$40k. New Suv-4x4 or 2008 Prado?

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 13:42
ThreadID: 107025 Views:4628 Replies:18 FollowUps:12
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After a bit of hunting around and looking at specs / value for $ I've come to an impasse of sorts. Can't decide whether it's better to go with a new lower end 4x4 (SUV), complete with new car warranty and whatever else the dealer is offering, or a 2008-ish 'Landcruiser' Prado. The SUV market seems to 'abound' with 'real' 4x4's all for around $40k:

- Isuzu MU-X (bland interior, soft 'hard' plastics, truck like drive and gearing but really reliable and capable motor and parts
- Mitsubishi Challenger (comfortable 'nice' interior, drives less like a truck but Mitsubishi have a bad track record with parts, not least of which is their engine components)
-Colorado 7 - don't know much about them.

On the flip side I found a fantastic 2008 KDJ120R GXL Prado, 136,000 on the clock, ARB extras (bullbar etc) dual batteries, Old man emu 2"'s etc etc for $36,500. No warranties, no guarantees. But it's a Toyota. it's a Prado. private seller. Seller convinced me he's genuine, vehicle seems in good nick.

Advice, thoughts, feelings all very much appreciated. Driven 4WD's for work for years but never owned, and for me this is a big investment with no / little room to move once purchase done (hence concern over a second hand vehicle with no warranty, but still a preference for a 4WD that is a real 4WD, not an SUV!)

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Reply By: Member - BrisVegas - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 14:47

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 14:47
Wow, this should open up a can of worms!

If you're spending $40k, MY vote would be for a new Challenger base model, for around $35k driveaway. Spend $5k on barwork, suspension and tyres and you'd have a nicely capable rig. I wouldn't pay that sort of money for a 6yo Prado which has done those miles. Prado's aren't free of engine niggles either, and if you buy a used one out of warranty, you're on your own.

You were originally looking at $10-20k wagons. What about a similar vintage Pajero? eg. http://www.carsales.com.au/private/details/Mitsubishi-Pajero-2006/SSE-AD-2723949/?Cr=2&sdmvc=1

As I said, just my vote. Good luck with your search. :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - Fab72 (Paradise SA) - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 19:57

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 19:57
Nothing wrong with Mitsi motors in my opinion. They are no worse than any other product out there.
The Isuzu and the Colorado are much for muchness but the Isuzu does have a better engine. Agree that the interior is one of the cheapest looking ones I've seen.
I'd vote for a new 4x4 and leave yourself a few bucks to play with and make it your own.
Challenger is a very capable rig ....I'd vote for that too.

FollowupID: 812427

Follow Up By: Member - escapesilv - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 12:36

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 12:36
I agree with BrisVegas and Fab

Having a challenger miself, and very happy with it, never had problems with it and now ready to start the big lap on the 22nd.


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Reply By: allein m - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 15:42

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 15:42
Prados really do hold there price well

but one things is look at pickles auctions and you will see lots of prados over 300k mark that says a lot to me if some thing with that amount of Ks still sell s then there must be some thing to say about the set up and engine quality
the car has only done 84, 000 miles

it is a hard choice look at if the prado has good service history and such

you have every thing you need duel batteries suspension

the new car you will have to spend a lot on getting it ready

it is all up to money

with the new car you are also tied into a service contract and a vehicle that is new and as yet unproven in a long term compared to prado,s that have a proving history

if you buy the prado and look after it oil changes regular and keep it serviced it will go a long way

I would like to be in the position to have a choice like that but I am not

so good luck and I hope you enjoy what ever car you buy

Not sure why but the government like prados and they own a lot of them

AnswerID: 529596

Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 21:07

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 21:07
"Not sure why but the government like prados and they own a lot of them"

Yeah right. Public servants are good pickers of winners. More likely they are getting a kick back.

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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 11:26

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 11:26
Govt [Qld Health especially] do a lot of Prado's due to price , even with fleet discounts + Govt incentives it becomes hard to justify a 200 series with higher rego costs + 30% higher purchase price for a vehicle that mostly only carries 1 person on a daily basis...
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Reply By: gbc - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 15:57

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 15:57
Having belted the engine that's in the mu x for 5 years, there's no way I'd be looking at a second hand anything over it. You stated you have no room to move, so warranty is super important.
All the base models are a bit bland - my ford ranger xl is too, but you get over it pretty quick.
I have no first hand experience with the Mitsubishi but they've been on the market long enough to prove they are no shrinking violet either.
Speaking of bland, have you seen the inside of a prado?
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Reply By: Member - Andrew L (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 16:01

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 16:01
Personally I wouldn't own a D4D Prado out of warranty, too many injector/engine failures. Been there done that, luckily my engine was replaced under extended warranty. If it really must be a common rail diesel buy new, otherwise a petrol Prado is a great option.
AnswerID: 529599

Reply By: Meridith D - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 17:19

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 17:19
I know the Pathfinders are no longer a true 4WD, but hear me out. (The new model is now just an SUV).

We bought our base model Pathfinder in 2011. It's currently done almost 80000km. It had a RRP of $52000 and when we went to negotiate with the dealer, we got it for $42000 with a Thule hullavator (approx $700) and rubber mats throughout and a couple of other things I can't remember. We have just replaced the first set of tyres.

We couldn't be happier with it. It's got plenty of room, plenty of power and is comfortable to cruise on the freeway when we want to. It towed our Jayco OB Eagle like it wasn''t even there, and now it tows our Roma 19'6'' van with ease. It has a towball weight of 300kg, and can tow 3000kg. The only extra thing we have is air bags.

Think a bit further than the Prado - they are very limited in their tow capacity etc (don't know what your towing plans are). There are others out there that maybe be better value. I don't know what the going price for a Pathfinder is now (you can't buy them new now), but you could pick up one in excellent condition for less than $40000.
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Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 22:06

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 22:06
The Prado is "very limited in their tow capacity" ? What? You mean it can only pull 400kgs and not a 24 ft Bushtracker? or haven't you noticed that 2500 kgs isn't really "very limited"?.......and your Pathfinder pulls a Jayco Eagle "like it wasn't even there? That's me convinced then. LOL. 500 kgs less than the Pathy but really.......Let me know when you've pulled the 24 ft Bushtracker. Sorry mate but a bit less emotional investment and more objectivity might be handy. I think the pathy is a decent car but there are people with a 1984 Falcon and an old Mallard who "couldn't be happier".

As for the OP, the main conundrums have been addressed - the only thing I'd add is that the Prado is a seriously good offroader, not the best but as reliable as they come despite injection problems that have been widely reported but pretty isolated. They have been discussed at length on Pradopoint and are not a major issue beyond what you'd get with any other DFI vehicle and less than most. Depends how much offroad you will do, which some of us over-state a bit whilst we are still working and doing the usual runs around town 90% of the time - and...some of these new cars are decent tow vehicles. As usual, depends on projected use.

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 12:00

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 12:00
Meridith which sort of Pathfinder was yours ?

A top spec R51 petrol pathfinder and top spec D4D Prado came into our group and it was interesting to watch.

For most of our group suvivability is important and cars get used so we tend to have more petrol or 4.2 patrols around.

Leaving aside Prado stability issues I would have put the Prado as a better car however over the 2 years before it was dumped it proved to be just to soft , even the air suspension broke.

On the other hand the Pathfinder which I thought was the underdog has proved quite a surprise despite limited suspension travel.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Meridith D - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 16:13

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 16:13
Hi Robin.
Ours is a R51 2011 Pathfinder ST. We haven't done much 4WDing in it, we use it as a tow vehicle, and very happy with it both around town and on the open road. Less than 9l/100km on the freeway.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 02:38

Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 02:38

Just to clarify for other readers..

"Leaving aside Prado stability issues.."

actually means

"Leaving aside MY issue with Prado stability"...

Prado's are stable (never seen one fall over my self..but sure they do)..no doubt they are less stable (but with out doubt safer overall) than the cars some other people choose to drive but don't just dwell on the suspect tilt angle figures some people reference...go real world....

Check out the damage to this Nissan that didn't "rollover", just sort of gently fell on its side (at "40km/h") despite it's huge "stability" advantage..and was a write off...

Good effort, they almost made it ...

You have to laugh...and each time it's mentioned it gets funnier.

I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 13:01

Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 13:01
Oh Greg - having to cut edit paste and spin my previous posts to get a followup is surely a sign of deep desperation and the sincerest form of flattery, thanks.

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 13:26

Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 13:26

Just trying to avoid confusion amongst readers. If you are flattered that's a good thing, though not sure why. Based on observations made over a long period of time, have a feeling you may just be "flattering" yourself. Despite the funny side of it all (your account of the roll over (sorry, roll onto side) is quite humorous), its actually a bit of a pain to have to explain the real meaning of the non-existent "issue", bit busy at moment.

I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: Crusier 91 - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 18:27

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 18:27
My mate bought an I-Max, all the screws rattled out of the dash on his frist trip over corrugated tracks, the dash eventually feel apart. Having said that, he refitted all screws with locktite and hasn't had a problem since, the engine's are great, they just lack clearance even with a 2'' lift.
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Follow Up By: Crusier 91 - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 18:31

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 18:31
I mean the MU-X, we just call it the I-MAX
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Reply By: Crusier 91 - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 18:35

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 18:35
Give the Triton TD a look, a few mates have them plenty of power, reliable if you dont chip them, better clearance than the MU-X and Colorado.
Me, I'd go a country TD 100 series and fit it out for $40K
AnswerID: 529615

Reply By: Crusier 91 - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 18:37

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 18:37
Landcruiser will out perform a Prado by a country mile, seen it.
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 19:55

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 19:55
Whatever you buy, if you buy a good used vehicle at a good price, the depreciation will be a lot less than if you buy something new. With a new vehicle, warranty is only good if serviced to the book and service costs on 4x4 can be expensive! If you manage servicing on a used vehicle, you can save heaps and you can do some of the simple stuff yourself. Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

Retired 2016 and now Out and About!

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Follow Up By: lj_eco - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 11:12

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 11:12
Michael I've spent the last few days looking at depreciation on a range of vehicles over years/km's. I knew this was something to consider but didn't realise how much. Gotta find the 'sweet spot' from what I can tell. Actually as much as i'd like to follow some of the advice and buy a new one and 'make it my own', depreciation is depressing!
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Reply By: "Not So Grey Nomads" - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 22:11

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 22:11
Gday mate.we just towed an offroad coromal camper from adelaide to alice via dirt.then darwin. Then across the top to cairns on dirt. Then cape york. Including the old tele track. Then east coast to the bottom. Snowy mountains. Mt kozzy. Grampians.adelaide. 25000km. With a 2008 prado. One flat tyre. Didnt miss a beatm bought for 36g with 100,000k incl roofrack bullbar liftkit airbags chip etc.bloody fantastic and travelled in luxury.... need I say more...
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Reply By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 23:19

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2014 at 23:19
If you are going to "off road" or any dirt road touring.....do you realy want to beat up a new vehicle.
Every little twig, or flying stone will have you worried about your precious new paint work.

Besides as soon as you drive it off the lot its value will drop $10G.

keep on the look out for a good unmolested usedy.....there are plenty out there that have never seen a dirt road longer the a driveway and only towed a trailer to the tip twice a year.

As for the diesel....yeh.....less and less good reasons to own a diesel these days.

The fuel injected variable valve timimg petrol motors are very well proven, have heaps of power and a pretty good on fuel..and cheaper to service.

Don't be affraid to look at pre 2005 models either.....mostly they will be pre common rail in the diesel...may not go as well or be as lean on fuel...but much less of a concern with the fuel system.

AnswerID: 529642

Reply By: Peter T9 - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 08:11

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 08:11
$31k or less will get you an earlier HDJ100 Landcruiser (pre common rail turbo) with reasonable km and probably set up with b/bar t/bar etc.

Great long distance touring vehicle, good offroad ability and big towing capacity.

Unlike the 1hz powered versions they are no slouches on the road either. Put your foot down and they have heaps of overtaking power.

AnswerID: 529648

Reply By: Graham R4 - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 12:06

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 12:06
Just took delivery of new Toyota sr hilux 4x4 duel cab 2 weeks ago, At $39990 drive away a bargain.This vehicle came with 17 inch wheels ,vsc ,Side steps,flares & air/con at no extra charge.
AnswerID: 529664

Reply By: The Bunyip - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 15:58

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 15:58
I work in a car dealership & when I saw the nature of your thread I immediately questioned "why on earth would you spend $40,000 on a 6yo car?".

Shop around, there's heaps of bargains to be had around the place.

New cars provide protection in so far as warranties go. Some have capped price servicing, some even have free servicing for a period of time. Not to mention finance offers at dirt cheap interest rates.

Buy a Used Car & your potentailly buying someone elses problems.
$40,000 will get you everything you appear to need & all of the above.

AnswerID: 529677

Reply By: Member - evaredy - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 17:53

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 at 17:53
I was in a similar position 12 months ago when looking for our first 4x4.

Buy secondhand or buy new, I decided to buy new, in my case a Dmax Dual cab,
I didn't want the hassle or expense of repairs that may not surface right away. If I was going bush, I wanted to know that I was coming back and that it wasn't going to tun into a nightmare.

Sure you lose on depreciation, but for me the 5 years of trouble free motoring along with 5 year roadside assist is worth it.

You said it yourself, you have no room to move, if you buy secondhand you may very well have to fork out to fix things. Buying new, means trouble free motoring for years.

Not sure if you are going to tow anything or not, but it may pay you to take notice of not only the towing capacity, but also the total weight it can carry as well.
AnswerID: 529685

Reply By: lj_eco - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 12:28

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 12:28
Some pretty good food for thought, thanks to all contributors thus far. Out of this so far i've come to the fact that:

1. New vehicle depreciation is a tough one to swallow but the 'safety' factor of knowing that if/when something goes wrong is appealing.

2. A second hand vehicle has done much it's depreciation especially if you find the sweet spot. I would be less concerned with the 'scratch and dent' factor. But i'd be buggered if things start going wrong that cost a bit.

3. D4D - injector issues are a real concern (new or used). The Challenger dealer said he'd already had a few come back this year after sucking up bad fuel. A good reason to have a warranty vehicle i guess, otherwise for second-hand stick to petrol?

4. Thanks for the advice on vehicles other than those mentioned. As much as a Triton could be a good deal (excluding depreciation), still concerned about reliability of Mitsubishi motors - our brand new work fleet Triton needed the entire engine replaced after just 10,000km. Isuzu engines get a really good wrap so if i could live with i) depreciation and ii) a bland (even blander than prado) inerior the MU-X that wouldn't be too bad. Hmm.

5. For second hand the Prado does indeed have a proven track record. Those older HDJ100 Landcruiser do look good too Peter (without the fuel concerns). I drive a 'lux for work every day Graham and think they're great work trucks, but our family wants a wagon.

6. Perhaps Bantom you are right: 'a good unmolested usedy that has never seen a dirt road'. The thought floated back into my head on the way to work this morning as I passed a very proper well dressed elderly lady driving what looked like a 2010 prado on. Looked like it have never seen the dirt.... must be a few of these around

Summary - I like the idea of 'worry free motoring' (warranty, roadside etc) with a new vehicle but if i could find myself a good unmolested second hander I'd find it equally appealing. Where to now? Not sure, but at least i'm better educated!

AnswerID: 529747

Reply By: lj_eco - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 15:11

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 15:11
For anyone interested, after a bit of tabulation, depreciation and value holding on Prado's looks predictable. Best for retaining value in current market is a 20-30,000 km 2009-2012 model. These roughly hold there proce with little depreciation right through to 90,000-100,000km.

Anything older drops a few $1000 dollars for ever 1000-2000km driven.

All this is you have a handy $50,000 to outlay. At that rate you could sell it in a few years with little loss (not- taking into account servicing and maintenance).

happy motoring
AnswerID: 529758

Reply By: Mick T3 - Friday, Apr 04, 2014 at 12:21

Friday, Apr 04, 2014 at 12:21
Used Prados are overpriced. And if it has been used off-road be very aware, even if the seller appears genuine. 136,000 on the clock is a considerable amount, and its best years are over.

You can get a brand new base model for about $58K. A dealer in Adelaide last week offered me a new GLX, the next model up, for $64,700 Drive Away with 12 months rego. Toyota salesmen are arrogant though.

I tried a manual Challenger, diesel, but the gear stick vibrated horribly. Maybe it was a dud. Probably the automatic is nicer. Still a good vehicle and gets 9.0 litres combined cycle, diesel.

Mitsubishi and Nissan suffered loss of market share last year and are desperate to sell their 4WD's. The Pajero's second model up, with rear diff lock, was selling for $50K Drive Away, last October. I almost bought one, but prefer the Prado because its engine is quieter.

Test drive them all and hold out for 10% off list price.

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