Which diesel dual-cab ute for $15,000?

Hello all. I've just moved to a rural area, and I need a reliable ute that will serve me well on the farm and highway, and hopefully pull a small (<2t) caravan for holidays. My future income is unsure so I'm looking to get good life out of it and to avoid expensive surprises as much as possible. I could go a thousand or two higher if necessary.

Desirables would be 4x4, auto gearbox, low kms, a bullbar and a bit of extra ground clearance for the farm. Essentials are cruise control, tinted glass and a tray back, but any of these could be retrofitted as I realise they aren't often found together. I am inclined towards leaving the tray back for a future upgrade - this gives me access to nicely trimmed suburban specimens with factory comforts. A tray shouldn't be too hard to come by or fabricate. The alternative seems to be a base work model with tray, but I'm not sure that I'll end up much better off after installing aftermarket comforts.

I'm probably looking at something like a Rodeo LT spec, circa 2008/100,000kms, but I'd love to hear suggestions (ideally with specific year and trim levels) for other options too.

I don't really NEED 4x4, or for that matter an auto gearbox. Would a manual 4x2 model be significantly more reliable / repairable / economical / longlasting?

What is considered a typical km lifespan for this kind of vehicle?
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Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Saturday, Dec 06, 2014 at 19:46

Saturday, Dec 06, 2014 at 19:46
Toyota Hilux would be my choice.

If you don't require a 4x4 may the 2.7 litre 4 cylinder petrol 2x4 would be adequate

Very cheap to maintain and typical for most (WELL MOST ) Toyota's bullet prove with good resale.

A diesel will be cheaper to run , but your maintenance cost will be more expensive.

That's my opinion

AnswerID: 542639

Reply By: 671 - Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 00:12

Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 00:12
My son recently sold his 1997 petrol manual Hilux 2wd with 250,000 ks on it and it was still in excellent condition. The only major work that had been done on it was a new clutch that I fitted a few years ago. I have heard of that model going twice that distance but a lot depends on who is driving it and how well it is serviced.

Later models should go just as well.

Two wheel drives are not all that far off the ground. If you are thinking extra clearance is necessary for your farm then you might be better off with a standard height 4wd.

Another option could be a rough terrain Falcon ute. They have a lot more ground clearance than the normal model plus a locking differential.
AnswerID: 542652

Reply By: Hoyks - Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 00:31

Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 00:31
A Rodeo would be a good choice. Hilux are nice and have the reputation for being reliable, but are overpriced for what you will get 2nd hand. I've had them as a work car and I can't say I'm a fan. Nothing specific, I just didn't like them and wouldn't buy one.
A really good Rodeo with bugger-all km will come in well under the price of a Hilux that has been to the moon and back.

Finding an auto dual cab won't be easy as I don't recall the autos were a common option back then. A well maintained 4cyl turbo diesel should give over 300000km with no real issues, you may have to replace a water pump along the way though.

I had a Courier and it was a reasonably reliable vehicle, unfortunately the turbo diesel models have a bit of a reputation for overheating and blowing the head. A replacement motor will be around the $3000 mark, without labour.
AnswerID: 542654

Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 11:34

Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 11:34
Firstly, exactly what are the figures on this under 2 tonne caravan.

The pre 05 model hiluxes max out a 1800Kg.

If this ground clearance thing, yu are talking better ground clearnace than a modern sedan or station waggon.....most 2wd utes will be way better.

As for a diesel being cheaper to run than a petrol........yeh......that may have reliably been the case in the past.....but diesel is significantly more expensive in most places than petrol.

If you need to tow a 2 tonne van...firstly you need a vehicle with much more towing capacity than that.....

If you are concerned about long term operating cost.....forget the auto.

As for the clutch......in 30 years I don't think I have baught a used manual car that was not due for a clutch job.....I've just done a gearbox rebuild on my 2wd hilux and had the clutch replaced at the time, and that cost me a shade over $2000...including replacing the rear crank seal, machining and balancing the flywheel.
Some of these late model vehicles a clucth job alone will cost you that.

I'm due for a clutch in my 4wd..I'll be interested to see what that costs me.

Hilux is one of THE cheapest utes there IS to own......there are heaps about, the parts both genuine and aftermarket are plentifull and cheap and they are in generall very reliable.

As far as cheap reliable motoring.....you can not go past an 01 to 05 petrol engine 2wd hilux....but I don't think its got the towing Kahunahs you need.

If you where towing under 1500kg....yeh maybe.

AnswerID: 542669

Reply By: wortgames - Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 22:42

Sunday, Dec 07, 2014 at 22:42
Thanks for the replies.

I have no particular problem with HiLux, other than a perception that for the same price I can get a Rodeo / Ranger / BT50 / Navara that is not only newer and lower km but on a later platform too.

The caravan is still theoretical at this stage - I have an old one on the farm, but I wouldn't want to tow it too far. I'd like to get something more modern - eg, 12-16 foot, probably single axle but maybe a small tandem. I suppose it will be chosen based on the capability of the ute.

I've found a 2008 Rodeo diesel 4x4 LT spec, auto box, 2.5t towing, nicely set up and maintained, inside my budget but with 180,000km. Is this too high? I have no experience with diesels but the farmers round here all seem to prefer them.
AnswerID: 542696

Follow Up By: Jackolux - Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 01:12

Tuesday, Dec 09, 2014 at 01:12
Where is your farm . I have a Hilux I want to sell , dunno if its ok to tell you about it here , 2006 Dual cab with a heap of extras .
FollowupID: 829278

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 19:11

Monday, Dec 08, 2014 at 19:11
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AnswerID: 542723

Reply By: Barb W - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 17:42

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 17:42
Hi all, I also need your assistance, looking at the best 4x4 with a 30 grand budget. Currently leaning towards a 2005/6 Landcruiser V8 as I want to pull a 23/24 ft caravan.
I have looked at crew cabs so we have somewhere to put the dingy but having previously owned a Landcruiser I am finding it hard to go with anything else for towing ability, fuel economy, comfort and safety
Anyone out there with any other suggestions or should I go with my gut feelings on this.
AnswerID: 542806

Reply By: wortgames - Saturday, Dec 13, 2014 at 10:45

Saturday, Dec 13, 2014 at 10:45
Thanks again everyone. I ended up getting a good deal and trade-in for that 2008 Rodeo LT, a very nice ex-fleet vehicle in almost immaculate condition.

It's 4x4 auto, I kinda felt that 4wd might be a better proposition around the farm (I also do the odd bit of contracting for other properties in the area, I haven't needed 4wd yet but the idea of turning up late because I'm bogged on their driveway doesn't appeal).

I was a bit hesitant about the auto, but I do like the convenience and it drove nicely. I hope I don't live to regret it!


AnswerID: 542931

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