Territory to a real 4WD for road trips and the daily run...

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 02, 2013 at 21:58
ThreadID: 102559 Views:5367 Replies:8 FollowUps:15
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We are looking at upgrading our 2011 Territory to a Mitsubishi Pajero or Nissan Patrol. For the same sort of money (28-30k) this means a 2007-8 (Patrol) or 2009-2010 (Pajero) with approx 100k on the clock. Our Territory has only done 40k but is RWD. We live in FNQ/Tablelands. 2 kids under 6 with soft road camper.

The vehicle will mostly be on the school runs and short weekend trips (easy gravel like Lake Tinaroo in the Tablelands) for about 250km per week.

The 'thought' behind a 4WD is that we are planning a trip to Brisbane at the end of June via the Gregory Development (visiting camp sites/places like Carnarvon) and back up on the Bruce Highway (with a side trip to Fraser). I want to do the top end in August and am thinking about Christmas down to Adelaide/Melbourne (obviously visiting national parks on the way).

One reason we are thinking of getting a real 4WD is that the Territory seems fine to get to camps (like Cobolt Gorge or Mt. Muligan) but when we were there last it was frustrating that we couldn't explore some of the nearby areas or take back roads home without being very nervous about getting stuck or damaging the under carriage.

So would a Pajero or Nissan Patrol be a better bet or would it be more cost effective to just hire a 4WD for use at places like Fraser or to go to top end (use the car to get to the closest town and then hire a 4WD) or would it be safer to have a proper 4WD in case there's heavy rain en route (while remembering that if it's flooded forget it :-)).

How much more would the service and maintenance really cost on one of these 4WD against a soft roader like our Territory.

Thanks for your input!!!
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Reply By: oldplodder - Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 08:02

Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 08:02
Last year we upgraded from the 96 pajero we had since new.
Looked at the pajeros, but with the NS/NT model having the spare tyre in the middle of the back door, we could not get the pin in to our tregg coupling. Tyre in the way.
AnswerID: 512423

Reply By: Rangiephil - Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 09:32

Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 09:32
I have seen Territories in all sorts of places.
There was one which was raised a bit at Palm Valley which has a very rough track in and Ford did the launch on the GRR with apparently little or no damage( unscrewed shock ).

IMHO you can go just about anywhere that does not involve water crossings, extensive sand or beaches. Cape York is entirely possible unless you want to do Gunshot creek and the OTT. In fact when I was at Moreton there was a group of old Peugeots going to the tip, and a 28 Chev in Weipa towing a trailer.

I have thought of preparing a Territory, and I would have raised springs made to the limit of what is possible without compromising the suspension, and some guards made to cover any obviously vulnerable components. I would also fit tougher tyres with a more aggressive tread.
If it rains in the centre , you will get another 10 metres in a "real"4x4 and in any case the roads are usually closed with penalties of AFAIK $1500 per wheel if you go on them, in NSW anyway.
The major limitation in my experience with soft roaders is mountain tracks where you need to go very slowly up rock steps etc . An auto is OK in this situation as the Torque converter takes some of the strain but really you need low ratio of a real 4x4.

It is always cheaper to service a soft roader due to lesser weight etc. Ford parts are usually cheap compared to Japanese and pretty readily available. My son has a BA11 Ford "Typhoon" and he is constantly amazed at how cheap parts are .

So my conclusion is that you rarely "need " a real 4x4 but the 5% of the time you really need it , there is no substitute.
However with sympathy, not overloading and a few minor cost changes, a Ford territory will get to 99% of the iconic attractions of Australia.
I suggest that one or both of the drivers doan off road driving course and I think you will be surprised at where a Territory will go.
Regards Philip A
AnswerID: 512426

Follow Up By: George C - Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 09:38

Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 09:38
Thanks mate...that makes me feel a lot better about having bought the Territory in the first place. Would the AWD be ok going into Lakeland NP or the Flinders? just to main campsites/viewing areas.
I am very used to offroading as part of work and personal in other countries including Africa but what scares me here is the distance to help (that being said on the school holidays someone is always around)...

Thanks again
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 12:20

Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 12:20
Phil - I would normally agree with your views above but the Territory George C has is a 2 wheel drive Territory not an All Wheel Drive Territory so really no different to an normal car.
FollowupID: 790810

Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 11:10

Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 11:10
My Goodness - I would disagree lots those that say a Territory could go most places but rather than follow that line I rather say that you think outside the square George.
Simply go and get an intrinically sound car like the 4800 Patrols I'm sure you have heard me refer to them before.

No one would have issues with there capability but things like servicing and repairs etc are far cheaper and less of an issue , most things can still be done at home and low cost acessories and parts abound.

Go and price a windscreen - My mate did for his AWD low fuel use diesel Merc after his last trip up the track - > $700 and 4 weeks wait.
Did one on my Patrol and it was $137.

The only real issue is that petrol patrols use a third more fuel and this factor is not as important for your low projected use anyway.
It would equate to under a $1000 dollars a year which would be more than offset by being able to get a better later model car for less price.

So think about it before you follow the crowd and consider something with no inherrant issues and which will probably end up having a lower life cycle cost - but don't wait to long as they stopped making them in 2010 and around here they are starting to be seen as a better choice.

P.S. I've got a really cheap one that spent hours under water yesterday !

Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: George C - Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 11:28

Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 11:28
Thanks...I prefer a 4WD as well...just the freedom to explore side roads without to much worry. I had a Jeep Cherokee XJ but got rid of it due to very high running costs. We were going through about $80 fuel a week and with the Territory this is down to about $100 per fortnight (with same running).

What do you think of the Pajero VR-X 2006 Petrol (90,000km) vs a Patrol 2008 Diesel (100,000km). The Pajero is $24k and the Patrol is $29k and both have std offroad extras...it seems the running cost of the Paj is less than the Patrol but it is not as capable off road (but adequate for our use). Also smaller/easier around town...have an extra 5k then to spend on a camper trailer :-)

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 12:07

Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 12:07
Certainly I needed to know I could get out of reasonable trouble George, and this heavily influenced my choice of cars.

I wouldn't buy anything that you couldn't have at least a fair go of fixing. The solid axles and coil springs on a Patrol go a long way towards this but a front winch really helps as well even if you don't use it.
A low cost set of chains in the toolbox also makes a massive difference when facing a go/nogo descision.

Once I got stuck on more or less flat wet grass on someones lawn and it makes you realize the wide variety of issues out there.

Hard choice between the VR-X and your Diesel Patrol , I wouldn't buy the patrol without some backup plan for an engine issue.
Thats why I evaluate things on real life cycle cost not apparent cost.

Price the windscreens before you make a choice !

Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: George C - Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 12:28

Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 12:28
Thanks... Is this an indicative of cost of other parts?

- "genuine nissan is about $800. o'briens quoted $ 387, but there is another co "windscreen discounters" who quote $287, incl warranty. i am inclined to go for o'briens, but there is quite a price diff."...
- Pajero -got a quote over the phone for $580 from obriens, this was cash price and if going through insurance would be different. After speaking to a local guy who I had used before, been doing windscreens for nealry 40 yearsand used to work for obriens I got him to fit a genuine as insurance was paying and they were happy to pay obriens over $600.

Daily Runs
-How is your Nissan for the daily school kind of runs? we do a lot of short stops as home-school-work-woolys/IGA is less than 3km...:-) I am told the Pajero is 12/l for this kind of work (similar to what we get on the Territory/the jeep was 16l/100km).

Servicing after a road trip
-the ford is fixed at $220...for general services.

I am trying to get an idea of the Total Cost of Ownership for our kind of running...just to see if we should just stay with the beast we know rather than an older 4WD that's run double the km.
FollowupID: 790811

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 14:25

Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 14:25
Hi George

I ask about windscreens because its one of those items that indicates general cost of things, and I just had one replaced by local RACV at $180 and it was off the shelf .
Its cheaper because they have had same design for 12 years , and this type of thing occurs over lots of accessories , standard headlight bulbs - availability of free service manuals etc etc.

My petrol Nissan patrols , even from brand new have never been serviced by dealer - partly because they can be done at home with confidence.

But the major factor in cars that cost tens of thousands is depreciation of capital invested. It would be good to get a real cash valuation on your current car.

Its a good idea to record all costs from purchase to sale and sometimes one gets a shock.

My Patrol is lousy on fuel use at 18lt/100km school runs , but this is largely irrelevant as fuel is only 20% of the running cost of the car and if you use 33% more fuel then running cost of car goes up by only 7% in my case.

And 7% is irrelevant if I can't go where I wish to with confidence.

Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 09:54

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 09:54
Geez Robin, my fuel bill is around $17,500 a year (based on the last 5 years). At 18l/100km it would be around $35,000 a year. I can't see how that is anywhere near 20% of the running costs in my case. I service about every 12k for around $250 so maybe 5 a year. Depreciation is down to around 5k a year. Tyres last me a a little over a year at around $1100. I've had a water pump, 2 sets of brake pads and a set of shocks and that's it for repairs all divided by 5 years so around (600+400+850)/5=$400 a year. Insurance $600 a year. Rego around $1000 a year. I make it 17500/26850 or 65% as against 35000/44350 or 79% in my case. So my petrol running cost would be up by 14% (sounds insignificant) but $17500 a year left in my pocket is not to be sneezed at. :-)
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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 10:01

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 10:01
Sorry Robin I was interrupted at work while writing the post, my fuel is $9900 per year and would be around $19500 on petrol. (I wish there was an edit function). So my figures are 9900/19250 51% and 19500/28850 or 67%. Still leaves me with around $9000 a year in my pocket. Cheers
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 16:07

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 16:07
I thought you must drive a B-Double at first Mike - but what can we say , your a special case even with $9900 a year fuel bill, I reckon most of us are under $5000.

If you check any of the car sites like Racq/v etc they list tables of costs and describe why and how they get their figures but my statement of 20% is actually on the high side as I leave out interest etc.

Below I include a few figures from 2006 to be a bit closer to Georges theme and I think based on 15000km a year.

The 3lt patrol costed $270 a week of which only $22.50 is fuel I.E. under 10% , this is why a 200 series consistently comes up as the most expensive car to own for 5 years from new.

Vehicle Retail Price Trade in value after 5 years Depreciation Interest Rego, Insurance, Licence, RACV m'ship Fuel Tyres Servicing & Repairs Total Average Cents per Kilometre Total Average Cost per Week

Nissan Patrol 51,990 24,000 126.38 50.60 22.50 13.68 1.94 8.54 93.32 $269.19 /Week

Toyota Landcruiser 72,800 34,400 170.42 69.99 26.61 14.19 1.94 9.01 117.71 $339.55 / Week

Toyota Landcruiser 63,300 33,200 136.67 61.14 22.99 19.21 2.13 7.68 105.56 $304.51 /Week
Robin Miller

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Reply By: Member - Michael P (QLD) - Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 12:32

Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 12:32
George Hi,
Recently decided to replace my 2006 NP Pajero.
My main criteria being, Capable 4WD, Comfortable, 7 seats, Reliable.
Looked at most available new Just could not go past a VRX Paj. And yes the NP was used as a serious offroad vehicle.
AnswerID: 512446

Follow Up By: Member - Michael P (QLD) - Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 12:35

Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 12:35
Also the spare tyre lift kit was an extra $150.
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Follow Up By: George C - Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 13:03

Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 13:03
Thanks...the creature comforts seem better in the VRX as does the running cost. How did you find the 2006 for daily use? also maintainance after those serious off road trips?
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 20:41

Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 20:41
I have a 07 VRX diesel with 250 000km on the clock. For the first 200 000km I was getting 10l/100km on a flat family run, now it's slipped out to about 11.2. Around town is not a fair measure here as a long trip is only 7km, so the engine hardly gets warm.
For daily use? Well I put 85% of the km on it but my wife has it most of the time around town, she prefers it over our Ford sedan. That should answer it for you.
We tow a heavy Kimberly Kamper when we go camping, with the heavily laden vehicle it adds about 30-35% to fuel use.
Not sure what you mean by off road maintenance as every persons version of off road varies. IF I've done a lot of dirt driving I change the air filter more often, that's about it. We have done Fraser Island, Strezleki & Oodnadatta tracks, Corner country, Flinders, Dalhousie, Springs, Plenty Highway, Lawn Hill. I don't call those trips serious off road.
All modern 4WDs have their niche, you just have to find the one which matches your unique needs best and represents the best value to you.
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Reply By: Rangiephil - Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 14:59

Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 14:59
Geez, I wasted all that time and missed the vital RWD not AWD.

A RWD Territory will also go many places, as evidenced by our aboriginal friends who seem to favour old Falcons " bush Mercedes" over anything else.

But if you must have a 4x4 for security reasons, then a Pajero is a good safe choice while a 3L diesel Patrol is a very risky choice. The 4.2 diesel Patrol is the jewel, while the 4.5 and 4.8 petrol are great but use LOTS of fuel.
Have you thought about the cheaper ute based 4x4s like the Challenger which are coming down to the price area. Another quirky choice could be a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited which is basic but Jeep quality is much better than previously , and the kids will love it.
If you are planning long trips then a diesel is probably the way to go, because even if fuel cost is a small part of total cost, the psychology of paying LOTS for fuel gets to you after a while. I recently sold my 3.9 Range Rover and bought a TD5 Discovery 2, and I am probably unreasonably smug at fuel costing me $30 a week instead of $50 and I feel more likely to go away camping when the fuel cost is reasonable.
Regards Philip A

AnswerID: 512455

Follow Up By: Rangiephil - Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 15:11

Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 15:11
Quote Would the AWD be ok going into Lakeland NP or the Flinders? just to main campsites/viewing areas.Unquote

The Territory would be fine for the Flinders as it is bitumin all the way. Some of the gorge trails may cause problems mainly to tyres, as the rocks are flinty. I camped next to a bloke with a Nissan Patrol who was aborting his trip to Qld as he punctured 3 "passenger " rated non Light truck tyres in one hour ( on the to me good road out to the Parachilna pub). Unlucky but can happen even to a 4X4.

Lakefield is fine if you avoid the river crossing, although it was pretty shallow when we crossed, about 250CM., and it is a rocky bottom so no problem with 2WD. Otherwise Lakefield is just quite good dirt roads, although they were grading when we went through and some of the ridges they made in the road were pretty big.
Regards Philip A
FollowupID: 790844

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 07:39

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 07:39
There's a big downside to using way less fuel...you tend to do way more kilometres because it doesn't cost so much :-) After 5 years you have a car that's done 350k instead of 150k. So you've probably spent the same on fuel and depreciated the car more, but at least you've had a good time. I'm speaking from experience here. :-) Fuel cost can be a big hand brake.
FollowupID: 790901

Reply By: Corrugate75 - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 06:51

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 06:51
G'day George,
I haven't responded here for a while, but this thread was too close to my heart to ignore!
In a previous life we owned a FordTerritory (2004 build). We had the AWD version, and while it was a good car as a daily driver, it was expensive to run. When child #4 was born we changed to a 3.0L Nissan Patrol which had many options already on it (bull bar, tow bar, side steps) etc.
This car costs us less to insure, uses significantly less fuel, and costs less to run. I'll admit we had the very first of the Territorys, but I was appalled at the build quality, and the stuff that went wrong!
The Patrol was a big step out, but we haven't liooked back. I've always loved 4WDing and now I have 4kids who share the passion. To wander along a secluded beach, climb a private access road in the Flinders Ranges (with permission!) or get out of a sticky situation, 4WD is excellent. Get a 50mm lift and the daily driver looks better, and goes anywhere your imagination lets you!
Great friends of ours have a Pajero, (upgrade from a Commodore) which is a beautiful car too.
Start looking, there are many good second hand Patrols/Pajeros out there.
AnswerID: 512490

Follow Up By: George C - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 07:26

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 07:26
Thank you. I have been looking and have found some nice Pajero's and Patrols at decent prices but when I bring the Territory into the picture the costs blow out...here's hoping!
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Reply By: Member - bbuzz (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 10:00

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 10:00
I understood that if your vehicle was not a genuine 4WD, you were not allowed into NP's.

AWD vehicles, even if an auto, were not passed by the Rangers.

A RWD would have no hope, despite the state of the roads. I agree that an auto two wheel anything can get you to most places. Lower your tire pressures is the only requirement.
What stops the 2WD is the clearance. I have been sat up on a grass ridge when driving behind beaches. Soft sand was no issue just the clearance.

Bill B

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Reply By: George C - Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 20:54

Friday, Jun 07, 2013 at 20:54
Thank you everyone who has responded here...it really helps and I wish I had posted before I bought the Territory. Anyway there is light at the end of the tunnel...

Does the following vehicle seem to be the correct price?

2010 Mitsubishi Pajero GLX NT MY10 Wagon

Odometer: 85,000
Colour: WHITE

TCO is $36,000

Thanks all...it does not have any add ons and is single owner. I would be looking at doing it up (tow/bull bar, winch and CB) and keeping it for about 5 years. Running about 15-20,000km per year...would it be better to look at a diesel in the long term?
AnswerID: 512755

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