Tomcar Review

What if I told you that your ideas of the ultimate offroad, hunting and adventure vehicle might not be a Jeep? What if I told you that for the same (or less!) money you could get a far more capable vehicle, one where you might be as excited about driving as you are about the rest of your hunt or adventure? Yes, I’m the same guy who has written extensively on building the Ultimate Hunting Vehicle, a Jeep. But I’ve found something that can run circles around my Jeep and destroy your ATV/UTV. Some might call this a Tomcar review, but I think “Discovery” or “Introduction” make better descriptions.

I’ve had my eyes on Tomcar for years. With each trip to the annual Shooting Hunting Outdoors Trade Show (SHOT Show), I rush past their booth while heading to some meetings. A little drool usually accompanies that moment.

Tomcar Looks = Benefits

Yeah, it’s the looks that grabbed me, specifically the Tomcar TX model looks. Don’t judge, the looks tell a big story if you know what you’re seeing.

Tomcar Review

First impressions easily center on military operations. Of course, here at SHWAT™ we love when military tech makes it to civilians, whether that’s thermal imaging, guns, or in this case, vehicles. The Desert Tan and OD Green Tomcars ooze the vibe.

Devoid of consumer grade plastic, the Tomcar TX looks like a heavy-duty beast of a machine. The tires aren’t some special set you have to buy from them, or a dealer, or hope the tire shop has them. They aren’t oddball balloon tires for a UTV. They are 265/75R16, common to the Toyota FJ, Nissan Pathfinder and Xterra, Ford, Chevy, Dodge… Probably available at every tire seller you’ll ever run across. That means if you shred one, you can easily replace it almost anywhere.

Combined with the Tomcar TX suspension and drivetrain arrangement, those tires give you 17” of ground clearance. That’s an inch more that my lifted Wrangler on 35s has at its most generous measurement. Note that my differential covers drop that to 10.5”. That means I pick lines for my Jeep where the bigger rocks go between my tires and the differentials or I drive over them with the tires. With the Tomcar, just drive more or less, and drive hard.

TX Tomcar Review

The fenders are huge, sitting high above the tires. There’s a clue there, and it reminds me of highly capable Jeep builds. Each Tomcar TX wheel gets 14” of travel on the independent suspension. That’s right there with the best/biggest Jeep builds, not your stock Rubicon.

The lack of doors on our two-seater TX3 model evoked some excitement, leveraged more by the four point safety harness. I’m for doing dangerous things, but doing them safely. Yes, you can add half or full doors if you’d like. Our four door TX4 had half doors. They close solidly, but only have handles on the outside. That’s different, but it works.

How Does the Tomcar Handle?

Tomcar TX vehicles are heavy. The two-seater TX3 and four-seater TX4 weigh roughly 2700 pounds and have very low centers of gravity. I’d describe it as driving on Velcro®. You are stuck to the ground. The stability is weird. I didn’t push it nearly as hard as others, but rumor has it the TX3 can corner at a dirt road intersection at 50 miles per hour. Like I said, I wouldn’t know and don’t know that I’d try it, but still…

Tomcar TX hunting vehicle

It took a moment to get comfortable with the on road steering. If you ever drove a 1972 Chevy Impala, the TX might bring back some memories. Overcorrecting was my first issue, but it wasn’t long and the TX and I got along nicely.

Offroad, I can only say the steering was something near perfect, not that I know what exactly perfect would be. My initial thought was that the turning radius on the Tomcars wasn’t great. However, when I looked up my four door Jeep Wrangler I was surprised. The Wrangler needs 41 feet. The Tomcar only requires two more.

And the handling? We weren’t rock crawling, but blasting across sown fields and the undulating terrain around them. The undulations were easily a foot or more and I personally navigated them at more than 30 miles per hour. I believe could have done so with one hand on the steering wheel and one hand holding a cup of coffee. I’d describe the experience as Cadillac smooth. It was weird. I suppose I could have put the coffee in one of the cup holders. Yes, the TX Tomcar has those.

TX Tomcar for hunting

Handling would change as the load changes, of course. Depending on the Tomcar model, the TX can handle a payload of 2500+ pounds! It can tow 5000! How that would affect handling is still just theoretical to me. Perhaps I’ll get a chance to try that sometime.

Power is delivered through a constant velocity (CV) transmission. It reminds me of some ATVs; it’s super simple. A single lever moves between forward and reverse, high and low gear ranges. Another lever selects two or four wheel drive. There’s not much to it, really. Except for lockers, activated by toggles on the dash. In the final analysis, I’d say the power plant and drivetrain seem to be simple, robust and reliable.

Is Tomcar Street Legal?

A key question for our Texas hog hunt was whether or not the Tomcar TX series is street legal. We drive county roads and highway, so that matters. The answer lies in where you live. The Tomcar TX vehicles are equipped with high/low beam headlights, signals, brake lights. They are well enough equipped that some states will allow owners to register and drive them to the mall while others may not. Either way, our test vehicles were licensed in Arizona where they were built and we found them excellent in our on road driving. More on that in a moment.

Tomcar in the field

Is the Tomcar Comfortable?

Beyond the weirdly smooth ride over the undulating landscape, a few other things affect the Tomcar ride quality. The seats are padded buckets, nothing special. They were comfortable to all who drove, from 5’7 to well beyond 6’. I will say it looked like a squeeze when the big guy got in, but he didn’t complain about anything, not even the seats being welded in place with zero adjustments. Remember these are military vehicles that the rest of us are getting to know.

When you cinch down the four point harness you and the Tomcar are one. You’re not going anywhere. I’m 5’8” and couldn’t reach the fully open door to close it when strapped in. Note to self, close door first, then buckle up!

Tomcar work vehicle

You can get a Tomcar TX with or without a windshield. I’m all for the windshield. That plus the large fenders did a surprisingly good job of keeping the dust out, even without doors.

The biggest knock I can give on the Tomcar comfort was the noise level. Our gas powered loaner units were just plain loud when running wide open. I know, you probably won’t run one wide open all the time. But in my defense, the TX Tomcars really begged for it, both on the roads and in the fields!

The noise comes from a real automobile engine sitting under the back deck. It’s a 1.5 liter 16 valve four-cylinder cranking out 107 horsepower and 80 foot pounds of torque. Other power plant options include diesel and electric.

Tomcar TX for hunting

Is the Tomcar Good for Hunting?

If by “good” we mean it will get your through some crazy terrain in a timely manner hauling most anything you’d imagine, then the Tomcar is good for hunting. In fact, it’s great! But the caveat in our introductory experience is the noise. We never got close to a group of hogs in the Tomcars. We got much closer in a pickup. In all fairness, we probably should have asked to test the electric model with its 80 mile range. Next time…

Ultimate ATV

Would I drive the Tomcar from Colorado to Texas to hunt? No, we maxed out around 60 miles per hour or so on the highway. On the other hand, I would love to try an overland trip across Colorado! But I digress. I should reframe my intro here. It doesn’t beat my Jeep if leaving my house is step one on my way to Texas, and I guess since there’s no heat or air conditioning we have to factor that in as well. But, want to beat other hunters to the elk? Want to avoid getting stuck heading to the duck blind? How about going deep in the Alaskan wilderness to set up hunting camp for a week? I can’t think of a better vehicle at the moment.

Tomcar for hunting review

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