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Thread: 4x4's.....advice and opinions needed!

  1. #1

    Question 4x4's.....advice and opinions needed!

    ....and I'm not trying to start a tribal war along the lines of
    "Pah! Call THAT a 4x4? Girl's car....."
    "Yeah? Well YOUR 4x4 wouldn't pull a greasy stick out of a pig's bum..."

    Here's the thing: I moved house at the start of the year.....bigger house = bigger mortage = less disposable income = less dosh for spending on stalking/shooting.....and that will never do!!

    So - I'm thinking of coming out of my current company car (Discovery) and instead having a far-more tax-friendly car for work, and a cheap 4x4 dedicated shooty-bus.

    As all you chaps are very knowledgeable and not shy about giving your views, I'm after your thoughts!

    Bit of background: I'm a soft-handed office-monkey and know bugger all about engines and stuff () so reliability is pretty high up as a requirement, decent off-road ability although I'm not planning on scaling cliff-faces or ploughing through 4 foot of mud and slop, I don't need to pull a horse-box or similar, budget probably around a grand (1.5k max), and it needs to be big enough to accomodate 2 occupants plus 2 or more dogs, along with all of the clobber that you end up carting around. Annual miles probably around 5-6,000.

    So - do I go for a 'smaller' lighter petrol 4x4?
    - Daihatsu Sportrak? (had one a few years ago, thought it was great)
    - Suzuki Vitara?
    -....and as a curve ball, Kia Sportage?? (anyone got one? Some people seem to think that they are vastly under-rated...??)

    OR do I go a for a 'larger' diesel jobby?
    - Daihatsu Fourtrak?
    - Nissan Terrano?
    - early Discovery?

    What else would you suggest?

    All views, comments and opinions gratefully received!


    Nothing is worse than having an itch you can never scratch

    "...Nicely just doesn't cut the cheese....." A new twist on management-speak courtesy of a colleague.

  2. #2

    I did some research along similar lines a few months back. I found that a budget of between a thousand and fifteen hundred quid buys very little if looking for one of the popular 4X4s (Landy's, nissan, toyota, mitsubishi etc.) Most of the stuff I looked at was in such poor condition I couldn't rely on it.

    What did emerge as good value for money were diesel Vauxhall Fronteras. I appreciate that these probably have very few fans and are derided by many. However, they were originally of Japanese design (they were rebadged by several companies including Vauxhall) and the earlier ones use a 2.5 litre diesel engine that is used in taxis so is strong.

    I have a shooting pal who bought an early diesel one for about a grand and has used it without problems for about 4 years. He has thought of changing it but has concluded that it owes him nothing and keeps going so why spend the money.

    I must stress that I have never owned a Frontera. My experience is based only on my mates car. This might be a rare and lucky good one. However, I'd have a look before you discount it.

    Tin hat going on now.

    Last edited by Dovebob; 20-05-2010 at 13:33. Reason: spelling

  3. #3
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    For 1.5k think about a second-hand, old shape, Jeep Cherokee. Petrol or diesel they seem to go on and on and on.....

    On the old model you can take the rear seats out completely which gives you load of luggage space (more than in my LandCruiser). We have a cage for the three dogs and still have enough space for all the shooting/stalking kit.


  4. #4
    Going "large" or "small" is only a question you can answer, its down to what suits you best but if you go small then imo you will struggle with space, rifles, dogs, haversacks ect, it does take up a fair bit of room.

    Food for though in your "larger" list would be the Toyota Surf, uber reliable, very good bodywork and chassis and BAGS of room in the LWB option, decent examples CAN be found within your budget, these vehicles are usually well spec'd and are comfy.

    Mitsubishi Pajeros can also be got within budget but you dont seem to get as much bang for your buck.
    There is a place on this planet for all of God's creatures, right next to my tatties and gravy!!!

  5. #5
    mitsubishi pajero worth looking at, get em in petrol an diesel, lwb/swb,

  6. #6
    Dan beat me to it

  7. #7
    Your not going to be doing many miles so don't go for a vehicle that will deprecaiate drastically (or better still get one that already has!)
    I would go for the larger beast as running costs won't be high for such mileage, plus what about the meat you'll be cartng home (don't squeeze it in beside the dogs, might lose some!)

    What about this :
    At least you'll be comfortable - or if you prefer discomfort try a Landie.

  8. #8
    I went through a similar thing as you and ended up with a Suzuki Jimny, it is not really big enough and i wish i had bought something a little larger. Plus points are that it goes just about anywhere, and I mean anywhere, and is very economical to run. It will take two people, and your stalking gear, or dogs. Not both!

    But at 1k to 1.5k anything larger will be quite grotty. Unless you are a mechanic, or really handy, I would not buy a landrover. I have had them in the past (S2 & S3) and really enjoyed them, but they need constant upkeep. On saying that, If I won the lottery I would have a Defender County tricked out.

    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  9. #9
    hi merlin,i had a nice Toyota 4X4 for the last 5 years thought it was the bees knees didn't mind spending on diesel (20-28 mpg)until last year i thought,spend more on shooting! do i realy need a 4x4 drive to payed stalking days then get in the guides 4x4. on my lands i pull up and walk them! so i looked into estate cars,i ended up with a Volvo tdi thing!(dint laugh!!)the thing is, it does 42 mpg round the doors!!! more on a run.for what it was costing me to get to a paid stalk and back in diesel alone will pay for the diesel and the stalk in the Volvo!!!! and going to my ground instead of once a week or so i could afford to go more often,so why not compromise Volvo/Subaru what ever! in 4x4!! estate,just a thought!! Graeme.

  10. #10
    well for my pennies worth here goes

    if yer budget aint too high be careful you can buya a pig ( pretty obvious! )

    but size wise not too much of an issue then

    1) suzuki jumny small yes but, reliable, cheap to run, 1.3litre engine so cheaper tax.
    amazing 4x4 off road ability and with proper low ratio box

    down sides ....bloody small, basically just a 2 seater with the back seats down for all
    your stuff.....not too comfortable on long runs engine noise etc.

    2) if above is too small try grand vitara 2.0l turbo diesel ...bigger still very economical...
    and again suzukis off road ability and low ratio box.....obviously it aint a landy so use
    common sense

    3) subaru forrestors are bloody good too from what ive seen of em ..only thing is they are petrol and can be bit thirsty. plenty room and more like a car too

    4) my current vehicle which i bought for 900 quid is a short whell base ford maverick and its going great guns and with decent set of tyres its bloody great off road. but your into same area as your dicovery ...big engined 2.7 ltre ish etc area and all bit thirstier etc and tax costs too.

    only you can decide but if you know anyone not bad with mechanics etc ask nicely try to get em with you when you go look at anything


    sauer / paul

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