If the news out of Toyota and Honda has you looking for a new ride, Car and Driver has nothing but good things to say about one you might not have considered: the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle.
The mag even offers up a new name: The B'Gosh.
While the price is high -- $1.4 million, according to the magazine -- and it might not fit in your garage, the January 2010 article reports that the truck is easy to drive and “rides far better than you’d expect.”
“From the driver’s seat, it feels as if the M-ATV will take you home over any route you choose,” the author adds.
He notes that the truck offered “more than acceptable levels of jounce” over most drops and only “required minor steering inputs to stay the course.”
The truck’s “light steering, chassis stiffness, and lack of bump steer are impressive," he adds. "The thing just chugs over the mess.”
The whole thing's worth a read, but here's a bit more of the bottom line:
On-road, it’ll do a maximum of 65 mph. You wouldn’t call it nimble, but there’s little steering slop and the sense that if you hit something it’s not going to matter so much anyway. Acceleration is tank-like (although 0 to 60 in 32.8 seconds is quicker than an actual tank), and it’s noisy, with a little throttle lag.
Big brake drums require significant pedal pressure, but panic stops are drama-free. The nose dives, and you can actually see the anti-lock brakes pulse the M-ATV to a halt. An ATC test driver managed 0.46 g on our improvised 200-foot-diameter skidpad (an airfield helicopter ordnance-loading pad), the M-ATV tilting obscenely and actually lifting the unloaded front wheel. But really, your mom could drive this thing.
And that’s the point. The M-ATV is for fighting as well as driving. Ease of operation means experienced MRAP drivers need only about 14 hours of instruction, complete novices just 40 hours. The M-ATV has no formal name yet, but we’re tempted for obvious reasons to call it the “B’Gosh.” In Afghanistan, the M-ATV will endure months and perhaps years of the most arduous duty, where it must bring as many soldiers home as possible. Maybe they should call it the RTB.