Advice on first proper family 4WD

RogueTrader

New Member
Hi all

We’re looking to upgrade out ‘07 Outlander to a proper 4WD in the next two years. I’m looking for something that ticks the following boxes:

-wife can use as daily drive, and we have three kids (age 5-13). I have a company car, so this will be the “everything else” vehicle!
-must be proper 4WD capable, not AWD
-decent towing capacity (min 2.5 tonne)
-definitely prefer diesel, but not a massive, thirsty engine like an old Cruiser
-budget around $20-25K (incl trade-in), would prefer something less than 250K on the clock. Probably means something between ‘05 and ‘12, I’m guessing
-don’t mind whether it’s a Ute or traditional 4WD, like Pajero etc

Happy to look at all options. Looks-wise, I’m partial to the Ford Ranger, Discovery 3, Pajero etc. I am aware of the towball weight issue on Pajeros.

I appreciate any & all advice. It’s a big financial outlay for us, I’d like to get it as much right as I can, hence I’m getting in early. Look forward to the feedback!
 
Last edited:

discomatt

Well-Known Member
Second hand prices are through the roof now so the pickings or bargains are hard to find.
If its going to be the daily drive for your wife best to narrow it down a bit and let her do some test drives, the ladies can be funny creatures when it comes to cars.
My pick would be the Discovery for a multitude of reasons but if they are a serious consideration do yourself a favour and get stuck into AULRO and do a heap of reading and ask questions. ( You will find people with LR knowledge there unlike some other forums)
If you want a touring 4wd that you never work on and send it to the mechanic for every little thing maybe take the Disco off your list, they are a great 4wd but require preventative maintenance but I guess every 4wd in your price bracket will.
Good luck with the search
 

cookie64

4x4 Earth Contributer
Given you're already used to the Outlander, which are very capable - have seen them at Jacksons Crossing, why not look at the Pajero, @Chatty had one - Madge, and did very well on a trip across the Simpson and many tracks in the High Country, you already have a relationship with the Mitsubishi brand so familiar with their workings and service centres, I hired one a couple of years ago and they are a very nice 4wd.
 

Rusty Panels

Well-Known Member
According to Redbook the trade in price for a 2007 Outlander is between $4,800 and $6,800 so, you might end up with around $27k. You should be able to pick up a decent dual cab Mazda BT50, Navara, Triton or maybe an older Pajero (2010 so not much newer than your Outlander).
You might need to put a little more to it to get exactly what you want.

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 08.56.17.png

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 08.57.27.png
Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 08.59.47.png
 

RogueTrader

New Member
Given you're already used to the Outlander, which are very capable - have seen them at Jacksons Crossing, why not look at the Pajero, @Chatty had one - Madge, and did very well on a trip across the Simpson and many tracks in the High Country, you already have a relationship with the Mitsubishi brand so familiar with their workings and service centres, I hired one a couple of years ago and they are a very nice 4wd.

Thanks! I like the Pajero, I really do. They are a very capable vehicle with good features and seem reliable. Probably my only concern is the towball weight issue, but if I’m being honest, I’ll probably never tow anything super heavy.
 

RogueTrader

New Member
Second hand prices are through the roof now so the pickings or bargains are hard to find.
If its going to be the daily drive for your wife best to narrow it down a bit and let her do some test drives, the ladies can be funny creatures when it comes to cars.
My pick would be the Discovery for a multitude of reasons but if they are a serious consideration do yourself a favour and get stuck into AULRO and do a heap of reading and ask questions. ( You will find people with LR knowledge there unlike some other forums)
If you want a touring 4wd that you never work on and send it to the mechanic for every little thing maybe take the Disco off your list, they are a great 4wd but require preventative maintenance but I guess every 4wd in your price bracket will.
Good luck with the search

Cheers! I really like the Disco 3- it’s a seriously good off-road vehicle and I really like the boxy look, though the wife isn’t a huge fan of the look. I am reasonably handy, but by no means a mechanic- I’d have a go a fixing some things myself, but probably lean towards a mechanic for most. Probably want to avoid paying thousands for repairs, which is why I am wary.
 

Lost1?

Well-Known Member
For $20k you should snag something in the 2010-2012 range with around 150,000km on the clock. Don't be shy about looking at a 10 year old car with a service history and lowish k's. You will need to travel to a country town to get one though.
 

Albynsw

Well-Known Member
You can pretty much look at any of the dual cab utes, they will all do what you want so it will come down to personal preferences and the best value for money you can find.
In a wagon the Pajero would be the value for money pick, the Prado hold their money better so will be harder to find a decent example with your budget.
Second hand vehicle prices are crazy at the moment
 

discomatt

Well-Known Member
Without question a Paj is a great all rounder and will possibly give fewer repairs and most certainly less preventative maintenance, the trade off is won't tow as well, won't be as refined on road and won't carry loads like the Disco.
Every alternative has pros and cons so only the individual can decide what suits them best
 

smitty_r51

Well-Known Member
Thar budget will get you a pathfinder, 7 seater that will do most tasks (not great at rock climbing), look for 2010 onwards around 140k km and if you can get a 3l 550 take it.
 

Bru9

Active Member
Thanks! I like the Pajero, I really do. They are a very capable vehicle with good features and seem reliable. Probably my only concern is the towball weight issue, but if I’m being honest, I’ll probably never tow anything super heavy.
Not trying to poop in your cornflakes, but Towball weights only apply to blacktop touring. Just in case you didn't know. Same as roof rack weights payloads etc. Higher tow ball weights simply robe you of your vehicle payload. 2.5tonne on tarmac, smooth gravel roads is imo strictly single cab 79series territory. Remember many of these caravanners have new 4wds and love to keep up with the Jones.
As for pajero, it has the
Rear boot well, mine is stuffed with 50kg plus of basic tools and recovery gear, spares, fluids etc that only need accessing every once in a while, all without added weight of extra draws.
My gen 3 paj petrol is at times very low on the fuel, but requires miser foot pedalling.
At times you think chite someone must of drilled some small holes in the tank.... But I'll take a petrol any week over a typical 3l diesel. My 3.5paj smokes a 3l patrol and Prado for cruising around town petrol has a much better power band than the low band of diesels, the mitsi petrols are really nice when driven right and no trailer. Ignore some who say a pajero is proven reliable, pfft easy for them to talk when they buy new.
Finally imo it's a huge mistake to commute or daily your 4wd unless it's fairly new, too much wear n tear and better off a cheap bomb for that. 4wds are HIGH maintenance!
Imo look at a 3l or 4.8 patrol. They are 85-90% the comfort of a pajero but just are tougher and more reliable which is what you always want.
Wouldn't touch a diesel with anything over 100,000km with perfect service history and the vehicle body in imacululent cond, the cond of the body largely tells you what kind of an owner it was and where it's been.
And as for budget, your budget must allow for a full massive service, carport, essential costly mods like lockers, suspension, maybe long range tank. Makes ya wonder about some of these recos.
 

Rusty Panels

Well-Known Member
The OP say's he has a budget of $20k. He doesn't mention if that is including what he expects to get from his trade in. I was looking at it from the point of it being 20 plus the trade giving mid to high 20's.
If you're looking for a family 4x4 in good condition with lowish K's and not too much age about it then dual cab Utes are probably the go. Anything else is going to have a fair bit of age and generally high K's.
There is a post from a New member asking for recommendations just about every other day.
Wouldn't it be an idea to have a section on the site with a list of suggestions for people on what might suit their needs and budgets. Maybe something in the sign up page directing people to that section.
 

AusTraveller439

New Member
Hi all

We’re looking to upgrade out ‘07 Outlander to a proper 4WD in the next two years. I’m looking for something that ticks the following boxes:

-wife can use as daily drive, and we have three kids (age 5-13). I have a company car, so this will be the “everything else” vehicle!
-must be proper 4WD capable, not AWD
-decent towing capacity (min 2.5 tonne)
-definitely prefer diesel, but not a massive, thirsty engine like an old Cruiser
-budget around $20-25K (incl trade-in), would prefer something less than 250K on the clock. Probably means something between ‘05 and ‘12, I’m guessing
-don’t mind whether it’s a Ute or traditional 4WD, like Pajero etc

Happy to look at all options. Looks-wise, I’m partial to the Ford Ranger, Discovery 3, Pajero etc. I am aware of the towball weight issue on Pajeros.

I appreciate any & all advice. It’s a big financial outlay for us, I’d like to get it as much right as I can, hence I’m getting in early. Look forward to the feedback!

Given you're already used to the Outlander, which are very capable - have seen them at Jacksons Crossing, why not look at the Pajero, @Chatty had one - Madge, and did very well on a trip across the Simpson and many tracks in the High Country, you already have a relationship with the Mitsubishi brand so familiar with their workings and service centres, I hired one a couple of years ago and they are a very nice 4wd.
I'm curious to know your opinions on the outlander. I'm looking at getting one and can't find much online about their off-road performance. I'd be looking to take it to get to remote places, nothing hectic like OTT or GRR. Perhaps some techy/rocky/steep firetrails, maybe mud depending on weather and possibly sand. I've realized that not all outlanders have locking centre diffs, but I'm assuming the ones you've used would've. So yeah, what is your opinion on them? How do they hold up on a 4wd track? Are they a reliable car?
 

linuxfan66

Active Member
I'm curious to know your opinions on the outlander. I'm looking at getting one and can't find much online about their off-road performance. I'd be looking to take it to get to remote places, nothing hectic like OTT or GRR. Perhaps some techy/rocky/steep firetrails, maybe mud depending on weather and possibly sand. I've realized that not all outlanders have locking centre diffs, but I'm assuming the ones you've used would've. So yeah, what is your opinion on them? How do they hold up on a 4wd track? Are they a reliable car?
from what ive seen in overlanding videos, they great for dune driving if you drive them with momentum. better than cvt subaru.

as for your budget. your budget makes getting nice stuff painful. getting my pajero was a pain. and it cost 20k for 250+ thousand kms. (admittedly i was after diesel which costs more, BUT petrol full suvs are notoriously thirsty)
 

mikehzz

Well-Known Member
I'm curious to know your opinions on the outlander. I'm looking at getting one and can't find much online about their off-road performance. I'd be looking to take it to get to remote places, nothing hectic like OTT or GRR. Perhaps some techy/rocky/steep firetrails, maybe mud depending on weather and possibly sand. I've realized that not all outlanders have locking centre diffs, but I'm assuming the ones you've used would've. So yeah, what is your opinion on them? How do they hold up on a 4wd track? Are they a reliable car?
Honestly, don't waste your time, it's harsh out there. If you want a soft roader that can be turned hard then get a Forester. There's more mods around for them, they're comparable to an Outlander but they're better. Check this one, no Outlander could do this -
 

AusTraveller439

New Member
Honestly, don't waste your time, it's harsh out there. If you want a soft roader that can be turned hard then get a Forester. There's more mods around for them, they're comparable to an Outlander but they're better. Check this one, no Outlander could do this -
To be clear, I'm no noob to the 4x4 scene but I am in the sense that I've only had one car and it was a beast, this is my city life downgrade for getting to remote spots in NSW
well i've done a good few famous off road track in aus already and I won't be doing anything like that for a long time. I know what the worst of it looks like: Old tele, CREB, oodnadatta... and some pretty hairy stuff to get to campsites in between each of those too. So I know what is needed for those, and I sure as hell wouldn't be doing it in a forester. (I did it in a triton weighed down to about 3.1T) Like I said, I'm really not looking to do many mods at all - MAYBE, I'd put a small lift if it was necessary to put A/T tyres on, otherwise I wouldn't even bother with that.

Also, (correct me if i'm wrong) to my understanding the forester stopped making 4x4 a fair few years back, so there wouldn't be anything decent which hasn't seen its days

I mean, at a quick glance, it seems liek in the forester I can't even select betwee 2wd and 4wd with a locking diff, whereas the outlander you can...
 

linuxfan66

Active Member
Honestly, don't waste your time, it's harsh out there. If you want a soft roader that can be turned hard then get a Forester. There's more mods around for them, they're comparable to an Outlander but they're better. Check this one, no Outlander could do this -
you mean a 4eat subi right?
 

mikehzz

Well-Known Member
To be clear, I'm no noob to the 4x4 scene but I am in the sense that I've only had one car and it was a beast, this is my city life downgrade for getting to remote spots in NSW
well i've done a good few famous off road track in aus already and I won't be doing anything like that for a long time. I know what the worst of it looks like: Old tele, CREB, oodnadatta... and some pretty hairy stuff to get to campsites in between each of those too. So I know what is needed for those, and I sure as hell wouldn't be doing it in a forester. (I did it in a triton weighed down to about 3.1T) Like I said, I'm really not looking to do many mods at all - MAYBE, I'd put a small lift if it was necessary to put A/T tyres on, otherwise I wouldn't even bother with that.

Also, (correct me if i'm wrong) to my understanding the forester stopped making 4x4 a fair few years back, so there wouldn't be anything decent which hasn't seen its days

I mean, at a quick glance, it seems liek in the forester I can't even select betwee 2wd and 4wd with a locking diff, whereas the outlander you can...
I've been on a lot of tracks with a lot of soft roaders and the most important aspects of whether they can handle themselves in difficult terrain are the driver and the tyres you can put on them. Many fall down in the tyre department because you can't get a decent sized tyre to fit in an AT. The best soft roaders I've seen are the Land Rover Freelander 2 and the Forester. The Forester has Symmetrical All Wheel Drive which sends power to the wheel that needs it no matter if it's front or rear. It only gets my vote because you can get a lift for it that allows a decent tyre size. A friend has one with a 2" lift and from memory it only allows something like a 235/65/17 tyre. The Freelander 2 can go to a 245/70/17 without a lift. I've driven both those cars in the conditions you have mentioned and they are good although I did have to tow an unlifted Forester out of Abercrombie River NP once because it hit a rock too hard underneath. If the Outlander has rims bigger than 17", and tyres with a profile lower than 60 then it will be ordinary even if the traction is good because it will hit a lot underneath and rip sidewalls on sharp rocks. Also check it's not like an X-Trail where the centre diff only stays locked up to a certain speed then automatically unlocks which hurts you on sand dunes.
I've always had an all wheel drive softy plus a low range 4wd up until now. I used to like taking the softies to many of the places the 4wd could go, and they'll mostly go there but there's a lot of scrapes and under carriage crashes along the way and they can really struggle on anything steep. In a lot of cases on steeper rocky fire trails you can't crawl like you would in low range, you have to hit it a bit harder to get some momentum which causes more scrapes and crashes.
Sorry, I can't recall having an Outlander on a trip. I've had the likes of Rav4, CRV, Sportage, Sorrento, Tribute, CX5 and others I'm sure. Most lack either a centre diff or a decent awd system and most have wheels and tyres that aren't suited to anything worse than a gravel road. To be fair, most were also driven by noobs who thought they had bought a 4wd and ended up very disappointed. :) If the Outlander centre diff stays locked and you can get a 65 profile AT tyre that will fit then I reckon it may be ok.
 

linuxfan66

Active Member

so your saying this was faked...joke

seriously though depending on what you mean by offloading the outlander is better than the forester. techincally the best softroader (ive seen) honda passport. the bronco sport aint bad either. sadly neither of them are sold here. the passport is superior to the forester in every way....
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
I’ll just leave these here.





I have had a few subarus and currently have the new forester, and we have had it in some ‘fun’ places. If anybody in an outlander would like to play, and if the wife lets me haha (her car) I’ll gladly meet up anywhere. I don’t know about the Mitsubishi but the Subaru is getting panel damage before it is stopping. Been there, done that, repaired the damage, hence why she might not want me to play in it. I’ve seen some atrocious testers drive these suvs and they can make them look as good or as bad as you like. Like any suv, setting the electronics correctly is most of the battle these days.
The Sube isn’t our primary 4wd but I’d happily take it around Oz, doing national parks and outback tracks along the way. It is by no means hardcore, but it isn’t going to lie down to an outlander either. They have 220mm clearance from factory (triton mentioned above has 190mm for comparison), and Ironman have a full long travel 2” lift kit available. Payload is up to 700kg. With the lift and some tyres there isn’t many places you wouldn’t take one. Having said all that if I was after a primary tourer, it would be neither the sube nor the Outlander but I have different needs and wants.
 
Last edited:
Top