Double Cab Pickups - Pro's and Con's

Discussion in 'Cars, Bikes 'n AFVs' started by Speedy, May 9, 2013.

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  1. Well, it looks as if my Lexus RX300 isn't going to be cutting the mustard in the near future with the kids growing up and wanting to get outdoors more so I'm on the lookout for something that will fit in loads of camping gear + bikes in the near future and Mrs Speedy and myself have taken a likeing for a double cab pickup. These can be had at quite low mileage for very little money <£5000. we're not looking at buying new or nearly new as it will get quite abused by the fact the kids are still quite young and the interior will get trashed, so a vehicle circa 2005 will be favorite.
    In particular the Nissan Navara is looking like our vehicle of choice and, as it won't be used for commuting, (I cycle into work) it will only be used a couple of times a week, but a LOT at the weekends when we go off camping or walking in the lakes/pennines, so fuel isn't really an issue. in fact, after running the 3.0 automatic Lexus for over 3 years now I suspect that I'll get better mileage from one of these.
    So what I want to know when considering in purchasing one of these is the following (if anyone knows):

    1. What makes/models are recommended and which should be avoided?
    2. What kind of mileage can I expect (the Lexus is awful, so it must be an improvement)?
    3. What other things should I consider?
    4. What road tax do they incur?

    Any help would be much appreciated.
  2. I havn't owned one but in a discussion with some 4x4 enthusiastic friends of mine a comment was made that we see a lot in the outback broken, effectively as they are 2 separate structures the cab and the tray place lots of opposing stress on the chassis.

    Of course unless you are planning on driving 9 hours down an unsealed outback road each day for 3 days on end you should be fine in the UK. I've always fancied one but it's quite easy to get lost in oz and end up in above scenario.
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  3. You will find there is very little legroom in the back of the double cabs so not good if your kids are a bit older.
    A couple of lads I know have had the Nissan Navara and say that the fuel consumption is horrendous, one reckons he has never had more than 20mpg from his 57 reg yet his older model 52 reg was giving him high 20's.
  4. To answer your questions:

    1) Personally I've used Ford Rangers for last 9 years, with a Mitsubishi L200 in the middle (last model had very weak engine - avoid!). Nissans have a good rep, as do toyota hilux. To be honest, they're all much of a muchness - it's how they've been looked after that counts.

    2) With a good weekend toy load and tribe - low twenties if you put your foot down a bit.

    3) To consider; for hauling gear a back cover of some sort. Fibre glass truckman style work well. If buying second hand, find out what its been doing. A farm truck that has been plastered in mud all year will be considerably more corroded underneath. ditto towing. The odd tow fine, something used to haul horses all weekend or the weekly trip to the cattle market may have been placed under considerably more stress. Should also have a load liner in the back.

    4) Classed as a light commervcial vehicle for tax (even if privately owned), so about £200 pa (forget exact figure).
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  5. Well, both my kids are below 10 and I only plan to run it for about 3-4 years, so the space isn't an issue. My current vehicles gives (on the flat with a wind behind it) about 27mpg. I had read that the Navara returns 30+mpg, but I guess a lot of it is down to driving style, and fuel consumption would play a small part in the selection process behind relaibility.
  6. @sanchauk Very helpful that, especially about the Fords.
  7. Just to add. there is an expectation of the ability to carry loads of kit in a pick up. To be honest, for general hauling day to day stuff about I found my old Audi a80 estate better. A pick up gives you ground clearance, 4x4, the ability to stick a 1 ton pallette in the back and tow 2.5 ton. If you don't need those properties, or only 4x4, an estate may be just as practical.
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  8. Ravers

    Ravers LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I've had a Nissan Pathfinder for the past 3 years and I absolutely love it.

    I'm averaging about 30mpg and I drive it like it's stolen.

    It's replacement will definitely be another Pathfinder or a Navara.

    Get a Navara, they're top.

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  9. Ford Ranger would be my choice. With the Nissan there was a problem with the transmission so they extended the warranty on them by a couple of years so some original owner sell up a month before the warranty runs out. Engines are no problem on pretty much anything although the newer high power common rail diesels can just fail on you especially if someone has been running them on red.

    I don't think you need a pick up though. You get more flexibility from a full size estate car and a decent Ifor Williams twin axle trailer. Easy to store bikes and kit and lash over a tarp and then hose out the trailer back home and the rest of the time you've got the speed and comfort and economy of a normal car. Plenty of Audi Quatro powered estates around at any budget point or older Skoda Scouts or VW Passat 4Motions.

    The pickup is only really useful if you want to carry that one ton field water station on a pallet. You aren't going to be driving to a campsite up a mountain because you don't own the land or have the permission so towing a trailer to the car park at the bottom works fine.

    Just a thought. Though you do need somewhere to store the trailer..
  10. daz

    daz LE

  11. Trust me when I say that for the kind of places (and especially in the winter) we go to we shall be needing a vehicle with 4wd and good ground clearance. I'd already considered an estate, but it's just going to lead to tears when push comes to shove I'm afraid. Besides, you can't dump a tent+gear+bikes for 4 people in an estate.
    At least not for the levels of comfort I'd want to camp out with ;)
  12. I'm not sure you'll be that impressed with a pick up for proper off roading. I have a L200 and its pretty rubbish compared to the Mrs Toyota Rav4. There's sod all in the way of traction and hill descent wizardry, a crap turning lock, and unless on mud tyres not an immense amount of grip.

    Do you perhaps need a leggy Toyota Landcruiser with a top frame or similar? Its the load bearing capacity of the pick up with its leaf spring axle which is the unique selling point but its one you're not needing. You need volume and off roading ability. You might find a LWB Shogun or similar suits better. A double cab is cramped on the inside with a pretty useless deck outside if you ask me. They work well enough on the farm where you need to pick up the kids each afternoon AND take four bales of hay out to the sheep in the morning. Outside of that or being a builder who needs to shift kit and three labourers ocassionally I think they have limited appeal in the real world.
  13. You said you needed a good 4x4 - how about this? 13 tonnes of intimidating nastiness!! Just think of the fun you could have using it for the school run - ploughed fields, rivers up to a metre deep and 45º inclines are no problem to it.

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  14. The inner red-neck is strong! Then a pick-up it is. If looking at a ford, note that pre2012 (i think) the old style ones are a Mazda with a ford badge stuck on. Nowt wrong with that, just that Mazdas manufactured a wider spectrum of specifications than ford, ie fords were all the higher specs, whereas mazda also offered really agricultural models. Just opens up more options for you.

    One thing to look out for on this model is a known potential issue. Excuse my laymans speak, but at the front of an engine is a protruding profiled shaft to which all the belt drive trains are attached. Over time this has a tendancy to round -off and many I know have had to have the shaft retooled.

    As with all 4x4s parts are pricey, but my eyes watered at some of the mazda part prices for silly things like glow plugs.

    Will you have a country and western only music policy?
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  15. You want one of these.

    US Half Track.jpg
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