Disco4takes high ground
Land Rover stays in front, writes Fraser Stronach Award winners
ALAND Rover Discovery 4 has claimed the crown as best 4WD on the market in the annual Overlander 4WD magazine Best of the Best awards.
Unlike the 4WD of the Year contest, which is only open to vehicles new that year, these awards are open to any 4WD on the market no matter how long ago it was released.
With the champion Discovery 3 TDV6 no longer available, the Best Overall and Best Large Diesel Wagon categories were up for grabs.
On paper, the new Discovery 4 looked the natural candidate to take over from the Discovery 3, but which Discovery 4, given the expanded engine options? And what about the new LandCruiser Prado 150?
Though the Discovery 4 gathered sufficient ‘‘points’’ to put it in front without too many problems, the decision between the 3.0-litre TDV6 and the 2.7-litre TDV6 — the pick of the two engine options given the cost and thirst of the new 5.0-litre V8 — proved more difficult.
In the end, the 3.0-litre’s lack of bush practicality saw the decision go in the way of the 2.7-litre. Yes, it’s not as powerful as the 3.0-litre, but it’s cheaper and the fact that you can equip it with 17-inch wheels makes it far more practical.
An honourable mention went to the Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series D-4D. It’s a great all-rounder but expensive, a little thirsty and not as powerful as it should be. So-so on-road handling doesn’t help either.
The Best Value-For-Money 4WD and Best Medium Diesel Wagon award went to the Mitsubishi Pajero Di-D.
This is the fifth year it has won the best-value category, but it’s taken a while for the diesel Pajero to take the Best Medium Diesel Wagon crown from Toyota’s Prado.
So why didn’t the 150 take over from where the 120 left off? Well, it’s simply not good enough and, in many ways, a backwards step from the 120. On paper it’s slightly bigger inside and marginally more fuel-efficient, but neither of these two advantages plays a significant role in the real world.
Supreme: the Land Rover Discovery 4, with the 2.7-litre TDV6, was named Best of the Best.