Just some feedback on 4x4's and off-road driving:
Yesterday I did a 4x4 course in my own vehicle (Nissan Patrol GR, with BF Goodrich A/T tires) and my brother did the same course in a company 4x4, a Land Rover Discovery, on off-road mud tires. The company being Whitecliff 4x4 in the Royal Forest of Deen. ( http://whitecliff4x4.co.uk/ )
It was great to learn that my 17yr old car, which I have driven for three years, was a lot more capable than I expected. The problems I have had in the past were due to driver error, not the (old) technology. Some nice new techniques were learned such as how to get out of a swampy area when your wheels dig in and you think you are well and truly stuck; negotiating steep slippery muddy slopes; adverse camber tracks; recovery from a steep incline once stalled, etc. etc.
Some interesting findings: The Nissan Patrol was more capable going downhill, was a lot more spacious and comfortable, and would be the choice off-roader of one one of the instructors over a more modern Land Rover any day.
But the Land Rover Discovery coped better uphill and with the mud tires could do adverse camber tracks which my Nissan Patrol wasn't even allowed to try.
The differences in capability were caused by the different set-ups of the Differential Lock. (Don't ask...I am not a techie)
Pushing the instructors to declare their 'ideal' off-roader, the clear winner was the Toyota Landcruiser. Typical stalkers 4x4 pick-up trucks (Hi-Lux, Navarra, L200 etc.) didn't stand a chance due the rear- leaf springs causing off-road limitations.