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2001 4x4 of the Year

Posted in Project Vehicles on February 1, 2001
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Photographers: Frank KaislerThe 4-Wheel & Off-Road Staff
Jeep Grand Cherokee. Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Ford F-150 SuperCrew. Ford F-150 SuperCrew.
Chevrolet Silverado LT 2500HD Diesel. Chevrolet Silverado LT 2500HD Diesel.
Mitsubishi Montero Limited. Mitsubishi Montero Limited.
GMC Sierra 2500HD Extended Cab. GMC Sierra 2500HD Extended Cab.
Nissan Frontier Crew Cab SC. Nissan Frontier Crew Cab SC.
Ford Explorere Sport Trac. Ford Explorere Sport Trac.

This is it. It’s our chance to show that our skills include more than just modifying, building, and driving older rigs to the limits of human ability (or intelligence). We can also test and evaluate the new 4x4s that have sprung from the imaginations of the big-time vehicle manufacturers like no one else in the business. Not only do we test the vehicles you care about, but we do it in a way that applies to how they will be used in the real world of multipurpose vehicles and not just the soccer-mom delivery wagon. For the 19th consecutive year we’re bringing you the latest and greatest of what’s out there. Lots of manufacturers want in, but here’s the deal.

In order for a vehicle to be eligible for our test it must be an all-new vehicle or at least have major changes that would make it perform differently than its predecessors. It must also be a 4x4 with a two-speed transfer case and be available at least by January 15, and at least 2,500 vehicles must be offered for sale in the model year. That means no stuff that’s funkier than Lenny Kravitz. This year seven vehicles met the criteria: the Chevrolet Silverado LT 2500HD Extended Cab, the Ford Explorer Sport Trac, the Ford F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, the GMC Sierra 2500HD Extended Cab, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, the Mitsubishi Montero Limited, and the Nissan Frontier Crew Cab SC.

So who won? How did your favorite do? If you’re one of those people who run downstairs in the middle of the night on Christmas eve to open their presents, turn to the back of the article and find out. Otherwise, read through and have some fun trying to figure it out for yourself. For behind-the-scenes video, click the filmstrip icon below the Chevy Silverado photo to the right.

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