Advice on buying a 4wd

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 21:52
ThreadID: 131768 Views:3672 Replies:13 FollowUps:33
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I'm looking in to buying a new vehicle for future travel plans.
== Where we want to go :
Binns track
Gibb river road
Simpsons desert
Victoria Desert
Most of north Queensland
1 year long trip around the country in few years
Most of the trips involves dirt/sand roads and river crossings
== What I'm looking at
Toyota LandCruiser (or a Prado, not sure if there is a massive difference)
Nissan Patrol
== Other things I'm considering
Need to be able to pull a off road camper trailer
Diesel seems to be the best.
If there is a breakdown, wouldn't be too hard to find parts to fix
Auto vs Manual. Auto seems easier for my daily drives and long highway drives.
== Budget
20 - 25k I'm guessing I'll need to put in few more features (bigger tank, extra tyre holder, etc)
Any advice is welcome as I'm completely on the fence with LandCruiser vs Patrol
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Reply By: D-MaxerWA - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 23:38

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 23:38
If you are looking at buying new, better revise the 20 - 25k figure to 50k plus and if restricting yourself to L/C or Patrol, better add on another 30k or more.

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Follow Up By: Rangana H - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 23:39

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 23:39
My bad. I meant new as in to replace my current. I'll edit the post :)
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Follow Up By: D-MaxerWA - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 23:54

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 23:54
I figured that, but thought you must be trolling. L/C v Patrol, that will get the fish biting :)

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Follow Up By: Rangana H - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 23:56

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 23:56
No trolling. I've never owned a proper 4wd. And I don't think my current ford Territory is up to this task.
All my research lead to either LC or patrol so far.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 06:52

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 06:52
I think you need to get some proper 4wd experience before you try some of the tracks you have mentioned. A Prado would do them all and not really need a bigger fuel tank, about 180 litres I think so its pretty big already. I've seen Territories stuck on little more than speed humps which bent the bracket holding the fuel tank into their drive shaft, so yes, I wouldn't take a Territory into the Simpson Desert. By the same token, people who don't know how to 4wd have been stuck and died in very capable cars that they didn't know how to operate properly.
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Follow Up By: Member - mark D18 - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 07:51

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 07:51
Not that I would do it , but my brother crossed the Simpson Desert last year in a Territory and it completed the crossing almost trouble free .
But it has never ben the same car ( it now has more rattles than a millionaires baby. )
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Follow Up By: Rangana H - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 09:12

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 09:12
Hi Michael,

Thanks for the advice.

The 2 deserts will probably come last in 3-4years. Hopefully by that time i should be able to do it :)
My biggest worry with the Territory is parts. just last year we broke down 70ks out of Coober Pedy and i had to drive down to Port Augusta to get a drive shaft for the Territory. Workshop in CB had all the parts needed for LCs and Patrols.

Apart from the size what other differences are there with the prado Vs LC?

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Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 07:54

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 07:54
Stick to those vehicle's and you will be on the right track.
Just make sure the Patrol is the 4.2 inline 6 cyl.

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Reply By: Winner W - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 08:58

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 08:58
STOP STOP. I just want to get my popcorn ready for the coming fight.......
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Reply By: Ozi M - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 10:14

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 10:14
I was talking to a bloke that does tag a long tours of the Simpson, the only 4x4 he won't allow are AWD and Ford Territorys.

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Reply By: Rangana H - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 10:17

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 10:17
What do you guys reckon about the 4/ 3.0l turbo D Prado?
Considering i'll be using this for everyday stuff as well

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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce and Di T (SA) - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 13:28

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 13:28
We own a Prado. We've also had an 80 Series Landcruiser and a Troopy. Now I'm going to put the cat among the pigeons and say the Prado has outshone both of them from the point of view of performance. We currently tow a van, but more importantly also tow a Vista RV Crossover which we take bush.

For example it has crossed the Anne Beadell twice, has crossed the Simpson via the Hay River track, all towing the Vista. It's economical, has a 150 litre tank and it is automatic. We have upgraded its suspension, but then we did that to the 80 Series too. It has also travelled various tracks in the Victorian High country.

We've had it since 2010 and virtually all of its travels have been towing; never missed a beat. It's also a good town car for a 4WD.

We like the automatic as it means if you do make a mistake in gear selection it is very easily rectified.

The new Prado is 2.8L, the older one was 3.0L

Can't comment on the Patrol as we've never owned one.

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Follow Up By: Rangana H - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 14:22

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 14:22
Hi Bruce,

Thank you! this is what I was after! wasnt sure if the 3L can pull a camper trailer but it looks like its def capable.

Thanks again
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 10:23

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 10:23
Hi Rangana

I think you will find that what you get will come down to the values that are most important to you which may be different to other peoples views however its good to understand the differences between cars are the requirements you place on them.

For us being able to go a long way and playing hard when you get there means maximum survivability.

So in assessing the needs we look at what is likely to cause a trip to fail.

The overriding failure mode out there is the rollover usually caused by getting in the dirt and over correcting.

Cars have different tipover angles with Prado being the worst at 42 degree in the category of vehicles you are looking at.

The GU patrol is the best at 48 degrees, and neither is as good as your territory(>50).

I rule out Prado's on this basis alone.

Next is mechanical breakdowns - and here the 3lt diesel Patrol is the worst by quite a margin, because of this and poor narrow band engine power range I rule out that version of Patrol.

Next in importance for us is adequate power , one of the most popular ever cars was the GU Patrol in 4.2lt diesel , unfortunately it was probably the most underpowered of all big wagons taking over 20 sec to get to 100kmh and woefully short on power required when the
going gets tuff.
I would not buy a car that when loaded for a trip, couldn't get to 100 in less than 16secs.
16 secs isn't fast but it means you can keep up with traffic.

Amongst our group the most popular cars are versions of the Landcruiser 100 series and GU Patrol , both are big enough so that you can fit them out with an internal caravan size double bed (unlike Prado's, Ford Everest etc, and this massively increases your all round capability over towing anything and with camping flexibility.

My own choice is the GU Patrol Petrol 4800, it is the near perfect car, long wheel base, all coil sprung, and generally low tech.
It only has 1 disadvantage, which is the cost of fuel (as opposed to lack of range etc).
As a rule of thumb it costs 30% more to fuel although its "whole of life costs" are arguably little more than the diesel version.

Being petrol means it is less likely to have fuel contamination issues which, while rare, has had posters on this site paying up to $20,000 to fix.

The car I choose comes in either manual (to year 2006) and auto (to year 2010) all with 180 or more kw's and wide 400nm + torque band.

The 4800 Patrols have a massive range of after market goodies and a wide support base and are generally easy to fix support, and service yourself.
So much so that you can afford to carry things like spare fuel pump which is $75 compared to thousand of dollars for some diesels.
They can be fitted to carry over 220lt of fuel giving a touring range over 1200km.

They were made from 2002 to 2010 and cost in range $15k to $30k.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: ian.g - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 11:33

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 11:33
Makes me want to race straight out and buy one, (That's if I could find one), Excellent post

Regards Ian
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 12:05

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 12:05
Me too! I'll have a white one please.........


Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 12:18

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 12:18
LOL You could ask which is the best and most economical car to occasionally go to the local shopping center in, and Robin would rule out the Prado on the basis that it will roll over and eventually come to the conclusion that a 4.8l petrol Patrol beats all other vehicles given you only need to go shopping occasionally, the extra fuel it uses will only be a minor cost given the use.

Don't get me wrong, Robin has a lot of experience of a lot of great advice, but wrt vehicle advice the answer is always the same - Prado will roll, Patrol 4.8 is tops - regardless of the requirement or newer vehicle design..

The advice ignores the fact that Prado's have stability control which the 4.8 Patrol doesn't, and that ESC reduces the probability of rolling a 4wd by 66% and the probability of a single vehicle rollover by 80% ( source US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). I have also heard of a 4.8 Patrol rollover on this forum, but never a Prado rollover.......


A Prado would be fine and almost certainly the best 4wd wagon for touring the tracks you suggest if you consider safety, comfort, economy, a towing package, reliability and serviceability. Its interior is almost identical to a Patrol too. ( newer design).

A diesel is a must, you simply can't get petrol on the ABH in the Victoria desert and other areas> fuel use has little to do with cost, and a lot to do with range and availability in the outback.

Robin has excellent advice, great ideas and a ton of experience. But the ol "Prado will roll, 4.8 l patrol fits all" posts do seem more than a little biased.

Sorry Robin, but there are other factors besides one dated, largely irrelevant spec in car buying.

I am not sure if a Prado ultimately is the best vehicle for your needs, and Prados do carry a premium ( largely because of the benefits outlined above), and are a little under powered.

My point is do not discount a Prado for your search You would eliminate the best candidate for most people's needs touring around Australia. Everyone that has a Prado that I tour with loves them and they have been extremely reliable and frugal.

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Follow Up By: Rangana H - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 13:49

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 13:49
Thank you Robin & Boobook,

Both of you have good points. I believe i have much more research to do before I buy either one.

This rolling over business, are we talking about just in general going around corners or driving in the sand? if its the latter im not too worried I dont think i'll be doing that much desert driving. if i do, given that now i know it can roll over i'll be extra cautious.

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 13:54

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 13:54
Now BooBook, this thread is about a car reccomendation.

I'd love to answer all your points but i would probably get moderated for being off topic, so I will just stick to a couple.

I do not know how you could say you haven't heard here of Prado rollovers.

I personnaly have had close friends roll both Patrols and Prado's and referred to same here
let alone posts like the one a few years back in which a poster , towing a van rolled the lot going over the crest of a hill and soon after two others came up with similar Prado/van stories.

Here is a warning link posted on exploroz about some aspects of stabilty control

You refer to USA statistics, please see abstract below.
Stability control is great, when it works, but there is one overiding factor in rollover potential measurement and that its not stability control it is Static Stabiliy factor as per extrack below.
Rollover crashes kill more than 10,000 occupants of passenger vehicles each year. As part of its
mission to reduce fatalities and injuries, since model year 2001 NHTSA has included rollover
information as part of its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) ratings. One of the primary
means of assessing rollover risk is the static stability factor (SSF), a measurement of a vehicle’s
resistance to rollover. The higher the SSF, the lower the rollover risk. This report tracks the
trend in SSF over time, looking in particular at changes in various passenger vehicle types.

Perhaps the following form another post would help

A picture says a thousand words.
This is the second Prado I have known to have rolled in the Katherine region in the last 6 months.
I have driven a prado and it is uncomfortable for me as a driver.
I would not consider replacing my Patrol with one.



I am happy to answer or explain any other specific points anyone might have afterall->

" Robin has excellent advice, great ideas and a ton of experience. "
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 14:01

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 14:01
Rangana , the best advice , no matter what car you get is to not make the problem worse.

The best way to do this is to keep the centre of gravity low and not carry any weight on the roof , or carry anything on the roof that has significant wind resistance.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Rangana H - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 14:14

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 14:14
Hi Robin, Thank you for your advice.

Can you please give me some insight into the rollover problem.

There are 2 big trips that im planning and on both of them i'll have gear on the roof rack. and on the last trip i'll a camper trailer as well.

I'm not really planning on stack anything high on the roof. probably few bags, fishing gear. and fully covered and tired down tightly so thing dont flaps around in the wind.

unfortunately not carrying gear on the roof is unavoidable :(

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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 14:39

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 14:39
Robin you aren't seriously quoting one internet blog post by one revenge seeking zealot as a reliable reference are you?

I can post proof that Kylie Minogue had sex with an alien on that basis.

Anyway I wouldn't dare get into a Prado vs 4800 petrol Patrol with you.

I just want to point out to the OP that there are other opinions on the suitability of Prados. That's it.

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 15:18

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 15:18
Hi Rangana

I'll try and keep this reply very general without car names.

Probably the best thing we can all do is simply drive to the conditions and if in doubt just slow down.

We have tens of thousand of Km's of dirt / gravel road out there and even when its bitumen the road edges are generally weak.

It just takes a moments lack of concentration to let a wheel drift into the dirt then usually the driver over reacts by pulling wheel sharply causing the cars body to sway then driver reacts back the other way and the sway becomes worse.

The rollover is the biggest single cause of death and injury and our 4wd wagons have a high C of G (centre of gravity).

The tip over angle (also called Static Stability Factor) is the best measure of this and is now required to be measured as public information in some countries (U.S.) but not Australia.

On the car itself , you should do whatever you can to keep the weight on your car as low down as possible and between the front and rear wheels.

E.G. My cars thirsty and I fitted a second fuel tank to it, my tank was fitted forward of the rear wheels and down at chassis height.
This means that I typically carry 100kg of extra weight, but in the perfect place.

Also, you will most likely need after market shock absorbers, these can help a lot if they are matched to the car when it is carrying your typical load.
(I.E. Shocks need to run cool)

Tyres should be chosen for best performance in the gravel, not in mud (No large flat treads chunk on which gravel can roll).
One good tyre for this is BFG AT, but there are others.

If towing , then there are special weight distribution arrangements and brake types , but if you can get the lightest camper you can.
If you have a choice to carry your water/batteries in the car (between axles) instead of van do so.

Aim for a camper no more than 1/2 weight of your loaded car.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 15:23

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 15:23
"Robin you aren't seriously quoting one internet blog post by one revenge seeking zealot as a reliable reference are you? "

Never Boobook , I don't say that , or even necessarily support the other references , simply showing you that there are many exploroz comments and links about the subject.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Rangana H - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 15:35

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 15:35
Thank you so much Robin! If i ever see you on the road will buy you a beer :D
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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 16:32

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 16:32
Unfortunately Robin wears blinkers and they only look for petrol Patrols. The dinosaur 4.8 litre petrol is not a bad vehicle. As thirsty a beast would be hard to find. My mate has one and the service station send him a Xmas card every year! As regards roll in Arnhem Land for 17 years I have seen many rolled patrols. Along with troopies, cruisers, hi lux and other 4 door utes. Nothing to do with the vehicle. ALL A RESULT OF GOING TOO BLOODY FAST!!!. None of these accidents would have occurred if people drove to the road conditions and knew the capabilty of their vehicle. Correct tyres and pressures also a must, along with solid suspension. If any of the stated vehicles mentioned in some posts had a tendency to roll over as a result of mechanical manufacture then you can bet your left knacker they wouldnt be on the road!

I also dont believe that Kylie Minogue had sex with an alien either....
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Follow Up By: Member - Blue M - Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 06:22

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 06:22
I am starting to worry now,
I have to go and get some bread tomorrow, and I have 6 corners to go around.
2 of them have cambers on them as well.

Think I will walk down, it's sounds safer..

Robin, you could hardly use this story to justify the roll over capabilities of a Prado.
Gee, he got smacked up the rear wheel doing 40kph by another vehicle doing simular speeds.

The guy says'
My car was hit in its back-right wheel by other car (old VOLVO V40) at a crossroad near a small Finnish town center. Both cars were moving at 40 km/h or less. As a result of this collision, my car fell on its left side, rolled over the roof and finally fell at its right side.

By reading further, I think he was more concerned about his airbags not deploying.

I think if you dislike a certain thing enough, it doesn't take much to fuel those dislikes.

You can roll any thing over if you try hard enough, and the circumstances are right.

Just my unbiased opinion.


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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 07:00

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 07:00
"You can roll any thing over if you try hard enough, and the circumstances are right."

True, in fact Robin forgot to mention that even his own Patrol rolled a year or so ago. I recall he had just sold it to a friend or something similar.

I remember it so well because after years of talking about how unsafe Prados are, the only roll over incident I can recall on EO is his Patrol. How ironic.

4 things are for sure
1)There are thousands of Prados around, and a small number have rolled. So have Patrols, Landrusiers, Navaras, VW'a etc etc. It is mainly driver behavior that affects the chances of an accident.

2)Stability control reduces the probability of a rollover in the outback by at least a factor of 3 - 4 ( see above research source) buy a car with that, if rollover is a concern.

3)Once a vehicle is modified and loaded, any tilt specs are invalid.

4)For any driver that respects their environment conditions and passengers this whole Prado rollover thing is a complete furphy in relation to selecting a car for purchase unless you intend to take such a car beyond normal llimits, buy a vehicle without ESC, or drive like a fool.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 07:51

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 07:51
Don't put on blinkers guys, the NHTSA statement above , is simple and clear.

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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 08:32

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 08:32
Robin, sure NHTSA is a fantastic resource. This is a summary from their current information on rollovers.

"One of the best ways to avoid a rollover, therefore, is to stay on the road. Electronic Stability Control is a promising new technology that will help drivers stay on the road in emergency situations."

My point Robin is that you can't take one single factor then create an entire argument around it while deliberately ignoring other factors that are of equal or greater importance just because they don't suit your argument.

Anyway I guess the OP overwhelmingly gets the point.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 10:11

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 10:11
There's one simple reason that stops me from buying a Prado - despite being a Toyota man since 1981 - and that is the ridiculous pricing and resale of the Prados.
They are the most over-priced 4WD you could buy, with a price premium of $10,000 - 15,000 more than many other 4WD's.
There are 20 other 4WD's you could buy that present far better value for the money, that will do the job admirably.

Diesel is the only choice for outback, long-distance travel, that involves towing.
If you want to see fuel disappear at a staggering rate, buy a big petrol engine, travel at high speed or tow some weight!

I'm concerned, however, about the trend to ever-smaller engine sizes in the diesels in the last few years.
You need a minimum of 3 litres in a diesel to ensure adequate power for overtaking and towing.

Rollovers are caused by too high speeds for the conditions, coupled with inadequate driver skills.
Far too many people do not have the skills to correct properly from a vehicle upset caused by hitting a large pothole, or indulging in excessive swerving when trying to avoid something.

The classic situation that has caused the largest percentage of rollovers is running off the bitumen into the gravel shoulder, then swerving excessively to get back on the sealed section, thus causing a broadside, that the driver is unable to correct, due to slow reflexes, or too severe a swerve in the first place.

I don't care what vehicle you own, a simple lack of corrective driving skills when regaining control of a sliding vehicle, will see any vehicle travelling at high speed, roll over.

I learnt how to correct properly and easily from slides and drifts, as a young bloke in the early 1960's, when 95% of the country roads were unsealed - they were deeply rutted - and slippery gravel was the order of the day.
We owned and drove old Holden utes that were so light in the tail when empty, they would go sideways in an instant on any sharp bend on gravel roads. You soon learnt how to correct gravel road slides without rolling over.

The early learning of this skill has ensured I have never rolled a vehicle of any type, in over 50 yrs of driving - and I've covered over 2,500,000 kms on every road condition imaginable - and I've owned dozens of unstable 4WD vehicles - Landrovers included!

Too many people today simply have no gravel-road driving experience or skills. I don't care what you drive - if you have inadequate vehicle control skills, you will end up putting any vehicle on its roof, as soon as you encounter adverse road conditions at speed.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 11:08

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 11:08
If there's only one or two of you why not consider a medium size diesel wagon? Cheaper to run.

Eg. Mitsi Challenger, Pathfinder, Isuzu MU-X (may not fit your budget).

It will pay you to be clear about the tow load. If you're going rough/off-road drop the max possible by the tug by a third or more.
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 12:30

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 12:30
I've got just 3 issues with any petrol powered vehicle. Range from any given quantity of fuel carried, Safety, as in fire risk, especially in high temperature ambients. Availability in remote areas.
I have owned many petrol 4WD,s, Landrover (don't ask lol) and Landcruiser, plus a short flirtation with an early Patrol. All capable in as much as where they could go.
The advantage to me is as Robin has said, is generally cheaper and easier to repair in the event of breakdown. Having said that any vehicle, whether petrol or diesel need clean air, clean fuel and regular servicing. If buying second hand I would strongly recommend a thorough pre-purchase inspection if you are not mechanically minded. Also a good read of the various forums that specialize in a particular brand. You tend to get a more warts and all report than what a potential seller might give.
Not knowing your personal circumstances, and just going on what you have posted I wouldn't wipe the Prado off your list just yet. No idea why some get their knickers in a twist about them. My son works for one of the major mining companies and has one supplied as part of his salary package. Heaps of them running around many mine sites, and I can assure you they don't get an easy life.
My personal opinion is that apart from very extreme situations, it has more to do with the driver. Most 4WD's far exceed the operators abilities, hence the recommendation to complete a 4WD course.
My present vehicle is a manual, but when it comes to a replacement I will be going auto.

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Follow Up By: Rangana H - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 13:40

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 13:40
Thank you Pop

I'm leaning towards the Prado, When my Territory broke down RACV hooked me up with Prado to drive to Port Augusta. and i quite liked it. Not that i got a chance to do any off-road driving though.

Would the 4cly / 3.0 Turbo be able to pull a heavy camp trailer? thats my only concern.
And would i be able to fit a larger fuel tank in the prado?

As for pre-checks im going to get RACV to do a check on it. and depending on where (state) i buy it from I'll get my own mechanic to have a look as well.

Thanks again for your very insightful reply. much appreciated
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 17:09

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 17:09
Not sure about the earlier models but the current and AFAIK the previous had a towing capacity of 2500 kg. I would think it would have to be a pretty big or overloaded camper trailer that would exceed that figure.
There are a couple of brands that produce wagons of similar spec to the Prado, the Pajero comes to mind, but for parts availability in more remote locations I reckon the Toyota product would be easier to source whatever you may need.

Not sure about the fitment of extra fuel tanks. Might be an idea to contact a 4WD excessory shop or use Google for your area. The latest have a long range tank as standard. Something like 140 lt total.

As someone has already suggested, if not already done a moderate suspension lift/upgrade maybe about 50 mm, and a good set of light truck rated AT tyres in good condition. If possible the same wheels and tyres as the camper would be an advantage. Dropping air pressures and speed on the corrugations is a good idea. Makes it easier on the vehicle and passengers.

I'm sure you will come away with some excellent memories.


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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 18:20

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 18:20
The 3 litre D4D Prado will tow your camper fine. Diesels are better at towing than petrols and don't worry about it being a 4 cylinder. My worry would be the injectors. I believe they may need replacing every 100k or so if that?
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 13:01

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 13:01
I know a bloke who went up the CSR in the late 1970's with a V8 petrol-powered F100 ute.
He was carrying multiple 200L drums of petrol for the rest of the group as well!

He failed to check regularly for spinifex buildup on the underside - the F100 went WHOOF!! into flames - and he only just had time to grab some personal equipment from the seat and bale out!

The group could only sit and watch, as the F100 burnt to the ground, along with all the petrol!

What was worse - this bloke had his wallet with $300 in it, stuffed behind the seat! - and he wasn't able to get it out!
$300 was a lot of money back then! (waaah!)

Needless to say, the episode put a real dampener on the groups trip, and necessitated cutting a lot of it short, to acquire more petrol!

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Bigfish - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 13:48

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 13:48
Go and test drive a Pajero wagon. Way cheaper than the Prado, more bang for your dollar. Extremely capable 4wd. Will go same places as patrol or cruiser. Spend the money your saving on extra fuel tank, 2 inch lift/suspension and underbody plates. You could safely and economically cruise Australia in comfort and know that the car is one of the most reliable 4wds around. At under $50,000 they are great value. Check out the Vic Pajero forum..
cheers and good luck with whatever you decide.
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Follow Up By: mynance - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 21:46

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 21:46
Have used 80 series, Prado 150, and Pajero. Both the Prado and Pajero will out tow the the Landcruise 80 series.
The Pajero will easily out pull the Prado, the Prado is quieter and smoother to drive.
Try to drive them all and pick the one that suits you the most.

FollowupID: 866133

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 12:01

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 12:01
If you do consider a Pajero, make sure you take it for a test drive on a normally rutted dirt road at 80 - 100kmph . I had a 2001 NM and my friend has a 2009? NT and the drumming noise throughout the whole car is quite loud. You will read quite a few reviews saying the NVH is high which it is. My friend fixes it with the stereo but then you can't talk. I believe it is because it has a monocoque chassis compared to a Landcruiser / Prado / Patrol. The Pajero has more power, a nice gearbox, and generally better value than say a Prado but in my experience the rear independent axles are not great for towing wrt tyre wear.

FollowupID: 866155

Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 18:02

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 18:02

Your on the right track , the Prado will suits your needs .
Its nonsense that they may rollover , any vehicle will if loaded incorrectly

Robin has a biased view Patrol for some reason .

He may be happy with the fuel consumption , but few would.

AnswerID: 597128

Reply By: Member - J&A&KK - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 21:58

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 21:58
Hi Ragana. I went through choosing a FWD late in 2014. Eventually I chose Prado D4D Auto. Reasons were:

I wanted a new car and the Prado suited the budget. LC and Patrol were too expensive.
Had to be able to tow 2t compact caravan at normal road speeds
Availability of spares and servicing Australia wide had to be good.
Availability of aftermarket accessories -reasonable
Able to remove rear seats and create underfloor storage
150l fuel tank means not having to carry fuel elsewhere
Toyota build quality and reliability
1000's of them on the road

So after 40,000kms, Tanami, GRR, Holland Track ++, towing a Kimberley Karavan that weighs about 2t loaded what are my thoughts now. The Prado is a very capable off road vehicle and does the job on the road also. It's underpowered but not enough to worry about. Fuel consumption on average, towing has been 12.5l/100kms. So range is >1000kms. We sit on 100 on the bitumen and between 60 - 100 on formed dirt depending on conditions. Has been reliable to date.

Would I buy another one. Probably - only the reliability of the vehicle yet to be tested.
AnswerID: 597144

Follow Up By: Rangana H - Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 00:11

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 00:11

Pretty much the same reasons, looks like the prado is the one to get.

Time to start my search. hopefully I can find something with most of the stuff already fitted.

Thanks you very much for your reply
FollowupID: 866142

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce and Di T (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 10:17

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 10:17

We've done over 100,000 km and the injectors are still fine. We have changed the transmission oil because the Prado does lots of heavy work, tows and 4WD tracks. We also fitted an extra filter to ensure clean fuel when using fuel from all over. We also carry a Mr Funnel dual conductive fuel filter funnel to ensure we have clean fuel. So far it has always been fine.

FollowupID: 866150

Reply By: Bigfish - Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 08:41

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2016 at 08:41
Having towed a large 2 tonne plus boat with a pajero, a prado and mates late model v8 cruiser ute, I can safely say that the Pajero towed the weight the easiest. I thought the v8 cruiser would have been best but this was not so. The Paj in 4th gear(auto) gave good mileage and pulled a lot better than the Prado. Prado are now 2.8 litres(I think). Cannot understand this fascination with constantly down sizing and adding more stress to motors.

AnswerID: 597154

Reply By: Rangana H - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 16:24

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 16:24
Hello everyone,

Just thought I'd update everyone who helped me with this.

I've bought a 2006 Prado 3L turbo diesel. it didnt come with much. but had genuine bullbar/winch/lights & roof rack bars (3), cargo barrier and a 2 drawers in the boot, and few 12v connectors at the back.

Its currently with my mechanic and being fitted with a lift kit, new tyers, diff breathers and a radio.

Thanks everyone. all your advice was much appreciated
AnswerID: 598601

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