ Unlimited?
I really enjoy Four Wheeler and get lots of great information from it but you may want to check your statement in “Best Buys in Used 4X4s” (Jan. ’12). The ’97-’06 Wrangler TJ listing says that the Unlimited is “unofficially and incorrectly referred to as the LJ.” The model code in the VIN for my ’05 Unlimited is LJ.
Funny you should mention it. I was likely the first person to notice the LJ VIN tag many years ago while crawling around under an early tester. This was long before the first Unlimited Jeeps hit the dealer lots. When I asked the Jeep engineers about it they had no idea what I was talking about. They told me the Unlimited is just a derivative of the TJ and that it does not have its own code, yet they could not explain the LJ on the VIN tag or why it only shows up on the Unlimited models. So from a historical point of view you are correct, but in Jeep’s mind, there is no such thing as an LJ.