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    Which 4WD SUV is the fastest in a straight line? Well, you could linger at the traffic lights around your local school and race unsuspecting parents to find out… but that approach isn’t particularly scientific.

    To answer the question, we lined up the competitors in our Best 4WD SUV Mega Test for a round-robin drag race.

    Last time around, we drew competitors from our videographer’s hat to determine which car would feature in each race. This time, we’ve turned to the internet’s favourite AI service, ChatGPT.

    The winner of each of the three races progresses to the decider. And stay tuned for that, because there’s a plot twist. 

    We’ve recorded 0-100km/h, 80-120km/h, and quarter mile times for each of these cars using a VBox. Those figures are at the end of this story.

    Before you get there though, make sure you watch Paul’s detailed video.

    Here are the key details about each of the cars in our test.

    EngineFuelPowerTorqueGears
    Ford Everest Platinum V63.0L V6Diesel184kW 600Nm10
    Ford Everest Trend Bi-Turbo2.0L I4Diesel154kW 500Nm10
    Isuzu MU-X 3.0L I4Diesel140kW 450Nm6
    Jeep Grand Cherokee L3.6L V6Petrol210kW344Nm8
    Land Rover Defender 110 D300 3.0L I6Diesel220kW650Nm8
    Land Rover Defender 110 V8 5.0L V8Petrol386kW625Nm8
    Lexus LX6003.4L V6Petrol305kW650Nm10
    Mitusbishi Pajero Sport 2.4L I4Diesel133kW430Nm8
    Nissan Patrol 5.6L V8Petrol298kW560Nm7
    SsangYong Rexton 2.2L I4Diesel148kW441Nm8
    Toyota Fortuner 2.8L I4Diesel150kW500Nm6
    Toyota LandCruiser 3003.3L V6Diesel227kW700Nm10
    Toyota LandCruiser Prado2.8L I4Diesel150kW500Nm6

    To stay across everything that’s happening with the 4WD SUV Mega Test, check out our dedicated page.

    Qualifying race 1

    First cabs off the rank were the Land Rover Defender 110 D300, the Toyota LandCruiser 300, Ford Everest V6, and Jeep Grand Cherokee L.

    All four cars feature full-time four-wheel drive, so were left in their default 4A drive modes.

    It was tight between the Defender and LandCruiser, but the bruising Brit narrowly pipped its Japanese rival.

    The Everest V6 came in third, followed by the very shouty Jeep Grand Cherokee L.

    Result: The Land Rover Defender 110 goes through to the next round.

    Qualifying race 2

    Hot on the heels of the LandCruiser was the Lexus LX600, fighting for Toyota’s honour. Looking to take it down were the Nissan Patrol, along with the two four-cylinder Toyotas – the Prado and Fortuner.

    The LX600, Prado, and Patrol had their four-wheel drive systems set in 4A, while the Fortuner was set to 2H as its four-wheel drive system can’t be driven in four-wheel drive on sealed surfaces.

    Although it’s down two cylinders on the Patrol, the LX600 led from start to finish. It was followed by the Patrol, with the Fortuner leading its more expensive brother, the Prado, home.

    Result: The Lexus LX600 goes through to the next round.

    Qualifying race 3

    Our third qualifying race was an all four-cylinder affair, with the Isuzu MU-X taking on the SsangYong Rexton, Ford Everest Bi-Turbo, and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.

    The MU-X and Rexton were set to 2H modes as their four-wheel drive systems aren’t able to be driven in four-wheel drive on sealed surfaces, while the Pajero Sport and Everest were in their 4A modes.

    The Isuzu launched best of the four cars and never looked back, followed home by the Rexton, Everest Bi-Turbo, and Pajero Sport respectively.

    Result: The Isuzu MU-X goes through to the next round.

    Finals

    There were two clear favourites in our final face-off: the LX600, and the Defender.

    The MU-X was the odd one out in this race, with only four cylinders and a part-time four-wheel drive system – but anything can happen on the drag strip, right? In this case, no.

    We ran this race a few times to make sure everyone was getting off the line cleanly, given how close it was between the LX600 and Defender, but the big Lexus always came out ahead.

    So, it’s our winner? Not quite…

    Welcome to the Land Rover Defender V8

    Last time we did this, the Ford Ranger Raptor won our initial round robin, only to run into the Ram 1500 TRX and its supercharged V8 engine.

    This time around, we’ve wheeled out the Land Rover Defender V8 to give the LX600 one last test.

    The Defender V8 has only just landed in Australia, and it’s a bit of a beast. With 386kW of power and 625Nm of torque on tap it’s the most powerful 4WD SUV on test here, although its $205,500 before on-road costs sticker price slightly undercuts that of the Lexus.

    Which is the more interesting, exclusive option? We’ll leave that up to you, but the Defender is faster.

    Although the LX600 gets off the line well, the supercharged V8 in the Defender quickly hauls it past the big Lexus and off into the sunset. It doesn’t sound bad, either…

    All the numbers

    We have even more performance data to come in a subsequent story, but the key numbers are all below.

    They were recorded independently of the drag race by the same driver on a damp surface.

    0-100km/h80-120km/h1/4 mile
    Ford Everest Platinum V69.39s7.04s16.80s @ 135.44km/h
    Ford Everest Trend Bi-Turbo10.78s8.40s17.65s @ 125.84km/h
    Isuzu MU-X 11.27s9.03s17.63s @ 124.14km/h
    Nissan Patrol 7.49s5.18s15.43s @145.64km/h
    Jeep Grand Cherokee L10.19s7.18s17.25s @ 131.72km/h
    Land Rover Defender 110 D3008.10s5.87s15.91s @ 141.35km/h
    Land Rover Defender V85.43s3.40s13.63s @ 169.02km/h
    Lexus LX6007.09s4.57s15.05s @ 152.22km/h
    Mitsubishi Pajero Sport12.61s10.17s18.63s @ 120.01km/h
    SsangYong Rexton11.09s8.55s17.78s @ 126.18km/h
    Toyota Fortuner 10.97s7.57s17.66s @ 129.76km/h
    Toyota LandCruiser 3008.11s5.53s15.85s @ 143.20km/h
    Toyota LandCruiser Prado11.38s8.28s17.89s @ 126.03km/h

    To stay across everything that’s happening with the 4WD SUV Mega Test, check out our dedicated page.

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    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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