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Thread: Small 4x4

  1. #1

    Small 4x4

    What's the best small petrol engine 4x4?
    I'm without a 4x4 at the moment and I'm getting rid of my van and getting a car for the first time in years and with the way taxes are going I'm going to avoid another diesel.
    It wants to be stalking-friendly or course. Don't need 7 seats. Don't need four really, I could even take rear seats out. SWB would do as long as I can get a large carcase tray and two lots of kit in the back. Needs basic off-road ability, reliable with good running costs as there ain't much money - under 5K. It will go off-road quite a lot, especially in winter, so it needs to be up to it and not too prone to dissolving in the wet. Less concerned about road manners and comfort as long as its driveable and not stupidly thirsty.

    Like the idea of a Jimny - cheap to buy and run, cheap tax, and I could get a nice low mileage one but is it just too puny to be useful?

    Other ides are:

    Subaru Forester
    Rav 4
    Honda CRV
    Daihatsu Terios

    I know its an old one but Opinions appreciated.

  2. #2
    My money would be on the RAV4, or Suzuki Vitara.

  3. #3
    It's a shame you've discounted diesels, as I'm selling my Landcruiser for well under your budget. Foresters are very thirsty so any money you save on tax will disappear at the garage forecourt. They're also expensive on tax given emissions. Great cars though. I'm a big Subaru fan, having had two Imprezas before the Landcruiser.

  4. #4
    I think incoming governments are just going to hammer diesels. If I could afford a new one, which I definitely can't, I'd be holding out for a scrappage scheme. My road tax is ridiculous now which makes the Jimny attractive.

    I quite like Vitaras. Though they seem flimsy and I thought (perhaps wrongly) they were a bit rust-prone.

    Toyotas always inspire confidence but will a Rav4 get stuck in a wet field?

  5. #5
    Good luck on finding a Jimny!, some b***er was trying to buy one out from under me when I was doing a deal on one on the forecourt, always went where my Landrovers would have had second thoughts, very short wheelbase so hang on to your teeth in pothole country, bullet proof little engine, fill her up once every gulf war,a bit of a squeeze for two stalking, especially if you both drop something!, would I have one again?, most certainly. Steve.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  6. #6
    I used to have Suzuki SJ410 the Jimny's predecessor.

    With AT tyres it was brilliant off road. However, I nearly tipped it over one day towing a hydraulic platform at 50mph on the road, it started to snake around violently and I only managed to slow it in time and the other issue that I had was that it lacked performance at higher speeds. This was no problem for local trips but a bit of a nuisance on trunk roads and motorways.

    If you can find one the Dacia Duster is available as a p/u variant, I'm not sure if they are marketed in the UK yet.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by timbrayford View Post
    I used to have Suzuki SJ410 the Jimny's predecessor.

    With AT tyres it was brilliant off road. However, I nearly tipped it over one day towing a hydraulic platform at 50mph on the road, it started to snake around violently and I only managed to slow it in time and the other issue that I had was that it lacked performance at higher speeds. This was no problem for local trips but a bit of a nuisance on trunk roads and motorways.

    If you can find one the Dacia Duster is available as a p/u variant, I'm not sure if they are marketed in the UK yet.

    Lots of user comments on these being unable to remove rice pudding skins!
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  8. #8
    I had a Jimny for five years of trouble free use. They are not at all puny and will go anywhere that one would consider taking a vehicle. I never got stuck with mine, subject to having some sensible tyres of course. I removed the rear seats but the load area is still small. When I had Fallow carcasses is the tray, my dog had to sit in the front foot well.
    I had a special (removable) tow bar assembly installed and pulled a small trailer if I needed to carry more, such as my hoist.
    Fuel consumption is quite heavy for such a small vehicle and an average of 35 mpg would be good.

    The Jimny is ok as a car but you wouldn't want too many long journeys in it, simply due to the basic comfort and ride owing to the short wheelbase.
    I sold it for something much bigger (L200) but may well go back to a Jimny in the future.

    I owned a Forester for 13 years, superb engineering and never missed a beat. Fuel consumption is low 30s up to low 40s on a longer run. Very comfortable and excellent ride.
    The overhang on the front makes it not ideal for off road and it is quite easily damaged. Having said that their off road capability is good in most other respects.
    Parts are getting very expensive as some of the pattern parts people have stopped making the for the older models. Factory parts from a main dealer are eye wateringly expensive and the main reason why I decided to dispose of my forester. A new exhaust system would have cost more than the vehicle was worth.
    A pessimist is an optimist with experience.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by timbrayford View Post
    I used to have Suzuki SJ410 the Jimny's predecessor.

    With AT tyres it was brilliant off road. However, I nearly tipped it over one day towing a hydraulic platform at 50mph on the road, it started to snake around violently and I only managed to slow it in time and the other issue that I had was that it lacked performance at higher speeds. This was no problem for local trips but a bit of a nuisance on trunk roads and motorways.

    If you can find one the Dacia Duster is available as a p/u variant, I'm not sure if they are marketed in the UK yet.

    What was the weight of the platform in comparison to the SJ Tim, you don't think that possibly you were asking a bit much of it?

    Finch how about adding a 4x4 Kangoo and a Yeti to your list also a Dacia Duster might be a consideration. I'm not sure about the RAV4 having ridden in one on a pheasant shoot last season. The RAV seemed to have difficulty going places that I had previously taken my 2 wheel drive Berlingo with no difficulty whatsoever..
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by 8x57 View Post
    What was the weight of the platform in comparison to the SJ Tim, you don't think that possibly you were asking a bit much of it?

    Finch how about adding a 4x4 Kangoo and a Yeti to your list also a Dacia Duster might be a consideration. I'm not sure about the RAV4 having ridden in one on a pheasant shoot last season. The RAV seemed to have difficulty going places that I had previously taken my 2 wheel drive Berlingo with no difficulty whatsoever..
    I've no idea how much the platform weighed, possibly more than the towing vehicle. This was some years ago and with over loading generally the police would only give a mild ticking off for it. Thoughts of having some horrible accident didn't really enter the thinking then.

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