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Thread: Small 4x4 Recommendations

  1. #1

    Small 4x4 Recommendations

    It is time to get rid of my beloved Land Rover 90. It's very sad but I just can't justify it anymore, the estate I work on is small and is very gentle terrain, plus I keep getting in trouble with the farm manager for chewing up his fields and making too much noise at night (a 20 year old 2.5TD really does grunt a bit).

    I am looking for something a bit more "liveable" and considerably smaller, quieter and more efficient than my old 90, but without losing too much off road ability. I only go off road to lamp and get to the pheasant pens, and the terrain is not too onerous, but it's always good to know you can mix it up in the rough stuff if needs be. Finally, although I am after small, I do need to be able to fit either the dog cage, the carcass tray, four or five feed bags or a few water butts in the back (not at all at once), although I only need two seats so fold flat rear seats would do the job.

    So what are my options? My boss runs a little Jimny that he swears by, and I have had a look at a Grand Vitara, plus a keeper friend of mine has recommended a Shogun Pinin. Any thoughts on any of these, and am I missing any out?

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    I have a Shogun Pinin. Mine's a 2-door with a sunroof for lamping out of when parked up. 30mpg (petrol) on General Grabber AT2s.
    You need be careful what you buy re. the 4x4 system - some, like mine, have a 'proper' high/low/centre diff lock box. Other are permanent 4wd.
    I only do non-onerous off-roading, but I have nevertheless found the low-range useful.

  3. #3
    Vitara or jimny is an excellent workhorse, different to off road to a defender/disco because they are so light (and thus chew up less, I have a saudi mate who loves his for wadi bashing as it goes over the top of everything), but the long wheelbase version is cracking although I always thought that the 1.6 petrol could be a bit thirsty. I know of one pro stalker who uses a Vitara as his personal vehicle when not being forced to use the work Ranger. The Transmission on them is relatively trouble free too, certainly my elder brothers was ragged for 4 years and was sold on after that in perfect nick having had nout done to it.

    I'll stick with my disco tho!

    Edited to agree with above re. transmission. Vitara has a proper transfer box.
    Last edited by Dorsetvetstudent; 06-10-2010 at 18:20.

  4. #4
    Liam, I have the jimny and they will go just about anywhere. I like the fact that they have a rear diff-lock and a low range too, suitably shod they really do go anywhere. Mine is an auto and does about 38 to the gallon dodging around and a bit more on a good run. The downside is that you can get the dog crate in, but not the carcass tray too!

    I think the Pinin's are a class above comfort wise, but I am not sure about diff-locks.

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

  5. #5
    Thinking out of the box a bit. If it's a pure work vehicle then what about one of the Renault Kangoo 4x4 vans that get pensioned off from the utility companys and local authorities? It'll fit in every thing you've mentioned and the 1.9D engine is pretty reliable.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    Thinking out of the box a bit. If it's a pure work vehicle then what about one of the Renault Kangoo 4x4 vans that get pensioned off from the utility companys and local authorities? It'll fit in every thing you've mentioned and the 1.9D engine is pretty reliable.
    What kind of ground clearance do they have? I'm also thinking of a similar vehicle purely for stalking as my car is one of the least practical for stalking vehicles ever made. :/

  7. #7
    I went around a similar sort of loop recently, coming from a different starting point of having a VW Golf. I looked at Disco 3, Land Cruiser, Shogun and eventually bought a Nissan X-Trail. From your description I'd guess it will have all the off road ability you need, I'm getting 42mpg from mine including the off roading and in town driving, it is comfortable, has all the gadgets you need and has a reputation for being reliable and a main dealer service cost me 170. It was on the recommendation of a few folks on here that I decided to look at one but I'm glad I did.

    There is plenty of space in the back and the little "drawer" things it has actually come in really handy when I'm stalking plus the rear seats fold flat. My carcase tray, panther high seat, rucksack, coats etc. go in under the load cover no problem with just one side of the seats folded.

    Not to the taste of everyone and it certainly will not have the off road ability of your old LR but worth taking a look if you think it might do your job. The only real niggle I have with it is that thing that beeps when you drive without putting your seat belt on, but I believe there is a way to stop that.

  8. #8
    Have a look at a Diahatsu Terios abit bigger than a Jimny, 5 doors 1.3 or 1.5 on later ones .I have one with a spare set of wheels for winter, good on juice, really good on rough stuff.

  9. #9
    I had a 1.6i Vitara and it was outstanding! Reliable, cheap to run and it would go almost anywhere. Back seats fold down to give a fair bit of room. Mine was short wheel base, but you can get a long wheel base one which is much bigger inside. I still managed to get 3 red spikers, 2 Roe bucks and a Munty buck in the back one evening though. The back wheels scuffed a bit on the arches and the lights were pointing a little higher than they should have on the way home!
    I sold it to Adamant on here and I believe it is still going strong!
    MS

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by caorach View Post
    The only real niggle I have with it is that thing that beeps when you drive without putting your seat belt on, but I believe there is a way to stop that.
    There is!
    Plug the seat belt in before you get in and then sit on it!
    Don't crash though!
    MS

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