Features on new 4X4's

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 12, 2003 at 23:10
ThreadID: 3815 Views:2072 Replies:17 FollowUps:5
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I don't know about you guy's, but I am becoming frustrated with new vehicles and where they are apparently going in terms of design.
A couple of days ago I had a look at the new Prado and had no doubts from what I've read, that it's off road ability will be quite good.
My problem is their useability (not just the Prado). For Instance:

Cargo area is usually plastic, meaning that a fridge side can't be secured to the floor.
Most vehicles coming out now don't have a provision for a any form of two way radio in the dash board.
Seating arrangements don't allow enough room to sleep in the back.
Apart from the big fellows (Toyoto 100 and Nissen) it's becoming a struggle to find space for a second battery.
Lack of drivers height seat adjustment unless you purchase the top of the range model.
Decisions by companies to exclude important item such as the new Prado's Down Assist Control (PDA) from all but the Toorak set model.
I would be Interested to hear your point of view, because, as I said at the beginning of this e-mail, it is really starting to become frustrating.
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Reply By: tristjo - Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 01:45

Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 01:45
it seems to me that they are turning more and more to having everything electronicly and computer controlled, wich is wat annoys me. Why can't they stick with the tried and proven systems..... they are now making fourbys with abs, traction control, electronic brake distribution, electronic stability programs and so on, but i wonder just how many of these systems will still be working efficiently in 5-10 years time..... very soon it will be very hard to find a fourby suited to touring, with provisions for dual batts, radios, l-r tanks and so on.... i long for the return of the days of rigid axles all round, a reliable, manual drivetrain, steel bumpers (not all that plastic junk) and very little computer intervention......... Wat do you think? Tristjo.
AnswerID: 15036

Reply By: Coops - Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 03:09

Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 03:09
Yup, reckon my standard 80 series will see me through for many a year yet. I hate to think what the options will be when it is finally time to give her up though.Coops
AnswerID: 15038

Follow Up By: Will - Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 10:20

Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 10:20
I agree Coops, my GU 4.2 TD will see many years with me yet and I hate to think what will I get when that is finished...

But when you read mags the reports give low scores to those cars who don't get any advancements...

One mag recently called a Discovery old fashion and low tech...!! Gee what do they want..., not even some aircraft have so much advanced technology....

FollowupID: 9122

Reply By: Old Soldier - Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 07:00

Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 07:00
aahh well,

Thats what the yuppies and the "pretend" 4wd owners wanted.

Soft little pansies who spend their time building their "offroad" image by posing in suburbia with their big shiny 4WD.

I've already seen a Lilac colour vehicle in the showrooms - just wondering what designer colour we'll see next - Pink ?????


AnswerID: 15040

Reply By: Savvas - Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 08:30

Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 08:30
Talking about the Prado. Like you say Kim, to get the useful items such as the descent control, etc., you need to now shell out $71k, plus onroads. Also, these features are appearing in the model of the vehicle that's least likely to ever go offroad. In other words, where they are least useful.

Jeep did the same when they released the current shape Grand Cherokee. To get the Quadratrac (or was it Quadradrive?) system, where you can continue forward movement when only one wheel has traction, you needed to buy the most expensive Limited model, and again the least likely to be used offroad. At least they saw the light and made it optional on the lower Laredo model.

I tell you what, the Nissan Patrols look better REAL value all the time these days.

AnswerID: 15045

Reply By: RussellV - Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 10:09

Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 10:09
The newer the vehicle the more things that can go wrong electronically, Prob why I still have a sneaking respect for the Landrover Defenders as they have little electronically that can go wrong and you can pretty much drive them from the showroom into the bush without many mods.

AnswerID: 15048

Follow Up By: Will - Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 10:43

Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 10:43
The Land Rover Defender comes with the 2.5 five clylinder fully electronic engine, with an electric pump in the fuel tank and ECU, timing control, no injection pump (common rail)....

What are you talking about????

There is only ONE simple 4wd still in the market and it has just got more complicated.
That is the 4.2 TD patrol. with a mechanical pump no electric feed pump in the tank, no electronic gadgets. (the very latest has electronic timing control and that is it).

Even the troopie now comes with the 4.2 engine from the 100 series family which is an excellent engine but electronic pump and controls.
FollowupID: 9124

Follow Up By: RussellV - Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 10:46

Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 10:46
Apologies Will - I stand corrected! It seems things have changed since i last owned one. Mind you - I now have a 4.2 TD Patrol :)
FollowupID: 9125

Reply By: Member - Chris - Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 10:13

Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 10:13
Is it true that they've even put carpet in the new troopy!!!!.

Despite the 'soft mods' there will always be those of us who buy a 4WD for it's dependability, sustainability and scope for after market modifications such as mine. Hopefully the factory pukes will continue to make the models for us.Chris
<- 1996 Troopy, the best!
AnswerID: 15050

Reply By: Member - Willem- Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 10:27

Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 10:27
Now here is a truck you can play with. You can drill holes in it or weld things to it or put in your own array of electronic stuff. It goes anywhere you point it and will do 120kmh down a mineshaft :-)
The drawbacks are heavy fuel consumption, reasonably uncomfortable ride and it sucks dust like a vacuum cleaner. I have successfully altered the vehicle so that it can accommodate two people, with all recovery gear, all neccessary camping gear, 40 litres water and 190 ltires petrol. We also sleep in the back and I am 190cm tall! But it is not everyones cup of tea. Bought it fourth or fifth hand four years ago and have clocked up 100,000kmCheers, Willem
Never a dull moment
AnswerID: 15052

Reply By: Member - Peter- Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 11:05

Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 11:05
with all the add ons soon it will be a choice of a new 4x4 or a house , I saw in a New Zealand newspaper last week the new Toyota v8 cost on road $113000 wowwwwwwwwwwww Peter York 4x4
AnswerID: 15055

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 16:14

Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 16:14
OK Guys,

At the risk of being the odd one out, the changes over the years haven't all been bad. Having owned 2 old L/C's in the past and been jolted, jarred, cooked alive (from excessive in-cab heat) all at a top cruising speed of 80km/h, terrible fuel economy (nothing's changed) and yes you could drill, wield, scratch them and everything was simpler, easier and cheaper to fix BUT you won't catch me pining for the good old days. (don't get me wrong, I LOVED our old shorty's).

Take our 4.5L GU for instance. Comfort second to none, heaps of grunt, extremely capable on and off-road, better handling and safety features, looks great, air con etc etc. All of these things come at a price both in $ terms and convenience.

Lack of space for UHF and DBS etc is frustrating but not unable to be overcome. UHF manufacturers have responded by bringing out remote head units and new wave batteries are packing more power into smaller and smaller packages.

Bottom line is you get what you pay for and in this regard, nothing has changed. But, maybe the vehicle manufacturers will take another look at the which models get the optional extras when everyone starts hanging on to their fourbies for 10 or more years because that's the only way the can afford and justify the initial cost.

Just my thoughts...

:o) Melissa

Petrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
AnswerID: 15087

Reply By: Truckster - Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 16:52

Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 16:52
since 95% of all 4wds sold never see bush, but only little quenton and heavenly herany tiger lily to school, then why would they make them strong???

AnswerID: 15096

Reply By: cocka2000 - Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 20:48

Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 20:48
An interesting range of opinions but I wonder if the 4X4 marketing folks are listening. Back to the original question though by Kim, you have a gripe and so do a lot of others, but if you remain blinkered you wont solve your problem. Firstly, what do you really want to do ?? If you want to be a serious out back traveller make sure to get a vehicle that is strong and can do the job. I have a mate with the new Prado and it suits him because he fishes for trout beside a stream and is on the bitumen 99% of the time, that's what that vehicle is all about. If you want to spend that kind of dough you can get what you want, but look at the second hand market, there are plenty of good late model vehicles with the extras going dirt cheap. I just bought a 2002 GU 3 lt Diesel Patrol, raised, and all the extras + radios, 14000 Kls for $46K. Malissa and I might be about the same vintage, we both once did it tough and it was great fun, we made the most of what we had and never whinged, but I have moved on since those days and enjoy the comfort and convenience. I hope you enjoy what ever you get as much as I have. Have fun.
AnswerID: 15129

Reply By: ThePublican - Friday, Mar 14, 2003 at 14:39

Friday, Mar 14, 2003 at 14:39
All a matter of perspective,no such thing as a"basic" vehicle any more, and more importantly who would buy one?? The answer is of course no one, would you realy want to go back to the days of NO power steer,auto,syncro,disc brakes,Air con, ect,ect.
Comparing prices alone does not reflect the true value of the vehicle,
1967 HR Holden cost 52 weeks avg male wages
2003 "basic"Holden Comodore cost 32 weeks avg male wages.
AnswerID: 15191

Reply By: Baldrick - Saturday, Mar 15, 2003 at 13:34

Saturday, Mar 15, 2003 at 13:34
Yeah, frustratin aint it? Can't buy a 4wd these day's without lot's of them scary computer thingy's. Should be basic, inefficient, uncomfortable for us REAL 4wder's, you know us REAL MEN with space to bolt the tinny holder to the gearstick and room for all our radio's so we can have 10 aerial's to demonstrate how big our wedding tackle is. Never mind, all us REAL 4wder's can write in to forum's like thi's one and beat our hairy chest's and demon'strate how we all dropped out of s'chool and never learn't how to use ap'os'trophe's properly.
AnswerID: 15260

Reply By: KIM - Saturday, Mar 15, 2003 at 20:04

Saturday, Mar 15, 2003 at 20:04
You really are a funny fellow. Oviously of a higher intelligent order than the rest of us. Thanks for your dibble, people do appeciate something positive in their life from time to time.

AnswerID: 15271

Reply By: Suzuki Viagra - Sunday, Mar 16, 2003 at 03:32

Sunday, Mar 16, 2003 at 03:32
What it comes to is this - if Toyota tried to sell a BJ40 or Nissan a G60 today.....

NONE of you would buy it cos they're uncomfortable thirsty noisy and crap. Seriously who here would pay $50000 for a NEW BJ40?

it wouldnt be allowed to be sold in Australia as it would fail emmissions, crash testing, noise pollution restricitions, minimum cup holder requirements.....

The Prados (and other 4wds) sell because that is what buyers who are prepared to spend their money on new stuff will buy.

If you're a vulture like me who only buys second hand vehicles you have sealed your own fate (and you have no right to try and dictate to the factory what to make) - because it's the Mum's and Dad's (lets not be sexist) who buy brand new shiny power everything Toorak Tractor 4wd's who actually keep Toyota and Nissan and the rest in business.... without them there would be NO market for 4wd's at all - as none of the current 4wd models (except MAYBE the Landcruiser 78 ute, Holden Rodeo ute and Ford Courier Ute) would be bought in sufficient numbers for the factory to bother with the cost of importing , meeting design requriements, sots of testing and development etc.

You don't like it - then all go out and but a new Landrover Defender tomorrow and prove me wrong......
AnswerID: 15289

Follow Up By: FATBOY - Sunday, Mar 16, 2003 at 13:53

Sunday, Mar 16, 2003 at 13:53
I reckon I've got 20 years (MINIMUM) use left in my 80 series and by then I'll probably be reduced to pushing a walking frame down a corridor and weeing my pants along the way, so I guess I don't really care.

I'm sure that manufacturers do care more than you think because they probably make ten times as much on parts than they do a new car.

It's all good debate and only supports the purpose of raising the issue really.
I agree not many would pay $50K for a BJ40
FollowupID: 9315

Follow Up By: Suzuki Viagra - Sunday, Mar 16, 2003 at 23:04

Sunday, Mar 16, 2003 at 23:04
LOL then you don't use the 80 like I use m y Vitara....

Seriously though FATBOY has a good point - manufacturer markup on parts is normally 300%-400% on what the individual parts cost when assessed for new car purchase price which can keep them in business to some degree (ie Short term not long term), although many of us buy shockers CV's etc from other distibutors...... after all they're cheaper and we don't have as much money as Toyota does.... (although we may not have the debt that Nissna does either)
FollowupID: 9344

Reply By: member-skippyking - Saturday, Mar 22, 2003 at 21:04

Saturday, Mar 22, 2003 at 21:04
With a bit of luck most fourby owners that don't venture far from the tar, will go for the soft-roader types being pushed out from all and sundry and leave some reasonably capable of 4wdriving type vehicles for those of us that do venture into the wilds.

Problem is, are there enough of us? I see we may have to go for the older, more capable second-hand 4wd's or use "work utes" as our wilderness explorers.


AnswerID: 15883

Reply By: KIM - Sunday, Mar 23, 2003 at 17:07

Sunday, Mar 23, 2003 at 17:07
Hi guys,
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this string. I geuss what I was trying to focus on was the relative small things that are being left out of 4wd design and for this I think the 4wd magazines need to look at seriously.
I'm certainly going to write to them and ask that functionally be considered when testing new vehicles. These vehicles, second hand or new, are becoming quite expensive and many people can't afford to send thousands of dollars on after market alterations to house such things as a frig.
I certainly don't have an augement with the capability of most of the new 4wd's on the market.
AnswerID: 15911

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