quietest and smoothest soft roader

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 17:31
ThreadID: 14490 Views:2271 Replies:5 FollowUps:7
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Hi Folks,
My wifes madza 323 hatch shopping jeep, is due to be replaced and we wondered what you thoughts were on soft roaders to back up our Prado 120.

It has to be Quiet and Very Smooth as I am not to popular having fully modified the 120 which now includes muddies and sounds like your running on a continuos cattle grid. I have been told that I have "RUINED, JUST RUINED" the Prado!.

I feel all can be saved by getting the right soft roader for her,which can then enable us to have some extra family tag a long from time to time,behind the Prado for some less dramatic 4wd touring.

So if I put her in something like a Rav4(she really loves the ride hight in Prado, or at least did when we first got it), but not fussed on it being a Toyota, but as I said the Quietest and Smoothest will win the day(like the Prado was to begin with but not going to buy another to use as shopping jeep!)

Looking forward to some ideas.
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Reply By: Sparkiepete - Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 19:37

Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 19:37
Isn't Willie looking for a new 4WD. Maybe his old one will suit your wife to the ground......

Always happy to keep a relationship in tip top shape ;-);-);-)

Sparkie(IE not Y) ;-)
AnswerID: 67019

Follow Up By: Joe - Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 19:58

Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 19:58
What that orange thing!?

Not her colour, clashes with, skin, eyes, wardrobe, bla bla bla

FollowupID: 327770

Follow Up By: rickwagupatrol - Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 20:06

Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 20:06
how about Wolfies Delica?????????????

FollowupID: 327772

Reply By: Muddy 'doe (SA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 20:55

Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 20:55
G'Day Joe,

Glad to hear that you get the Prado to yourself! Nice work buddy.

I would recommend the Forester as the pick of the softies. Depends of course on the budget and the body style you are after. The XT Forester at $45K was actually my main alternative before I settled on the Prado myself. Performance plus from the turbo 2.5 (o-100 in 6.6 sec! same as a V8 SS). Would be a good alternative for dirt road only use and would also be a practical roomy vehicle round town. If you don't want the turbo power of the XT then the XS model has a low range which is more than can be said about many in the class!

I think it would be surprising how far it would follow the prado as well if you have more people tag a long as you say. You can then always put the snatch stap on it to get it through!

Just my thoughts.

AnswerID: 67037

Follow Up By: Joe - Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 21:13

Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 21:13
Thanks Muddy,

The XS model sounds fine, and I'm surprised to hear about low range being in it.
I will follow up soon, I would like to confirm with dealer if low range is in auto version.

Thanks for the lead.

Have read about your adventures, I have not got stuck yet... and am running Cooper STT muddies on 16" rims and diff lock, but in your situation it sounded like the extras would not have helped anyway.

FollowupID: 327783

Follow Up By: Muddy 'doe (SA) - Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 21:19

Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 21:19

I think the STT's would just have dug a bigger hole faster! Who knows...

Just checked the Subaru website and the low range is on the manual trannie only.

FollowupID: 327784

Follow Up By: Joe - Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 21:35

Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 21:35
Thanks, will go for test drive soon.

I have set things up little different on the Prado. The steel rims were fitted up with tubes and I asked them to assemble wheel without lubricant that slips the tyre on rim.

I go down as low as 8lbs, and no tyre slip on the rim under throttle noticed, and no concern about breaking the bead.

Certainly drives me through lots a spots, but I'm only learning and still getting a handle on limits, but thought you might be interested in set up.

Next I'm off to buy tyre pliers, and tubles values, so in case of repeated punctures I can break the bead, push the tube valve in, and fit up with tubless valvue to get me moving.

FollowupID: 327786

Follow Up By: Member Colin - NSW Bungendore - Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 21:53

Thursday, Jul 08, 2004 at 21:53
Glad to hear some support for the Forester
I have just done a trip (mid June) with the WA Subaru Club to the Calvert Ra via CSR. We had 4 Foresters and a MY '82. The Foresters were a 2000 model. XT auto, XS auto, X manual. They were all standard - no lifts - the XS had LT tyres.

In 2001 we did a trip from Jigalong to Cannings Cairn (CSR) down to Well 5 then out to Gt Nth Hwy via Carnarvon Ra, 3 subarus - '91 'L' series, Liberty, GT Forester (turbo).

I have yet to see anything but a Subaru (out of all the cars it this class) venture on this type of trip. The XT auto is pretty hard to stop - especially on sand.
Personally I would look for a good 2nd hand auto GT Forester - has less power then the big BHP WRX XT motor - bit more economical. The GT/XT don't have low range but the Auto is a good alternative GB.
FollowupID: 327787

Reply By: rolande- Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 08:48

Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 08:48
My 20cents worth. Tube-a-Glue and Mister'bishi use mainly 50/50 torque split on their 4wd systems rather than relying on electronics to apply brakes and distribute torque, so for my money, would look at these first. Of the bunch would probably go Forrester or (I know they look damn ugly, but a facelift is close by), Outlander. Very different inside so your wife will soon tell you which one she hates. Wait if you can for the updated Outlander, the front is far more conventional, even though the interior is much the same. For what it is worth, if you are going somewhere in these where you need low range, then you probably shouldn't be going there, auto will be far better off road in these than manual
AnswerID: 67076

Reply By: Diesel Do - Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 17:45

Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 17:45

My 2 bob's worth. I traded my GU tdi on an auto Xtrail.

Xtrail is quiet, powerful and economical. It has an unbraked towing capacity of 750kg - which is better than all of the other awd - and same as Outback which costs at least $10k more. If you don't mind the guages in the middle of the dash - and I haven't found them hard to live with - it's a great unit. Forester would have been my next pick, but tow capacity is too low. Intend to use it to tow my boat all over the place, so unbraked tow cap is very important to me.

Wife can get into it very easily. rear loading is a cinch - no lifting up from the shopping trolley ;-). Heaps of room in the back for the kids. Turning circle is great, visibility is very good. Reversing the boat is a breeze ( I can even see the thing now).

It's completely computer controlled. Amazed to see that it doesn't even have spark plug leads - showing my age I guess. Whether that's good or bad I can't say yet.

The front mudguards are plastic. I couldn't think of any reason why they shouldn't be so I bought one anyway. Steering is very light. Maybe too little feedback. Heaps of grunt. I leave it in awd (auto) permanently. Too easy to spin the front wheels when taking off in 2wd.

Don't know how well it'd go in real rough country. Not at all - I suspect, and I don't intend to find out. But they seem to get around pretty well on "mild" bush tracks.

It's a big change from the Patrol though. Nice to be able to talk at normal levels while driving - though I do hear every rattle from the tool kit now.

Haven't bought the mountain bike or the hang glider yet ;->

Good luck whichever you get...

AnswerID: 67138

Reply By: legweak - Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 21:59

Friday, Jul 09, 2004 at 21:59
We own both a RAV4 (2001 120k) and X-Trail (2004 7k). RAV4 has been the cheapest car to service, run, ultra reliable - brilliant. One of the best handling cars I have ever driven, fantastic city car. But, it has a lot of road noise (especially on coarse chip bitumen), and interior space is a little tight. Doesn't have centre child restraint point, and convertible restraint doesn't fit behind the passenger's seat unless you like having nose in windscreen.

The X-trail is a whole different car. Haven't had 10k service so can't tell you how cheap that is yet. It has a lot of grunt, tows well, heaps and heaps of interior room, very comfortable ride, good boot, and three child seats fit across the back seat. But, the steering wheel doesn't feel connected to the wheels, and it isn't the best handling car around. You get used to centre instruments pretty quickly. It also uses less fuel than the RAV.

Two totally different cars. I highly recommend both of them, but if you are touring, go the X-Trail. It is so much quieter on the open road, and the extra grunt really helps in overtaking (remembering my RAV is a 2L against the newer 2.4L).

AnswerID: 67187

Follow Up By: Joe - Saturday, Jul 10, 2004 at 11:54

Saturday, Jul 10, 2004 at 11:54
Thanks everyone for that feed back.
FollowupID: 327962

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