Economical small 4wd

Submitted: Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 11:48
ThreadID: 10670 Views:4941 Replies:7 FollowUps:28
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We are looking to buy a secondhand smaller 4wd suitable for a local runabout, mainly long distance driving (shopping & the dump run) and then again useful for the highway. The reason we need a 4by is the rough tracks and roads, sometimes water covered, we have around here. These road conditions are playing havoc on our little new Hyundai Elantra. We want the economy, space, easy to park, and reliablity. Any suggestions??? Jen
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Reply By: Member - Bradley- Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 12:03

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 12:03
how about one of the last japanese built suzukis ( not great for long distance but) or one of the kia sportage ( tough chassis) Then again you cant go past a subaru brumby if you can find a good late model unit ( 2 seats only).. Then again i got my jack for the same coin as your new elantra.. If there are only two of you then a brumby with a canopy would be great, you certainly can't kill them and they go well. Friend just found a pristine late model unit and snapped it up at $8000.Just killin time till easter...............go and play in the dirt, instead of workin in it......
AnswerID: 47433

Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 13:00

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 13:00
Bradley, we have our fully stocked Mav which we got for near half the price of the Elantra. When we bought the Hyundai, thought we would get a small new runabout with a good long warranty, just to save time in repairs and services. The Brumby sounds great, if you can't kill them, apart from the limited sitting, for wantng to pick up Grandkids when the parents need a break. I suppose we can always fit a crate for the kids:>)
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Follow Up By: Mad Dog Morgan (Geelong) - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 13:08

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 13:08
I brought a brumby new many years ago, fantastic vehicle in the sand though the bottom of the doors rusted out a bit after many fishing trips over a few years. BEAM ME UP SCOTTY


Hooroo
Ray
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 13:14

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 13:14
Ray, we do not do beach work, so that may be a minor problem, although it might be worth looking at when purchasing a secondhand one.
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 13:15

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 13:15
Ray, we do not do beach work, so that may be a minor problem, although it might be worth looking at when purchasing a secondhand one.
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Follow Up By: glenno - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 16:07

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 16:07
my friend has a country mail run and bought a daihatsu terrios . good size and you can get a second hand one at an excellent price .
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 21:41

Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 21:41
Bradley, where do we find Eric, for him to chase a vehicle up for us?? Jen
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Follow Up By: Member - Bradley- Monday, Feb 23, 2004 at 09:33

Monday, Feb 23, 2004 at 09:33
Hi Jen, looks like youve got some choices now !! Eric is a Member down here in vic with the flash cruiser, he is a vehicle wholesaler , and a good bloke to boot!! try him on 0418 364 781 . he has helped heaps of other members with their purchases so he might know someone local to you. cheers BradJust killin time till easter...............go and play in the dirt, instead of workin in it......
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Monday, Feb 23, 2004 at 09:40

Monday, Feb 23, 2004 at 09:40
Thanks Brad, That is good to know, I will do that. Now give that beautiful bull a hug for me, OK. I am not desperate, just love cattle:>) Have a great day!! Jen
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Reply By: Willem - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 12:36

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 12:36
Hello Jen and Geoff,

I recommend any Subaru 4x4....They have prven reliability and economy and a good dealer network. Anything else is just a compromise.

Cheers,
Willem
Out on the Gibber
AnswerID: 47438

Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 13:12

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 13:12
G'day Willem, What is the ground clearance and chassis movability of the Subaru, are they able to cope with ditches and uneven terrain without wrecking something. I have suggested these vehicles to Geoff in the past. The Hyundai was going great until recently, after the rain, we have had a couple of electrical problems and the service blokes reckon it is the rough roads. It is still under warranty so we thought we might get rid of it before time's up, and find something else that can handle the changes. Jen
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 13:21

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 13:21
Hi Jen,

Go and drive one. I am not au fait with the latest but earlier models were very reliable and you were able to jack up the body to get better clearance. I do not know how deep your creeks are etc. I have had 8 Suzukis over a number years and they were excellent vehicles. You might look at them as well.

Cheers,
Willem
Out on the Gibber
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Follow Up By: Member - Bradley- Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 14:00

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 14:00
You can get suspension and body lift kits, fit bigger rims etc, but as stock they go some amazing places, my sister had one for years, she couldn't kill it, but she sure did try !! ( she managed to tear the gearbox crossmember out of her suzuki among other great things).

Have a look at the subie wagons in the same body shape, same driveline as the brumby but a wagon body - Perfect..room for the little spuds. Cheers.Just killin time till easter...............go and play in the dirt, instead of workin in it......
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 14:20

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 14:20
Thanks Bradley and Willem, I didn't know they were like lego cars, where you can add and take away, lift and let down etc. This will tickle Geoff's fancy as he loves to fiddle.
Bradley, your Sis sounds like our son, but he bush bashes an old vehicle of the desired model, before he buys one for the road, to test out their length of life and capabilitys. Eh, your not going to kill that beautiful Braford for easter are you.:>) Sooooooo Cute - Look at those eyes. Jen
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Follow Up By: Member - Bradley- Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 14:33

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 14:33
Braford !! He's a beaut little stud Poll Hereford that one. but you are forgiven, no taste testing though, We have got a nice bull going to the world conference in Sydney soon, he is just about to turn 2 years old and is tipping the scales at 1750 Kg already, with minimal fat...Plenty of bbq potential there LOL .

Best thing about subie wagons is that a lot of retirees bought them new , so you can find plenty of really good examples. Eric may be able to ring a few contacts to chase one up for you. Just killin time till easter...............go and play in the dirt, instead of workin in it......
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FollowupID: 309433

Follow Up By: Member - Eskimo - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 14:48

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 14:48
subaru wrx are great for highway driving...just watch out for policeWow, am I cute! The extra long legs are built-in prevention against ducks disease. Great looks and a real goer. Doesnt waddle along like some.
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FollowupID: 309434

Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 14:55

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 14:55
I was led to believe that the Eskimo was so busy working in this hot weather that he did not have time for idle chit chat on the forum :-)))))Willem
Out on the Gibber
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 15:15

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 15:15
Bradley, SORRY, but thanks for forgiving me, I didn't see much of him and his curls. Nah! and I wouldn't want to taste such a cutie. He looks like one our Brafords, ours must have thrown back more to the Hereford, followed us around like a pussycat. The Rocky bull sale up here was a flop last week, most had to go home again. A shocker for the farmers. We live near a retiree city, so maybe we may strike it lucky if we advertise for a Ru.
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Follow Up By: Member - Eskimo - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 16:24

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 16:24
Willem,
i am i am, you have to believe me
Wow, am I cute! The extra long legs are built-in prevention against ducks disease. Great looks and a real goer. Doesnt waddle along like some.
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FollowupID: 309440

Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 18:02

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 18:02
Willem, what on earth would an eskimo wear to work on these hot days, it may be safer to stay out of the work scene. Wouldn't like to see a melted eskimo.
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Follow Up By: Member - Eskimo - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 21:05

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 21:05
i did melt last weekend...well almost
it was hot on that roof sunday 43 ?
but i survived...unforntunately she says
Wow, am I cute! The extra long legs are built-in prevention against ducks disease. Great looks and a real goer. Doesnt waddle along like some.
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FollowupID: 309466

Reply By: Patrol22 (Queanbeyan - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 16:10

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 16:10
Economical 4X4 ...........what's that?
AnswerID: 47452

Reply By: Martyn (WA) - Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 22:11

Friday, Feb 20, 2004 at 22:11
Jen & Geoff,
I don't know how much you want to spend but my wife has a Suzuki Sierra 1.3 which she is more than happy with, soft top version of course. It's only a 92 / 93 model but it's economical parts are cheap and insurance is cheap, you can still get four people on board, you won't get much else I must admit, maybe a flask and a small sandwhich box. Uses about 7.5 litres per hundred K's if your gentle. Looks the part and gives you a more youthful and is awsome in the sand, not to flash at rock hopping. Keep the shiny side up
AnswerID: 47477

Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 16:42

Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 16:42
That is economy Martin, The thing is it would be a real fun vehicle by the sounds and yet we probably need a little more luggage space. Thanks for your input. Jen
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Reply By: Emo - Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 03:30

Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 03:30
Suzuki Vitara. Small and economical but enough seating to throw the grandkids in the back. The Vitara is bullet proof as well. Good grond clearance, low range etc.
AnswerID: 47494

Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 16:46

Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 16:46
Emo, we saw one of those last night and thought they looked OK. We are now on the prowl around car yards, so the best way would be to test drive them on our road and track and not just the city roads. Jen
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FollowupID: 309542

Reply By: Andrew - Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 16:19

Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 16:19
Daihatsu Rocky diesel or Turbo diesel. Should pick one up from $5K to $12K for IFS wide track model.
Economy - 8 to 10l/100kms . Reliable - hell yeh.
AnswerID: 47519

Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 16:51

Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 16:51
Andrew, My Uncle had one of these when they first came out in the 70's, I think it was, and it was an everthing car, and they still have it going strong. We are looking to spend about $8.5k so should surely pick up something reliable for that.
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Follow Up By: Andrew - Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 17:24

Saturday, Feb 21, 2004 at 17:24
For about 8.5K you should be able to pick up 1990 - 1993 4cyl 2.8L Turbo Diesel with air con and other bits.
Daihatsu Rocky also came as utility with 2.8 diesel motor.
Cannot kill them really. Good luck.
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Reply By: Member - Des - Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 11:03

Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 11:03
Jen,
Here is your equation:
$8.5k + capable of carrying driver and four passengers + economical + some luggage space + good on rough tracks/water + reliable + value + easy to park

The answer: Suzuki Vitara Estate (4 door). We have one and it is terrific. Can't recommend it highly enough. 9L/100km, very capable off-road (major limitation is ground clearance on very rocky tracks, but that is probably not an issue for you), simple, no mechanical problems, tough as old boots, and fun. Parts and accessories readily available (we put a snorkel on - about $400).

Daihatsus Rocky/Feroza are good value too, but sadly they didn't make 4-doors.

Search "Vitara" in the archives and see all the wraps for them.

BTW, I'm with you on the Hereford. He is very beautiful.
AnswerID: 47577

Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 14:09

Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 14:09
G'day Des, what year would we be looking at when paying $8.5k for a Suzuki Vitara. Sounds a beauty, I will check out the archives. We spotted a 1992 Subaru sports wagon 158,000klm reg. vgc. for $6.5k this morning. I didn't realise there were so many to choose from and now comes all the weighing up. Jen
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Follow Up By: Member - Des - Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 15:57

Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 15:57
Jen,
The 4-door Estate came out in 1991. It had the 1.6L EFI engine from the beginning (the 2-door still had a carbeurettor then).

For the money you would be looking at an early 1990s model with 150-200k on it. I don't know which State you are in, but here is an example from the Melb Trading Post:
SUZUKI VITARA JX Estate Wagon 1993 charcoal grey, hard top automatic, 188000kms, 4dr, p/steering, a/cond, towbar, 6mths rego FHS647 $9000ono (03)59743953 (0403)572899 Mount Martha

The JX is the base model: it had power steering, cass/radio. JLX added adjustable steering wheel, colour-coded bumpers, electric windows and mirrors, better upholstery and a few little things. A/C was optional on both; most cars have it, but check to make sure. They all have low-range gears. Later models had auto-locking hubs, but early ones are manual-locking (but that's OK).

As usual for a car of this age, check the service history and get it checked by a mechanic.

They are tough little cars, but look for serious underbody damage, cracks in top of suspension mounts, water in oil for signs of serious abuse. Pretty rare I suspect, but best to check.

Good luck,
Des
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 16:13

Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 16:13
Thanks Des, for the valuable info, we are in Qld and we find the vehicles in the southern states are a lot cheaper than up here. I wonder if we wanted something from down south whether someone like the RACQ or similar would organise a check and report on the condition etc. before a final decision. Some young friends of our kids had bought a 4x4 from WA and had it transported here a lot cheaper than they could get one here. I think they bought it over the internet, it was a very good condition and they had a good run out of it before trading it in on a new one. Thanks again, Jen
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Follow Up By: Member - Des - Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 21:42

Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 21:42
RACV do checks (see RACV web site) and there are other private services (one I have seen advertised is StateRoads but I don't know anything about them.

Check Trading Post, Drive, CarPoint, etc, and maybe some Suzuki dealers.

If you find one, maybe you can get someone to drive it up for you, for the price of an airfare back!

Good luck,
Des
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Follow Up By: Jen & Geoff - Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 22:36

Sunday, Feb 22, 2004 at 22:36
Des, getting back to your first reply, the Hereford is a beautiful beast in looks and temprement.
Thanks for replying with the information of help. I checked out the Trading Post this arvo and found they weren't that more expensive up here after all. So will keep our eyes open, will have to get in and sell the Elantra, which shouldn't be too hard as there doesn't seem many for sale. Jen
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