It's a love/hate deal. We love testing new vehicles but we hate the weeks of filling in the judging books, pondering the minute details of every vehicle, and ranking the vehicles against each other. Sure it's satisfying to emerge from a locked office at the end of the whole ordeal with the points tallied and the winning vehicle's name in hand, but getting to that point is no easy task.
This year brought the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, Dodge Dakota Quad Cab and Ram 1500, Ford Excursion, Isuzu VehiCROSS, Mitsubishi Montero Sport, Nissan Frontier four-door and Xterra, and Toyota Tundra to our office building for our annual 4x4 of the Year competition.
Just to be eligible, the vehicle must be all new or at least have significant changes which would affect how the vehicle would perform in our competition. In addition, it must be a 2000 model vehicle (which excluded the Ford Super Crew and Explorer Sport Trac). The vehicle must be offered for sale before January 15, and at least 2,500 vehicles must be offered for sale in the model year.
But enough with the boring stuff, what this test is really about is driving the vehicles and taking note of absolutely everything about them. Check out the sidebars below to get the full skinny.