mid size 4wd purchase

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 11, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 941 Views:5919 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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My wife and I are seriously considering a trip to the outback. We understand that we will need to invest in a 4wd vehicle. I would be most grateful if I could receive a broad spectrum of informed opinions as to the most suitable choice for our "adventure".
We are probably most interested in I think they're referred to as mid-sized vehicles. I think robust construction and a reliable track record are important. The cost is of no concern to me. I am happy to pay whatever is necessary to purchase and fit out a vehicle which will allow my wife and I to see this magnificent country in safety and comfort.
I thank you in anticipation of receiving much useful advice. Best wishes to you all.
Stan
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Reply By: Mal Try - Thursday, Apr 11, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 11, 2002 at 00:00
Stan, welcome to the outback travellers club. You will love it. If cost is of no concern, you will always be happier in a full size vehicle. There will come the time when you decide you need seperate fridge and freezer or you will want to take some friends with you somewhere so the extra space is invaluable. Full size 4WD's are generally stronger and have better resale value. They are also more comfortable and capable in the rough. My choice in your position (which I am light years from) would be a Landcruiser 100 turbo diesel. I wouldn't go smaller than a Prado. Yes, I'm a Toyota person. The Nissan and Land Rover devotees will argue in their favour which will be just as valid. They all make great vehicles. However, I reinterate, go for a big one! Hope to meet you out there, Mal.
AnswerID: 2757

Reply By: Cashy - Thursday, Apr 11, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 11, 2002 at 00:00
Steve, I would have to agree with Mal the bigger vehicles are the more rugged and practical for outback touring. But before you rush out and buy the top of the range vehicle yuo need to work out where you want to go and see. Ther are large areas of the outback that can be seen in a 2wd car. There are also areas that can only be seen in a high clearance 4WD with long range fuel tanks (200L+). You also need to decide are you going to camp in tents or tow a trailer or caravan. Also diesel is propably the fuel of choice for outback touring, LPG is out for remote areas. If you can give ue some more info then it will be easier to help point in the right direction. Cashy
AnswerID: 2759

Reply By: Bill Church - Thursday, Apr 11, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 11, 2002 at 00:00
Stan, I'd agree with Cashy, Diesel is normally the better option for work around the country. You can get it basically anywhere, it's safer to carry, and diesel enines GENERALLY have a longer life. One of the most important things is the ability to get spares for the vehicle. Even though I drive a Land ROver, and love it, I would probably suggest either a Toyota or a Nissan, purely because of the availability of spares in remote locations. Consider also what else you want to do with the vehicle. Do you want to tow with it? Do you have any other plans for the vehicle? I'm sure that we will be able to assist you. Bill
AnswerID: 2761

Reply By: Damien - Thursday, Apr 11, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 11, 2002 at 00:00
Stan, there are a few good mid-sized 4wd's that i would recommend. As stated earlier, turbo-diesel is probably the way to go. I would suggest either Toyota Prado, Holden Jackaroo or Mitsubishi Pajero. The Pajero is coming out with a new 3.2L TD which brings it in line with current technology. I own a Jackaroo so i'm a bit biased, but any of these vehicles would more than adequately suit your needs.
Have a great trip!!
AnswerID: 2762

Reply By: Stephen - Friday, Apr 12, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Apr 12, 2002 at 00:00
Stan, my wife and I have done three x one month trips through the Outback over past years and have used a Toyota Diesel Landcruiser Station Wagon ( barn doors) carry an extra spare wheel, dual batteries, an HF transceiver.. (to keep in touch with AN4WDRN VKS 737,) an Engel 39 litre Fridge/Freezer, and an Outback Roller Drawer system to carry the fine China, and Glassware to hold the fine wines not to mentions the beers, and would not trade this set up for anything else seen on the market ! On top of the roof, we have an AUSSIE TRAVELLER roof top tent with a room on the side where in the evenings of a 'winter' day in the outback we have been abe to eat and 'pommie shower' to our hearts content !
Underneath to help the suspension cope with all this load, we have fitted a couple of Polyair Bags to stop those heavy thuds that must be encountered day by day !!!
Forget mid-sized vehicles... buy the King Off the Road machine!


AnswerID: 2771

Reply By: brian - Saturday, Apr 13, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Apr 13, 2002 at 00:00
hi stan, my wife and i are regular campers and quite often spend fair periods of time in the bush. we use a rodeo crew cab 4x4 trayback with a steel framework, metal roof and canvas sides. on the tray we have a double matress bed made up, a 40lt engel, 9 draw unit to hold all dry foods cutlery etc some clothing and various other camping necesitties. under the tray we have a 2nd battery setup, 210lt aux fuel tank , a 60lt tank, and fair size tool box for recovery gear etc. the rear seat in the crew cab comes out easily and in goes a false floor, safety barrier with shelving and storage space, 2nd 40lt engel and various other camping equip. on the left side of the metal canopy a length of ally channel for our canvas awning and we really are quite comfortable. i do admit that the ride is probably not quite as comfortable as the full size cruisers etc but i have not been stopped as far as off road performance goes, although i have done a bit of work on the suspension. on the roof rack, also steel (wont fracture like ally) we place 1 or 2 spare wheels depending on were we're going and for how long. we usually travel in a group of 4 veh and 3 of the 4 are traybacks and camp very comfortably. i believe this to be a very viable option and good food for thought.
AnswerID: 2798

Follow Up By: Luke - Monday, May 13, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, May 13, 2002 at 00:00
brian i was wondering what the demensions of your tray and canopy are also where have you gone and what have you done to your suspension

REGARDS LUKE
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Reply By: Stan - Monday, Apr 15, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Apr 15, 2002 at 00:00
Well hello there everybody it's Stan here again. Thank you all so much for your advice. I've read it all carefully and there are really some great ideas there! I've been doing a spot of research myself and it appears that the ultimate vehicle for comfortable and reliable off road work is the Hummer. Seems to me if I get one of those we'll travel in comfort over all terrain and not have to spend valuable time doing all the modifications that all other vehicles appear to need. I do realise that many fellows enjoy modifying their vehicles but a vehicle that is up to it in standard form seems to be the best choice for me. What do you think?
AnswerID: 2857

Follow Up By: Damien - Thursday, Apr 18, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 18, 2002 at 00:00
You're having us on right??
There's a BIG difference between a mid-sized 4wd which you enquired about & a Hummer!!
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Follow Up By: Stan - Friday, Apr 19, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Apr 19, 2002 at 00:00
No Damien - not at all. It's just that I've been doing my "research". When I started considering it the mid size seemed the way to go but I've gradually changed my views.
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Follow Up By: Damien - Sunday, Apr 21, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Apr 21, 2002 at 00:00
Well Stan, i think you'll be greatly disappointed in the Hummer. If you want to extend on your research you need to look no further than the May edition of 4x4 Australia. Turn to page 61 & see why it has been voted one of the worst 4wd's of all time.
Because of its size, driving on suburban roads is a real problem, parking nearly impossible, it's too wide to fit down most bush tracks & it's performance off-road has been questioned too. These are just a few points brought up in the article.
So, if as you say money's not an issue, then go ahead, buy a hummer & throw away $100K+
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Follow Up By: Stan - Tuesday, Apr 23, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks Damien. I wouldn't be driving or parking it around town, though, and I didn't think vehicle width would be an issue in the outback. I understand that it would be in the high country though. I was rather looking at ground clearance and ride comfort. Thanks anyhow and I have noted your points - much appreciated.
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Follow Up By: Damien - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00
Good luck with your decision Stan, i hope you make the right one. Let's face it, any of the vehicles mentioned will probably do the job for you.
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