The Pleasure of Driving a Luxury 4WD

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 The Pleasure of Driving a Luxury 4WD
8346249471 685ba4ac52 m The Pleasure of Driving a Luxury 4WD

The sport utility vehicle (SUV) can best be described as something with the interior space of a station wagon built on a light truck chassis. From utilitarian military beginnings these vehicles have evolved over the years. Originally designed for rural customers requiring off-road 4wd capabilities, the military versions of the Jeep and Land Rover were modified and marketed to the non-military market as early as 1948 with the introduction of the Willys Jeep Wagon. From that point, other manufacturers began producing similar vehicles.

In 1966 Ford created the Bronco. Toyota released the Land Cruiser in 1968, followed by the Chevrolet Blazer in 1969 and the Land Rover Range Rover in 1970. Initially these vehicles were not referred to as a sport utility vehicle or an SUV. That terminology didn’t gain popularity until the late 80s.

In 1998, the Lincoln Division of the Ford Motor Company took this vehicle in a new direction by introducing a luxury version dubbed the Navigator. In keeping with the brand’s character, the new Navigator was, of course, a luxury version in every aspect. Not wanting to miss out on their share of this new market segment, General Motors released their competitor the following year in the form of the Cadillac Escalade. Both of these vehicles were available with 4wd.

Today’s models offer the driver and occupants a pleasurable experience on many levels. First, the engine of most of these vehicles is more than capable and can provide acceleration somewhat similar to that of a sports car. Mated to those engines is a transmission that goes through its gears with a smoothness that makes the change almost imperceptible.

Road noise is so minimal inside the cabin that you can hear a butterfly sneeze, provided your teenagers don’t have the surround sound stereo system cranked up too high. And speaking of sounds, due to design and manufacturing processes and the quality materials used in these vehicles, irritating squeaks and rattles are pretty much a thing from days long past.

Nothing is spared when it comes to cabin comfort. The interior quality is luxurious with shape-shifting seats that electrically mold themselves to your body with the touch of a finger. Naturally, these seats are made of the finest leather that covers the plush stuffing designed to keep you comfortable even on those long cross-country vacations.

The comfort of this interior environment is easily controlled. An automatic climate system can be individually adjusted for driver and passenger as well as additional ventilation and controls for passengers located further astern.

If technology is your thing, the new luxury 4×4 SUV has tons of it available. The navigation systems are amazingly accurate and have a very intuitive interface. Most of the luxury models have smartphone integration and voice command features that give the driver a hands-free communication option. And there’s even something for the little ones. DVD entertainment centers are common in these units and come with headsets and remote controls.

Most manufacturers offer a 4wd vehicle today. Those brands that are known for their luxury component offer their version of a luxury 4×4. And since no manufacturer wants to miss out on a potential market segment, even Mercedes and BMW, long famous for their models in the luxury and sports car classes, now have their own models available. So, if you like the capabilities or the size, but crave a little of the luxury that is typically associated with sedans or a high-end sports car, consider the luxury 4×4 as a viable option.

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