Purchase 4WD - Prado vs LC vs other

Submitted: Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 22:39
ThreadID: 56873 Views:6051 Replies:14 FollowUps:24
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So, the question that comes up a lot. I've read a fair bit of history through the threads, but it seems that not all my questions are answered. Hoping for some advice, or at least thoughts to help me make my mind up.

Background first, then the questions.

We are a two car family, second car gets used infrequently (most days we drive to work together). Second car currently Subaru Impreza for a variety of reasons that I won't go into. Currently gets used for skiing (ex Canberra) 9-10 times a year, plus builder's car on weekends (renovating house), pulling trailer a bit, and occasional town trip when the other car is otherwise occupied.

The other half would like something with a bit more capability. Whilst the Suby goes skiing OK, it's really only good for 3 people once some ski gear is in it. And while it has OK traction uphill, the braking etc on snow or ice is pretty poor. So something bigger and a bit more capable would be nice.

We'd also like to see a bit of Australia, starting with some of the dirt roads that start out back of Canberra and head into the Snowies, and maybe graduating to something more interesting at a later date.

So we are looking for something that will go skiing OK, reliable, carry a few people, pull a trailer, go OK on dirt roads, and be a bit more capable for a future trip that may or may not eventuate. And something that holds its value would be good too. Price range low 20K.

I'm down to a handful of options - LC100 4.2D around 2000-2002, Prado 3.0TD about 2002-2004, or an older LC TD. I have something against a Nissan or a Mitsubishi, nothing scientific just a general bias. I could reconsider that, but I'd need a good argument they were a lot better, not "just as good." I know, no accounting for taste :-)

So, I see that the LC 4.2 has 96kw, has enough grunt to tow but not to tow fast up hills or the like. But a lot of the complaints are from people towing a lot of weight. How do people find these driving with just people + some gear, rather than a really full load? I get the impression that they're sluggish but liveable - would that be fair?

The Prado is reputed to be better on the open road (so say people I've talked to), but actually also has 96kw. Brother in law had a surf, so far as I can tell the Prado is a newer and rebranded surf. Again, for the right argument I'd get one, but I don't see a great benefit over the LC at this point.

The TD is a great idea, but seems to be hens teeth. When they are advertised they are expensive or old - and I gather that they weren't imported 96-00, which would be in my price range if they existed.

I'm thinking the LC105 4.2D would be the go. For some reason I like the barn doors too - is there a reason people don't seem to like them? I'm guessing I could add a turbo/intercooler kit for around $4K if it turned out that I really didn't like the performance.

Any comments on this so far would be appreciated.

Next, the questions, mostly related to the difference in price I should look to for a vehicle with or without the features I describe:
1. I see them with the narrow steel wheels. I hear these don't go so good on the road. a) Is this true, and b) what does it cost to get something more appropriate to road/dirt work? What would I pay extra for a vehicle already with them? c) What would be more appropriate?

2.Winches, bull bars, snorkel. What are these worth extra, and how much would I probably pay extra to get one with v's without?

3. Roof carrier, tow bar. Same questions

4. Spare wheel on the rear door - swing arm? What do they cost?

I'm trying to get a general picture of whether I'm better getting something like this:
2002 LC105 120kms at a dealer - $23K

v's this
1999 LC105 250kms private - $26K but lots of bits

It feels to me that I am better with the former - newer, fewer kms - and then add what bits I need as they come up. The private one has lots of bits, but only some of them are really needed for what I want to do (towbar, bullbar, maybe winch, maybe roof carrier).

Am I a lot better to buy one that is kitted out, or is the gear i need about the same cost as the price difference - in which case I can buy it when I need it?
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Reply By: Best Off Road - Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 23:03

Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 23:03
I'm sorry, I can't help you, and many more won't.

You want a Toyota, buy one. Decide which one you want and buy it.

There is an host of decent 4wd vehicles from different manufacturers. Take off your blinkers and consider them.

God knows, spare the thought, you may even, actually find a vehicle that suits your needs without a "T" badge.

They aren't anything special, niether is a BMW. Just a means of transport.

AnswerID: 299743

Follow Up By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 23:14

Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 23:14
Geez Jim, I thought you'd be telling him to buy a big petrol and put it on gas ;-)
FollowupID: 565889

Follow Up By: Member - David.M.C - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 07:49

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 07:49
ooh yeah jim, their special alright. Sour grapes hey? LOL ;)))) Go on Jim, go get yourself one and make it a diesel. You will never look back. Stop torturing yourself. We all know you want one. Just do it LOL.
FollowupID: 565913

Follow Up By: OzTroopy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 13:48

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 13:48
Make the most of this Jim,

It will probably be the first and only time.

I agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY with your comment.

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Reply By: Member - Kingsley N (SA) - Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 23:21

Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 23:21
I think you should form a committee and research the subject thoroughly!

AnswerID: 299747

Reply By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 23:27

Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 23:27

Lot of questions there. Remember the rule of one thousand. Just about any major additions you do to your vehicle will cost you (on average) about $1000. Someone who has fitted all this gear to a vehicle they are selling will not get their money back, or even close. So by buying a well set up vehicle you stand to gain. 250,000Kms is getting up there, but if the vehicle has been serviced regularly (check the log), then there is plenty of life left in them.

Suggesting a Prado is just a re-badged Surf is a bit rough. Nothing against the Surf, but the Prado is a very capable (and slightly smaller) 4WD in its own right. Don't write them off at all.

Barn doors? Most people probably aren't too fussed, but the DX (barn door) will also give you the live front axle which is a greater consideration than door types; depending on your intended use.

I'm a Toyota driver, but like Jim I would suggest you expand your options into other makes, plenty of equally good vehicles out there and may expand your choice enough to allow you to get exactly the set up you want.

Don't know what you mean by saying that the TD wasn't imported in 96-00. The 100 series wasn't even around in 96.

Good luck with it.

AnswerID: 299748

Reply By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 00:00
Paul you might pay $20,000 for a stock standard 4x4 with no accessories and more then likely you will pay $24,000 for a 4x4 with $10,000 fitted.

The down side is if you buy the $24,000 one it may of been driven very hard and the $20,000 may of only been used to run the kids to school or tow a caravan on the black top.

Make sure the vehicle has full service history and you know who the owners have been from new.

Spend the money and get it checked by two 4x4 specialist repairers.

The advantage of buying private is the price is most times cheaper, easier to find out the history and it may not of been tided up.

The disadvantage of buying private is you don't have any come back once sold, the vehicle may have a mechanical issue and they just want to sell it quickly, could be stolen, could be a right off and the repaired it on the cheap.

Pay the extra and buy from a long tern reputable dealer and if buying a Toyota from a Toyota dealer.

Remember it's buyer beware!

Now to your questions:
1) Narrow wheels offer poorer handling, noisier and are worse in sand but most times stronger, I would go a good quality all terrain (A/T) tyre and a bit wider.
2) Winch $1000 to $2500+, Bull bar $1000 to $2000 and about $600 for a snorkel.
3) Roof carrier $700 to $2000 and tow bar $350 to $1000.
4) Spare wheel carrier $1500 to $4000 plus tyres.

Some other things to:
Different tyres $1000 to $1800 plus rims $$700 to $2500.
UHF radio $600.
Driving lights $150 to $2500.
Recovery gear $200 to $500.
First aid kit $150
Fire extinguisher $60.
Suspension lift $1400 to $5000+

All the prices I have listed are depending on the quality, if you can do it your self and what deals you can get.

It's not hard to spend over $15,000.

Hope I have not scared you off.

Regards Richard
AnswerID: 299755

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 19:47

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 19:47
Well Ive looked around and bought carefully and have got the following

Bullbar Toyota Factory S/H $600
Kaymar Wheel carrier with bumper bar as well S/h $500
Recovery gear Strop, extension, tree strop,
rated shackles, ARB compressor and Tyre Plier kit $500
IPF 900 spotties s/h $250
Towbar new $375
Arb 100series roof rack s/h $420
Fire extinguisher ALdi x 2 $ 40
Good First Aid Kit new $129
UHF Radio +scanner new $329
Codan NGT HF + 9350 Autotune x demo $2600
3 Toyota 16 x 8 steel rims s/h $60
Progressive springs new $180
Cargo Barrier including $79 fitting kit $179
Set BFG A/T 275/70/16 $800
Waeco 60 litre fridge new $800

So you see the stuff is there, its just a matter of finding it.

Cheers Richard still havent used the Codan yet
FollowupID: 566058

Reply By: Paul_L - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 06:31

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 06:31
Richard, thanks heaps, that gives me quite a bit to think about. When you say to go to better tires, does that also imply changing the rims, or does that mean bigger tires on the same rims? I'm guessing the former, but just wanted to confirm.

Thanks for the links too - I had missed those topics on the site, so will read them.

Matt, sorry, the TD LC I was thinking the 80 series, I believe there was a TD available from around 90-96, then they stopped importing it, and started again in the 100 series around 2000.

AnswerID: 299768

Follow Up By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 08:44

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 08:44
The tyre issue only apply to vehicles that have narrow rims, if you are going to do mostly black top and good dirty roads and or sand it may pay to get wider tyres and maybe rims depending on original rim width.

If you are going the change tyres make sure you get light truck ones, you also might be able to go higher in the side wall to give a bit of extra ground clearance.

Regards Richard
FollowupID: 565925

Follow Up By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 09:36

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 09:36

Yep, the TD in the 80 series was available up until the release of the 100 series in early 98.

90-94 with the 1HD-T engine
95-97 with the 1HD-FT engine
00- 100 series with the 1HD-FTE engine

Because of Toyota's 'three engine policy', the TD wasn't released in the 100 series until 2000 (1HD-FTE). So there was a brief gap.

BTW, if you can find a low mileage 95-97 80 series (1HD-FT) then they are really worth a look. Still not cheap though in relative terms.

FollowupID: 565936

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 08:35

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 08:35
Just to answer all your questions :-)

For low 20's you can probably get a 2000-2002 TD Prado GXL (KZJ95), or a higher mileage HZJ105.

The Prado is more car like to use around town. Its a better performer because its about 300kg lighter and has a lot more torque than the 105. From what you describe, it may better suit your needs.

If you want to buy a "Way of Life" then get a Troopie.
AnswerID: 299782

Reply By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 08:52

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 08:52
We all have different values Paul_l and so
different things mean more to some than others.

Also many people don't really have firm values as can be seen
by how quick they change there choices based on price.

For me I wouldn't buy any of the cars you mentioned simply
because they are all cars that are to slow.
I consider any car that takes longer than around 16 secs to get to 100kmh unsafe.

In addition many 4wds are tall and tip over easily - Those early Prado's were in that catergory.

The 80 series, 100 series and Nissan GU and GQ patrol basically fit the bill in terms of cars under $30k that have the general all round chassis capability that you require.

Next comes the choice of engine or probably more correctly running costs.

Sounds like you would only do the general Aussie mileage of roughly 12,000km or less in that car.
This would put fuel costs of a petrol at under $1000/year more than the diesel, with Gas at a little cheaper than diesel.

The advantages of lower N.V.H. figures and easier maintenance cut heavily into the TD's perceived lower running costs.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: madfisher - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 10:00

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 10:00
As usual Robin very good advice, I didnt know about the Prados being unstable. How to Jacks fare on this issue, notr that I do anything extreme but you can get caught out.
Paul I can relate to your bias against Mits, but we found a very low mileage NH a couple of years ago for my wife and picked it up for $10500. To this day the only mechanical issue we have had is to change the timing belt.
For infrequent use you will be better off with a petrol as diesel do not tale kindly to this type of use.
Goodluck Pete
FollowupID: 565939

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 10:20

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 10:20
Hi Pete

Rollover likelihood can be a touchy issue, and Prado improved this in the later series but its still marginal.

Jacks are a very much underated car and perform above average on most issues including vehicle stability . Pity they were discontinued.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 10:35

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 10:35
G'day you blokes,

yeah Robin brought this up last year I think. He was involved with some tilt testing (don't know who for.) Test results showed a difference of up to 6 degrees compared with a GU. But, I have yet to hear of it happening. Troopies, how many Fritz in Britz "tip overs" can you recollect? Any? More likely in theory but no occurrences in the Prado that I can find. As Robin said "Rollover likelihood can be a touchy issue." "Unstable" is an inappropriate description.

FollowupID: 565946

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 12:01

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 12:01
Agree with Bushfix in that we have poor statistics in this country and it really is buyer be-ware.

Wether or not a given vehicle is unstable or not depends on your point of view against its use.
Some of the newer cars have stability programs which are great at speed but unless crawling along a steep side slope.
I think its reasonable to use that term with a vehicle that is in the bottom end of performance for its type.

There is some pretty ugly stuff on this issue out there - as an example look at this site which doesn't do a lot for Toyotas image.


Quote: The Website That Specializes in
Toyota 4-Runner and Other SUV Rollover Cases

Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Mal58 - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 13:29

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 13:29
I have to admit I am biased. I have a 95 Series Prado and have had it since 1998. While I am not into hard core 4wd'ing etc, I have had no anxious moments with regards to "rolling" my Prado.

This does not mean it cannot occur.

One thing I did early on was a 4wd training course. On the course there was tilt angle test.

It was set at approx 35 degrees. Many different 4wd types where driven up onto the tilt test.

None, of the 4wd's "rolled", including the diminutive Honda CRV and Suzuki Jimmy. Nor did my Prado. In fact you could not tip the 4wd's further by hand.

What was impressed on my mind is that it was extremely uncomfortable when trying to sit in either the Drivers seat or the passenger seats when tilted at this angle.

I think that if you find yourself 4wd'ing and it is like that, you should be saying, do I really need to do this ?

With a 4wd, it is important to understand the limits of the vehicle that you are actually driving.

Probably the Prado's biggest failing, is that it drives like a car and it can lull the driver into driving it in a car like manner.

However, it is a 4wd, and has the dynamics (mass, high center of gravity, acceleration, braking etc) of a 4wd, so keep this in mind.

If you go this way, drive it like a 4wd, you will have a capable mid size 4wd that will give you years of driving and 4wd'ing pleasure as mine has and continues to do.


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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 14:18

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 14:18
Been thru that test to Mal, its a convincing one.

Bit like those device demo's that show you how swirling air improves fuel efficentcy.

We all tend to say we would never get to such an angle
but even a slow speed sideways slip meeting a rut causes a huge spike in rollover momentum taking it over the tip point.

45 degrees is a more preferred minimum angle which is based on An American Static stability factor test.
Majority of 4wds tip over by 45.

While we have poor data the yanks don't thanks to some 10,000 deaths per year in rollovers - thats 10,000 deaths/year, hence an entire website with emphasis on related Toyota products.

Some Nasty facts based on Yank Data -->.

In addition to the 10,000 deaths (1/3rd of total) the death toll has risen to the highest level since 1980 and of this increase 1/2 of the increase is directly caused by the increase in SUV sales and some incredible antics that have delayed improved saftey measures and prevented information from getting to the public.

It is so bad now that 61% of deaths in SUV's are from rollovers which occur at 300% of the rate of in Passenger cars.

Check out this testimony before US senate.

Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Mal58 - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 14:56

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 14:56
Hi Robin,
I thought that you might reply.

I do not disagree with the US statistics that show that rollover deaths in "SUV's" are higher than Passenger cars, nor that momentum, sideways slips etc are not going to cause problems for a 4wd.

My point is, that one of the challenges of owning a 4wd (or any vehicle for that matter) is knowing it's limitations, and to be safe, driving it well within it's limitations.

For example, just because a sports car can accelerate from 0 to 100 in 4 seconds, it doesn't mean that when you drive it, that you have to accelerate from the lights each and every time at that rate. Sure it's fun, but overtime and a few fines for speeding etc, experience will tell you, that it's not a good driving behavior.

While there may be empirical data that a Prado on a tilt test may tip a few degrees earlier than another type of 4wd, it does not mean that it is unstable.

Know the limitations of your vehicle, drive to the conditions and your experience and you shouldn't have any problems.

I think that this applies to any vehicle, regardless of make, type etc.


FollowupID: 565996

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 15:59

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 15:59
Hi Mal

Hope I have not called the early Prado's unstable but I have come
close and suspect I would if we had the breadth of information
available to our US cousins.

If we had such information we could all make better choices
and knowing our vehicles as you suggest is a good start.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Member - Tessa (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 19:16

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 19:16
As a dedicated Prado owner I feel I have to stick up for them. I have been an active 4WDer in mine for over 7 years. I have done trips where I have probably been guilty of overloading and raising the C.O.G a fair bit. But I have never felt the slightest concern at the vehicle's stability. As has been said above, all vehicles have to be driven to the conditions. I have looked closely at your US website and it is clearly set up by a group of lawyers chasing clients. It seems the old lawyer's penchant for "ambulance chasing" has spread to "SUV chasing". I would take with a grain of salt any claims made in that website without independant corroboration!!!

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Follow Up By: Member - bushfix - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 21:25

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 21:25
'evening Robin,

"Hope I have not called the early Prado's unstable"

no, I picked up on madfisher's response to your post, and his/her response. The term was not initiated by yourself, but needed clearing up I thought.

FollowupID: 566098

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 21:41

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 21:41
Hi Tessa

The fact that early Prado's have weak rollover angle performance
is I believe undisputed even by Toyota.

Its really worth sitting down and thinking thru the 10,000 dead per year figure.

Have a good read thru the senate testimony , it should be enough to make most of us seriously re-think wether or not we could be making better choices for our families rather than worrying so much about fuel economy etc.


This issue overwhelms many other saftey issues and almost no one gets the real life experience of the effects until its to late.

Like so many issues, its relatively easy to do something about it but only if you accept the problem and act, and the senate testimony points the way.

But one of our human weakness is that we demand a higher standard of proof before accepting negative reports about things we like than things we dislike.

On a constructive note , the last thing you should do with any car so affected is raise it, and the second last thing you should do is place significant weight rearward from the rear axle and up high.

Robin Miller

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Reply By: smifffy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 10:11

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 10:11
what the other guys said mate, open your eyes to all manufacturers, there are some really good deals out there if you do your research.

i am a nissan fan and am now onto my fourth patrol, take a look at all vehicles. you will find you will pay more for the toyota badge but!

good luck.
AnswerID: 299802

Reply By: Pavo - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 10:47

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 10:47
Just something else to throw into the equation - I think the base LandCruiser with barn doors might be 'part-time' 4wd, not fulltime like the GXL and above.

Maybe someone could confirm - but given your fondness of the snow, you might be better off with a fulltime 4wd?

AnswerID: 299815

Reply By: Paul_L - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 12:12

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 12:12

Thanks for the good advice. To be clear on my preference - I'd like a Toyota because I'm comfortable with them. I'm open to other brands, but given two vehicles with similar capability and price, I'd choose the Toyota. Part of it is about how you feel about the vehicle - the Suby has been a pain ever since we got it - I never really wanted it and have never enjoyed driving it. At the time I got convinced it had the things we needed, but I just don't like Subys. Bloody synchros on third always go on the manual ones, and sure enough ours did exactly that as soon as out of warranty. Just annoying.

In short, similar vehicle same price, I'd take the Toyota. If, however, some of the questions I am asking are best answered with another brand, sure I'd look at that.

On a petrol LC - are they that much different to drive? I was kind of intending a diesel, but agree that I'll probably put very few kms on it - our primary car is lucky to do 12,000 per annum, so I doubt the second car will do all that many - even the snow 10 times a year is only 4,000kms. So yeah, maybe petrol is just easier - certainly more vehicles available, and gets around the performance issues. I understand it could give issues with range and with water crossings - how real are these?

The snow isn't my fondness, my partner used to be a ski instructor. She'd ski both days every weekend if I would go with her. Myself, I can think of a lot of ways to spend $300 per day without being cold and wet whilst doing it. She'd be fine with putting it into 4WD if they are part time, and presumably there'd be some economy advantages. Is this a "get out and flick the hubs" sort of deal, or a "change gear on the transfer box" sort of deal?

AnswerID: 299827

Follow Up By: Pavo - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 12:50

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 12:50
I think for the part-time 4wd cruisers you need to go out and lock the hubs. Then shift the lever? I'm not too familiar with the 'real world' usage of when and how with part-time 4wds as mine was a full-time one. I understand the differences in them, but I don't know how the owners use them in the real world. For example - do they leave the hubs 'locked' and still leave the transfer in normal two wheel drive and then just shift it when they want 4wd or do they specifically lock and unlock the hubs each time they want 4wd...I'm not really sure.
FollowupID: 565966

Follow Up By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 13:11

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 13:11
Paul, Pavo,

Manual hubs are not really that much of a pain. Engage the hubs before you need 4WD and then engage 4WD (from the cabin) when you need it. No harm leaving the hubs locked for a period of time (in fact good practice to do it periodically if you haven't used 4WD for some time). My hubs are voice activated which makes it really easy. Stop the vehicle, yell at the kids and they get out and do it. Too easy.

With respect to petrol, if you are not doing huge kms as you suggest, then have a serious look at the petrol option. Landcruiser petrols (both 80 and 100 series) have more than enough power and torque for what you are after. Range can be an issue as well as fuel availability in really remote areas (plenty of heated discussion on here recently about fuel choices so I'll let you wade through that in your own time). BUT, comparing similarly optioned and aged vehicles in TD and petrol you will find a staggering difference in price (up to $10,000). If you are only doing fairly low kms each year, then the petrol option stacks up very well indeed.

Water crossings? Yep, the petrols are generally more susceptible to water ingress but the results of water ingress for a diesel are more catastrophic. Most of the precautions are the same in any case, the difference here is really at the margins.

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Follow Up By: OzTroopy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 14:13

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 14:13
Voice activated hubs - LOLOLOLOL
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Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 15:05

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 15:05

Don't think the suby's are the only ones with g/box hassles. I had a 99 model 100 series diesel for 18mths and the box was rebuilt twice in that and when I sold it the same noises were eminating from the same regions (whole reason I sold it). 5th is common to let go in these rigs generally associated with people towing in 5th.

The cruiser really sounds overkill for your requirements but if your heart is set on it go for it. As a young man I always had the cruiser on a pedastall until I owned one. They are good but not "that good" to the point no other make is equal or better. You are not buying new so the issue of the better warranty is of no concern to you, this is where Toyota shine to me over other car makers. The n/a 4.2 diesel GXL cruiser still has live axle to clarify this point, as someone in a previous response asked the question.

I had a beautiful run out of a 96 petrol Pajero, we are having a good run out of our 01 petrol Jackeroo and I love to hate my GU Patrol it is abused but still running strong after 350 thousand k's. My old GQ patrol still feels ahead of it's time for a 20 year old truck also. So many rigs will fit your description of requirements but vehicle choice is a very personal thing and it sounds to me as if you have made your mind up and looking for people to re-assure you have made the right choice. If this is the case then you have made an OK choice in my opinion but other vehicle choice would bring same response from me as so many of them are "just as good" for the job at hand.

Best of luck,
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Reply By: OzTroopy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 14:07

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 14:07
Back in the time before yuppie ski lifts, expensive, imitation swiss chalets, and tar roads, I spent my time tripping about the snowy in a VW beetle. Was the only thing that provided all year round access.

The only mod needed was snow chains.

Was quite funny driving past Thiesses' bogged landcruisers.
AnswerID: 299844

Follow Up By: OzTroopy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 15:05

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 15:05
Actually, now and thinking back, it was quite funny. Back then the thought was.........whats that thing ??
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Reply By: Paul_L - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 15:37

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 15:37
Skiing in Aus, I have found that the main issue is having to carry chains - we've only been up on one day in which we would have had to fit them if we weren't 4WD.

All vehicles have their foibles, but I'm not hearing anyone tell me that the other brands are "better", just that I should consider them as well. Given the number of Toyotas for sale, it seems I'm not particularly limited if I stick to what I know. It does sound, however, like I might get something cheaper if I looked at a Patrol. My look at Prados seemed to tell me they weren't a lot cheaper, and I felt that they wouldn't seat 5 as comfortably as a LC.

Back to petrol v's diesel, sounds like I could basically get a GLX petrol for the same price as a standard diesel - so I get antilock, better wheels, better stereo, actual carpet etc etc for around the same price and age. A bit less longetivity on the engine, and maybe not quite as capable at the extreme, but probably fine for everything that I would do? If so, then I need to go back and have a good look at whether that would work better for me.

I've found a diesel I can test drive this weekend coming, so that will give me a decent comparison point.

Thanks again for all the advice, very helpful.

AnswerID: 299856

Follow Up By: OzTroopy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 16:05

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 16:05
I wasnt suggesting you get a VW beetle - with your storage requirements, a kombi would be better..........hehehe

You and the other half, testdriving vehicles is what will get you the " better " vehicle.

I have had a 1984 Mitsu L300 4x4 that was " better " than a landcruiser, as was a 1987 subaru. The term " better " only relates to how well the vehicle meets your needs. My old 40 series troopy was " better " than anything new today.

Currently I find a 1997 XJ cherokee is " better " than any of the other brands as it was cheap as chips secondhand, uses no more fuel than the others and has the most aftermarket options. Purchase price and accessories / upgrades work out to the same price, as a comparable size opposition brand which will still need
accessories and upgrades.

Happy Hunting
FollowupID: 566014

Reply By: curious - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 16:31

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 16:31
I can't add much to the good advice already given. I bought a 95 series Prado diesel, $9k worth of accessories and well looked after. It's been a great 4WD so far, quite stable although the body roll initially took some adjsutment (can't even notice it now). I'd suggest (as others have) that you buy one with accessories that hasn't been knocked around; it's better value than adding accessories later. I'd bet that most of the people on this forum who have well kitted out fourbies, haven't knocked them around. Off road driving doesn't mean abuse.

I've since wondered if I should have bought a LC or Patrol but the Prado size is good and I expect to get 400k or more out of it (now just over 100k). Make up your own mind about what's good for you. Toyotas are very reliable but many other brands are excellent also.

AnswerID: 299868

Reply By: Member - Andrew (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 00:31

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 00:31
This is advice born from experience...my experience anyway...

1/Buy the best and newest vehicle you can for your budget.

2/ Don't look for accessories, look at the vehicle.

3/ buy the type of vehicle YOU WANT. DON'T compromise or you will always envy others who have what you really want and you will spend $$$ later to get want you want anyway.

Accessories you don't have won't stop you going many places in this country when you're talking about 100/105 series cruisers. Extras are luxuries, rarely essential unless your looking for extreme 4 x 4ing.

Out it this way....to beef-up a standard 100 or 105 requires what? I would suggest a lift kit (if you want) and a snorkel, maybe a winch for peace of mind if going to the never never. Total package 5 - 6 grand.

I could go on but just consider what I said and put it in perspective with what you want to do with your car.

Good luck.
AnswerID: 299993

Follow Up By: Paul_L - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 22:41

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 22:41
Andrew, thanks for that advice. It matches what I have experienced in other things I've bought. And of course, it matches what I want to hear, so I am very inclined to follow it!!
FollowupID: 566343

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