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2007 10 Best Buys In Four-Wheel Drive

Rear View
Sean P. Holman | Writer
Posted September 1, 2007
Photographers: The Four Wheeler Staff

Our Take On The Best New Factory 4x4s

Welcome to our annual 10 Best Buys in Four-Wheel Drive list, where we rate the best-equipped factory 4x4s available in the US. We take such things into consideration as price, equipment, and out-of-the-box off-highway capability, and compare each vehicle against its class, determining how they stack up against each other when value, equipment, versatility, and overall attributes are considered.

Unlike our Four Wheeler of the Year competition, which only includes those vehicles that are all-new or significantly revised, the eligibility for this list includes every 2007 model-year four-wheel-drive vehicle. We have selected the vehicles in each class that we feel will get you on the trail quicker and best lend themselves to aftermarket upgrades and daily usability.

Base price: $28,300
Year on the list: 3rd
The Jeep Wrangler is our perennial favorite in this category, and the excellent all-new-for-2007 JK carries on this tradition with a level of refinement never before seen in the Wrangler, yet it still comes out the factory doors with solid axles, 32-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain tires, front and rear lockers, monotube shocks, a configurable top system, and even adds new luxuries such as available navigation system and electronic disconnecting sway bar-which means no more pins to pull in the mud. Even the Wrangler faithful have certified this unqualified success as a real Jeep, probably because it doesn't lose any of the charm, adds capability, and hey, the windshield still folds down and the doors still come off. Our 2007 Four Wheeler of the Year is also a three-time winner on our 10 Best Buys list.
Others Considered: None

Base price: $54,850
Year on the list: 3rd
We have said it for years now-the Hummer H2 is the best fullsize SUV on the market, especially if you have a need for fullsize capability and a want to hit the trails. Sure, it is on the GMT800 chassis, most closely based on the Tahoe, but there are enough important differences that make the H2 unique. Sure, there are those out there who only see the H2 as a status symbol-something to put 24-inch chrome spinners on-but you can't fault Hummer for the buyer. We have proven that Hummer has given the H2 the goods to tackle a two-track with many long test miles, hard race miles, and plenty of everyday miles under our belts. Still need convincing? What other fullsize SUV offers a rear locker, ledge-climbing approach and departure angles, available factory rocker protection, and 35-inch BFG All-Terrains? You can also get a bumper-mounted swing-out tire carrier, and don't forget the giant military-grade recovery shackles. The H2 is no slouch in the dirt and has earned its place on our list.
Others Considered: None

Base price: $26,850
Year on the list: 3rd
Another three-time winner is the Nissan Xterra with its rugged good looks, reasonable dimensions, comfortable accommodations, affordable price and, of course, dirt trail capability. The Xterra, built on Nissan's stout F-Alpha architecture that's shared with the fullsize Titan, comes with 32-inch BFGoodrich tires, Bilstein monotube shocks, full skidplating, and a rear locker. And with relatively strong aftermarket support, it doesn't take much to create a really good trail machine. And unlike the Toyota FJ Cruiser, it has a real back seat and better sightlines. We also considered the Hummer H3, but the Xterra has 95 percent of the capability for several thousand dollars less.
Others Considered: Hummer H3, Toyota FJ Cruiser

Base price: $24,900
Year on the list: 3rd
sharing a version of nissan's excellent F-Alpha platform with the Xterra, the Frontier boasts the same credentials that have made it a seemingly permanent fixture on this list: BFGoodrich 32-inch tires, full skidplates, Bilstein shocks, rear locker, and a willing engine that not only work together to create a functional pickup, but one that is a heck of a lot of fun to drive, both on and off the beaten path. The Frontier also offers the Utili-track cargo storage/tie-down system and a factory sprayed-on bedliner. While the Toyota Tacoma has grown in size and feels big, the Nissan still offers the reflexes and sportiness of a smaller vehicle, making it our choice for hitting the dirt.
Others Considered: Toyota Tacoma TRD

Base price: $46,635
Year on the list: 1st
It won Four Wheeler of the Year twice, and even at the end of its product life cycle, the Lexus GX470 is among the best wheelers you can find, especially in the Luxury segment. With a super-smooth 4.7 SOHC V-8, a solid axle out back, Torsen limited-slip center differential, air suspension, and the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, the GX470 is a competent performer in the dirt, offering a supple ride and a first-class interior. While we may be anxious to see how Lexus improves upon this current generation, the 2007 model is still so good that we are not in any hurry for change.
Others Considered: Land Rover LR3

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