2003 Four Wheeler of the Year
Seven Different Ways to Wheel
Photography by Four Wheeler Staff
How We Test Them
Testing seven brand new SUVs isn't easy, but someone has to do it. While it is lots of hard work planning and organizing it is also a lot of fun too. Plus we take it as our duty to test the vehicles and report the results to you.
On the first day of the test we head out to Los Angeles County Raceway to put the SUVs the acceleration and braking testing. From there it is off to our desert test trail for plenty of time in the dirt. This year we suffered two flats and two stucks on this rock-infested trail. After lots of wheeling and plenty of photography we head up the mountain to beautiful Big Bear, California for a well-deserved dinner and rest.
The next morning we head out bright and early for the dunes of Dumont, CA. It is a long trip but gives us plenty of time on the highway with the vehicles. We also get to tackle the twisty pavement roads along the way. Once at Dumont we attack the dunes and try to have some fun. This year we encountered a massive sand storm, which made us flee. After that it is back to the home base of Big Bear.
Bright and early the next morning we tackle the many trails of Big Bear, getting some time on the pavement in between. This time we encountered a freak snowstorm and cool temperatures. After a full day on the trail we wake up the next morning for more trail time.
All along the way we are taking plenty of notes and judging each vehicle in a five separate categories. The mechanical category accounts for 25 percent of the final score while trail performance accounts for 30 percent. Another large category is highway performance, which is 20 percent of the final score. Smaller categories are interior and exterior and account for 15 and 10 percent respectively. After the test is over we tally up the scores and have a winner.
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