Beach driving SUV

Submitted: Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 07:41
ThreadID: 138001 Views:1174 Replies:6 FollowUps:10
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Hi Guys,

I'm looking at getting a new car that can go on the beach and need some guidance. I'm not keen on a double cab 4x4 due to the size, running costs, general driving comfort around town, and the fact I'll use it on the beach 1% of the time.

Could you suggest various medium sized SUV's (e.g Suburu Forester/Outback/Tuscan/Jeep Compass) that are suitable for the beach?

The vehicle should ideally have dual range 4x4 and clearance is important.

Any recommendations?

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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 09:44

Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 09:44
Dual range 4WD plus high profile tyres (minimum 65%).
Cheers,
Peter
AnswerID: 624548

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 10:21

Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 10:21
Peruse the many videos on the site “I got bogged at Inskip Point” on Facebook and you’ll soon determine the suitable vehicle choices.

Bob

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

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Follow Up By: Winner W - Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 10:50

Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 10:50
Not true :-) !!! Too many LC 200 and 79 Cruisers and Patrols and all types getting stuck too at Inskip point.
Go for a NX Pajero . Good all rounder package .
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Follow Up By: rumpig - Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 19:48

Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 19:48
The only thing those videos show is people that either refuse to let thier tyres downs at all or sufficiently, or are clueless to knowing they need to deflate tyres to easily negotiate that beach
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Reply By: Member - DingoBlue(WA) - Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 10:27

Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 10:27
Suzuki Jimny
Rather a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy!

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Reply By: Michael H9 - Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 19:34

Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 19:34
A Pajero Sport will do all that. So will a Jeep Cherokee.
AnswerID: 624568

Follow Up By: mike39 - Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 09:19

Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 09:19
Agreement here too.......they will all do it, perhaps some better than others.

But one important thing to remember, they will ALL suffer from salt water corrosion and that is a given not a perhaps.
mike
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Follow Up By: David H66 - Friday, Mar 29, 2019 at 18:52

Friday, Mar 29, 2019 at 18:52
yes ... if you don't want a real 4x4 ... go for one of these :-)
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Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 13:30

Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 13:30
Arizawa - Buy something light in weight and cheap. Light weight means it doesn't bog as readily as a big heavy 4WD and a light weight 4WD is easier to pull out of a bog.

I think you've already outlined the vehicles you're looking at - and you're talking SUV's, not true 4WD's.
The Subaru's are quite a satisfactory vehicle, but they are not cheap - to either buy or repair.

No current model Subaru has dual range 4WD, they are all AWD SUV's.
You need to buy an older model manual gearbox Subaru, to get a dual-range transmission Subaru.

The Tucson is very popular, cheap to purchase and run, and appears to have high customer satisfaction.
My stepson has one, he's very pleased with it, he bought it new last year and has done 25,000 trouble-free kms with it. It drives very well.
However, no model of Tucson has a dual-range transmission, the high range models are AWD, not a true 4WD.
The Tucson is an SUV, not a genuine off-road vehicle.

The Jeeps are expensive as regards maintenance and parts, and their reliability is a bit hit-and-miss. You can get a good one, or get a real lemon.
Many people are wary of the Jeep Compass being built in India. I'm more wary of Jeeps reputation for poor QC.

You need to buy the Jeep Compass Trailhawk to get dual range transmission and true 4WD. It does have a good electric traction assist system.

The market is currently dominated by SUV's that are not designed for beach driving - even though the snappy advertising always shows them racing along beaches.

To get a true 4WD with good off-road capabilities, you need to look at the larger vehicles that are much more $$$'s to buy than the vehicles you specified.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 624580

Follow Up By: Zippo - Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 14:04

Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 14:04
Ron's comment: "Buy something light in weight and cheap. Light weight means it doesn't bog as readily as a big heavy 4WD and a light weight 4WD is easier to pull out of a bog." is good advice, and leads back to the Suzuki Jimny (as a beach vehicle) that was mentioned earlier by DingoBlue. Not a spacious vehicle but very popular with beach fishers.
On the subject of Subarus and dual-range gearboxes, the 5MT and 6MT transmissions did have dual range BUT the low range is really more of a "ratio splitter" i.e. 2L fits between 1H and 2H etc. I know as I have one. If anyone really wants I'll dig up the ratios. They are useful as a FULL-TIME AWD (unlike some other Asian so-called AWDs that are AWD "on request").
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Follow Up By: OzzieCruiser - Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 14:11

Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 14:11
Just to clarify a 4wd is a SUV but not all SUVs are 4wds in our Aussie sense of a nice all terrain go almost anywhere type vehicle. A SUV just has to have "offroad features" such as raised ground clearance and as a minimum AWD.

It is a shame this awful American term of SUV has taken a grip and taken over from more traditional aussie terms.

In my vocabulary, SUV does not exist but there are 4wds (the type Ron is talking about) and Softroaders or Cross Over vehicles (what Ron is calling SUVs) to identify those those without full 4wd credentials.

I agree with Ron, while some softroaders are OK on sand due to their light weight, they are not good in getting off beaches and a traditional 4wd with dual range - so starting at something like a Jimny and working up in size (SWB Prado/Pajero are good if you want smaller) is the only real option for everyday use and beach use.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 17:02

Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 17:02
The new Jimny is very good but you have to wait until the end of this year for delivery. Two of my son's friends have one on order and I went on the test drives because I'm a sticky beak. They were far better than I expected.
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Follow Up By: Arizawa - Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 20:23

Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 20:23
Thanks for the great feedback guys and after doing some more investigation i've come to the same conclusion.

I've managed to pickup a new 2019 Mitsubishi Triton GLS auto at a great price. Whilst not the best double cab on the market, the price and 7 year/150,000km warranty steered me away from the market leaders such as a Ranger or Hilux. It came in at $39,000.00 and included two free services, and $1,000.00 of accessories which helped cover bin lining and a canopy.

Looking forward to a few trips out to fraser island soon!
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 00:21

Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 00:21
Nothing wrong with the old Mitsubishi's, they've been around for a long time - and after having hired quite a number of vehicles in recent years - and having been given Mitsubishi's (ASX and Eclipse Cross) when I picked up the hire vehicles - instead of my preferred Toyota's - I must say I was quite impressed by the Mitsi's.

A mate has just dredged up an old Triton ute to rebuild for a work hack (I think it's late 90's), it's done 500,000 kms as a courier ute, and it's still good for a rebuild!

Not a lot of people know that Mitsubishi actually own a majority shareholding in Isuzu, and Isuzu is listed as one of Mitsubishi's subsidiary companies.

Mitsubishi Corp - Isuzu division

The Mitsubishi Corporation is enormous, it employs 60,000 people and is the largest trading corporation in Japan.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Member Kerry W (WA) - Sunday, Mar 31, 2019 at 21:11

Sunday, Mar 31, 2019 at 21:11
Arizawa - I know exactly what you are looking for...because I am too.
Having spent my younger years (in the 70s and 80s) torturing a variety of Japanese 2WD cars (and a Falcon) on various beaches and sandy tracks I thought it would be simple to find a suitable vehicle these days to crossover between town and beach...but No! There are two issues (and I may stand corrected by some here but..) it seems to me that..
1/ They simply dont make vehicles like they used to - Tyre profile way too low. Ground clearance too low. All in the cause of improving safety effeciency and performance/handling "ONROAD". Also - Weak drivetrains/Auto transmissions and finniky electrics and traction control gizmos etc etc
2/ Most vehicular beaches are so chewed up by larger 4x4s most small (and I too hate this term) "SUVs" struggle constantly on sandy tracks. I love how they grade the middle of the track with their sumps and subframes.
So - having skillfully driven on sand happily in 2WDs prior to owning a proper 4x4 I thought the solution would be simple.
I have a Nissan Patrol and a Nissan Maxima - the Maxima is too "urban" for all our needs and the Patrol is too "Offroad" for "all" our needs. You think we'd be happy but I have considered swapping the Maxima for a Murano and beefing it up (my way) for the odd time we are touring and want to go somewhere "challenging". Having done my homework - it could simply end up being too expensive and too unreliable i.e. you can still get stuck and repairs could be expensive if for example it got wet or the transmission broke!!!
However having said all that I do want to help.... I suggest looking at an Isuzu MU-X and the Murano (for its comfort,electrical reliability and power - power is a good substitute for offroad ability "if" you dont break anything). These from my research are 2 of the more reliable options but you will need to fit higher profile tyres (I was thinking BFG All terrains) and slight/moderate suspension mods.
Good luck - (I'm keeping the 2 Ive got.)
Kerry W (WA)
Security is mostly a superstition. It doesnt exist in nature. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
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Follow Up By: Member Kerry W (WA) - Sunday, Mar 31, 2019 at 21:14

Sunday, Mar 31, 2019 at 21:14
Yeah Nah - sorry I'm a bit slow - been in the bush all weekend...might help someone else though..
Kerry W (WA)
Security is mostly a superstition. It doesnt exist in nature. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
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