It used to be 'want, want, want' where 4x4s were concerned. Now it's 'need, need, need'. And in this new needs-based market one 4x4 company ticks all the right boxes - and now has the website to prove it.
Nissan's new "Which 4x4 are you?" website is Nissan's fun way of reinforcing the point that for some people a 4x4 is the right motoring choice. If not the only motoring choice.
The website, now live, demonstrates, through a series of filmed challenges, that 4x4s are tough, powerful and functional for a reason: they have a real job of work to do. Or indeed a real job of leisure. Just ask anyone whose life includes horses, caravans, boats, children, country pursuits, moving lots of stuff or who is simply faced with a rural winter on bad roads.
But the challenges also make the point that not all 4x4s are the same when it comes to delivering what 4x4 owners expect from their versatile vehicles.
The website is aimed at owners of regular cars thinking of upgrading to a 4x4- for the most practical of reasons. They first find out "which 4x4 they are" via interactive criteria of towing weight, load capacity, number of seats and type of use.
Their ideal Nissan 4x4 - either the Nissan X-TRAIL, Nissan Pathfinder or Nissan Navara - is then pitted against rivals from other 4x4 manufacturers in a variety of fun but revealing tests.
Appropriately presented by someone who knows all about motoring challenges, Lisa Rogers of the popular TV show Scrapheap Challenge, the confrontations include sprint races (with and without caravans), overtaking tests (complete with horseboxes) and seeing how far the 4x4s can get up a one-in-two hill dragging a 300kg bale. The answer is not very far in some cases.
In "Can I Canoe?" the winner is the vehicle that can best swallow up four big men and two canoes and reach the water first, while "BBQing Builders" involves off-roading in pickups loaded with everything needed to build a barbeque for Lisa's mum. For a couple of the vehicles at least, the builders really do have a smashing time.Published 21 September 2009