Oldsmobilewww.oldsmobile.comThe big news about the 2000 Bravada comes close to no news at all. Except for the revised 190hp 4.3L OHV V-6 with which the entire GM compact truck family is blessed and some unfathomable minor trim and color changes, the four-door Bravada carries over unchanged. That includes the SmartTrak all-wheel-drive system, the luxury interior, and the suspension geared more for mall prowling than rockclimbing. If you like this Bravada (which first appeared as a '96), get it now; GM's new compact SUV family is on an accelerated development schedule and should appear next year.
Subaruwww.subaru.comEvery Subaru sold in the U.S. has high-ratio all-wheel drive standard, though not all of them are off-road oriented. For 2000, 24-hour roadside assistance has been added to all Subarus.
The new Legacy sedans and wagons are powered by a 165hp 2.5L SOHC flat-four engine and come with everything from all-independent suspension to four-wheel disc brakes. The off-roady Legacies are the Outback wagon and Outback Limited sedan, which have 7.3 inches of ground clearance, foglights with stone guards, special body cladding, and all sorts of things to make them look tough. Wagons are available with a five-speed manual, but the sedan is automatic only.
The smaller Impreza line adds a 2.5RS four-door to the line, which mimics a rally car with the Legacy's 165hp engine in its nose. The Outback Sport brings the Outback styling to the Impreza wagon, though power retains the Impreza's standard 142hp 2.2L SOHC flat-four.
Finally there's Subaru's car-based Forester mini-SUV, which should be more capable off road during 2000 thanks to a new limited-slip rear differential. Power comes from the Legacy's 2.5L engine.
Suzukiwww.suzuki.comThe twerp-size Suzuki Vitara was all-new in 1999 and jumps into 2000 with new trim levels and a new spare tire cover. A 97hp 1.6L DOHC 16-valve four is available on two-door Vitaras, but most have the 127hp 2.0L DOHC four sitting longitudinally beneath their hoods, driving a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission and a dual-range transfer case. Get the 155hp DOHC 24-valve V6 and the trucklet becomes a Grand Vitara (four-door only). There's also a new Limited Edition Grand Vitara with leather seats and such for 2000.
Toyotawww.toyota.comToyota's range of 4x4s starts off small and winds up big. No manufacturer may have a broader range of offerings.
Remember the two-door RAV4 mini-SUV? Well it's a memory now as Toyota's tiniest four-by comes only in four-door in 2000. Otherwise changes are minimal to the car-based RAV4, with a three-spoke steering wheel and a 12-volt power outlet in the rear cargo area the most noticeable changes. Power for all 2WD and 4WD RAV4s comes from a 127hp 2.0L DOHC 16-valve four backed by either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The 4x4s also have a center locking differential to improve performance of the full-time system.
The compact Tacoma pickup continues barely changed with a new appearance package, some new colors, and daytime running lights on vehicles equipped with ABS. Available in regular or extended Xtracab models, the standard engine in 4x2s is a 142hp 2.4L DOHC 16-valve four, while 4x4s start off with a 150hp 2.7L version of the same engine. Optional is the irrepressible 190hp 3.4L DOHC 24-valve V-6 that makes the Tacoma nearly a rocket. For the hard-core, manual locking hubs are standard on 4x4s, while shift-on-the-fly and electronically selectable transfer cases are optional. Continuing are the TRD Off-Road package on 4x4s and the Prerunner 4x2. A new Tacoma is due next year.
Still wildly popular, the 4Runner SUV enters 2000 basically unchanged. Standard power comes from the Tacoma's 2.7L four, and the 3.4L V-6 is standard. The 4Runner can be had as anything from a stripped-out 4x2 to a fully luxed-out 4x4 Limited that'll have your banker gasping at the size of your payment book.