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Newbie here: Can anyone recommend a good first 4x4 to buy?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Fiona Bee, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. Fiona Bee

    Fiona Bee New Member

    Looking for recommendations on a good 4by to learn on/in? Long wheel base vs short wheel base? fuel economy and grunt is important, Im not fussed with looks or bells and whistles; Im a practical girl and keen to get out there.
    Bomber2012 likes this.
  2. Bomber2012

    Bomber2012 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum Fiona , depends on what type of driving you want to do ? almost everyone on here reckons Toyota's are the best . ;):rolleyes::D
  3. Fiona Bee

    Fiona Bee New Member

    Hi Luke, Im keen to do a bit of off road stuff so I can camp....I had thought toyotas would be the best ones, my 2wd is a toyota and is reliable as the sun coming up every morning, I love it.
    Bomber2012 likes this.
  4. callmejoe

    callmejoe Well-Known Member

    And some blokes think there 6ft tall and bullet proof...;);)

    A little more info would help. Specially budget.
    Bomber2012 likes this.
  5. Fiona Bee

    Fiona Bee New Member

    Lmao Bomber ;), how true!..... budget is 25k....dont need a lot of room except for storage and to be able to sleep in it, if things get rough (Im 5'8), just me and my dog.
    Bomber2012 likes this.
  6. 2002GU3

    2002GU3 Well-Known Member

    except the Nissan drivers, the Ford drivers, the Mazda drivers, the VW drivers, the Holden drivers.......etc. etc. etc.:D:D:D by the way, welcome to earth Fiona.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
    Bomber2012 likes this.
  7. Fiona Bee

    Fiona Bee New Member

    Aha yep, thank you Bomber, Im glad to be here...I know everyone has their preference but Im looking for a bit of advice...I was looking at nissan but not keen now...just looking for people who can remember when they were starting out; what they wished they had known. Im not spending a lot of money to end up regretting it, y'know? :D
  8. Minelabmaster

    Minelabmaster Member

    Gday Fiona and welcome to Earth,
    If your needs are lots of storage and room for yourself and the dog to sleep in?
    My suggestion would be a dual-cab Ute.
    Your budget should get you a reasonably late model with some change to deck it
    out with drawers for storage and giving you a flat area to sleep in if the need arises.
    Or for your dog if there’s room for both:)
  9. Ditch

    Ditch Active Member

    G`day Fiona & welcome to the forum. No matter what you end up buying as long as you get out there & enjoy it!.
  10. rogerazz

    rogerazz 4x4 Earth Contributer

    G'day Fiona and welcome. Depends if you intend to travel, drive manual or auto, diesel is probably best. Toyota Landcruiser Troopies suit travellers who like off roading and sleeping in their vehicles because they have plenty of room. Many with pop tops, drawers and beds and fridges in back, lots to pick from. They do hold their prices , have decent mileage , however many like mine do 400,000 + with no probs if looked after. Lots of singles and many women drive them. If interested in Troopies,
    Below is one of many, not suggesting this is a good buy, just an example.
    If you are interested in Troopies have a browse through this site. I am a memberof TOA, Troop Carriers of Australia, and talk to thousands of owners ( 7,000) who by the way not only give good advice but, will do good work for cheap and will help you all over Australia if you get stuck, need somewhere to stay, fell unsafe, need recovery, etc. etc.
    In Tassie this year.

    Up at Mt. Beauty last year. 20170822_115703.jpg
  11. Colly18

    Colly18 Member

    I'm with Minelabmaster and the suggestion of a dual-cab ute. If tackling serious 4WD tracks for the fun of it and seeing how far you could push your 4WD is your thing I'd suggest a wagon (such as a Prado, Pajero, Trailblazer or similar). But if exploring Australia and camping is what you want to do, then over time what I've found is the need for more storage space. It seems the more you get into bush trips and camping the more space you want for carrying supplies, fuel, the dog, camping and cooking gear. My Disco wagon was great but not enough storage space, so we upgraded to a dual cab ute with canopy. With the extra carrying capacity/storage space and the economy from a modern diesel + the ability to isolate the camping gear in the tub from the passenger cabin, I think a dual cab ute is the best camping/touring option. With your budget you'll get a reasonably low kilometer modern diesel dual cab ute with canopy and maybe with a balance of manufacturers warranty (?) (such as a Mazda BT50, Holden Colorado, Nissan Navara or Mitsubishi Triton - any of which should serve you well). Such utes should be fine to learn 4WD'ing in, as they are designed to handle well and have extra 'goodies' these days, such as electronic traction control and hill decent aids. Personally, I'd go for an automatic rather than a manual (I think most modern utes will be auto these days anyway).
  12. mikehzz

    mikehzz Well-Known Member

    I reckon a Prado or Pajero ticks all your boxes. They are both capable, reliable and comfortable, plus there's enough room to sleep in the back if you have to. Pajero will be cheaper. I'm at a loss to know how you sleep in a dual cab ute?
  13. Colly18

    Colly18 Member

    Fiona did say "sleep in it, if things get rough", so I assume she will opt for a swag or tent and resort to sleeping in the car in emergencies (?). In which case fold back the front passengers seat as flat as it will go and lay down a sleeping bag for comfort padding, make room for the dog on the other side or in the tub, and go bye-bye's. I've done it many dozen's of times this way over the years (in emergencies or on a long haul trip) and had no problems getting a good nights sleep. And for what it is worth IMO you just can't beat rolling out the swag for a good nights sleep under the stars (and the dog loves to make home next to you under the vehicle). Works 90% of the time in our wonderful Aussie climate! :)
  14. Les PK Ranger

    Les PK Ranger 4x4 Earth Contributer

    I'm in full agreement with @Colly18 on the swag camping, think the flat swag on stretcher under an awning is just so easy and fast.
    Have slept in some very severe circumstances in recent years doing this, wind, rain, the swag kept me warm and dry :)
    Most recent 13,608km 5 state trip this year, did that every night for 5-1/2 weeks, sometimes without the awning out, but I think off the ground on the stretcher is a very good upgrade :)

    As for the OPs original question . . . I'd agree with @Ditch there, grab anything that represents good value and just get out there.
    Just about any 4WD will get you to some very nice campsites, away from the 2wd crowds.

    Truly, $25k is a very good intro budget, but you could do it a heck of a lot cheaper if you wanted.
    You need some vehicle and gear aptitude, but I picked up an old 88 pajero a few years back (2nd 4WD for a while) just a 3.0 v6 petrol, managed 13lt/100 out of it and not much more puttering along on tracks, and it would go some serious tracks for what it was.
    $2500, or maybe it was $2000, can't remember now, but a more modern pajero in a diesel would serve you pretty well, and have some good low end torque as well.
    phs likes this.
  15. phs

    phs Well-Known Member

  16. Les PK Ranger

    Les PK Ranger 4x4 Earth Contributer

    phs likes this.
  17. Triton14

    Triton14 Active Member

    Hi Fiona & welcome aboard.
    Also think about what kind of things (extras) you want in a 4x4, while $25k is a reasonable budget you could probably get a late model with lowish klm's as suggested but if it doesn't have what you think you will need then you can easily spend up to 10K on mods & upgrades.
    The other option would then be to buy an older model with the gear you need already installed but it would obviously be older & with more klm's.

    I was in the same dilemma 5 years ago & with the same budget & looked at what I could get for that & most vehicles had 200-300000klm's on them but then I thought what if I am buying someone elses problem so for an extra 3K I got a brand new Triton with 5 year warranty, fixed price servicing (some makers are offering free servicing now!) but then of course came all the extras & spent another 10K on extras like bulbar, winch, offroad tyres, canopy, tub liner, bash plates, and then got things that you actually needed when getting out like full recovery gear, compressor for airing up, awning, awning tent, swag, camp kitchen...……………….and the list goes on & there is stuff I still want like duel battery system, solar panel/blanket, 12V fridge etc.

    There is no right answer but if going 2nd hand then just try to find a vehicle with full logbook service history & that hasn't been abused to much & at minimum get a decent set of A/T tyres on it otherwise you will find yourself in a bit of trouble or not being able to get to where you want to be!

    Another avenue when you work out what vehicle you want is to check out the auctions, there are a lot of ex gov & private auctions out there & you can get a bargain if you put the time in!

    Good luck ;)
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  18. Les PK Ranger

    Les PK Ranger 4x4 Earth Contributer

    I did much the same when the PKs were running out to make way for the PX, got such a good deal I couldn't pass up my first new vehicle purchase at that moment.

    Probable going 2nd hand here, so to add to the comment about service records etc, you can probably bide you time and get one that's been just about only driven around the suburbs, plenty of those out there !!
    Just be sure to check 4WD selection etc is functioning well, and that goes with one that is also kitted out and obviously has been used off road.
    Triton14 likes this.
  19. Triton14

    Triton14 Active Member

    That was my 1st new vehicle as well @ 45yrs of age & the idea was it was going to stay with me for a long long time & travel Australia one day.

    Haven't got around to the second part yet but its coming & I have been lucky enough to keep the klm's down due to my proximity to work.
    5 years old & only clocked 42900 klm's which is mostly on 4x4 trips :D

    With all the money gone into & the add ons its pretty much an investment that you need to look after, but of course use it for what it is intended as well!

    Would be a lot of tradies utes out there also that they have bought through the business & mainly done city driving but then again most of them take advantage of being bale to use the work truck as their weekend warrior & claiming the depreciation back...…………...nice if you can do it!
  20. Les PK Ranger

    Les PK Ranger 4x4 Earth Contributer

    7-1/2 years now and 180k, still only 24k a year, not too high I guess.
    I have no idea how much of that has been trips, but sure have clocked up some km on those, here in Oz can clock you up a few thousand just getting to interesting places and back.

    Yes, nice if you can do that, and I can to a certain extent.
    Was looking at 2nd hand rangers with lowish km mid 2011, and usually 25k would get something pretty nice, but saw 2WDs going for that, and asked about new, managed to get mine for $30k + gst, which is a claimable :)

    Yeah, still only spent maybe $10k over a few years on mods, most I've done myself, or bought cheap and made better with some mods myself, picked up some good lights (do a lot of night driving), almost perfect now, just get to get compressor mounted with small airtank to make tyre pressure management easier.

    Anyway, there'd be so many suitable vehicles out there for the OP of the thread, I hope they can get it checked out really well, self skilled or get someone that has some mech aptitude to take for a test drive, make sure they find some grass or dirt to try all the drive functions.

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