Top 10 Best 4WDs in Australia

By Alexi Falson on 18 Oct 2022
image for Top 10 Best 4WDs in Australia Australia is a land of wide open plains and tough terrain, which means you need the best 4WD at your disposal to hit the road with confidence.

The Australian market absolutely loves a 4WD which frequently out-sells far more practical and affordable vehicles in other segments, and speaks to our love affair with tough, rugged and capable 4WDs for work, play and holiday towing.

With that in mind, and in no particular order, let’s take a look at 10 of the best 4WDs currently on sale here in Australia.

Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series

The Toyota LandCruiser platform has achieved a cult following around the globe which was very much spear-headed right here in Australia.

The recently introduced 300 Series debuts a brand new 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 powertrain pushing out 227kW of power and 700Nm of torque, which has helped to reduce its fuel economy figures to just 8.9L per 100km.

Underneath, the LandCruiser 300 boasts a four-wheel drive platform with a centre locking differential as standard, with ground clearance standing at 235mm and a departure angle of 25 degrees that conquers pretty much any terrain you can throw at it.

Braked towing capacity stands at 3,500kg, while the gross vehicle mass is rated up to 3,280kg, making it a powerhouse for towing and long-distance adventures.

Nissan Patrol

A key rival of the LandCruiser 300 is the Nissan Patrol, which undercuts the Toyota on price and adds a handful of premium features as an added bonus.

The Patrol is powered by a meaty 5.6-litre V8 that kicks up 298kW of power and 560Nm of torque to all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission, with fuel economy standing at a thirsty 14.4L per 100km.

The Patrol receives a rear differential lock with a heap of off-road driving modes, while its ground clearance stands at 273mm and departure angle is rated at an impressive 26.3 degrees.

That V8 makes light work when it comes to towing heavy objects, with the Patrol’s braked towing capacity standing at 3,500kg.

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport

For those looking to head into the Great Outdoors with a large number of kids in the cabin, the Pajero Sport is a great option for large families, or couples with a heap of camping equipment in tow.

The Pajero Sport range is powered by a 2.4-litre turbo-diesel that throws 133kW of power and 430Nm of all-important torque to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, returning fuel economy figures of 8.0L per 100km.

The spacious cabin comes filled with clever, practical elements and seating for up to seven, with off-road confidence aided by a low and high-range setting for the Super-Select II 4WD system.

Braked towing capacity for the Pajero Sport range stands at 3,100kg, with a maximum towball load of 310kg.

Isuzu MU-X

A direct competitor to the Pajero Sport is the Isuzu MU-X which offers a feature-packed, tough and practical 4WD platform for up to seven people.

The MU-X range comes powered by a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel that produces 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque, which is paired with an adjustable 4x4 system with high and low-range functions and a locking rear differential for added off-road abilities.

Fuel economy stands at an impressive 7.8L per 100km, while braked towing capacity has increased in the latest generation MU-X to 3,500kg, making it a cost-effective and feature-packed powerhouse for moving your family or towing heavy loads.

Jeep Wrangler

For those looking for a bit of American-flavoured off-roading, the Jeep Wrangler range offers a unique and very personable platform that is tough and super-capable when pushed off-road.

The Wrangler range is powered by a 3.6-litre V6 that produces 209kW of power and 347Nm of torque paired with an eight-speed automatic and is rated at 9.7L per 100km on a combined cycle.

The Wrangler receives a low-range transfer case, selectable 4WD system, under-body protection and a set of removable doors for some added show-off value. It’s worth noting that a locking differential is reserved for the range-topping Rubicon variant.

Ground clearance for the Jeep Wrangler stands at 232mm with a wading depth of 760mm, while braked towing capacity stands at 2,495kg and the gross vehicle mass figure is 2,460kg.

Suzuki Jimny

While its pint-sized proportions might not make it look like an impressive 4WD, be careful when it comes to underestimating the off-road abilities of the little Suzuki Jimny.

It comes powered by a little 1.5-litre four-cylinder that kicks up 75kW and 130Nm of torque to all fours, which isn’t impressive on paper until you remember it weighs just 1,110kg. Power is thrown to all four wheels via an AllGrip Pro 4WD system that also offers a hill descent mode.

If you don’t have a huge family to take care of, the Jimny is one of the best 4WDs on the market when you factor in the price tag under $30,000.

Toyota LandCruiser Prado

The LandCruiser Prado is Toyota’s extremely versatile 4WD platform that lends itself perfectly to Monday to Friday family duties and off-road adventures alike.

It comes powered by a 2.8-litre turbo-diesel producing 150kW and 500Nm of torque which is delivered to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission that returns fuel economy figures of 7.9L per 100km.

The Prado receives a locking centre differential as standard with high and low-range transfer case, and offers braked towing figures of 3,000kg.

Ford Everest

Ford has just lifted the lid on an all-new Everest SUV, with the company’s 4x4 family-mover looking sharper than ever.

The Everest can be optioned in both five and seven-seat configurations, with power supplied by a choice of turbo-diesel and V6 petrol engines producing 154kW/500Nm and 184kW/600Nm respectively.

Both engine options receive a full-time 4WD system as standard with an electromechanical transfer case paired with a locking centre differential adds to its genuinely impressive off-road abilities.

The Everest range has a braked towing capacity standing at 3,500kg for both the 4x4 and 4x2 Everest range, with gross vehicle mass figures increasing to 3,150kg in its latest generation.

Subaru Forester

While you might be used to seeing the Subaru Forester on a school run more than the Great Outdoors, it remains one of the leading options for a versatile and family-friendly SUV.

The Forester range is powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder producing 136kW and 239Nm of torque, with the added bonus of a hybrid option that adds more torque while reducing your fuel use from 7.4L to 6.7L/100km.

While it doesn’t offer buyers a locking differential, the Forester does come packing Subaru’s iconic symmetrical all-wheel drive system and a decent amount of ground clearance to tackle tricky terrain, making it a great and cost-effective option for families with an adventurous spirit.

Land Rover Defender

Land Rover is one of the most famous names in the world of large off-roaders, and the latest generation Defender offers buyers a serious performer when the going gets tough.

The company offers everything from an inline-six turbo-diesel to a turbocharged four-cylinder, all the way to the flagship V8 petrol producing 386kW of power and 625Nm of torque, meaning there’s a Defender engine for pretty much every type of buyer.

The tough Defender platform features a low-range transfer case, air suspension and even gains an electronic active differential in higher-spec variants making for a serious off-roader with a premium interior.

Wading depth is rated at 900mm with the departure angle standing at 37.6 degrees, while the Defender's braked towing capacity is rated up to 3,500kg, making it a great option for towing heavy objects.

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Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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