With the field of finalists set, we reigned in our panel of expert road testers and took off for a week of tough evaluation.
As always, the vehicles were not judged against each other, but against the established 4X4OTY criteria. This is what allows us to test utes alongside wagons, and luxury 4x4s against affordable family rides.
The 4x4OTY criteria are..
VALUE FOR MONEY
Judged according to a vehicle’s equipment level, safety features and price relative to its direct competitors. Just because a vehicle has a high price doesn’t mean it’s not good value – in the same way a cheap car isn’t always good value.
BREAKING NEW GROUND
This refers to advancements in technology and design –how a vehicle has raised the bar in its class to take 4x4s to a higher level is judged. If a vehicle has the latest safety features, worthy engine technology or an advanced driveline, it will score well here.
Referring to how strong a vehicle is and how well it will cope with the rigours of tough off-road driving environments. Will it be up to the task or fall apart at the first hurdle?
How well a vehicle is equipped for off-road travel. Suitability of the standard tyres for rough roads, touring range, available accessories and underbody protection are just some of the factors considered here. Is this a vehicle you would chose to drive around Australia the rough way, or is it best left to the suburbs?
DOING THE JOB
Judged according to a vehicle’s design brief. Does a luxury vehicle have all the latest in comfort and convenience features and do they work in the real world? How well a ute carries a load, or a seven seater accommodates a family will all come in to play here.
MORE 4X4 OF THE YEAR
HOME: 4X4 OF THE YEAR 2016
On the shortlist for 4X4OTY 2016 were the Hilux, Triton, Fortuner, Prado, Navara and Everest.
The six best 4x4 vehicles of 2015 battling it out to be crowned 4x4 Of The Year 2016.
Only one of the six best 4x4s from 2015 can be crowned 4x4 Of The Year 2016
4X4 OF THE YEAR HOME
Finding Australia's Best 4x4s