As I am someone who already owns a full blown 4x4, as well as other various dust collectors, therefore I have no real reason for a ‘lite’ fourby. Anywhere I am going to go, especially in outback Oz I am going to take all the capability I can lay my hands on (hello Mr 105).
So why am I strangely drawn to ‘normal’ stuff with an interesting 4wd specification?
So, staying with Toyota for now, I give you the AE95 Corolla 4wd.
Big woo’s you might say, the Japanese have had most of their popular models available in 4wd for their snowbound customers for years now.
However ther AE95 has been on my want list for a while. Un-assuming Rolla body. Suprisingly spacious wagon, errr, space. 4wd. Manual, but what really seperates this one for me, is that is come with the 4A-GE engine, the what? Yeah the Yamaha marvel from the legendary hachiroku
and the AW11 MR2. I have driven both those cars, and that engine plays no small part in their status. However, despite being available in Oz, these AE95 Rolla’s are rare. I think the only way I am going to get to experience one is to buy one. What if it’s a wishy washy understeering mess? Not outside the realms of possibilities, but this was a time when the Japanese manufacturers were on a roll, they got more stuff right more of the the time than they got wrong.
(That’s not a Corolla ^^^) However these cars have a serious following. Their own facebook page.
If they are anything like the preceding model, the Tercel, can do off road.
However, it’s not just the Japanese that have customers with 4wd requirements in a small, fuel efficient package. Bonjour.
But those things are hens teeth now, modern equivalent?
Looking almost cool these days. Just me? Thought so.
2 litre twin cam engine from the Megane.
Anyway, 4wd system by Steyr. Who have made other 4x4's you might recognise.
Hence, off road is do-able.
I was actually pretty smitten with the idea of the Yeti in my post Range Rover world, Evo magazine rated them highly (which counts a lot for me, I was all set on a new MX5 till they reviewed it...).
N didn’t like them though (too ugly, so we ended up with that pinnacle of automotive beauty the Land Cruiser, which she loves, go figure?), plus a few nagging doubts and demand was outstripping supply at the time so prices were $$$. With hindsight we would still have needed a ‘proper’ 4wd, so it was the right call. Maybe in a few years though...
So what’s the draw? I think I like the idea of the limited capability making the trails more challenging, a bit like having a low-powered car in motorsport. You as a driver have to put more in, you make the difference. Also the fact that you can just be out doing normal stuff and you might find a secret trail or need to just need to cut through that patch of rough stuff, and 4wd chassis tend to come alive on dirt roads, and we got plenty of them here.