Advice needed: If you had around $20k which 4x4 would be the best to buy.

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 07:02
ThreadID: 33158 Views:2211 Replies:13 FollowUps:7
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Dear Everyone,

Advice needed: If you had around $20k which 4x4 would be the best to buy for a trip up to the Cape and back (I live in Tassie). Pound for pound which is the most realiable, (as long as the rig has been well serviced etc etc) 4x4 around, plus comfort is of some importance (got a crocked back) which rules out a series 80 Cruiser, I had one, (the most uncomfortable seats made for Japanese rear ends). Economy also has a factor as I will want to keep the rig and with the petrol/diesal prices going to the moon...

I realise everyone is a fan of their 4x4 whether it is a Patrol, or a cruiser or even a Land Rover but there must be a winner some where, a GQ? a late model Troopie, what?

Many thanks

Johnny D
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Reply By: Member - Dedalus (SA) - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 07:50

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 07:50
I have an 80 series ... fantastic! Reliable, bulletprof, very solid 4wd ! Try to get a late model!

AnswerID: 168534

Follow Up By: Joe King - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 19:13

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 19:13
Second that.....,
buy another 80 & put in a Aftermarket seat even if only on the drivers side...
cant go wrong....
FollowupID: 423977

Follow Up By: Joe King - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 19:15

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 19:15
Just an example....
Site Link
FollowupID: 423979

Reply By: Member - uncle - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 07:56

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 07:56
We have an early model Pajero 88 in fact,with the suspension seats in it as standard equip,it helps my back immensely.
It was what we could afford at the time so we bought it.So far it has been a great reliable vehicle,however we want to upgrade in the future when funds allow and would like a 4.2 diesel of some sort so would probably look at a Patrol or Troopy later on for around 20 to 25 grand.Seen some great members rigs on here that make my mouth water!
AnswerID: 168535

Reply By: Sparkiepete - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 08:11

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 08:11
Might I recommend a Isuzu Jackaroo.
I know they have Holden badges but they are made by Isuzu and are a fantastic vehicle. I drive a 1992 v6 3.2L petrol and return figures of 13L/100KLM.Currently have 260,000 kays on the clock and still runs like new.

If towing you will use a lot more but I am sure the diesel versions will save more in fuel again. I know they have there problems but so has any car. Seats are wonderful and comfy. layout is good and the space for kids in the back is brilliant. For adults too.

For reliability you cannot fault the V6 petrol Jackaroos.

AnswerID: 168537

Follow Up By: Mr Fawlty - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 10:23

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 10:23
May I second that! I have a T/D 2002 model & I am very pleased with it.
FollowupID: 423912

Follow Up By: Outbacktourer - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 17:26

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 17:26
For that budget I'll post another vote for the Jack. Had a great run out of mine, but had a load of problems with Holden service.
FollowupID: 423951

Reply By: Pterosaur - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 09:04

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 09:04
G'day JohnnyD,

just about any 4wd in good condition will do a successful trip to the Cape and back, provided it is in reasonable nick. On my trip there last year (August - October), I saw all sorts, (including a number of non 4wd ) vehicles which had successfully made the trip. If you stick to the main drag, and take the bypass roads north of Weipa, the only problem you're likely to encounter will be corrugations. Going further afield, such as along the OTL, is a bit more challenging to your vehicle and driving capabilities, with the principal requirement being enough clearance, otherwise, as I said above, just about any 4wd will do the job.

Troopies are great, but have Toyota seats, and I doubt you would be able to get a late model one for $20k. I speak from experience, as I purchased one a bit over a year ago - a 2003 model (camper) for more than twice that (it had 50k on the clock).

I also have a well maintained 1991 Jackaroo (4 cyl. ULP) in which I have travelled into the Kimberley and Arnhem Land, and which did everything I asked of it, as well as being a fuel miser, and which is for sale.(a lot less than $20k) I only changed vehicles, because the Jackaroo was too short for me to sleep in, but is otherwise, IMHO a brilliant vehicle (I'm its second owner - first was Govt., and I have owned it since 60k). If you are interested, you could email me at

ttimothy at curl dot aunz dot net

as I also live in Tassie (Launceston).

AnswerID: 168545

Follow Up By: macka - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 09:25

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 09:25
Another way to go.(I did)
Was to buy the car I wanted..... Regardless of seating quality.

Then fit a Stratos/Recaro Orthoepaedic seat.

They start at about $900 and go up. Mine is a Stratos. Full Suspension Orthoepaedic. Cost me $2100 Fitted/Complianced.
You don't need to go that far though.

Another way, Is Wreckers Yards.
Buy a good Quality Performance seat from them, have a base made up. And complianced. Cheaper again....
I have a 2002 Patrol drivers seat you can have. If you want to come up to QLD for it.
Only reason I changed, Is a cat bleep on it..... Pheeeeeeeeeeeeeeew......

They leave Std Car seats for dead. Just DON'T get one with High Thigh supports. Hard to get out of...

Buy a car on the Mainland too.
Much wider range, at cheaper Prices. Tassy cars are a restricted,expensive market...

FollowupID: 423906

Reply By: Rock Crawler - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 09:18

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 09:18
Forget about asking about a good model and start looking for a good car for sale ,

This question will get yo uno were in here , we have all had diffrent experiences on all 4by's . Grab the paper and starting looking for 4by's yo ucan afford and get the one in the best condition .

Ps make sure a good mechanic looks at it and not just yourself.
AnswerID: 168549

Reply By: PBob - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 11:12

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 11:12
If you want god seating, look at a 1999 or 2000 TD5 Discovery. you will get one for your money and they have the best driving position/comfort you will get for the money. Excellent fuel economy and relable engine. Alternately, if you wish to go smaller, look at a Turbo Diesel Dual cab Rodeo. very reliable, noisy engine and some comfort.
AnswerID: 168561

Reply By: PAJBOY - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 18:09

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 18:09

Mate, why not try the 'trader' attached to this 'ExplorOz' site.

I have listed my vehicle, '1994 PAJERO - MODIFIED TOURER' for $16,000. You can have it for $15,000. At least check it out. That will give you $5,000 to play with. Chuck in a rear ARB air locker for $1,000 and you still have $4,000 left over. Seeing that you live in Tassie, I will even drive it down to Melbourne for you, at no extra cost.

I know the Paj is no 80 series, Troopy or GU, but this one has been toughened up and has given me fautless performance for over 6 years now.

Good luck with your trip. You'll love it.

AnswerID: 168614

Reply By: Robin - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 20:05

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 20:05
Hi Johnny

20k is getting up a bit and you are starting to look at the bottom end of the GU patrol market , but I would take a serious look at the 3lt GQ patrol which used the lightweight carbie version of the commodore motor.

What you would be looking at in the $13-$16K range is a mid nineties model
which had electric mirrors, side intrusion bars and reasonable noise dampening.

These cars give you the long travel coil suspension and all the good patrol
traits which work even better in this car because it had significant less
weight than the thirsty 4.2 lt version, in fact its 1850kg seems positively light these days.
Economy is not spectacular but will be around 13lt/100km cruising but the ease of doing anything to it and generally low cost of parts combined with substantial performance and the availabiliy of aftermarket goodies means you can make it want you wish and have dollars left over .

Robin Miller
AnswerID: 168629

Reply By: WDR - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 21:09

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 21:09
Late model Jacks are going cheaper than their capabilities deserve becuase they are no longer being made and GM have no idea how to service them. For that type of money go for a late model diesel and as others have advised, use some of the change for specialist seat if necessary.
AnswerID: 168648

Reply By: Member - AVA 191 (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 25, 2006 at 11:12

Tuesday, Apr 25, 2006 at 11:12
Hi John,

Based on your stated parameters - my vote goes to Challenger - should be able to get a reasonably newer one for your budget, compared to tojo/patrol. ( u can still buy brand new Challengers for $29k)

We got a similar fuel consumption from Challenger as we did from diesel 80 Series, but a lot better driveability i.e. didnt feel like a bus. Both vehicles were used for towing 1900kg trailer.

fwiw, we've had patrol/cruiser/Jackaroo as well. The Jackaroo and Challenger - in our opinion and based on our needs - are extremely underated.

Good luck hunting.
AnswerID: 168868

Follow Up By: johnnyD - Tuesday, Apr 25, 2006 at 15:54

Tuesday, Apr 25, 2006 at 15:54
Thanks for the suggestion, can you give me some more advice on which year, engine etc?
FollowupID: 424273

Follow Up By: Member - AVA 191 (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 09:02

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 09:02
Ours was year 2000 model, Manual, 3000cc V6 - it's the only motor avialable & I believe the newies are still the same motor, so look for the youngest in your price range. - we had King springs on rear as the only mod.
They have the nooks for storing gear under floor, so snatchem etc went in there.
There is a hill descent/creeper feature in low gear that worked just as well as the two diesels we've had.
It was such a pleasure to drive after 4years in the 80 series. Around town cornering, parking etc. way in front.

FollowupID: 424377

Reply By: Steve - Tuesday, Apr 25, 2006 at 17:21

Tuesday, Apr 25, 2006 at 17:21
You'll get arguments galore about what's the best car for the money. All you can do is short list the ones that take your fancy, trawl the internet (carsales, price point etc) and the 4x4 trader. Go for the best deal and get it checked.

I'd definitely agree the Discovery seats are the best i've driven in (I now have a Cruiser and seats are not a patch) and the TD5 is a good un. Not as much luggage area as patrol and Cruiser but if that's not a prob they're hard to beat.
AnswerID: 168927

Reply By: old mate - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 09:18

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 09:18
I drive an 03 Nissan Pathfinder. Very capable 4WD, very comfortable in the seating department, reliable, cheap servicing costs, insurance very reasonable and great on fuel.
AnswerID: 169024

Reply By: Member - Mary W (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 27, 2006 at 20:52

Thursday, Apr 27, 2006 at 20:52
You really can't beat a 98 Defender provided the kms are reasonable.Reliable -good on all terain- economical- no electronics.VERY comfortable seating provided you are not 6ft+,Plenty of room to sleep in th back suits a double swag with easeand should be available in your price bracket wit plenty of extras like winch etc
Had a brand new triton but couldn't handle more than 3hrs without pain.Fender can drive happilty10hrs+ if necessary
Check one out if ok great value.
Cheers Mary 60+
"Some people walk in the rain,others just get wet."

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AnswerID: 169382

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