The Score Card Previous 4x4 of the Year Winners 1983 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer 1984 Jeep Cherokee (2.8L engine) 1985 Isuzu Trooper II 1986 Ford Ranger 1987 Nissan Pathfinder (two-door) 1988 Jeep Cherokee (4.0L engine) 1989 Toyota pickup 1990 Nissan Pathfinder (four-door) 1991 Dodge Dakota 1992 Chevrolet Blazer (fullsize) 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee 1994 Dodge Ram (1500 V-8 shortbed regular cab) 1995 Dodge Ram (2500 V-10 longbed Club Cab) 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee (with center diff lock) 1997 Jeep Wrangler Sport Test Structure Category Ranked Highest RIDE & DRIVE-30% of total points •Urban Jeep •Highway GMC •Dirt or gravel fire roads Jeep •Sand Jeep •Rockcrawling Jeep •Hillclimbing Isuzu •Braking quality Mercedes-Benz Overall Jeep EMPIRICAL-25% of total points •Torque/weight ratio Jeep •1/4-mile acceleration Jeep •60-to-0 braking Jeep •Load-carrying capacity Mercedes •Miles per gallon Isuzu •Price as tested Mazda Overall Isuzu MECHANICAL-15% of total points •Engine's available power Jeep •Transmission Mercedes-Benz •4WD/low-range engagement Dodge •Steering Mercedes-Benz •Fit and finish GMC •Drivetrain performance Jeep Overall Jeep INTERIOR-15% of total points •Ergonomics Dodge •Appearance, fit and finish Mercedes-Benz •Appointments GMC •Perceived noise level Mercedes-Benz Overall GMC EXTERIOR-15% of total points •Body styling Dodge •Cargo GMC •Four-wheeling attributes Jeep •Fit and finish Mercedes-Benz Overall GMC At least 20 minutes are spent carousing the undercarriage of every vehicle, looking for poor assembly, low-hanging stuff, and trick goodies such as the unusually finned Dana 44 under the Isuzu.At least 20 minutes are spent carousing the undercarriage of every vehicle, looking for po We encountered breakage of some minor component on nearly every 4x4 tested. Surprisingly, a lower front shock bolt parted ways with the ML320.We encountered breakage of some minor component on nearly every 4x4 tested. Surprisingly, Of the V-6 engines in the test, we were most pleased with the revvy 3.0L in the Rodeo-even when mated to a good-as-you-can-hope automatic trans.Of the V-6 engines in the test, we were most pleased with the revvy 3.0L in the Rodeo-even We counted a total of 10 tire repairs on the 4x4 of the Year journey-this allowed us full familiarity with the jacks and spares.We counted a total of 10 tire repairs on the 4x4 of the Year journey-this allowed us full This year's trip required more rock stacking, yank strapping, and just plain grunting than any in recent memory. New Publisher Joe Sebergandio was a pro by week's end.This year's trip required more rock stacking, yank strapping, and just plain grunting than By David Freiburger, Tori Tellem Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!