Posted Jan 29th 2015 11:00AM
These days, truck-based, full-frame SUVs are somewhat of a rarity on the auto landscape due to the rapid rise in popularity of easier-driving, car-based crossovers. Although, without the gradually building popularity of these chunky, high-riding vehicles decades ago, it's unlikely that America's roads would be filled with so many CUVs today. In its latest dig into the archives, MotorWeek has found a 1984 comparison test of a trio of these early Sport Utility Wagons, as long-time host John Davis called them, that helped get acceptance of this segment going.
This is a red, white and blue test of the SUVs from North American automakers at the time and pits the Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Bronco and Jeep Cherokee (specifically in Wagoneer guise) against each other. Driving manners and interior usability are considered in the evaluation, but Motorweek actually takes these vehicles off road, too. Among the bigger revelations is the improvement in on-road ability in the past 30 years. While specific 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) times aren't given, all three models take around 10 seconds just to get to around 50 miles per hour )80 km/h) in the 500-feet on-ramp acceleration test. Check out this clip to see just how far this segment has progressed in the past three decades or just get a blast of nostalgia from these now vintage models.