Advise me 4x4

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
That’s a bit more clarity. A few thoughts.

1) don’t be afraid of a high mileage or older Prado. Mine is 20 years old and has 470,000 km on the clock. I’ve done 275,000 of those. I’ve spent next to **** all on it but would take it anywhere and not get too bothered about denting it.

2) the FJ Cruiser is
off the shelf Toyota parts in a retro body. They’re cheap to run if you know the parts interchangeability. Great off-road, but very claustrophobic.

3) have you thought about a twincab with a canopy. Hilux or L200? Or maybe one of the SUVs on a ute chassis. Big though.

4) If you have to go old and cheap, a Daihatsu Feroza is the muts. They never break.

5) how about buying from Japan if you can do RHD? Great deals on Pajeros.

1. Yep, have the same reliability impression of Pajeros. There are basically no Prados on sale within hundreds of miles. I assume they just didn't sell here.
2. That's interesting, didn't know so thanks. Driven one before, so yes the space inside isn't ideal. But they are like tanks offroad.
3. It's a choice of how to live out of a vehicle (when climbing). I prefer a hardshell back that I can hollow out rather than a truck I have to put a soft cover on - both are possible, but the second is more work. For sleeping I simply use the vehicle as one point to string a hammock from anyway, so it's about how to easily organise and assemble / dismantle the rest of the kit in the back.
4. Will keep that in mind.
5. As it happens I've been doing RHD on LHD roads for the past year because had to take our UK car out during the pandemic, but I'd rather a LHD.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Does it have to be one car to do it all?

How about one car for the 99% option, and one car for the 1% option?
Yep, this is COA 2 that I'm now leaning towards. Would also be useful to have a spare car to get to and from the airport. That way I can just stag on the 4x4 market and wait for something to come up.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
That’s a strong point - a quad bike may be a lot cheaper than the running costs and depreciation on a 4wd.
Bit hard to pack a week's climbing and living kit onto a quad though.
 
Bit hard to pack a week's climbing and living kit onto a quad though.

You should see what the local farmers get onto theirs - big lockboxes etc.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
You should see what the local farmers get onto theirs - big lockboxes etc.
I did my quad training many years back, and if they could get about 250L of North Face bags on it without tipping or a trailer, I'd be impressed. Even with just one person I'd have one sleeping / wearing / eating kit bag and one 150L climbing kit bag. Ropes take up a lot of space.

Anyway, the 4x4 is also for multi-day trips further away.
 
Bit hard to pack a week's climbing and living kit onto a quad though.

You had to ask…

57BDBFFC-EC32-46C4-9A89-DF188FCB791A.jpeg
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
That's a trailer...
 

Blogg

LE
1. Yep, have the same reliability impression of Pajeros. There are basically no Prados on sale within hundreds of miles. I assume they just didn't sell here.
2. That's interesting, didn't know so thanks. Driven one before, so yes the space inside isn't ideal. But they are like tanks offroad.
3. It's a choice of how to live out of a vehicle (when climbing). I prefer a hardshell back that I can hollow out rather than a truck I have to put a soft cover on - both are possible, but the second is more work. For sleeping I simply use the vehicle as one point to string a hammock from anyway, so it's about how to easily organise and assemble / dismantle the rest of the kit in the back.
4. Will keep that in mind.
5. As it happens I've been doing RHD on LHD roads for the past year because had to take our UK car out during the pandemic, but I'd rather a LHD.

Toyota Prado can suffer from name confusion because in Europe they are called Toyota Land Cruiser since what rest of world calls a Land Cruiser stopped being sold there.

Also gets sold as a Lexus GX but if you find one in Europe it started life in Russia or US

Model designations will be LC120 and LC150 for anything built after 2002 or 2009

Dirty secret is that in terms of engine, drivetrain and chassis they are for all intents and purposes a Toyota HiLux in a posh frock.

So a 4WD HiLux can be a pretty good proxy if you can live with the limitations (or benefits depending on use) of a pickup.

If you do get one change oil (full synthetic) every 5000 miles no matter what manual says. Engines are hard on the oil in terms of having high exhaust gas recirculation rates and can suffer from fuel dilution of oil
 
The Swiss Army are selling off there Puch 230GE's, which are Merc G Wagons. The wife may not like the color though, also the seats are a bit on the hard side and not heated. Just tell her its a Merc G spot.

Nice tyres, bit noisy. 8 kids in the back.



View attachment 593523

View attachment 593527View attachment 593528View attachment 593529
The ex Argie Merc's G Waggons (FI 82/83) had a great heater in them.

The only problem was the plastic rocker type switch on the dash was prone to breaking.

Simple repair was to park up next to another Merc G Waggon and use a small screw driver to pop the one in that vehicle out.

The CBF FI never had cold toes.

My wife at the time worked in a garage in Aldershot, (that had a Merc G Waggon on the forecourt) and used to post down to me essential Merc spares. (Using the chassis number of that Merc).
 

CharleyBourne

Old-Salt
Thanks for all the replies. As @bobthebuilder said above I'm really looking for a proper 4x4 drivetrain. I've done a fair bit of offroad previously, and the issue with mountains is that when the roads get bad, they get really bad - steep, uneven, loose rocks and with big humps. IMO that requires a manual difflock and gearing, as well as good clearance etc. It might only be used 0.1% of the time, but if it goes wrong then it goes really wrong, and I don't fancy me, my car or both falling off a cliff.

So in order:
  • Forester - looked at but not 4x4 enough.
  • Jimny - looked at and seems good, but they are limited availability and super expensive around here.
  • Dacia Duster - driven one, quite liked it, but not proper 4x4. Also the 4WD models are very expensive.
  • Skoda Yeti - same as Forester above.
  • Wrangler - an option, but as expensive as Pajeros.
  • Prado - no availability. Looked at Landcruisers which are obviously the gold standard, but they are 20 years older than Wranglers / Pajero for the same price.
  • Outlander - will look into, reasonable prices but seems a bit long.
  • New Defender - I wish, have you seen what the prices are now? They've more than doubled since launch.
  • G-wagon - even more expensive than the new Defenders (even 2nd hand are upwards of 30k).
If I was going down the more expensive route, I'd get one of these - Toyota FJ Cruiser - some of which are miraculously on sale in Europe (they were primarily sold in the middle east) at around 20k. But as they are rare and discontinued, the parts would be mentally expensive so I'm assuming the hidden costs would be significant.

So that's more or less confirmed what I thought, which is the options are basically Pajero / Wrangler / Jimny, or get very lucky and catch a good deal.
I used to have just LR - a SIII, a Lightweight and a 90 in succession and used them as my only vehicle for commuting etc. They were great fun but something was always going wrong and having only basic mechanical skills and getting fed up with large bills come MOT time, bit the bullet and bought a 98 Forester which lasted me about 8 years (it was 9 years old when I bought it.)

Great car and got itself out of difficulty on the odd occasion it needed to and I looked at buying a newer one when it was beyond repair but the price put me off.

Instead I bought a 3 year old Duster 1.5 diesel, 4x4, top of the range with 10k on the clock for £12k from a dealer 4 years ago and haven't regretted it. It has better ground clearance than the Subaru, selective 4x4, diff lock and with a good compromise between road and a/t tyres has, like the Subaru, coped well with icy lanes, fields and rough tracks on the odd occasion. The interior has plenty of space for a large dog cage in the boot and the overall cargo space is IIRC bigger than the Dacia Logan which was the other option but didn't have 4WD. No issues with it so far (touch wood) albeit with regular services. I also get a smug sense of self-satisfaction from driving the Lidl of SUVs at a fraction of the cost of a chavvy RR Sport (what happened to LR?) which will never go off-road.

Newer models are released all the time so you should be able to find a good deal either from a dealer or privately. 10/10.
 
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Suzuki Jimny?

Ideal for rocky tracks, small enough to park anywhere.
I had one of those when they were called SJ410. Excellent motor. Rough ride in the back but you won't be in the back, will you ;)
 
Toyota Prado can suffer from name confusion because in Europe they are called Toyota Land Cruiser since what rest of world calls a Land Cruiser stopped being sold there.

Also gets sold as a Lexus GX but if you find one in Europe it started life in Russia or US

Model designations will be LC120 and LC150 for anything built after 2002 or 2009

Dirty secret is that in terms of engine, drivetrain and chassis they are for all intents and purposes a Toyota HiLux in a posh frock.

So a 4WD HiLux can be a pretty good proxy if you can live with the limitations (or benefits depending on use) of a pickup.

If you do get one change oil (full synthetic) every 5000 miles no matter what manual says. Engines are hard on the oil in terms of having high exhaust gas recirculation rates and can suffer from fuel dilution of oil
Not sure how accurate your description of the Prado as a Hilux in a posh frock is. The 120 series chassis is unique to the Prado, the suspension is shared with the 4/Runner and the FJ Cruiser. Some of the engines are shared with the Hilux, some have never been used in it but have been used in Lexus saloons. It’s really no different to any other manufacturer sharing components and architecture between models.

Driving a Prado is quite different from driving a Hilux.
 

Blogg

LE
Not sure how accurate your description of the Prado as a Hilux in a posh frock is. The 120 series chassis is unique to the Prado, the suspension is shared with the 4/Runner and the FJ Cruiser. Some of the engines are shared with the Hilux, some have never been used in it but have been used in Lexus saloons. It’s really no different to any other manufacturer sharing components and architecture between models.

Driving a Prado is quite different from driving a Hilux.

Toyota use their common platform IMV platform for all their 2 or 4wd pickup-based SUVs such as the Sequoia, Land Cruiser Prado and Fortuner.

They will all drive diffently due to differing weight distributions, suspension changes in terms of spring rates and dampers, engines and transmissions to suit market and intended application.

But at heart they are all a common ladder chassis with varying bodies on top but does not take much to make them feel very different

I have a Land Cruiser LC120 which is elsewhere known as a Prado. Came as a soft floppy thing that rolled horribly and steered badly.

The Aussie Prado forums told me that was down to dreadful soft shocks that mounted via soft rubber bushings with steel inserts and the foul thin walled Dunlop "energy efficient" 255/17 tyres on it from new.

It was a barge.

Shocks swapped for Old Man Emu with solid sorbithane bushings all round and the Dungflop tyres for BFG AT 265/17 and drove like an entirely different (and much better) vehicle
 
Toyota use their common platform IMV platform for all their 2 or 4wd pickup-based SUVs such as the Sequoia, Land Cruiser Prado and Fortuner.

They will all drive diffently due to differing weight distributions, suspension changes in terms of spring rates and dampers, engines and transmissions to suit market and intended application.

But at heart they are all a common ladder chassis with varying bodies on top but does not take much to make them feel very different

I have a Land Cruiser LC120 which is elsewhere known as a Prado. Came as a soft floppy thing that rolled horribly and steered badly.

The Aussie Prado forums told me that was down to dreadful soft shocks that mounted via soft rubber bushings with steel inserts and the foul thin walled Dunlop "energy efficient" 255/17 tyres on it from new.

It was a barge.

Shocks swapped for Old Man Emu with solid sorbithane bushings all round and the Dungflop tyres for BFG AT 265/17 and drove like an entirely different (and much better) vehicle
The Prado is based on the J150 platform, not the IMV.
 
Have a search for the auctions that sell decommissioned Highways England patrol cars, yep they have high mileage, but they never go over 70mph and have full, no expense spared, service history.
 

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