Buying a 4WD help

Submitted: Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 15:48
ThreadID: 75233 Views:3216 Replies:6 FollowUps:4
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we are looking at buying a bigger car, and were thinking of going with a Patrol as we plan to get back into camping with our 3 (young) kids.
Most of the time the car will be used in town, then the occasional trips away. But plan to do a big trip around Oz in a few years time.

Would you recommed getting a big 4WD or just going a smaller car like Prado, or smiliar?

Any thoughts or advice would be welcomed!

thanks, Dac & Em
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Reply By: Fab72 - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 16:19

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 16:19
What are the ages of the "3 young kids"? How long do you plan on keeping the car for? Do you need to tow eg: camper trailer?

We also have 3 kids (ages 14, 12 and 5) and have managed to get by with a smaller vehicle. (Captiva) However neither myself or my wife are giants so our kids don't require much leg room.

Likewise we don't tow a camper or the like so we don't need a super powerful monster truck.

As the kids get older we probably will get something bigger but we're enjoying the good fuel economy for the time being.

At the end of the day's your choice. Only you will know what best suits your family and is capable of meeting your camping requirenments.

Good luck with your new car hunting.....whatever you get, I'm sure you will enjoy it.
AnswerID: 399589

Follow Up By: Member - William H (WA) - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 17:01

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 17:01
Get a "Toyota" and you wont have any problems with it...Now this will get them going.

Cheers for now...William H...Bunbury...WA.
FollowupID: 668566

Follow Up By: Member - Tezza Qld - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 23:32

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 23:32
Not going fishing with you William .You can't even get a decent bite LOL

Cheers Teza
FollowupID: 668621

Follow Up By: Member - Peter E1 (VIC) - Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 10:34

Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 10:34
Yeah, Toyota. This poptop has done 480K and still going like new. Diesel though! like the Hi-Lux ute I also have. With the price of petrol likely to increase by 30-50% this year a diesel would be a good choice, and a medium size ok for all your needs.
A Forester is also a good choice. The Japanese Mercedes !
Happy hunting and travelling.
FollowupID: 668656

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 22:31

Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 22:31
The forester is a lot more reliable then a Benz these days Peter, check the surveys done in Germany in The Dog and Lemmon Guide.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 668748

Reply By: Moose - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 17:20

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 17:20
G'day Dac & Em
Unless getting back into camping and around Aust. is intended to include some serious off-road travel I suggest that a smaller vehicle will probably serve you best. And in any event most smaller 4WDs (and probably AWDs) will get you to 90% of places anyway.
Especially for around town use smaller is better - easier to manoeuver, easier to park, cheaper to run etc.
For occasional trips away smaller should suffice.
In a few years you can always change to a bigger vehicle for the big trip if you feel it's warranted.
AnswerID: 399599

Reply By: Kumunara (NT) - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 17:47

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 17:47
Dac & Em

I have a patrol and love it. It is however a heavy duty large 4WD. Do not get a 3 litre patrol. If you decide on a patrol get the 4.2 litre turbo diesel. The 4.2 is bullet proof.

If your occasional trips away do not require a heavy 4WD like a patrol and most of your driving is around town you may be better off looking at something like a Pajero or Prado. They are still a good sized vehicle but better on the blacktop than the patrol.

Life's great and it just keeps getting better

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AnswerID: 399600

Reply By: harryopal - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 18:07

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 18:07
With 4 children, many years ago, I bought a second hand Ford Transit van. Had seats for about 13 with a side opening sliding door. Easy to remove seats leaving enough for all of us and then with plenty of room for camping gear in the back. It was a useful solution for our needs at that time. Handled national parks roads but not a heavy terrain vehicle. Not so expensive and before committing to a big and costly 4 wd gives you reasonable options before making the later big trip and a changeover.
Worked for me, anyway.
AnswerID: 399603

Reply By: Outa Bounds - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 19:17

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 19:17
Your choice of vehicle also depends weather you will be looking at towing a small trailer anyway (extra fuel / gas etc, the kind of stuff that shouldn't be in a car). If you're going to take a trailer along anyway then the car can be smaller obviously. It also depends how often you want to go away or where to .... like the epic once a year trips or small camping trips to places close by during hte year?

We've got a couple of kids and had the big car (80 Series Landcruiser) / camper trailer set up before (before the kids started school etc). Now we settled a bit and built a house and now we're starting to look into it again. Our current cars are a Landcruiser Ute (love of dear husbands life) which he drives to Perth and home regularly. And I've got a Daihatsu Applause, great budget little car, I love it.
I reckon with a small trailer the Daihatsu would get us to most places, but a 4x4 would certainly be nice to have when going on those big trips. At the moment though we are considering weather we would just hire a 4x4 for the big trips once a year or whatever, it saves the maintenance, rego, insurance and all that, not to mention more fuel usage as I generally do 400odd k's a week for work. It's just an idea ticking in our heads, because we don't want to get rid of the Cruiser (retirement car) even though it's not suitable for the family. But we can't really afford to get another 4x4 at the moment either.

In my dreams a Jeep Wrangler 4 door....yeah I'm a sucker for the looks!

But yeah as for a bigger family car, something like a Prado or even 100 series would probably be good, if you're not in the middle of the city and have to worry about parking too much, otherwise I'd consider the more economical choices if you thing you can get away with it. It depends too, most people have two cars, so if you already have a runabout then a 4x4 would make good sense, even though I realize one of you would have to use it as a daily driver.
AnswerID: 399618

Reply By: Dac&Em - Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 13:55

Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 13:55
Thanks, to you all for your advice and tips, it has really given us more to consider. It is a big decision and you have put some good points forward.

As i said we are looking at getting back into camping, but i think our kids are still too young to do the big touring trips. ( 4, 3 & 1year olds). We would just like to bring our kids up in the 'natural' world.

Thanks again, will get back to you all on this one!

Dac & Em
AnswerID: 399724

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