Excerpt from the archives: that day in 1987 Car News

Long before the Nissan Qashqai popularized crossovers, the Mitsubishi Shogun 4×4 got the ball rolling by finding favor with many who didn’t need to go off-roading. Drive slowly, mind you: 4x4s accounted for around 1.5% of UK sales in 1987, compared to around 45% for SUVs today.

So it was no surprise when Isuzu created a Shogun competitor, the Trooper, and we put them together alongside rivals to assess the state of play.

The 4x4s they faced were the chic Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen and Range Rover, as well as the Nissan Patrol and the little Daihatsu Fourtrak. Each was fitted with a diesel engine, as that was the default choice for 4x4s at the time.

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We found the Rangie “the best and most comfortable on and off road,” while the 300GD, despite its Mercedes appeal, was too slow and expensive.

The Shogun again proved to be “an excellent vehicle that offers Range Rover-like handling and acceptable off-road capability at a more reasonable price”.

The Trooper was more adept off-road, but its engine “lacks power and refinement” and its cabin “wasn’t as polished.” However, it was again much cheaper.

The Fourtrak offered “excellent performance” but suffered from a rough ride, as it used “carriage springs”. This left the patrol at the back of the pack, although we didn’t mean that as an indictment.

Vauxhall BMW Thresher

The Lotus version of the Vauxhall Carlton saloon has become so iconic that its ancestor is rarely mentioned anymore. And that’s a shame, because the 177bhp GSi 3000 was good enough to upset the BMW 535i.

We said: “Engineers have succeeded in producing a chassis that allows you to fully exploit the extra performance without extracting too great a toll in other dynamic areas.”

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This notice was published: 2022-03-30 04:01:23

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