been a while since I last visted, hope you'll all forgive me for being a bit quiet - things have changed a fair bit for me this year, what with becoming single again, finishing the renovations on the house (almost - last room to go), and, most importantly, getting involved in a deer management group with access to 16,000 acres of land...
So, as I've now established myself as competent with the group and am looking forward to a fun-packed winter of stalking, I'm in the market for a 4x4. I had thought of getting one previously as the last couple of winters have left me snowed in and stranded at home, my VW Touran just not up to the local hills, wet and snow.
Since I'll now need to drive into the odd field to recover carcasses as well as negotiate the usual floods, ice and snow on the hills of the Quantocks and Exmoor, a 4x4 seems rather essential.
However, the vehicle will also need to be comfy on road as it will be my only vehicle come April (when I give back the VW Touran as it's lease is up), and it'll need to do the odd 1.5hr motorway drive (about twice a month).
I was pretty set on a Hilux or L200, and went to see an L200 4work yesterday - it was a nice truck, in great condition, but I'm a big girl's blouse... I don't think I can deal with the loss of my electric windows, mirrors, climate control, AC, and the other bells and whistles I've been used to with my company cars of the last 10 or 15 years...
So come on guys, help me out here - what should I be looking at?
I have a VW Polo to px, which I've been offered £3k-£3.5k on, and I'm willing to add another £5-7k in cash to that - past that I'd look for finance. Once the Touran is handed back I'll get a cash allowance (around £240/month after tax) from the company - sadly a 4x4 is not on the list of permitted company vehicles, or that might have solved my problem!
Have looked at SUV's and crossovers, but none seem to have the boot space for a couple of roe, or a Sika... (or a pair of wet dogs)
So, it needs to do some light off-road, be capable of driving on snowy/icy hills or through floods or mud, have a washable boot, be capable of taking a kayak on the roof and towing a trailer (mgt co. has an ATV for tough recovers), but have decent mpg, be comfy on road on long trips, and have the girly electric accessories (oor er missus)...
Am I asking for the moon? Do I need to win the lottery for my ideal 4x4?