Buying advice: Suzuki XL-7?

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 17:32
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I have been exploring quite a bit of this beautiful country - from Maree to Innamincka and as far north as Cooketown (several trips, of course) - in my trusty Daihatsu Terios (don't laugh!). Not surprisingly perhaps, I intend to buy a more capable 4wd, more solidly built, with low gears, and more interior space. I can afford about $30-40,000 but would rather buy new for the reliability (I'm no bush mechanic) and because whatever I buy now will have to last many years. I can only manage about three or four major outback trips a year, with some shorter long weekends in places like outback NSW. I have no great interest in rock hopping or hardcore, but do like remote places and would like one day to travel to the red centre and maybe WA and the NT. As almost everything is a fair distance from Sydney where I live, good road manners are very important to me, and economy and manouervrability in the city (I'm not a great fan of Landcruisers in the Eastern suburbs...).
OK, after some research I have narrowed my choice down to the Suzuki XL-7 (Grand Vitara's too small for long trips, especially with European visitors who I like to show around the outback), the Kia Sorento, and the Hyundai Terracan. I currently favour the first, because it is smaller and more economical, yet has 7 potential seats and, with the third row down, plenty of luggage space, seems to be the best of the three on the blacktop and yet quite capable offroad (I'm more likely to encounter bulldust, corrugations, gibber and mud than rock ledges). Ground clearance seems to be slightly worse than the other two, but proven reliability and standard of finish better. I might carry out minor mods (a moderate lift, slightly taller tyres, UHF radio) but nothing major.
I'd be grateful for any advice, especially from those with direct or indirect knowledge of these vehicles. I'm thinking of going for the auto transmission.
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Reply By: Lone Wolf - Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 19:09

Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 19:09
Seems to me you've got it all figured out!

At the end of the day, it boils down to where you will be driving it ALL of the time, eg..City.

Suzuki have been exporting 4 x 4's to Australia for nearly 30 years, must be doing something right.
AnswerID: 61961

Follow Up By: Mungo Explorer - Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 19:57

Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 19:57
I don't actually drive much in the city as I'm lucky enough to live only ten minutes walk from work, and the CBD is only a bus ride away. So it's only the odd trip to the supermarket etc. Of the Terios' 30-odd thousand km so far, three quarters must have been outside Sydney.
The requirement therefore, apart from reasonable offroad capability, is good handling on the long drives to get to the outback in the first place, and this seems to be one reason for preferring the XL-7 over the Koreans: less petrol, 5-speed auto, better handling (apparently). The question is: does that mean a significant handicap out in the bush, compared to the Kia and/or Hyundai? If so, I might just reconsider... It's all about compromise, and city driving comes way down the list of priorities well after long-distance blacktop touring and offroad ability (or I'd get a Jimny...).
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Follow Up By: Lone Wolf - Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 20:28

Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 20:28
Okay, that changes things a little, but I am not in a position to offer any real advice, because I have not had any experience with any of your choices.

I guess reading back issues of 4 x 4 mags is probably an option.
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Follow Up By: Mungo Explorer - Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 20:45

Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 20:45
From what I've seen in the mags, they all differ: some favour the Terracan for its size, some the Sorrento, some the Suzuki. If there is a consensus, it seems to be that the Koreans score offroad, the XL-7 onroad.
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Reply By: Member - Tom (NT) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 20:17

Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 20:17
I have read a couple of comparo's in various magazines on the 4wd's mentioned and they all seem to have the opinion that the sorrento is the pick.
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Follow Up By: Mungo Explorer - Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 20:28

Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 20:28
Do you remember why?
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Follow Up By: Member - Des - Friday, Jul 02, 2004 at 11:31

Friday, Jul 02, 2004 at 11:31
Sorento seems to polarise opinions. Overlander don't like it, Aust 4WD monthly does (placed in 4WDOTY) and 4x4 Aust in between. Everyone says it is solid and rugged, good value (lots of features), proven engine (based on the old Pajero engine). It also got a very good crash test rating - better than other mid-sized 4WDs that cost a lot more. The common view seems to be that its weakness is ride and handling on unsealed roads. But you could go long way to fixing this by spending $1k or so to upgrade the suspension: see this thread at 4WD monthly forum. Sorento only has 5 seats though, if that is an issue.

As for XL-7, I have a Vitara and am a big fan of Suzukis for their reliability and durability. XL-7 is basically stretched GV, which is basically a modernised Vitara, and that is a good, if old, heritage. XL-7 looks good value. Long wheel base (seats 7) and mediocre ground clearance means a very poor ramp-over angle: wouldn't be great for the High Country, for example. But should be fine for what you want.

Can't comment on Terracan.

Agree with those who suggest looking at a diesel, given the number of kms you do. Both Terracan and Sorento diesels are supposed to be coming.
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Reply By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 21:50

Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 21:50
I think you have it pretty well sussed, my questions are why auto if most driving is out of town, better fuel economy from manual and less to go wrong, and probably cheaper to buy, and make sure whatever you buy has low range.
I think suzi parts would be easier to get in 10 years?
Suzi have been in oz for a long time and have a good track record.
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Follow Up By: Mungo Explorer - Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 22:04

Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 22:04
I don't have very strong feeling on auto or manual (have always owned manuals but also driven rental autos) but thought auto was better for sand and crawling very slowly on difficult bits. On sand, in particular, I've had trouble with the clutch in the Terios.
All the cars I'm looking at have low range, though the Suzuki's reduction is rather limited.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, Jun 14, 2004 at 18:45

Monday, Jun 14, 2004 at 18:45
A lot of modern Auto's cruise at lower revs than their manual equals...
Plus Auto's are arguably better for most offroad work and towing.
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Reply By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 21:55

Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 21:55
If you are after something about the size of the XL-7 (literally within an inch in all directions), why not a 2000 - 2003 Kia Sportage "Longbody"? If you check wih the dealers they may still have a couple of new ones around ("runout" since last year) other than that it will be a recent second hand. The chassis are considerably stronger than the XL-7's (guage of metal, height/width of chassis rails, diameter of crossmembers), they are easy to lift (2.5" spring lift + 2 longer rear shocks ~$500), will take 235/75 tyres on standard rims without a lift (32 x 11.5" with spring and 35mm bodylift and a bit of guard/bumper trimming).

The good news is they are about $25000 new and $19-22000 second hand so you will have the extra money for a fit-out and a trip.

The bad points about the Kia are easily fixed: failing vacuum hubs (Warn manuals - $300), dodgy earth connections (seperate additional earth straps), dodgy connection between ECU and transmission control unit on autos (bypass bad point in loom - seperate wire b/n ECU and TCU), poor standard ride (spring lift!!! yeah, crazy eh??), very little afermarket support in Australia (lots of adapting/custom work), low engine power (new exhaust, air filter, and Powerchip)

Mechanically they run a licenced version of Mazda's FE3 engine (basically bulletproof), Getrag gearbox (ditto), and Mazda commercial vehicle differential in the rear (vastly understressed) with Eaton Positrac LSD (one of the better ones around), and a Mazda RX&/MX5/Honda S2000 differential in the front (as for rear diff). The low ratio in the tcase is 1.98:1, Low first ratio is ~ 35:1.

The XL-7 has a problem with low ground clearance and long wheelbase/long low overhang at the rear making departures a escraping event. The front IFS has very low mounting points for the lower wishbones (vulnerable to rock damage). There is a question mark against the mechanical integrity of the front diff if larger tyres are used (diff is essentiall the same as used in the Sierras), and of the "vacuum hubs" (actually disconnect to one side of the diff in 2WD) which still leaves the front half-shafts turning even in 2WD (early wear). Low first ratio is ~28:1 (Sportage is 25% better - better able to carry larger tyres)

FWIW I did all this research about 18 months ago and came up with the Kia Sportage as the winner.

The magazines have generally given the Sorento the thumbs up, but it is not as big inside as the Sportage (!!!), but with the same disclaimers about the ride (again, easily fixed with about $5-600 spring lift - coils on all corners). The Terracan has a generally good reliability reputation (as with most things from Hyundai of late, including Kias - owned by Hyundai), but have common issues with all torsion bar IFS front ends, being the lack of travel (not easy/cheap to fix properly).

Sorry about the longwinded reply.

AnswerID: 62001

Follow Up By: Mungo Explorer - Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 22:20

Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 22:20
Don't mind the long-windedness, it's just the sort of info I'm looking for!
I've considered the Sportage but shied away from it because of its dubious reputation with regards to reliability and build quality, as well as the underpowered engine. I know a lot of the former stems from the older version but... It's still there in the back of my mind somewhere though.
I'm aware of the XL-7's modest low gears, it's one of the things that make me consider the Korean alternatives. Same for the angles. Was unaware of the other question marks, but thanks to you no longer.
The Sorento seems a little small - one of the best things about the Suzuki seems to be the flexibility of use, from "people carrier" to "delivery van".
If the choice was reduced to XL-7 and Terracan, would you say the latter is a better balance of offroad/touring ability (forgetting fuel economy etc for a minute)?
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Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 23:43

Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 23:43
In a word, yes. I would go with the Terracan as it is based on the older model Mitsubishi Pajero mechanically (drivetrain) as is the Kia Sorento, and as such is a pretty well sorted. I am not too sure about the chassis of the Terracan, but it may well share components from the Paj as well, as Mitsubishi was the technology donor for Hyundai so it is possible that there will be a significant amount of cross-compatability. The Kia Sorento was well into the design and development stage when Kia (technology donor Ford/Mazda) was bought by Hyundai and was therefore allowed to be produced as a seperate model, with only the drivetrain being transplanted from the Terracan.

The Terracan would seem to have the heavier and stronger chassis over the XL-7 (which is essentially a widened, stretched, modified for coils, Sierra/Jimny chassis), and should stand up to the rigors of the outback a bit better.

The Sportage uses the KM420 Korean Army Militaty Vehicle chassis (hence its strength) which believe it or not had a substantial design input from Lotus (of all companies) for the suspension design (as does the Sorento) - again it was a matter of a good design with poor materials (springs and shocker quality).

The suspension travel of the Terracan should be better than the XL-7 in the rear and about about equal in the front, but the Terracan would have a longer wheelbase, but can more easily be fitted with larger tyres (best way to gain clearance), affecting gearing...........and so on. It is a trade off which ever way you look at it.

Overall the Terracan would win when it comes to the loadspace without a doubt (one full class of size larger).

The question you really have to ask is do you REALLY need the "flexibility"? For touring you are looking at having the most amount of space you can get for your gear. 7 seats are great, but if you didn't have them (as you now probably don't) would it be that much of a problem??? If it really isn't that important, then save your money and reconsider the Sportage as it has a load capacity of 2.25 cubic metres with the rear seat down, probably more (~2.5 m3) if you remove the two pins and take out the rear seat if there is only two of you going away. It still has a good amount of space behind the rear seat with it up.

There are other members of this forum that are in a better position to comment about the Terracan (and have done so), but interestingly not too many seem to have any comments about the XL-7, which I think says a lot (haven't found too may homes???).

People laugh at the Kia Sportage, but well set up they are more than acceptable....and I know there are a few people on this forum that don't laugh too much now, having been out on drives with them. Having said that, the next step up would be the Terracan over the XL-7.

Suzuki XL-7

Note that the Suzuki has 1.652:1 low ratio tcase wchich was about the same as my 1981 Subaru!!! Read: SOFTROADER!! (vs Terracan at 2.48:1)

More food for thought..........
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Follow Up By: Mungo Explorer - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 00:07

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 00:07
More useful stuff, thanks Gary. The Terracan seems increasingly interesting, just the sheer bulk and fuel consumption still worrying me. The Sportage just seems a little dated, with the engine, no passenger airbag, etc.
The low gear ratios of the Suzuki: I've never had a 4dw with transfer case so I don't know how much it matters in practice. The lack of ground clearance IS a worry though. Guess what we need is an opinion from someone who's driven one, or at least knows someone who has!
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Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 00:50

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 00:50
"...The low gear ratios of the Suzuki: I've never had a 4dw with transfer case so I don't know how much it matters in practice...."

What it means is that you can tackle obstacles at a slower speed, therfore reducing the possibility of damage to your vehicle from being thrown around, and adding control as it is driven through the obstacle. More importantly it allows the front IFS to achieve the maximum height that it can as you go over bumps ("wakling" it over rather than crashing it over bumps).

Fuel consumption is really a matter of vehicle mass, not engine size. A two tonne vehicle is going to require about 15 l/100km to keep it going no matter what the engine size.

In terms of airbags, they really are only useful in high speed (>40 km/h) crashes, so the absence of them when you spend most of your time in the bush is not really of any consequence. Besides, some of the vehicle electical designs will not allow the vehicle to be started if the airbag(s) have been deployed (good fun in the middle of nowhere!!!).

Take your blinkers off and at least have a test drive of a Sportage (make me happy!). The lack of engine power is not as bad as you may think (and easily fixed), and at least the mechanical design is tried and tested (to Military/United Nations Specs). Fuel consumption about 10.5 l/100km on a run (Mel-Bris-Mel- At 7500 km on the clock from new) and 12.5 around town.
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Follow Up By: Mungo Explorer - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 21:13

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 21:13
Airbags may not matter that much in the bush (debatable but I get your drift) but what about getting there in the first place? Almost any trip from Sydney to anywhere in the outback involves at least 1000km on fast tarmac, plus the same back. For example, a drive to Cameron Corner/Innamincka means driving on the blacktop at least as far as Bourke, and probably White Cliffs (now that the road from Wilcannia is also sealed) or Broken Hill (and the road from there to Tibooburra is also pretty fast).
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Reply By: terracan tim - Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 22:00

Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 22:00
Hi Mungo Tim here I brought a terracan last friday after looking around for a while was originaly looking at buying a gu patrol to replace my gq patrol my limit was 40k as well after a week of looking and test driving I settle on the manual terracan the main reason for this was it appeared to be value for money and did what I wanted eg tow my speed boat and do some 4 wheel driving moving to katherine in the NT next month to live Last time there I had a pajero it was great so I"m hoping this will be the same for the terracan Have found the terracan quite thirsty around town but on the highway quite good mind you have to get used to paying 96 cents a litre compared to 35 cents for gas so that could be some of it. I have done 1000kms in it all ready and are very happy cant fault it. Took it 4 wheel driving today had a blast suprised how well it went the ground clearance seems okay not as high as the patrol but I will raise it somewhat once I get to the NT This will be more for the benifit of the boat as it needs alot of water to float it. It seems to respond alot better than my old GQ patrol on the dirt and I really like the gear box as well the gear changes are so smooth the engine is very quite compared to the patrol would have preferred a turbo diesel but you cant have everything for that price. The 5 year warranty was also a major consideration due to us leaving Vic soon One other thing to look is what is available in the after market accessories not much for the terracan but they do offer some from a company called astrel have a look Hyundia website for prices eg side steps $750 rubber floor mat $275 for the back $850 for nudge bar. Hope this will help some you can e-mail at if you want to know more or leave a message in the forums
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Follow Up By: Mungo Explorer - Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 22:31

Sunday, Jun 06, 2004 at 22:31
Thanks for that - if I was intending to tow anything I'd probably have settled for the Terracan already, due to its larger engine and greater bulk. The five-year warranty is also an attraction and yes, I've seen the accessories on the website. Most of the mags seem to like it as well, apart from the comments on the front suspension.
The more I think about it, the more I tend to think in terms of a straight Suzuki-Hyundai alternative (unless the Sportage suggestion grows on me, or someone makes a good case for the Sorento). Main remaining arguments against the Terracan are the third-row seats which only seem to restrict loading space (the Suzuki's arrangement seems much more usable and flexible) and the thirsty engine (makes some difference on a 3,000 km round trip). Plus perhaps Suzuki's more established reputation for build quality - or is that a myth?
The Terracan seems to be outselling the other two I'm looking at quite comfortably, which might bode well for aftermarket products?
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Reply By: ianmc - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 12:19

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 12:19
Have I missed something here? Isnt there a new Kia due with a 2.4 litre motor?
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Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 13:06

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 13:06
The replacement for the Sportage is a softroader, based on the Hyundai Elantra platform (same as the upcoming Tuscon from Hyundai)
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Reply By: Wil - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 14:18

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 14:18
Hi there

Like what the guys have said. XL-7 is a soft roader. I used to own a G-Vitara short wheel based a few years back, was my biggest regret as it's ground clearance is really bad. Front stabalizer bar works like a snow plough and will catch anything in the way. Ball joints gets pulled out after a ski trip. Wing mirrors are far too small. Fuel consumption is pretty high & the standard shocks are really poor for hard out highway driving. The diesel Cruiser will eat it on the highway. The Jimny seems to have better 4WD design within the Suzuki range. Even the higher rear lights work on the Jimny. Grand Vitara high tail lights were just for show!
I now owns an 97 Turbo Diesel 80 series & a lovely little Jimny. Would like a Short wheel based Nissan Patrol if they still make them... :)

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Follow Up By: Mungo Explorer - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 14:35

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 14:35
I suppose it depends on what you mean by "softroader": the Terios I own now is one, that's for sure. Yet I took it to all sorts of places where it had little right to be. Compared to THAT (and the likes of RAV, X-Trail etc), anything with separate chassis, a V6 engine, and low gear transfer box is in another category...
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Reply By: crowie - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 17:16

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 17:16
Both the Terrican and Sorento are good vehicles. both use substantially the same running gea. Terrican has substantilly larger carrying capacity and probably towing also. Both have had good write ups so your choice.

I think for what you want to do I would seriously consider the SuzukiXL-7. proven and well known quality. Taller tyres and some suspension mods would probably make it better for offroading. Its kitted out really well and is more like a luxury vehicle. Depends if you like plastic woodgrain or not too. It's still a capable 4x4.

The URL below will take you to a Suzuki XLK-7 road test. I think you find one on the Sorrento there to.,8269,9205817%255E27286,00.html
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Follow Up By: Mungo Explorer - Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 21:25

Monday, Jun 07, 2004 at 21:25
Thanks, and yes I've seen that road test, and probably just about all others available on the web and in recent mags. They all pretty much amount to this:
the Koreans are a good deal but rather thirsty and unwieldy. Basically old Mitsubishis/Prados in modern garb. Even unmodified, they probably beat the XL-7 in the bush but not by much.
the Suzuki is a more refined package and better on the road but marginally less capable over really rough terrain.
For anywhere from here to Wilcannia, the XL-7 seems the better choice. The question is how much do I lose beyond that, which is why I'm here rather than rely on the mags alone. Advice so far has given me food for thought but nothing as yet to swing the decision one way or the other...
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Reply By: betchaboy - Monday, Jun 14, 2004 at 00:58

Monday, Jun 14, 2004 at 00:58
I own a V6 Vitara Estate and have just done the deal with another member in the Suzuki Club of NSW to buy his XL-7... Having watched this guy take the XL to some really amazing places I am convinced of the XL-7's offroad ability. He even got it up to Prado Hill at Menai a few weeks ago. It all comes down to careful driving and some 4WD skills.
I think you'll find that the XL-7 is deceptively capable offroad, and you'll be truly surprised at where it can go.
I pick it up from him next week and then shortly head off on a three week trip up the Oodnadatta track and the Red Centre, so I might let you know how it goes when we get back.
There are a number of other XL-7s in the Suzuki Club and the generally go anywhere most of the other vehicles in the same class can go (and sometimes beyond that!)

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Follow Up By: Mungo Explorer - Monday, Jun 14, 2004 at 09:21

Monday, Jun 14, 2004 at 09:21
Thanks, Chris, sounds encouraging. Has it been modified in any way?
And yes, I'd be curious to hear how you get on in the Red Centre. By then, of course, I might already have bought one, and who knows even meet up with you in the Suzuki Club.
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Follow Up By: betchaboy - Monday, Jun 14, 2004 at 09:58

Monday, Jun 14, 2004 at 09:58
It's had a mild suspension lift (45mm front, 75mm rear) and better shocks (OME and Ranchos). Other than that, it's mechanically pretty standard. I'm always surprised at how capable it is.
The owner, Brian, is buying a new XL-7, and I'm buying his current one. The fact that he's buying a new one will tell you that he's pretty happy with them.
BTW, Queensland Suzuki dealers seem to get a much better tax deal or something, and are consistently able to undercut the NSW dealers by around $5000. Brian bought his from a QLD dealer and is flying up to get it then driving it back. You may want to investigate that. I'd really like to be able to tell you to support the NSW dealers, but they have to compete on price.
Looking forward to picking up his old one next week.
The Suzuki Club of NSW website can be found at
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Follow Up By: Mungo Explorer - Monday, Jun 14, 2004 at 10:13

Monday, Jun 14, 2004 at 10:13
I've been thinking of going for such a lift, too, probably with slightly larger tyres (to get the diffs off the ground, too), but I'm worried by what others have been saying about RTA regs, need for engineers certificates etc.
Is it manual or auto? I've always owned manual but thinking of going auto if I get an XL-7 because the 5-speed tranny sounds good.
And yes, I've also found the QLD-NSW price differential. Would be quite happy to go up to Brisbane or somewhere to buy one. Does the car then have to have a QLD registration, and does that create issues living in NSW?
Thanks for the club url!
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Follow Up By: betchaboy - Monday, Jun 14, 2004 at 16:16

Monday, Jun 14, 2004 at 16:16
The tyres, from memory, are 235/70x16 BFG All Terrains. The trouble with the XL-7 (and the whole Grand Vitara range) are the wheel arches which really make it tricky to go for tyres much bigger than that. There is a lot of FUD about the need to get modifications engineered - some will tell you that just changing to a set of tyres other than the original spec will require an engineer's certificate but I don't know anyone who actually adheres to that do you? Generally a mild suspension lift (around 2 inches) will be fine to do without a certificate and our experience in the club has been that it doesn't cause any issues with insurance. Certainly if you want to go the full ridiculous and do an 8 inch lift then that's obviously a different issue.
This particular car is a manual. The president of the Suzuki Club just bought an auto XL-7 and is very impressed with the transmission. Just depends what you're after i guess.
Brian also just ordered a 2.5 inch lift kit from Calmini in the US, which includes shocks, coils and wishbones, so that will be interesting to see when it's fitted (it's going on the new car)
Hope that helps.
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Follow Up By: Mungo Explorer - Monday, Jun 14, 2004 at 16:57

Monday, Jun 14, 2004 at 16:57
Well I'm sure I wouldn't get pulled over with slightly oversize tyres but the legal/insurance situation seems to be that anything more than 15mm over stock size can be deemed "unroadworthy", and I wouldn't want to risk that if involved in an accident. A 2-inch lift seems quite legal though.
The Calmini kits seem to be all the rage in the US where the XL-7 is far more popular than here.
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Reply By: MrMagoo - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 01:18

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 01:18
Interesting discussion! I am trying to make the same decision. Thanks. Hyundai are a little cheaper than the Suzuki. If you like driving your car for many years - did youknow that the suzuki panels are galvanised - Hyundai not. Hyundai give you spotties. I like the climate dual Air Con as a standard - if 2nd row of passengers are an issue. But what do I know - I cant make up my own mind!
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Follow Up By: Mungo Explorer - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 02:10

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 02:10
Didn't know about the Terracan using ungalvanised steel - how do you know?
As to the general discussion, I've finally concluded that everything under 40k is pretty much of a muchness offroad, that is, they need some money spending on lifts etc. They're probably equally fine for ordinary outback touring, so it comes down to other considerations. For me, the Terracan and Sorento are simply too tank-like and petrol-guzzling so I expect I'll go for the XL-7 which is much the best on the tarmac (unless you're towing a caravan when the greater power of the others will come into play). For me, the clincher is the five-speed automatic on the XL-7 (much better than four-speeds) and Suzuki's reputation for reliability.
Will probably get one on Monday, so wish me luck :-)
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Follow Up By: MrMagoo - Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 21:13

Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 21:13
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Reply By: Bitsumishin - Mike A (WA) - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 07:41

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 07:41
Mungo, there already heaps to help you decide here but if you are looking at the XL-7 because its got the extra row of seats, make sure you sit someone who is likely to be using them in a test car & take it for a bit of a run round the block. Remember, kids grow real quick. If they winge about the space now, chances are you'll never use the extra seats. I know my kids complain about the Terios back seat but I doubt thats news to you.
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Follow Up By: Mungo Explorer - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 09:12

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 09:12
The third row of seats is not that important to me, strange as it may sound: I was originally interested in the GV and see the XL-7 more as an extended GV. Will probably remove and store the cushions to make the rear load area flat.
I did sit in them briefly and found them surprisingly comfortable (I'm six foot three...), though I probably wouldn't want to sit in them from Sydney to Innamincka. But since they take up most of the luggage space, I wouldn't anyway. The extra row might come in useful occasionally to ferry people around town for short trips, no more.
That's a fat Terios you have in that picture :-)
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Follow Up By: Bitsumishin - Mike A (WA) - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 10:45

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 10:45
The "T" belong to SWMBO. The Challenger is for real 4 wheel driving
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Follow Up By: Mungo Explorer - Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 10:55

Saturday, Jun 26, 2004 at 10:55
Sure it's not the other way round? :-)
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Reply By: Mungo Explorer - Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 00:04

Monday, Jun 28, 2004 at 00:04
Well I've finally decided and paid a deposit for an XL-7 automatic today. I was always a bit biased towards them, so perhaps the final choice was predictable, but that doesn't mean that all the advice wasn't appreciated. In the end, I couldn't persuade myself to introduce another tractor into Sydney's Eastern suburbs, or a Korean War veteran (sorry Gary, only joking!). If I made a mistake despite all the good advice, I'll be the one who pays for it...
Thanks again, and see you all in the bush!
AnswerID: 65453

Follow Up By: MrMagoo - Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 21:18

Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 21:18
OK. Well let us know how it goes.
FollowupID: 327357

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