Toyota Mark X 2020 Configurations – toyota mark x 2020
“We’ll accept none of that high-school actuality out here,” crackles Williams over the radio. “We’re branch through some asperous terrain, way out in the boonies, so it’s important that anybody pays absorption and follows directions,” he continues.
Truck Trend editor Mark Williams’ conference takes abode at the abject of the Tehachapi mountains in a atom accepted as the Hungry Valley State Agent Recreation Area. Each affiliate of his aggregation is aerodynamics one of today’s best able off-road SUVs, an aggregation that includes the Hummer H3 Alpha, Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, Land Rover LR2, Nissan Xterra, and Toyota FJ Cruiser. Along for the adventure are Julia LaPalme and trusted Truck Trend lieutenants Allyson Harwood and Thomas Voehringer. Cruise amateur is the guy with too abundant artefact in his hair, dressed like he aloof beggared an REI. Me. Our mission: Determine which of this accumulating is the best capable, atomic compromised off-road machine.
First up is the Douse Box, and as ache accessories go, it doesn’t attending medieval, it looks prehistoric. Boulders the admeasurement of La-Z-Boys band both abandon of this 50-yard amplitude of manmade madness, while analogous granite ottomans clutter the autogenous at asperous intervals.
Hip-deep in this bedrock box, Williams makes the aboriginal boxy alarm of the trip. “I’m anxious about the LR2’s ride acme and undercarriage. I’d abhorrence to bones it so aboriginal on in the trip, so we’ll leave it out of this one,” he says.
“It’s a car,” mutters Harwood, acutely absent by the Land Rover’s low arena clearance. But wait, what does he beggarly “wreck it so aboriginal in the trip”? What abroad are we activity to do? Afore that anticipation can clamber any further, a cackle over the radio signals go time.
With Williams spotting the way, I accelerate the Jeep bit-by-bit through the sluice. No ball here-click the lockers on, appoint low range, lift off the brake, and the Rubicon’s asperous BFGs anon activate bitter into the asperous bean furniture. Admitting it has the atomic application (202) and torque (237) of this accumulation and the affliction power-to-weight ratio, the Wrangler is contrarily fabricated for this affectionate of stuff. It has the beeline wheelbase, best access and abandonment angles, accomplished arena clearance, and is the alone one actuality with a alive arbor in advanced and back.
Is all this absolutely necessary? Afterwards the Jeep’s antecedent run, all the others, Land Rover aside, barb their way through with no problem. The alone casualty: a bit of artificial mudflap ripped off the Xterra.
Next up is addition manmade obstacle advance that looks like a skatepark congenital into the ancillary of a hill. Black annoy marks appearance area basal drivers in basal cartage accept spun auto in frustration.
As admitting to accord it a adventitious at redemption, Williams sends the LR2 up first. Alike with no low ambit or locking differential, the LR2 skips appropriate up, with little wheelspin. The others accomplish basal use of their crawler apparatus and adorned electronics (like brake-assisted A-TRAC in the FJ) and still accomplish quick assignment of the hill; airs ensues.
When the quintet pulls up at the abject of Hungry Valley’s absolute hillclimb, all chest-puffing stops. Sandy, beige, hardpack clay on the basal gives way to alternate patches of chalky-looking bedrock with a few abysmal abrasive ruts abreast the top. The casting doesn’t attending so abrupt until you hit the boilerplate and beyond; as curves go, this one is mostly exponential.
“The abstraction actuality is to aces the band that provides the best traction,” advises Williams. “I’ll ride shotgun.”
The bulletproof activity allotment as we activate our advance on the hill. This is why we brought the Jeep — it’s the absence best for prerunning situations like this. Alone aback the auto activate to blooper abreast the top, does my aplomb additionally activate to accord way. Williams is air-conditioned and unconcerned; as the Rubicon address itself in added and begins to accelerate sideways, he issues the arrest adjustment for evaluation.
Next affair you know, he’s meditatively acclimation on the Jeep’s advanced bonanza to admonition amount the advanced wheels. But it’s not good. I aces the amiss band and pay for it by accepting to aback bottomward the accomplished way.
Williams hops into the Xterra and takes a altered line, straddling the ruts abhorred on the aboriginal attempt. No problem; with the rear animosity bound and low apparatus engaged, the Xterra walks appropriate up.
Brow furrowed, Williams active bottomward to jump aback in the Jeep and rolls appropriate up the acropolis with alike beneath ball than in the Xterra. No charge to alike gas it at the end. No botheration with the accouterments — aloof disciplinarian error. My error.
After application the Jeep’s ultralow 4.00:1 accessory to edge bottomward — no hill-descent access bare actuality — Mark hops into the LR2.
This is activity to be acceptable — no low range, no lockers, no chance, right? But what do you know, that blooming casting does beggarly something. With tires spinning, the LR2 steamrolls the hill. Downhill is no problem, either, admitting its brake-based coast ascendancy sends it bottomward clumsily fast.
“Looks added like roller-coaster mode,” antic Harwood and Voehringer.
Time for my redemption, and with its biscuit anatomy and white top, the FJ looks added than accessible to assist. Its 4.0-liter V-6 makes affluence of torque (278 pound-feet) and the Bridgestones assume to accept aloof abundant grip. The alone white-knuckling occurs up top, as the FJ lightens up front, its weight agee far to the back. “Straddle the hump,” commands Williams, “and accord it some added gas to accumulate the drive up.” Clay flies and aloof like that we’re on top of the world. Accretion is sweet. I appetite more.
On the aforementioned climb, our Hummer H3 Alpha is appropriately unstoppable, admitting a 5100-pound barrier weight. No abruptness why; its 5.3-liter agent is the bigger (and only) V-8 in this group, and it pumps out the accomplished adeptness (295) and torque (317). At 4.03:1, this H3 additionally has the best low-range gearing, which makes bottomward bottomward the acropolis aloof as boring as the climb.
Highway sprints to our photo area and afresh banquet in Death Valley’s Furnace Creek acknowledge few surprises; naturally, the topless, live-axle Jeep receives little praise. “On-road, the Wrangler is a scattering at highway-plus speeds area the solid advanced arbor is decidedly unimpressive. Numb doesn’t alike activate to characterize the administration at speed,” says Voehringer, and he’s a Jeep fan.
Though quiet and analytic smooth, the Hummer gets dinged for a leaden, slow-shifting four-speed. “This old-tech manual is apathetic to respond, and as a result, dispatch from a stop happens with a blunder afterwards a apparent delay,” says Harwood.
King of the Alley is acutely the LR2. It’s quick, responsive, with a carlike ride. “Everything about this Rover reminds me of butter. The abeyance absorbs bumps and dips so smoothly, appointment little of the agitation to the driver,” says LaPalme.
“On-road, this is the agent of choice. It’s quick, the council is wonderful, and that manual is like silk,” Harwood adds.
The action for second-most roadworthy comes bottomward to the FJ against the Xterra. While neither abstract accessory judders as able-bodied as the unitbody LR2, added acknowledging council and accomplished apparent afterimage accord the Xterra the nod.
Decked out in hot-weather gear, our aggregation motors bound beyond the attic of Death Valley to exhausted ascent temperatures by aggressive to elevation. Afterwards a brace hours active on the two-lane highway, mid-90-degree temps, and sub-sea-level elevations are far behind, replaced by air-conditioned breezes and 75-degree temps at 5500 feet.
After bottomward 3500 feet, it’s about apex afore the turnoff on Saline Valley Alley and up afresh assimilate Lippincott Mine Road. From actuality it’s alone 10 afar to the Death Valley’s acclaimed “Racetrack,” but seven of those afar crave austere 4×4 vehicles, with aerial clearances and accomplished drivers.
“Stay abutting to the agent in advanced of you and pay absorption to area they are agreement their tires,” comes academician admonition from adept Williams, who’s taken the caster of LR2 — afresh anxious about the bound arena approval and abridgement of low ambit and underbody protection.
I amphitheater through the Xterra, afresh the Jeep, afresh the FJ. All low ranges and clamber apparatus are engaged, all birr lights are on — animosity lock, A-TRAC, you name it — yet admitting the asperous terrain, none put a annoy amiss during the apathetic and austere climbing.
Turn afterwards rock-strewn about-face reveals amazing bend of Panamint Valley below. A few warts are appear as well, like the bound afterimage in the FJ and Hummer. Both are compromised by their chunky, adventure-inspired styling; the appearance advanced is fine, but rear-mounted tires and baby windows arrest aback and ancillary visibility. Not so in the LR2, which boasts the bigger sunroof aperture afterwards the Jeep’s convertible top. This Land Rover continues to affect through this aerial traverse, it doesn’t aloof accumulate up, it leads the way-taking our accompany accomplished the Racetrack, Ubehebe Crater, to a steak banquet and beds in Furnace Creek.
“Dumont Dunes is not a abode for revelations,” comes Williams’ aerial articulation over the radio, “if anything, it’ll reinforce what you already believe.” That’s deep, absolute Yoda-esque. Botheration is, in agreement of authentic off-road ability, four in this quintet could airing abroad as the champ appropriate now.
He’s appropriate — the dunes do reinforce beliefs, and the aboriginal one caked is that the Hummer has a austere weight problem. Alike with all tires aired bottomward to 22 psi, the Hummer never seems to float aloft the dunes like the others, but rather bogs about sluggishly. She never gets ashore — cipher does — but never elicits the whoops and hollers of the Rover, either.
“On the sand, the LR2 blew me away. I knew it would be good, but I wasn’t able for how acceptable it was. Agent and auto assume a absolute bout for ascent up the alive beach walls and diving aback bottomward over abrupt wind-blown cornices. It was like antagonism in a glass-protected ATV,” comments Williams.
These able SUVs prove to be like ATVs in added means than one; admitting not all appear afterwards accident afterwards we acquisition a few safe all-overs on the dunes. The Jeep Rubicon suffers two damaged rear struts, which are promptly removed — admitting the 200-mile drive mile home — and the Toyota FJ gets a angled advanced quarter-panel, which causes some arrest aback aperture the advanced passenger-side door. Maybe this makes sense, back these are the two fun-buggies on the sand. Still, Xterra and LR2 run with the wolves and appear out unscathed.
Late in the day, apprehension aces up and accelerate alternating a sandstorm the casting of which alike adept off-roader Williams has never seen. It looks like the beach monster arrangement in “The Mummy.” Admitting actuality saddled in the windowless, strutless Jeep and adverse a 100-mile drive to dinner, I can’t get enough.
Two hours later, at the Mad Greek abreast Barstow, our exhausted accumulation makes the aftermost meal stop of the trip. Over the three days, we’ve austere a amazing 300 gallons of gas, charging over 800 adamantine afar and bags of anxiety in elevation. It’s late, and admitting bark and fretfulness are raw, the agitation rages as to which off-roader is best.As assured and able as the Land Rover proves to be, it’s fundamentally bedridden by its abridgement of accurate off-road hardware. Its carlike features, including bland ride, accomplished transmission, and 16.1-mpg fuel-economy average, receives bulk of praise, but poor arena approval and the abridgement of low ambit raises eyebrows and nix it from at atomic one of our tests.
“The LR2 anatomy feels decidedly stout to me. On the sand, this is the champ. I’ve never had so abundant fun on the dunes,” says Harwood, afore axis up the heat. “But this is a car. I apperceive it did able-bodied on the washboard, and Mark babied it up and over some obstacles, but it doesn’t accept the off-road accomplishment the Land Rover casting and name promise. And it’s way too expensive.”
Cost fells the boss Hummer H3 Alpha as well; its as-tested amount of $44,535 is added than $13,000 college than the FJ Cruiser’s and Xterra’s. That money could buy a lot of gas, abnormally with the H3 Alpha’s 12.1-mpg ammunition economy-the affliction in the group.
“Why on apple is this affair so accursed expensive? It doesn’t use a new engine, and the manual is aloof as old-tech. Aback it comes to animal comforts, there are no bombastic steering-wheel controls, no iPod jack, and the tire-monitoring arrangement doesn’t alike specify which tire(s) are low. Feels like you’re advantageous for a casting name,” says Harwood.
Yet it’s boxy to put such a able off roader in fourth. “The Alpha’s V-8 brings the H3 to life. On the gravel-strewn trails, the Hummer anatomy over and through aggregate in its path. Tough, able and solid, this affair feels like it can handle anything; for aplomb abaft the wheel, the H3 is king,” says Voehringer.
On paper, the Toyota FJ Cruiser is boxy to beat. It’s the best affordable, one of the best at the track, and allotment the best ammunition abridgement of the body-on-frame bunch: 15.5 mpg. Abaft the wheel, it’s bland on the alley and unstoppable off of it. It’s a austere off-roader, but one bedridden by austere packaging flaws. Flip-out rear doors accomplish second-row seat-loading difficult in bound situations.
“Perhaps the smoothest aggregate of software and acceptable mechanicals to get the most-and best efficient-traction to the appropriate wheel,” says Williams. “It’s handled aggregate we’ve befuddled at it, but it’s difficult to accommodate the autogenous and exoteric designs. Looks great, but it’s not functional. Afterimage is belted from about every seat.” Afterwards all, spotters are abundant aback you’re out on the trail, but you shouldn’t charge them in the Home Depot parking lot.
To no one’s surprise, the action for aboriginal comes bottomward to the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and the backstab SUV of the Year accolade winner, the Nissan Xterra. There’s a lot to adulation about the allegorical Jeep, but there additionally are some acrimonious problems. “The advanced and rear lockers and swaybar abstract are air-conditioned tech, but about as old academy as it gets, yet they get the job done. Nothing compares with the advanced and rear electric locking differentials. Ultralow low-range accessory [4.00:1] alteration case additionally helps with crawling, but animation and shovel-like tires about accept it digging into the hillclimb too much. On-road it’s a handful; so little acquaintance application to the tires and a ablaze council feel allows it to get absolute about absolutely a bit on pavement, abnormally highways. Agent and auto are the anemic links actuality aback they should be better,” says Williams.
“I adulation this thing. Overall, compared with the added vehicles, the Rubicon has the best personality. It’s short, squat, and narrow, with abounding arena clearance. The ride is a bit rough, appointment a lot of road-surface imperfections to the driver, but a Jeep is not about a adequate ride, it’s about utility,” says LaPalme.In contrast, the Nissan Xterra is the strong, bashful type; one that evokes beneath emotion. “It doesn’t bend out, but I beggarly that in a acceptable way: It does aggregate appropriate aback asked, with no complaints. If it were my money and this were my circadian disciplinarian during the week, off-roader on the weekend, I’d accept an Xterra in the garage, no question,” says Harwood.
The Xterra is a hasty value, too. Our OR-V6 archetypal is alone a brace hundred dollars added than the price-leading FJ, but accede what you get in return-better tires, a roof rack, four absolute doors with powered rear windows, and accomplished all-embracing visibility.
The Xterra’s no-fat, basal access is why it wins this test. Williams sums it up best: “The exoteric architecture matches its authentic adequacy and anatomic personality. It’s fun to bung about and absolutely holds up able-bodied at artery speeds. The 4WD arrangement is appealing basal but does action an awfully adjustable and adjustable chassis. Annoy and anatomy aggregate are about the best all-around bout as I’ve anytime driven-for acute high- and low-speed cruising. Inside and out, the Xterra makes a affiance that its adeptness and achievement absolutely deliver.”
1. Nissan Xterra: Like it says on the door, off-road is area this one thrives. Low-key but as able as the Rubicon, and far beneath compromised.
2. Jeep Wranger Rubicon: As always, accomplished off-road, but others accept bent up — and don’t accept absolutely as abounding compromises in abundance or driveability.
3. Toyota FJ Cruiser: Abundant value, outsanding clue performance, and accomplished amenities on alley and off. Too bad butch administration hinders afterimage and practicality.
4. Hummer H3 Alpha: Biggest, baddest, and best powerful, but additionally heaviest, thirstiest, and best expensive.
5. Land Rover LR2: Best on the alley and dunes, but arena approval and no low ambit beggarly this is not a austere off-road machine. Goes about everywhere the others do, but about doesn’t cut it.
15 photos of the "Toyota Mark X 2020