2019 was rich in anniversaries of legendary SUVs. The Mercedes G-Class celebrated its fortieth anniversary, 45 was the Cherokee Jeep, Land Rover Discovery celebrated 30, and even the Cadillac Escalade stepped over its first 20 years. Materials about the history of the main “crooks” of the planet we have combined in this collection.
Toyota Land Cruiser
Toyota Land Cruiser opens our list by chance. Without a doubt, this is a legendary SUV. What is characteristic is interesting not only its rich and heroic 65-year history (65 years – the age of the name, the SUV itself is even older), but also modernity. Today, Land Cruiser is not just a car, but a socio-cultural phenomenon – ours, local. After all, Russia is the largest “two hundred” market in Europe. Land Cruiser 200 has been in operation for 13 years and is not going to retire.
The model gave rise to so many unique versions that they were enough for a separate material. We are so used to the “200th” that it’s time to remember how it all began. Moreover, in the fall of 2019, the total circulation of the model exceeded 10 million copies.
Land rover defender
One of the most important premieres of the past year is the new generation Land Rover Defender. Still brutal, charismatic, but now the ultra-modern SUV has replaced the all-terrain vehicle at the post, able to trace its chronology from the creation of the world. Well or so. To understand all the nuances will help our material. Moreover, the famous British crook did not immediately receive a name of its own Defender – just like its Japanese counterpart Land Cruiser.
We bet the Jeep Cherokee is older than you thought before you read this stuff. In 2019, he celebrated his 45th birthday. Another interesting fact: it was in the company brochure of the first Cherokee in 1974 that the designation sport utility vehicle, i.e. SUV, appeared. Today it is a common term. In Russia, they decided to designate crossovers, but in the USA this abbreviation has always meant SUVs.
What Cherokee is today can be explored here.
Pajero cannot boast the same long history as other SUVs on this list – production of mass-produced cars began in 1982. However, this is another Japanese legend. Mitsubishi Pajero still holds the leadership among passenger cars in the number of Paris-Dakar rallies won.
Already in his debut Paris-Dakar marathon of 1983, Pajero finished 11th, a year later – in third place, and in 1985 became the winner in the SUV class. Subsequently, Pajero repeated this achievement 11 more times, unconditionally dominating the famous rally from 2001 to 2007.
Here you will find a brief retelling of the forty-year-old history of the legendary German SUV, which ran out of the rank and file as generals. We succeeded in celebrating the anniversary of the great G-Class in the best way – by arranging a test of the new generation diesel version that just appeared.
Look for the video and all the interesting “iron” details about the second-generation G-Class in the article by Vasily Kostin.
Land rover discovery
The fifth generation Discovery is one of the most talked about SUVs of our time. It seems that on his account there are more holivors on the Internet than technical innovations. He is criticized for his “sleek” design and accentuated luxury, although Disco has become an even cooler tool to overcome difficult off-road conditions.
Perhaps this is the most capable SUV in the world, although it does not have a frame or bridges, and the driver should rely on electronics, to the same extent as on the “iron”. It all began thirty years ago much more modestly …
Among real SUVs, Suzuki Vitara has never been a superstar – it was lost against the backdrop of larger and more noticeable all-terrain vehicles. And yet, a simple, compact, hardy and reliable model, by and large, opened the world to Suzuki cars, and for many people – affordable SUVs for every day, anticipating the era of crossovers.
Vitara has conquered mountains and cities in different parts of the world and rightfully deserves a place on our list. And is it worth worrying that today a little legend has itself added to the list of crossovers? We have not decided yet.
The exact opposite of the democratic Vitara is the huge and luxurious Cadillac Escalade. Shocking and a challenge are inherent in its essence: for 20 years of its history, Escalade never intended to knead mud, but could if necessary. In its DNA, this is a real SUV is by no means of “passenger” origin.
The hero of Hollywood cinema and socialite could always replace a minivan (especially the long-wheelbase version), and even came out with a pickup body. We admit, Cadillac Escalade is one of the symbols of modern America. And for his modest age of 20 years, this is not such a small achievement.
If you suddenly didn’t have enough materials collected here about the most famous SUVs of the automotive era, here is a bonus: Ilya Frolov’s remarkable material about the first landing in Europe of Willys MB all-terrain vehicles, which at that time unofficially called “jeeps”. / m