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2007 4x4 of the Year - Best 4x4 Truck Competition

Posted in Features on February 1, 2007
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For the last 24 years we've been bringing you the new-rig skinny on what's hot and what's not in the 4x4 world. Every eligible vehicle vies for the top honors of our 4x4 of the Year test, and this year was no different. We flogged eight new rides into submission over two weeks. On this, our 25th anniversary of our test, it was the same-other than the results. We had some surprises, and some preconceived notions were well founded, borne out by some tough trails and arduous conditions we subjected the vehicles to.

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To even get to this point, a competing 4x4 has to be all-new or substantially revised. Vehicles must have more engine power, different suspension, or something which would make a substantial difference, and not just a sheetmetal change. A two-speed transfer case is mandatory to eliminate CUVs and the like, and it must be available for purchase by January 15, 2007. Also, at least 1,500 must be produced and commercially available to prevent one-off ringers. And, of course, we need the vehicle to test by October 2006. Those can be some hard rules to follow, and many manufacturers just can't cut it. Regardless, we had a bumper crop of highly qualified 4x4s this year, all waiting for the rigors of our staff.

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Our contestants this year include the Chevrolet Avalanche LT, Tahoe LT, Silverado 1500 Extra Cab LT2, GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab SLT, Jeep Wrangler JK, Chevy Silverado Extended Cab, Hummer H3, Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, Kia Sorento EX, and Toyota FJ Cruiser. All were new or significantly different from previous years, and some were more different than others. For instance, the fullsize GM offerings came with the Gov-Lok rear axles, while the smaller players had pushbutton locking rear diffs except for the Kia. Even at that, the testing and number crunching added up to only one winner, which you'll have to read further to find out. Enjoy!

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Be sure and check out Page 2 for the results from all the events and vehicles and all the past winners!

Category Ranked Highest
Ride & Drive (30% of total points)
* Urban {{{Wrangler}}}
* Highway {{{Avalanche}}}
* High Speed Dirt & Gravel Avalanche
* Sand {{{FJ Cruiser}}}
* Rockcrawling Wrangler
* Hillclimbing Wrangler
* Braking Quality Wrangler
Overall Wrangler
Empirical (25% of total points)
* Torque/Weight Ratio {{{Sierra}}}
* 11/44-mile Acceleration Sierra
* 60-0 Braking {{{Sorento}}}
* Load-carrying Capacity {{{Tahoe}}}
* Miles Per Gallon Sorento
* Price As Tested Wrangler
Overall Sorento
Mechanical (25% of total points)
* Engine's Available Power Sierra
* Transmission Wrangler
* 4WD/Low-range Engage Wrangler
* Steering Wrangler
* {{{Fit}}} and Finish Sierra
* Drivetrain Performance Wrangler
Overall Wrangler
Interior (10% of total points)
* Ergonomics Sorento
* Appearance, Fit and Finish Sorento
* Appointments Tahoe
* Perceived Noise Level Avalanche
Overall Avalanche
Exterior (10% of total points)
* Body Styling Wrangler
* Cargo Avalanche
* Four-wheeling Attributes Wrangler
* Fit and Finish Wrangler
Overall Wrangler
2006 {{{Dodge Ram 1500}}} TRX4
2005 {{{Jeep Grand Cherokee}}}
2004 {{{Volkswagen Touareg}}} V-8
2003 {{{Lexus}}} GX 470
2002 {{{Jeep}}} Grand {{{Cherokee}}}(4.7 HO V-8)
2001 Jeep {{{Grand Cherokee}}}(five-speed auto transmission)
2000 {{{Toyota Tundra}}}
1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee(4.7 V-8 Limited)
1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee(5.9 V-8 Limited)
1997 {{{Jeep Wrangler}}} Sport
1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee(with center diff lock)
1995 {{{Dodge}}} Ram(2500 V-10 longbed Club Cab)
1994 Dodge Ram(1500 V-8 shortbed regular cab)
1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1992 {{{Chevrolet Blazer}}} (fullsize)
1991 {{{Dodge Dakota}}}
1990 {{{Nissan Pathfinder}}}(four-door)
1989 {{{Toyota}}} pickup
1988 {{{Jeep Cherokee}}} (4.0 engine)
1987 {{{Nissan}}} {{{Pathfinder}}}(two-door)
1986 {{{Ford Ranger}}}
1985 {{{Isuzu Trooper}}} II
1984 Jeep Cherokee (2.8 engine)
1983 {{{Chevrolet}}} S-10 {{{Blazer}}}
131 0702 02 z+2007 hummer h3+engine crowd
131 0702 03 z+2007 hummer h3+rear view
131 0702 04 z+2007 4x4 truck+person under truck
131 0702 05 z+2007 kia sorento ex+rear tire
131 0702 06 z+2007 4x4 trucks+front view desert
131 0702 07 z+2007 4x4 trucks+line up desert
131 0702 08 z+2007 chevrolet silverado 1500+front right tire
131 0702 09 z+2007 4x4 trucks+rear view line
131 0702 10 z+2007 hummer h3+engine

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