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The best new 4x4s are also the oldest

By Matt Raudonikis, 15 Mar 2017 Opinion

Merc Benz G300 cover

All good things take time to get right.

THE best new 4x4 vehicles are all decades old and show that all good things take time to get right – you can’t hurry perfection!

Mercedes-Benz’s G-Wagen was first launched in 1979 and has just come back to our market with a new variant that uses some body panels still punched out in the original 40-year-old presses. Nothing’s changed on the outside, while the engine and driveline are some of Benz’s best. It proves that you don’t mess with what works.

Check out or first drive of the new G300 CDI cab-chassis.

The same applies for the Land Cruiser 70 Series. It first clocked on for work in 1985, and riding in the latest model you still feel the relationship with that original. The 70 range was updated late in 2016 with new emissions and safety tech, plus a few comfort and driveability upgrades that will see it soldier on for a few more years to come.

Read more about the updated Land Cruiser 70 series range.

Toyota Land Cruiser 70 seriesIt remains the most versatile new 4x4 on the market today, despite its 30-plus years of age and a host of new vehicles that have come (and gone) since. 

Nissan’s GU Patrol traces its roots back to the GQ, which first graced the pages of this magazine in 1987.

Read more about the Nissan Patrol history.

This month we send off the last of the live-axle Patrols with a drive of the limited-run Legend Edition, before it is relegated to used-car-buying only. It’s a shame Nissan didn’t see fit to give the cab-chassis Patrol ‘Legend’ status as well. While the Patrol wagon lives on in the Y62, the workhorse ute becomes a part of history and will be sadly missed.

Nissan Patrol Legend EditionRead our drive of the Nissan Patrol Legend Edition here, and don’t miss the wild and wicked Duramax-powered Patrol custom.

While we’re on the subject of old 4x4s, we revisited another ‘old’ model while we were in the USA last year. The Toyota 4Runner is still sold over there and we borrowed a TRD Pro variant to travel around. It has the feel and ability of a traditional 4x4, and the 4Runner nameplate is certainly one we’d like to see back here in Australia. 

Watch our Toyota 4Runner drive in the desert here.

Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro