You’ll often find me criticizing the local populace of 4WD truck owners for doing it all wrong. What do I know about offroading with my two, lowered 2WD trucks and family sedan? I’m sure you think I don’t have the first clue about how awesome pedestrian 4×4’s can be. I mean they’re usually set up with cruising gears, automatic transmissions, limo-like wheelbase lengths, usually have a useless pick-up bed 40ft in the air, have over-sized tires that howl at moving speed and use their drop hitches (rarely) to tow a pair of jet skis, which is why they need the biggest engine possible optioned. If you and your bros have to take dad’s boat to the lake, or there’s some water or dirt on the street, you just press that little 4WD button and everything is good to go.
In a word, they’re “purposeful.”
Below (and above) you’ll find a good example of a Midsize truck (a term we can only use by comparison since it’s apparent how bloated the vehicle has become sitting next to the previous model of the same truck) It doesn’t have all of the most useful traits in a soft-roader, most notably a diesel engine. Which makes this truck unable to pull an M1 Abrams sideways up a hill, which is absolutely necessary for most fullsize owners on a day to day basis. I’m sure it still gets terrible mileage with those gigantic tires, so at least he’s halfway there.
Now below this post you’ll find an actual vehicle that spends time somewhere other than smooth pavement. Notice the worn tires, zero care taken to the paint, entirely utilitarian modifications, and hatchback design. He’s not hauling pallets of concrete to the top of that mountain, so he doesn’t need a truck bed, let alone a uselessly small one. The vehicle is purely for sport, and not for hauling his 2.5 drunken mistakes around. Because of this it only needs two doors. It’s small so it can traverse into dense areas of plant life easily. It’s an older model vehicle as well, because it’s going to get beat up.
I recognize that I’m very critical of this 4×4 fad, but it’s only because it’s like installing a big mutha thumpr cam in a 305: Aesthetics do not equal actual performance, in any category. The quicker people realize how foolish it is to modify their vehicle in a way that only effects it’s performance negatively, and only fools other fools, the better off they’ll be. It’s opulent and excessive in all the wrong ways. Here’s to hoping that in 20 years this huge crop of 4WD mall crawlers will get some actual use somewhere. I personally hope it’s in some Mad Max post-apocalyptic future, but that’s a different topic for a different day.