Terracan choice

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 22:29
ThreadID: 14031 Views:5260 Replies:20 FollowUps:19
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Hi all.
Looks like I came to the right place but with all the enthusiasm can I get an objective answer.
I have the opportunity to get my first novated lease and have been researching some soft ish offroaders. It is hard to walk past the price of the Hyundai. But I am concerned that this is their first 4x attempt.

I will be driving 140 K freeway daily for work and looking forward to Long servce leave trip to centre etc.

What if they go cold on the idea of 4x.
What do you think about non-gal panels?

Contenders for me at moment is the
1. Xtrail - rear muffler looks precarious and the interior very plastic - good price though. Great power and Tork for 2.5L but at 4000rpm ? Ti at 36K
2. Suzuki LX7 - dubious about external spares and side opening rear doors - pricy 42K start and no fog lights - rear drums - how does ABS and water work with them? Less power but lighter and panels are Gal.
3. Pathfinder - all good except I cant see over the peoples knees in the back seat and it is 46K to start.

Santa Fe - 1st is soooo far from 2nd I had to keep adjusting the pedal pressure to maintain constant acceleration.

Terracan - seems to have all the bases covered -
Panels not GAL - is that a problem?
I was told parts cheaper than Japanese cars - Is that right?
Be nice if they added a rear door opening window.
Can I easily remove the 3rd seat row?
A little less steering responce - soft in front.
Looks a little old style especially interior soooo...
What do you think of the Leather option (on the car - silly) ?

More importantly - I heard a whisper that Hyundai is pulling out of OZ - is that right?
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Reply By: Mad Dog (Victoria) - Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 22:47

Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 22:47
I'm sure the Terracan experts on here will be along shortly.

Hyuandai pulling out...that's a new one on me but Daewoo is pulling out for sure.
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Follow Up By: MrMagoo - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 23:51

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 23:51
Thanks- see Puddin below!
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Reply By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 22:51

Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 22:51
Ford Territory is getting some good press for a soft roader, motor out of ba falcon has heaps of grunt, might be worth a test drive.
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Reply By: Andrew - Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 22:57

Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 22:57
Looking at the distance you travel .
Maybe you should consider a diesel 4WD.
Nissan Navara ST-R 3TD . At least its a real off roader that will keep it's value better then Korean, good economy.
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Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 23:54

Tuesday, Jun 22, 2004 at 23:54
Hi Mr Magoo,

The Terracan is proving to be a pretty good attempt at a 4WD by the Koreans. It has a full chassis and low range, much better than most "soft roaders". The Hyundai also comes with a 5 year 130,000km warranty, something that really adds to resale if you sell at the 3 year mark (check your novated lease options)

Also take a look at the Kia Sorrento. It is actually a Terracan underneath but a different body. IMHO it is amongst the best lookers on the road. My neigbour recently bought one and is very happy with it so far (wifes shopping trolley, never used 4WD). While the Kia is the same engine and drivetrain as the terracan, it only has the 3 year warranty, not the 5 of the Hyundai.

I also have a Hyundai Trajet (people mover), it was my first novated lease vehicle, and I am very happy with it. The warranty is really good (they replace things like the plastic hooks etc that my kids break while its being serviced) and I would recommend a Hyundai after being skeptical of its non-japenese heritage.


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Follow Up By: MrMagoo - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 00:07

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 00:07

I had a test drive of the Kia Sorrento and it seemed tojiggle about with the hard suspension. It seemed to understeer and I see the articles attribute that to the predominant FWD. I had the seats down low but was still looking out through the top tinted part of the windscreen. Perhaps the neighbour is shorter than me. I liked the smooth gear changes and it was quick enuf. Its rear quarter vision out of that window that makes it a 'looker' is a bit limited - but it seems we cant have everything. Fairly impressed never the less.

The difficult decision is that whilst I do 140 km a day 5 days a week on freeway and drive it to the shops on Saturday - sigh - I want to buy something that will get me to central Aust or WA - and back preferably - but I understand you can do that in a fiesta - just depends on the road you take - I like exploring and my wife often has to beg me to turn the sedan around and head back to tar. haha
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 00:18

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 00:18
If you plan to go offroad at all, the Terracan is a good choice for the $$$, the Sorrento whle looking good, does not have the room of the Terracan. Also, leather is great for a "wipe clean" interior, but I do find it sticky in hot weather. But reckon it looks like new when several years old (but so do seats with seat covers!)

As for your new question, you will probably find that a new vehicle with fleet discount is around the same price as a low kilometere second hand one. I know i was suprised by the amount of fleet discount I got with my Hyundai, it was cheaper new than buying second hand demo!!!


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Follow Up By: Rob W. - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 07:02

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 07:02
I agree with the Captain, the Tarracan is quite under rated, it is resaonably capable off road and comfortable on the blacktop.
I don't think you'll go wrong with the Terracan.
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Reply By: MrMagoo - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 00:09

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 00:09
I wonder if there is anything I should know when buying a 2003 Terracan thats done 250km - 17000km at about 32K like is that something one just does not do?
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Reply By: Hacksaw - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 01:52

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 01:52
Mr Magoo,
You said you were looking at softish offroaders, but all you mentioned apart from the X-Trail at least have low range of some description. That said, as an X-Trail driver, for everyday motoring, you can't go wrong. Comfortable and light on the fuel. Dirt tracks and some moderately harder stuff are no problem if tackeled carefully and you understand the limitations of the vehicle. For more info, check out


Of course if more serious four wheeling is what you're after, please feel free to ignore me and head for one of your other more capable choices.
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Follow Up By: MrMagoo - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 23:55

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 23:55
Thanks - yes we were fairly impressed with Nissan X-Trail - the seating is good and the styling is too. The dash dial up mode is easy and the power to weight attractive. It is a contender but leaning toward getting something with a true low range if I can afford it.
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Follow Up By: Hacksaw - Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 00:47

Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 00:47
Yeah I was the same, but the finances didn't stretch, or at least the better half wouldn't let them stretch!!! I guess five years or so and I might be able to convince her when it's time to upgrade.
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Reply By: pshowell - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 15:24

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 15:24
The ford escape seems like a nice bus
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Reply By: Puddin (Sydney) - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 16:33

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 16:33
Hyundai are not leaving Oz& are planning to lift sales to 1,000,000 vehicles by 2010. They are also bringing out a new full size 4wd late this year or early next year. If you want good off road in those cars go the Terracan.
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Follow Up By: MrMagoo - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 23:55

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 23:55
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Reply By: Skiddy - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 19:26

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 19:26
Mr Magoo,
Ive had my terracan for a feww weeks now and have only done 2500 kms but so far im very happy. I looked around at second hand first but the price has come down abit so I went for new as there was only a few thousand dollars differnce. Ive travelled down south in it doing about 250km at a time and it was very comfortable, also took it over the dunes and had no probs there. The 3rd row seat take 5 mins to pull out there is 4 bolts to undue.

overall im very happy with it, my only gripe is with the split fold seats, when you fold the small section down you can still only carry one person as the middle seatbelt is attached to the oart you have folded, Its a minor thing but with two kids I find folding down the third seat as I have been able to do in previous cars is handy

Finally my last two cars have been hyundai's and I have got good trade ins with them compared to other cars Ive had .Its good to know that they keep their value well probily because of the warranty they come with.

If theres anything else i can help with Magoo email me on cornall@iinet.net.au
hope ive been of some assistance
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Follow Up By: MrMagoo - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 23:58

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 23:58
good info about the resale value.
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Follow Up By: MrMagoo - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 23:59

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 23:59
and the rear seat removal is all done from inside the car?
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Reply By: terracan tim - Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 22:48

Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004 at 22:48
Hi Tim here I also am a proud terracan owner That has had the 4x4 for about 3 weeks Have taken it out with jim from melb who has a highlander and we gave them a real floging in the bush went anywhere my brotherinlaws patrol went Did the same thing you are doing now looking at second hand and the other new options settled for the rerracan as value for money. You want to get a Feb04 or later becase they come standard with abs the bash plate on the transfer case head rest on the rear seats and a few other features like mp3 player if you want to know more e-mail me on tjdonogh@internode.on.net
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Follow Up By: MrMagoo - Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 22:39

Sunday, Jul 04, 2004 at 22:39

search is narrowing - was wondering about the value of buying the 'Roof Racks and Rails' option - maybe that is free? dunno - if I was to get a luggage roof rack is there somewhere to mount it in the Terracan?
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Follow Up By: terracan tim - Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 06:47

Monday, Jul 05, 2004 at 06:47
the roof pack came as standard feature but be aware they only support 35kgs and are curved so i have to work out how to put on my barsket with out damaging the roof looking at getting stronger bars which are also higher
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Reply By: MrMagoo - Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 00:01

Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 00:01
Thanks - more good info - re bash plate.

But what do you think about non-gal dipped pannels?
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Reply By: Toy60 - Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 03:14

Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 03:14
Mr Magoo Hold on to your hat.
I have it on ggod authority a desiel version of the Terracon will be here by christmas. Maybee the economy solution for the 140 K trip and still have the new 4wd for the second hand price.
I believe the best option for the Terecans is a decent set of shocks.

If u are not confused by now then u should be. Good luck and hapy 4Xing whatever you buy it wont be a lemon I dont think there is a bad 4WD made today.

Some Ugly ones but not Bad ones!!!
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Follow Up By: MrMagoo - Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 20:41

Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 20:41
yes , it can get confusing. Now I have a Subaru enthusiast I work wiyh saying that reliability and resale issues are covered by the Forrester - Ugh! what to do! of course the Forrester is a different thing but as I have to drive 95% of the time to work it kinda makes sence - but then when I do the big trip I dont want to feel cramped. One day it may al get too much and I'll pin the tail on the donkey!
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Reply By: Utemad - Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 08:41

Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 08:41
Buy a dual cab ute with a canopy. Just not a TJM one.

Best of both worlds.

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Reply By: Skiddy - Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 22:53

Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 22:53
Mr Magoo, the seats come out from 4 bolts that are located in the rear of the car , very easy just remove two plasti covers and the bolts are there, regarding the diesel 4x4 australia magjuly 2004 edition says the diesel will be delayed until next year due to some kind of difficulties, they want to be sure they have it right before its released.
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Follow Up By: MrMagoo - Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 20:37

Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 20:37
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Reply By: Muddy 'doe (SA) - Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 23:16

Thursday, Jun 24, 2004 at 23:16

If you are novating and you are doing 140kms a day then make sure you test drive a turbo-diesel Prado, if only in GX spec (it is still quite well equipped). Depeding on your salary you may find the numbers really add up as you should make the 40,000 km FBT bracket which makes novating really worth while.

Economy is excellent and the diesels just eat up the distance work. If it is easy freeway work you may get away with 10,000k service intervals instead of the normal 5,000 although others may disagree. The ride and refinement in the Prado is just fantastic.

I did not look at the Terracan as the family already has a heavy Toyota population which influenced my choice but the reviews I have read seem favourable. Just make sure you call in at a Toyo dealer before you sign up!

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Follow Up By: MrMagoo - Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 20:43

Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 20:43
OK - but I was told with insurance and costs 35K breaks even - but the Prado's get the best reviews and look good too. I saW 5 new ones today in a short trip to the hardware.
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Reply By: Jimbo - Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 21:04

Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 21:04

At the money nothing else comes close.

I got the Highlander auto, with dual battery, towbar and AT tyres for just under 40 large.

I've had it for just over three weeks and love it. Great on and off road. Already done two off road trips, one to Craigs Hut and the other with Terracan Tim. Plan to get out and research Gembrook this weekend for our trip 24/7.

Leather is great. Back seats take a few minutes to remove once once you get the dealer to show you how to remove the plastic covers.

Front suspension is soft, needs modifying.

Great stereo with MP3. Climate control air, wonderful.

Great performance, fuel econ is OK/good for a 4wd.

Five warranty, how can you go wrong?

At 15 to 20 large cheaper than a similarly equipped Prado or Pajero, the choice is simple. Or similar price to an X-Trail, Freelander etc.

If you would like to discuss, call me on 03 9769 5323 or 0438 101983 tomorrow (the GLW is due home from work in a few minutes and she will be annoyed if I am talking to my 4 wd friends rather than her). If you are in Melb happy to meet with you and give you a look/drive. $hit, this sounds like I work for Hyundai. Not so, just happy with the product.

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Follow Up By: MrMagoo - Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 22:00

Friday, Jun 25, 2004 at 22:00
Thanks Jim for offer to contact - I am 1900 Km from Melbourne. Thanks anyway
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Reply By: MrMagoo - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 00:39

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 00:39
Well the quotes are odered for the terracan, suzy or X-Trail. Will let you know who wins. Technically each of these cars have their own attractions. Test drove the XL-7 and in the 10 minute bitumin trip I think I know a lot about the car - Not. This is why this forum is valuable to me. Thanks to all who contributed here.

The Suzuki xl-7 was smooth through the gears. The Power transmission setting (A/T) whatever that means- is handy if you are in hilly country or the city and are not in a hurry. Even with the 2nd row of seats slid back (good feature in a 60 40 split) my ankles were jammed under the back of the drivers seat - knees at 90 degrees. Good Headroom unlike the MAZDA TRIBUTE. 5th Gear is great for freeway and got what I expected out of a 2.7 V6. Torque curve is 135nm@6000 High revs isnt it? [Terracan was 250nm@4000 which seems better. XL-7 is only 105nm@4000.] Looks Good, Climate Air good. Can lock it into L and 3rd is Good. Cruise is an option though.

Will let you know the outcome in a week.
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Follow Up By: MrMagoo - Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 00:46

Thursday, Jul 01, 2004 at 00:46
Oops - red face. Misread the Suzyuki graph - its got 250nm@3300
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Reply By: Santa Claws - Sunday, Jul 11, 2004 at 11:47

Sunday, Jul 11, 2004 at 11:47
Well, we recently purchased the GLS Santa Fe and understand the confusion with constant acceleration that you mention. In the 3 months we have owned it it is now not an issue and tends to "settle down". We choose with great prudence our new vehicle and was looking for a soft off roader with space and excellent ergonomics for comfort and room.Seats fold down well, but the terracans were a bit big for what we needed and hungry on the juice, also felt they were American styled wood grain etc, not my cup of tea but each to their own. The Santa Fe I would now say was the right choice for us. We did look at all the other Subaru, Mazda, Ford, even a Renault ( I don't know what we were thinking that day) and had a budget upto 45k on road. We were able to do the transaction for under $38000 on road with all options. Off road it performs well and is extremely comfortable for passengers and access, river crosssings,sand are excellent. Clearance can be issue (not as bad as Subaru or alike)but being in Tasmania we don't have to go off road far to enjoy remote and isolated areas. We have had it in the snow this year and again no problems. We do carry chains as a precaution but not reqd at this stage. Being a GLS with leather fog lights etc, make for very comfortable town driving, and with the rear window that you can open seperatley makes throwing the shopping in the back easy. As a family of 4 large people I highly reccommend them. Lots of storage of elbow room. We tossed up between the mazda- optioned pack (sunroof, towbar etc.....) but Santa Fe one out as firstly I could pull the hand break on with out it feeling like a left hand drive and I could turn the radio up without the column shift obscuring the control knob in the Mazda. Silly what design features can do to turn your money around.

Ergonomics was the deciding factor.
cheers Santa
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Follow Up By: MrMagoo - Sunday, Jul 11, 2004 at 22:51

Sunday, Jul 11, 2004 at 22:51

I appreciate your reply. Yes the rear opening window is attractive . The Honda has one also. And for all those following this thread I have all but chosen the Suzuki LX7 - "Wha??" they say! Well 90% of my driving is freeway for work - so 3.5 ltr adds $2500 to the annula fuel bill, and the Suzy gets me the low range which I will feel more comfortable with when , I hope, I get out there. I hope the Terracans ers talk to me again. The Santa Fe is attractively prices and as Hyudai do well they have included a lot for the money. I like the sports shifty thingy - technical term - as well. By the Way folks the Suzy with leather,fog,nudge,cruise options comes in as novated lease for under 20K 3yrs at 47% residual - The terracan was 20.8K and the Highlander 22.5K - which if I rationalise it is simply the extra petrol.

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Follow Up By: MrMagoo - Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 21:44

Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 21:44
Oh magoo ... you done it again.
Nope - see threads on Suzuki - changed my mind on it again. No suzy for me. Still considering posts below
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Reply By: Jabiru-WA - Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 01:38

Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 01:38
Go for the Terracan.

I've had mine just over a year, got it at 1 yr old (also on novated lease), just recently ticked over 50,000km. Tyres will need replacing soon.

Its slightly bigger (wider) than Prado, slightly less ground clearance, $$$$$ cheaper. The seats are the best in the range (my big bum gets to test car seats before i look at anything else). Its a very civilised car that is comfortable and performs well in the wild. Highway cruising? Thank goodness for the cruise control cos this baby is quick.

Last August I drove from here (Newman) out past Telfer, Well 33 on CSR and on to Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Townsville, Brissie, Towoomba, Goondawindi, Walget, Burke etc, across to Broken Hill, Pt Augusta, Nullabor Crossing, then home via Perth and Geraldton.

The car never missed a beat, we had only one flat (less than 200km from Home) on the first day. I took out the 3rd row seat, had cargo barrier installed, built in a false floor, stashed spare tyre, recovery and camping gear underneath, engel and other stuff on the top (including jerry cans). All our gear including swags was carried inside the car.

The suspension carried the extra load brilliantly - never bottomed out on the approx 2000km of gravel tracks and roads on the trip across.

I was a bit wary of having an automatic trans 4wd but its marvellous... no stirring around missing gear changes on awkward climbs. I'm VERY happy with it. Descending steep slopes is not as good as my old diesel Pajero but good enough. Great in sand.

MY wish list for the car:
Bigger fuel tank (currently 75 litres and nobody in Oz wanting to make a larger replacement at the time - i tried the lot)
Diesel (coming soon I believe - wait for it)
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Follow Up By: MrMagoo - Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 21:51

Friday, Jul 16, 2004 at 21:51
Sounds like a fun trip! How long did you take for that one. What sort of ltr/100Km did you get on hwy?

Our plan is in 2005/6 getting from QLD up and over focus on NT WA less on SA (no offence guys) ignoring Vic and NSW (listen to them growling hehe) and home. Was thinking we may otherwise go over the top and back again same way - depends on time.

Mind telling me what you paid? Did you test a few 2nd hand ones first - then again 1 yr old and they are all probably like new. It would be the km to watch so there is some left in the 130,000 Warranty I suppose.

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Reply By: Jabiru-WA - Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 00:35

Saturday, Jul 17, 2004 at 00:35
hi Magoo

Paid 34K at 1 yr old. Auto, towbar, nudge bar, floor mats etc. 24k on the odo.

Shopped around in Karratha and Hedland - saw this one and liked it. It looked and smelled new, and had 4 yrs/100k warranty left to run.

13.12 litres per 100 km on the highway between Wilcannia and Merredin ( a sample of about 9 consecutive fills. Newman to Alice (almost all gravel track/road 12.42 litres per 100km - we drove slower - 80-90km/hr

Did the whole trip in 4 weeks, including 1 week in Townsville (we attended a conference there) the rest of the trip was getting there and back with some sightseeing thrown in. We did some long days on the road.


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