Most Popular 4x4s in the Last 20 Years

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The history of 4x4s has been one that’s colorful including that of the jeep and the pickup truck. From being a military vessel to becoming a high-profile off-road vehicle of today, they’ve certainly come a long way.

In this article, we’ll show you which of the famous 4x4s that you know and love climbed their way on top in the last 20 years and what made them a staple.

Jeep JK 2016

The awesomeness of a vehicle is impossible to mimic twice or more, but let’s hope heaven and earth won’t crush your creative spirit if you accidentally made it far from its usual glory.

In terms of functionality, the Jeep JK 2016 has gained a reputation for being both useful in day-to-day activities and off-road fun. In fact, in a recent study conducted by goodcarbadcar.net, Jeep JKs have been hitting the top of sales charts at 227,224 units sold.

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2005 3,743 5,198 6,748 7,882 8,543 8,337 11,704 7,079 5,463 4,475 4,482 5,363
2006 3,830 5,673 8,180 6,154 5,754 5,674 7,935 6,002 5,032 8,679 8,735 8,623
2007 8,954 9,240 13,397 10,776 12,332 10,952 8,829 9,464 8,605 9,354 8,333 9,007
2008 6,137 7,088 8,589 8,699 9,260 6,670 6,093 6,469 6,130 6,292 6,140 7,048
2009 6,362 9,088 10,000 9,336 9,294 4,810 4,540 5,613 6,002 5,305 4,896 6,798
2010 4,888 5,967 8,410 8,327 9,634 8,923 10,043 7,666 7,765 7,908 6,552 8,227
2011 6,444 7,636 8,807 9,051 10,008 11,290 14,355 12,949 11,388 9,892 9,225 11,415
2012 7,896 18,638 12,557 12,184 15,454 14,461 12,216 13,293 12,097 11,310 10,337 11,545
2013 8,854 10,091 12,901 13,445 16,272 16,165 14,404 15,825 11,984 11,780 11,753 12,028
2014 9,553 10,640 14,481 15,389 19,235 16,439 16,388 17,988 13,955 13,665 13,592 14,003
2015 11,683 12,911 17,524 18,849 22,324 19,159 19,320 18,160 17,583 15,751 13,847 15,591
2016 10,797 13,234 17,710 19,003 19,551 20,060 18,741 15,290 14,255 14,469 12,957 15,721
2017 11,334 13,641 16,336 18,841 19,931 18,839 18,698 16,808 15,714 13,391 13,289 13,700
2018 11,739 15,936 27,829 29,776 25,102 23,110 21,308 20,168 15,983 13,318 15,963 19,800
2019 13,024 15,001 21,963 22,422 24,530 20,055 19,419 21,750 17,866 17,126 17,760 17,126
2020 12,884 16,680 10,103 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
∑ = 138,122 ∑ = 176,662 ∑ = 215,535 ∑ = 210,134 ∑ = 227,224 ∑ = 204,944 ∑ = 203,993 ∑ = 194,524 ∑ = 169,822 ∑ = 162,715

But what makes it really cool? In a literal sense for starters, it comes with removable soft and freedom tops that are perfect if you just want some breeze to touch your face and be one with nature. However, if you’re limited in space, you can go for the soft top that’s known for being compact.

As far as transmission is concerned, Jeep JKs are usually composed of a five-speed automatic design that grants sufficient power for four-wheel driving purposes but manual counterpart is also possible.

While there are two types of four-wheel drive systems that are Command-Trac and Rock-Trac, Jeep JK 2016’s Sahara model is equipped with the former, which is excellent if you’re looking for the classic, well-rounded, all-weather benefit. As a matter of fact, a 4-Low and 4-High setup with it is already great for braving the mud, sand, and snow.

Jeep JK 2016 Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Can come with an optional convertible soft top.
  • Gives you adequate driving position.
  • Tire pressure monitoring system tells you if you need to air up or air down your tires.
  • Combines the usefulness of pickup trucks and real off-road vehicles.
Cons
  • Infotainment system is very traditional with low graphic design.
  • Doesn’t drive smoothly on roads and needs extra precaution when turning.

Buy on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CEC1TEM

Toyota 4Runner 2015

Can an SUV be an off-roading bad ass? Some of you may be silently asking this but Toyota 4Runner TPD Pro proves that a tried-and-tested favorite can still evolve into something extraordinary and should never be underestimated.

Despite its bulky physique, you’ll be surprised that it only weighs 4,789 lbs. which makes it lighter and easier to move compared to its earlier models. When you step inside, it has large rear windows that really helps in enhancing visibility.

On the road, it runs pretty smoothly, with the torque and brakes instantly reacting. Plus, the pedals don’t give much vibration which spells comfort for many drivers.

And speaking of comfort, the Toyota 4Runner TPD Pro’s suspension and styling are made in such a way that ride height is not only increased but also the springs are created softer to improve traction on uneven terrain.

If those don’t satisfy you, this daredevil genius hides a terrain select system that you can activate to have it adjust according to the type of surface you’re on including mogul, mud, and loose rock. This is basically what makes it effective for off-roading.

Toyota 4Runner 2015 Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Very responsive.
  • Moves lightly.
  • Has a crawl control system that can be used to climb up steep surfaces.
  • Cargo space is large enough at 90 cub. Ft.
  • Adapts to different terrains.
Cons
  • Has low ground clearance at only 9.6.”
  • Only meant for mild to moderate off-roading.
  • Rear view camera limits vision.
  • Prone to understeering.

Buy on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/B011EKPKR2

Jeep Renegade 2017

The statement best of both worlds might be cliché to many jeep models. But seriously? The Jeep Renegade adds a whole new meaning to it because it not only encompasses two trail-blazing worlds but three. Just remember this acronym: A.P.P. (which stands for appearance, price, and performance).

If you’re up for some rock crawling, the Jeep Renegade doesn’t disappoint. Because it’s equipped with a v-mode traction management system, it gives your wheels the right amount of momentum to maintain grip on rocky surfaces.

Plus, the steering alignment can take a beating for days off-roading fun and still remain intact for a seamless ride. And if you’re looking for some down time alone while sight-seeing, it’s pretty quiet and easy to operate.

In terms of appearance, the Jeep Renegade is a trail king with a dashing look. This is because it’s brimming with a classy interior that’s paired with black soft-touch seats, well-padded arm rests, with a sufficiently large cargo area.

On the flipside, its exterior part is somehow decorated with a bar-like vibe that gives it quite a funky attitude.

And of course, when it all goes down to the price, it only starts at around $19,000. However, if you really want to invest on all the gadgets that can make you feel both comfortable and safe inside, the price tag can go up from $23,000-$30,000.

Jeep Renegade 2017 Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Ideal for rock crawling and desert driving.
  • Steady and stable driving even up to three days of off-roading.
  • Brakes are responsive.
Cons
  • Panels are a bit noisy.
  • Takes three seconds for the gas pedal to activate.

Buy on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NBFSQK7

Ford F-150 2009

This Ford F-150 model may have belonged to the line of pickups developed in the early stretch of the millennium, but it has marked the beginning of Ford’s rise to durability and design improvement.

In fact, it showcased a strong body frame that can tow 11,300 lbs., large grilles, and headlights to boost its functionality because people are also searching for a 4×4 that can both be for traditional driving and work-related reasons.

And because many are open to the idea of 4×4 modifications, Ford F-150 allowed design flexibility where you can mount a reversing camera and a Sony audio system in the cabin area.

Furthermore, since it’s no secret that the F-150 has been America’s most popular vehicle (which still happens to be true today as the number of units sold neared a million last year), a lot of automotive companies sell various tuners and parts that are suitable for it.

About 662,574 Ford F-150 units were sold in 2019 against its competitors.

Ford F-150 2009 Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Comes in an assortment of colors and accessories.
  • Interior dashboard and layout were modernized starting from the tachometer.
  • Increased in safety and towing standards.
  • Has different sizes, lengths, and loads for specific needs.
  • Has wider part replacement availability to the public.
Cons
  • Exhaust leak on the passenger’s side happens.
  • Temperature actuators produce clicking sounds.
  • Side door harness wires easily gets damaged.

Buy on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B011CQPY60

Nissan Frontier Crew Cab 2000

Yep, you got that right! This baby began a huge step in the history of pickup trucks exactly in the year 2000 but its usefulness never gets old. You might even be surprised to find out that its design remains to be relevant to some of its protégés until now.

Believe it or not, the Nissan Frontier Crew Cab was the first of its kind to give a larger space for its passengers rather than its loading area.

To make sure that Nissan leaves a lasting impression on others aside from their usual target market, they gave people the option to choose between the ordinary and extended type under this series.

So, if you’re ready to pull out an all-nighter elsewhere with your peers, there’s still enough room to squeeze in more members without annoying the rest of the gang.

Nissan Frontier Crew Cab 2000 Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Proved that it can accommodate a large volume of passengers.
  • First compact pickup truck.
  • Reconciled comfort and utility.
  • Easy to maintain.
Cons
  • Design is now common to many pickup trucks.
  • Has low mileage.

Buy on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B011A7IT4K

Tips for Buying a 4×4

Purchasing a new or used 4×4 is a huge responsibility. This is because when you start your selection, your necessities outweigh your wants, unless of course, you’re doing it all purely for fun, and you don’t find yourself short on any resources. But how will you know if you made a wise 4×4 buying decision? Let’s break down some of the things that truly matter.

1.  Buy Only the 4×4 That Is Needed

If only you live in a perfect world, surely you’ll buy the 4×4 of your dreams out of whim. You want this, that’s swag, etc. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way and almost everything you get comes at a cost. When you let your addiction take over your every move, you’ll most likely wake up one day with nothing left to spend.

To cut the long story short, choose a 4×4 that really suits your needs, especially if it’s going to be on a daily basis. If you’re a hardcore off-roader who usually find yourself burning the trails, it’s best to get a Jeep Rubicon with stocky suspension and locking differentials.

But if you’re after agility with a mix of mild off-roading, the Toyota 4Runner’s a strong contender and also goes well on the road.

2.  Choose Your 4×4 Model Variant

There are two types of 4×4 variation; one is the ever-popular, four-door option and the two-door alternative. The former being the favorite not only because it’s something that’s a common place but also because it has a longer wheelbase which translates to smooth ride.

Moreover, the rear storage space is somewhat large enough to accommodate a huge assortment of tools and other items. And as far as jeeps are concerned, they usually have a back door that lets passengers easily move to and fro.

On the other hand, if you go for the latter, it’s basically less expensive because it literally has less parts or more compact than the four-door counterpart. However, what’s really notable about the two door is the fact that its turning capability on the trail is more seamless than the other.

3.  Determine Your 4×4 Brand Loyalty

4×4 brand loyalty is something that’s rampant among new and experienced off-roaders. Just because a certain family member or a friend of yours have tried and tested a Ford Truck, or considers a Jeep Patriot his or her favorite, it doesn’t mean you’ll automatically give in and consider that brand as being the best.

Sure, your relatives opinions do have a bearing but you don’t have to be a stereotype because what may be excellent for others may not be excellent for you. The most effective way of evaluating how great a truck or jeep is through actually driving it.

Getting your first-hand experience in using a 4×4 validates claims and suspicions on its performance and overall package. As long as it answers everything you’re looking for in a vehicle, you have no reason to doubt or dump it.

4.  How Much Does a 4×4 Cost?

Prices of new 4x4s like Jeeps can range from $20,000 and up as well as pickup trucks starting off at around $35,000 or more. With this being said prices are usually based on the brand, model, and style. Not to mention, the more features it has, the more expensive it is.

The thing is, 4×4 costs won’t be much of a big deal if you have the means to pay for them. On the contrary, if you’re 18 to 21 years old who has only started earning something, it’s not really advisable to get a vehicle loan that can eat more than half of your monthly income. But if you’re really down for a new ride, here’s what you can do.

  • Consider that your current budget may not be the same in the succeeding years.
  • Go for used 4x4s that are normally 5 to 10 years old.
  • Select used 4x4s within the $10,000 price range.
  • It’s okay to buy used 4x4s as long as they’ve not been too abused and don’t need a lot of maintenance.

Interesting Facts About 4×4

You love using the term 4×4 as much as we do but have you ever stopped to think how it came to be? Here are some useful insights about 4x4s and some of your favorite jeeps and pickup trucks.

 

Conclusion

These may be the most popular 4x4s for two decades due to what each unit has to offer, but don’t forget they also have their respective down sides. So when it comes to choosing a 4×4, get the one that takes your best interests at heart; be it the style, performance, etc. There are a million ways on how to evaluate your desired 4×4, but only you can figure out what works just right for you. Discuss this matter further with us by commenting below.