So you need a hardcore off-road wagon that can scramble up a craggy mountain and smash through mud holes, but also cope with the drudgery of day-to-day life and all the practical considerations that come with it? Well, we've got four very interesting players in the rugged 4WD SUV segment that could well fit the bill.

This comparison test saw us bring together three ute-based seven-seaters: the just refreshed top-spec Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Exceed, which was our winner the last time we did a test like this; the flagship Ford Everest Titanium, because the broader CarsGuide community insisted we put high-spec models against high-spec models rather than matching up the prices; and the range-topping Toyota Fortuner Crusade, which has also been updated for 2020. Plus we've also included a stalwart in the seven-seater SUV segment – the Toyota Prado GXL, which is the most popular variant in its model range and sits pretty close to the top-spec ute-based SUVs on price. It also represents what a lot of people instantly think of when they're asked about family-friendly four-wheel drives.

All four of these models are diesel-powered 4×4 wagons, and in the versions we have here, each has seven seats – so they double up on practicality.

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