New to 4X4 would appreciate some experiences/advice on which to pick!

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 17:59
ThreadID: 107495 Views:1774 Replies:8 FollowUps:11
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Hey everyone just about to sell my FG XR6T and buy my first 4X4 for around 20k.
It will tow my skyline every now and then (Newy to Syd or to the mechanic), would like to take it on sand and dirt, but don't see myself doing any crazy/hardcore trails, just a car to go to the beach and a bit of camping. It will not get driven much as i work away but every now and then needs to be ready for some big kms
Main things im looking for:
Turbo Diesel
Manual
Dual Cab
2.5-3T towing
Something that likes cruising on highways
Easy for the girlfriend to drive
Reliable

Options are Ford Ranger 3.0
very plain interior (not a really a bad thing)
Very basic gadgets/electronics
no cruise control
3T tow
Good torque
being a ford im guessing parts to be reasonably priced?
have not heard many bad things about them and are a good price these days, The BT-50s are still that couple grand more than I want to spend.

Holden Rodeo (late model with the colorado engine)
Nice interior
Most models have cruise
Top of the range models have good features
3T towing
Good on fuel
Being a holden im also guessing parts to be reasonable
Haven't heard anything bad, quite hard to find a good low km and price, our work has a 08ish Colorado with 200xxx and its still a good car.

Nissan D40 Navara/Pathfinder
I really like the interior
Most have cruise
Top models have good features
3T towing
Most powerful engine outta the lot
Not sure about parts cost
Now this is where im a bit split, on paper these two are the best, good price and kms, nice little engine and i think they both look the best, but I have been reading nothing but bad stories with the engine/timing chain/diffs and the weird limp mode a few get. Should I not even bother looking at them?

Triton
Our work has a new 2.5TD and im not the biggest fan for some reason
But the 3.2 seems to be the only one in my price range
ugliest of the bunch in my opinion

Then the Hilux
Can only Tow 2.25T legally which is disappointing..... but still a great car

Whatever I choose it will get basic mods, tune, better tyres (not muddys) maybe lift/suspension, good tow package

If you have had any experiences or advice for a young starter it would be really appreciated.
Thanks
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Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 18:13

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 18:13
Um look at the fine print on those towing capacities.....mostly thay are not as impressive as they may seem.

consider
gross combination mass
maximum ball weight

and the words...."smooth improved surfaces"

One one of the other forums, a poster complied a spread sheet of most of the current models with all the fine print figures.

Some of the twoing figures looked credible.....one ute in particular that had a "fannntastic towing capacity", didn't look so good when the whole story was told.

The short story was to tow full rated all the load the ute could carry was two blokes and a large lunch box.

and remember there are many problems with these light utilities breaking and bending chasis even though they are suposedly under their rated load.

after all that, the hilux don't look so bad.

But if you want to tow 3 tonnes, ya better off with one of the heavier 6 cylinder 4wds....or a proper light truck.

I'm not a nissan man. but the 6 cylinder turbo diesel patroll takes a hell of a lot of beating.....IF you can find an unmolested example.

cheers
AnswerID: 531347

Follow Up By: Thinkin - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 18:27

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 18:27
" but the 6 cylinder turbo diesel patrol takes a lot of beating".
There is no such thing as a dual cab Nissan patrol, unless its a cut down wagon with a tray.
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FollowupID: 814355

Follow Up By: zimbo FOX - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 19:13

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 19:13
Sorry by dual cab I also meant 4 door.
The skyline tools and tyres will come to under 1500kg and about 850-1000 for a trailer, so that's why I was looking at 3T just to be safe and it will only be towed maybe 5 times Max a year. I can't find any good patrols, been looking for a while
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FollowupID: 814358

Follow Up By: zimbo FOX - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 19:28

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 19:28
Any chance you could point me in the direction of that spreadsheet? Or what I need to search for on google
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 21:15

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 21:15
There is no such thing as a dual cab Nissan patrol, unless its a cut down wagon with a tray.

And that is a bad thing?

As far as the spread sheet.....Oh hell I'd have to remember which forum it is......I think it is that forum with the hairy bloke in the green truck....the forum that seems more interested in its advertsining than making its forum run reliably.

It would take some digging up.

cheers

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FollowupID: 814367

Reply By: Member - Andrew L (QLD) - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 19:41

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 19:41
I think currently there is only 1 vehicle thats measures up in the dualcab class ute as a tower and tourer...and thats the BT50/Ford Ranger, 3.2 T/D 3.2 litre 6 speed auto.

A few extra bux, but you did have the FGXR6 turbo, so upgrading is no issue.

Time to pony up Zimbo fox.
AnswerID: 531361

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 21:22

Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 21:22
I don't know the dmax would give a good run for the money.

But if you realy wanted a tow vehicle.....one of the light truck 4wds would be worth a look.

You could start with the Iveco turbo daily, then move onto the Isuzu, hino, mitsui and other real, little trucks.

At least the Iveco you can put a long handled shovel in the tray without loading it diagonal.

cheers
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Follow Up By: zimbo FOX - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 12:37

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 12:37
Haha I'm not that rich! I would love a new ranger though :)
Not after a light truck, need more of a daily plus the girlfriend would freak driving a truck
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FollowupID: 814395

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 21:26

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 21:26
A new turbo daily is cheaper than a landcruser and comes with lots of stuff people pay thousands extra to have fitted to a land cruser.

& they drive pretty well apparantly.

Ahh but serioulsy....a nice unmolested low milage 6 cylinder turbo diesel patroll....fresh off the school run would be hard to beat....and pretty cheap to own long term.

cheers
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Reply By: Emerging I.T. - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 14:59

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 14:59
Zimbo, Suggest you go test driving. Brochures and specs don't tell the story until you drive the vehicles in question. Lots of people are buying the new Ranger 3.2 however whilst I mostly hear good things we don't know the story until they have done some KM's overtime. Funny you mention the Navara and not the Hilux, fact is the Hilux is the biggest selling 4x4 ute ever, in fact was the top selling vehicle full stop for a while. The towing capacity is the only hurdle however I personally think the Hilux offers the lowest cost of ownership. On paper the new Ranger leads the pack, on history the Hilux is king.
AnswerID: 531416

Reply By: Slow one - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 15:37

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 15:37
Foxy,

I see you have been inundated by people trying to sell you a new 4x4.

Son had a BT50 and had no problems with it at all. As you said you could buy a PJ Ranger which was the rebadged BT50 for less dollars.

I don't see you having any problems towing that Skyline with any of the vehicles you mentioned, except for the weight problems with the Hi lux.

Try pricing a D-max as well, they are a good solid unit.
AnswerID: 531417

Follow Up By: zimbo FOX - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 17:09

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 17:09
Smart choice is the ranger/bt-50 good price these days
Dmax is still a bit pricey, are they the same as the Colorado?
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Follow Up By: Slow one - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 18:44

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 18:44
Mate,
The slip of the fingers lead to PJ ranger, I meant the later PK.

That said I believe the older D-max and Colorado shared the same running gear. Maybe someone with older Colorado/ D-max info can confirm this.

If not you maybe able to check it out on the net.

Happy drifting.
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Reply By: Kumunara (NT) - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 16:11

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 16:11
I went through the process of purchases a dual cab I eventually chose the Amarok. I also liked the BT50/Ranger and the Navara V6 TDI. I have not been sorry and love the Amarok. It is not as powerful but is far more sophisticated than the BT50/Ranger or Navara and is a pleasure to drive. It has sufficient power to do anything I want. Speed limit in the NT is 130 km/h and it will cruise on that easily. Towing capacity is 3 tonne and has plenty of torque to do that. Towing my camper trailer I get 12 l/100km. My average consumption is 9.6 l/100km when not towing.


Life's great and it just keeps getting better

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AnswerID: 531418

Reply By: zimbo FOX - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 17:06

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 17:06
We have alot of bleep ty petrol workmate hiluxs for work and they are terrible, not saying the diesel is, but they are the same interior and still no features to them.

I would love an ammarok or new ranger but don't want the debt
AnswerID: 531421

Reply By: Member - Granty55 - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 18:31

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 18:31
G'day Zimbo,
Can't comment on any of your other options but we bought a near new 2009 PK Ranger Manual. We have now done over 100 000 k's in it and have had no trouble at all with it (touch wood!). Have towed a 900kg camper trailer, on the Birdsville and Oodnadatta Tracks, Great Central Road, and last year up to Cape York via the Bloomfield track. You wouldn't even know you had the camper on behind. Equally at home on the black top as on the rough stuff. Haven't touched the suspension as the original set up seems to handle the job. It had muddies on it when we bought it but found them too noisy on bitumen so ditched them. Apart from the usual gear like a bull bar, canopy and snorkel, the best thing I invested in was a long range tank, which now gives me a range of 1000 k's. about 800 k's when towing on the rough stuff. My wife doesn't have any trouble driving it. It's great to be able to just jump in it and head bush knowing you have a vehicle that will handle the job. Hope this helps in your decision making.
Ron
AnswerID: 531425

Follow Up By: zimbo FOX - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 19:51

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 19:51
Thanks Ron that's what I was after, the ranger is looking good, can now pick up a 09 with low kms and cheaper then the rest
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Reply By: disco driver - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 19:47

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 19:47
For around $20k you would be looking at units about 5-7 years old particularly if you like Toyota products, but there are some bargains out there.

If it was me, I'd be looking at late model Mazda B2500 turbo diesel/2600 petrol rather than the BT50's and the same models in Ford, (mainly because I have one,) more likely to be in your price range.

Rodeo's were fairly reliable but a bit noisy at idle and were a bit lacking in ground clearance compared to some of the others.

Mitsubishi utes were at the bottom of the price range so tended to be used by tradies along with the, in my opinion, over rated Hilux

All of these vehicles (extra cab/dual cab utes) are commercial based and tend to be a bit trucklike on the roads:- Harsh, somewhat uncomfortable and reasonably heavy on fuel.

Be aware of anything that seems too good to be true, it may have been flooded, drowned in the sea or an ex mine vehicle, but some mine vehicles have never been underground or worked on a mine site and may be good buys

Having said all that, once you get the taste for the bush any of the more common dualcabs will give you lots of enjoyment, as long as you look after it.

Good Hunting

Disco.
AnswerID: 531430

Follow Up By: zimbo FOX - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 20:14

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 20:14
Thanks for the advice Disco, I agree on the hiluxs
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