Another silly which 4wd thread.

Submitted: Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 01:03
ThreadID: 96695 Views:4299 Replies:8 FollowUps:7
This Thread has been Archived
Well , kind of!

For a number of months the minister of finance and I have trolled the interwebby for our new 4by after deciding that I am too broken to drive the 2 pre 2000 'Cruisers we own over long distances any more.

I am not looking for the standard fuel economy or reliability answers , but more about the drivability of a few of the vehicles that we believe may be suitable.

Firstly the UZJ100 v8 petrol 'Cruiser , also the NT Pajero , and the new Mazda BT50 are our choices SO FAR.

As we tow our 2000kg [fully loaded] Jayco Work n Play up the west coast every winter , and plan to do the Perth to Darwin to Perth run next winter , we are unsure as to the 'drivability' of the smaller diesel engines vs the V8, even though fuel economies are far superior.

Do the 4 cylinder engines drive ok into stronger headwinds or up 'n' down hills and long uphill gradients, or do they tend to work quite hard?

Also , after say 8 hours in the saddle , how does the aged '100 series seating hold up , and also the newer models per say? As I have 2 more organs in my stomach than I had 2 years ago , I find that the old 60 series and my '75 are no longer even close to adequate , and cause me great discomfort within an hour.

It is often written that You should really test a 4wd before purchasing , but most dealers are not keen in us towing our 'van to Karratha to test it out :) , nor driving it for 5 hours!

So , I am genuinely very interested in opinions of comfort , drivability , and general power of the batch of 4bys on offer.

I will consider Hyndais , KIA , whatever models that owners here have/ do use. Fuel economy is important , but no good if the little 4bys struggle if needed to pass or drive in hilly terrains.

All posts re any vehicles will be carefully and greatfully considered , as we will only be able to test drive most of them to a certain degree before we will be able to purchase to real life descriptions are invaluable!

* Note , our budget is up to $50k.

Mucho appreciation :)
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Bigfish - Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 04:48

Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 04:48
Your towing 2 tonne of van around the country mate. Do yourself a big favour and get either a nissan ot toyota 6 cylinder turbo diesel.
The 4 cylinders all work a lot harder to try and do what these vehicles achieve easily. $50,000.00 will get you a good unit.
The v8 petrol toyota is a great towing vehicle BUT can be thirsty. However it has comfort, room and power. The same goes for the Nissan 6 cylinder 4800 petrol vehicle.
The 6 turbo diesels are the cream of the crop.

Search some of the threads on the site mate.
These are only my opinions and we all know what opinions are like!!!

AnswerID: 490214

Follow Up By: patsproule - Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 07:07

Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 07:07
The Pajero seems to be a big favourite amongst the caravan towing set. And it has more torque than the nissan or toyota 6 pots without modification. It's also known for reliability, great on-road handling, good economy, strong driveline with good autos, and for being surprisingly capable off-road. NT or NW would be the pick - the NS was the first model with DPF and had a few issues. NW no longer has a DPF.

Negatives are a harsher on-road ride and more cabin noise than the alternatives. The harshness is a trade off for decent handling. I own an older NP that we use extensively off-road and for towing a ski boat up and down the Snowy Mountains. I have driven a variety of other 4WD's with a view to replacing the NP including a recent 1000km in a brand spanking new 200 series GXL V8 diesel (didn't really like it at all bar the engine). But I keep coming back to the Pajero based on capability, manners, power and value for money.

FollowupID: 765476

Follow Up By: Iain M - Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 08:56

Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 08:56
Something to possibly consider ReCon is fitting a new seat to the vehicle you choose.
There are seats with fantastic support and even suspension fitted to it and they are now made for passenger type vehicles.
By that I mean not large trucks use by the transport industry.

Cut and paste this link,

There is one on their home page.

Good luck with your search.
FollowupID: 765482

Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 08:59

Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 08:59
If you are looking for power and comfort go and have a look at the Nissan range with the new V6 turbo diesel, We brought the v6 Pathfinder, all bells and whistles,and took the Caravan 2.5 tonne over to lake Eyre, and back and up the Oodnadatta track, no problem, average fuel was 14.6 litres/ phkl.No problems with back ache or discomfort in any way, With my back problems, did not have to stop every hour to stretch, The wife actually went to sleep for the first time in forty years of travelling, and once you learn how to drive them off road they are very capable 4x4. I may be biased, but I love it, plenty of torque and power.
Broodie H3
Broodie H3
Have car will travel

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

FollowupID: 765483

Follow Up By: Wayne david - Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 11:23

Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 11:23
When I was looking around I was considering a few vehicles (Pajero 3.2L, Prado 3L & Toyota V8 diesel wagon). The Pajero got on the list because a mate got one (an auto) for wife and it became the family vehicle to do all things from towing boat & caravan to trips down rough tracks.

I ended up opting for the Pajero NT based on the power & performance should I move from a CT to a caravan and Mitsubishi's amazing 10/5 warranty. And an auto, something I never thought I would like. But have grown to love it.

As patsproule says the Pajero is popular with caravaners. In the end it was what I read from the Gray Nomad brigade that probably sealed the deal. They're looking for comfort, reliability, pulling power & decent fuel economy.

Google & YouTube soon convinced me of the Pajero's off road ability.

We've comfortably done loads of off road stuff touring Australia while towing a camper trailer.

In fact we live in reasonably rough country & a decent reliable 4x4 is a must. The Pajero does it all with consumate ease.

Must say though that the Nissan V6 diesel sounds like it's worth a look. 'Is it proven though' would be my only concern from a company famous for making the handgrenade.

Cheers - Wayne D
FollowupID: 765490

Follow Up By: NTVRX - Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 14:29

Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 14:29
I agree with Wayne David the Pajero NT is a great tow vehicle & all round tourer. I have owned mine for 3 years and not one problem. I tow a full van loaded would be close to 2.5 tonne. The Pajero tows it easily sitting on the posted speed limits returning about 14 litres of diesel per 100 km. Around town the Pajero uses approx 10 litres per 100 km. There are a couple of things that may turn you off the Pajero one is the rear door opening. When hitched up the door hits the hitch unless you change the position of the spare wheel with the factory lift & repositioning of the spare. Be aware of the towball down weight towing a trailer up to 2500kg the ball weight is 250kg anything over that up to 3000kg the ball weight drops to 180kg. so those of us that choose to tow a large heavy trailer don't buy pajero's This NT is my second pajero & would not hesitate in buying another. Good luck.
FollowupID: 765499

Reply By: disco driver - Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 10:51

Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 10:51
At the risk of being shouted down by 1 eyed Toyota and/or Nissan supporters, may I respectfully suggest that you look seriously at the later Landrover Discovery 3's and 4's.
3.5 tonne towing, fantastic off road and supremely comfortable at all times and best of all they will fit within your budget.

The old furphy about any bush mechanic being able to fix any Tojo or Nissan with a hammer and screwdriver and a bit of fencing wire no longer applies. Most of the newer vehicles are so full of electrickery thay they need a piggyback to a major repairer when anything goes wrong (Toyota and Nissan are included in this category too).

(who'se D2 blew up big time, by the way)
AnswerID: 490236

Reply By: Bigfish - Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 12:12

Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 12:12
You asked for it ReCon......Its a minefield in here looking for a vehicle.

Honestly...get on each and every forum, test drive, talk to owners that actually tow vans and then decide.

Bit like asking, after round 2 of the AFL season,..'whos gunna take the flag this year?"

Good luck
AnswerID: 490239

Reply By: redgp - Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 17:31

Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 17:31
"and the new Mazda BT50"

The new Ranger is more comfortable than its sister the BT50. Mazda say they tuned the suspension for a sportier ride, I just find it harsh and the steering a bit jittery.

The Ranger on the other hand is by far the most comfortable 4x4 I have driven with towing power to spare and under 10ltrs/100klms. However I have not driven all your short list.

Our new Ranger XLT Supercab 3.2 6 speed auto came in at just under $53k with 3.25 ton rated tow bar standard factory fit. (incl all on roads.)

AnswerID: 490256

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 18:35

Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 18:35
My brother trained as a motor mech way back, and does a lot of country km, and his pick is the Ranger.

But he doesn't tow.

If this class of vehicle is in the frame then also look at the Tritons.

A seat mod for more comfort has been posted on the newtriton forum. And yes, don't assume that the seat maketh the vehicle.
FollowupID: 765517

Reply By: Member - Peter H1 (NSW) - Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 19:51

Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 19:51
Only trouble a Ranger has a six months waiting list

AnswerID: 490271

Reply By: ReCon - Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 21:34

Friday, Jul 06, 2012 at 21:34
Cheers all for the info so far!

I had originally been swayed by the NT Paj , and the forums do tend to give them the thumbs up once you sway from the Tojos.

I am extremely open minded at the moment as it will be the first time in 27 years that I have considered moving to a new brand [if needed] , and are quite excited at looking at what the competitors are now offering.

I am in a busy caravan park in the Gascoyne at present so get to 'window shop' every 4wd on offer and often get the chance to question owners in depth.

I have spent literally 40 hours a week on every forum trying to pre make some sort of decision before we return to Perth to make a purchase and then leave again.

Some different vehicles that I had not thought of so far have been mentioned , so thanks you for making the effort, I will definitely look into them!

AnswerID: 490280

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Saturday, Jul 07, 2012 at 10:39

Saturday, Jul 07, 2012 at 10:39
Most current diesel 4x4's will be fine for what your doing.

My suggestion to you is drive them all and buy the one you feel most comfortable with and can afford.

We have a 200 series Landcruiser and it's OK...... when I mean it's OK; there is nothing that jumps out and hits you in the face as being fantastic.

We have also just placed an order for a Ford Ranger XLT and after driving a lower grade model for a few days as a test vehicle we are impressed and in some cases we enjoy it more then the 200 series.... the more we drove the Ranger the more we liked it.

Before the Ranger we drove the Mazda BT50 and hated it.

What I am saying is test all the vehicles in the range your looking at and decide from there...... you will know what is the right one for you.

Taking advise from forums is hit and miss as every one has his or her own idea of what the want and like.

What we do is break it down to two categories..... 1 - I can live with it day in and day out.... 2 - I can't live with it day in and day out...... and this theory we use on the whole vehicle like.... do we like where the radio controls are, do we like the seating, do we like the feel of XX, do we like where the cup holders are, do we like the feel of the indicator switch.

It sounds a bit pedantic but by doing this we chose what we want and emotions don't play a part...... we have refused to buy a vehicle all because the accelerator pedal was a bit high (it came down to can we live with it day in and day out)

Use this theory to make your decision.

FollowupID: 765573

Reply By: Kimba10 - Saturday, Jul 07, 2012 at 20:50

Saturday, Jul 07, 2012 at 20:50
50k will buy you a mickey mouse 100 series turbo diesel in auto 5 speed with the best motor toyota ever made. Reliable, economical and will pull all day. 100 series in petrol, while comfortable, power to use, you will see fuel figures on the plus side of 20L per 100 (well my uncles did anyway some times 28 with head winds), the diesel if like my uncles (come from the petrol V8) who tows nearly 2.5 to 3t with his sees 17L per 100 plus with a tinny on the roof. Around town he's roughly on 12/13 L per 100 and 10L per 100 open road not towing. Not sure of your personal injurys but I sat in a pathfinder (new one) yesterday (neighbour just bought it new TI but not with the big V6 TD I think its 2.5L 4cyl) extremely comfortable. Im bit like you and always swear by toyota and have had 3 prados, BUT if i was retired and just touring/towing/round town I have always said to my wife we would get a pajero. My other neighbour has the exceed 3.2 TD, great vehicle. Yes a tad noisier inside then the prado or pathfinder, but again very comfortable (better then my current prado) heaps more pulling power then the D4D in the prado's and more economical when towing. This is my neighbours 2nd pajero and loves them. As you have seen for yourself how many grey nomads use them for touring and towing, must mean some thing. I havnt driven any of the utes mntioned but I cant seem them giving you the ride of say a pajero or a wagon style 4wd (may be wrong). As mentioned above take them for drives and see for yourself. If you really really love one of the vehicles you drive but think the seat may be not 100% then try the link above and see how you would go installing one of these. Alot of people do it due to back reasons etc. While I have no isses with the prado seats I reckon the pajero is more comfortable. You will need to add rear airbags to the pajero I think with the IRS on the back to stop it squating down and scrubbing the inside of the rear tyres. The platinum package on the pajero is good also but Im sure over 50k new but you may find a low klm second hand one thats driven round town or kids to soccer.........
AnswerID: 490350

Reply By: ReCon - Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 22:12

Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 22:12
Thank you all for the info! [again].

Received some bits of advice that I hadn't even considered, so appreciate all posts.

Am looking forward to test driving a plethora of different vehicles in the spring, just hope I last more than 2 hours when driving down the track with van on the back...
AnswerID: 490438

Sponsored Links