Thinking about getting into 4WD'ing, have 15-25K to spend, what do you'll recommend?

Lada niva

New Member
G'day guys, thanks for the acceptance into the group.

I have a question for all of you four-wheel driving enthusiasts on here, and I do apologise if it's been asked before, it probably has been, but I'm literally as of probably the last week brand new to the whole four-wheel driving thing, so I thought I would ask anyway.

So as of next week I'm going to be coming into a bit of money, and I'm potentially looking at getting into four-wheel driving, my budget is going to be between 15-25k, I don't really have any prerequisites of exactly what I'm looking for, that said, I do have a strong preference towards manuals, I would strongly prefer it to be diesel, and I would probably prefer a turbo diesel.

Other than those three preferences, I have absolutely no opinion by the way of body shape, body size, make, model or year, I'm probably not educated in the craft enough to really be concerned about any of that.

I'm not looking to do anything too extreme, I'm not looking to climb vertical cliffs, whatever the car version of spelunking is.

It would first and foremostly be a daily driver for me to get to and from work here in country Victoria with SOME trips to Melbourne every few weeks, travelling down to the shops etc, so fuel economy and reliability are probably at the top of the wishlist.

I am intending to do some off-roading, maybe a little bit of light camping at some point down the track, we have a few nice bush tracks here in country Victoria I would like to explore, but if I'm not looking to get into anything too serious, I am however intending to take a four-wheel driving proficiency course, which I think everyone should look at doing.

Along with fuel economy and reliability, space and storage space is probably second on that list, not just for the shopping in the back, but also for carting things around, I'm currently dailying a Falcon ute and I do wish I had a little bit more storage space in the back and in the tray.

It might help you all to understand some of the four-wheel drives I'm currently looking at and considering:

A few 80 series LandCruisers: They're obviously legendary, not only in four-wheel driving circles but also general Australian motoring circles as well, I've actually never heard anyone say a single bad thing about 80 series LandCruisers, the only issue I'm having here is I'm struggling to find any at a reasonable price, that meets my prerequisites with anything under 400,000k, but that's probably just a testament to how bloody good they are.

A few Toyota Troopys: The idea of owning a troopy is attractive to me for one VERY good reason, space, space, a bit more space, oh, and did I mention space? They're pretty much four-wheel drive vans, I feel like owning and properly modifying a troopy would pretty much nullify the need to then go and spend thousands on camping equipment, you could probably just fit the back out with everything you needed, the issue on having here is finding turbodiesel variants, I found plenty of them at reasonable prices in just the standard diesel, but turbodiesel ones appear to be a bit of a stretch on my budget, and I don't know what that would be like dailying.

A few Ford 2011 Ford Rangers: these only appeal to me because they're reasonably sleek and modern, a few that I'm looking at even come with leather seats, reverse cameras and all of the mod cons like that, once again finding any with reasonable kilometres is a bit of a hassle here, I did say earlier that I didn't have a preference for body shape, but I don't see the use in a flat tray, which a lot of them appear to be, so there's that.

A 2012 Mazda BT-50: Pretty much the same reasons I'm looking at the Ford Rangers, once again though this particular BT50 I'm looking at has just over 300,000 km, which I'm told for these is a lot.

A few 2005 Toyota Landcruiser Prado's: I'm of the understanding that these are pretty much in the same vein as the 80 series LandCruisers, legendary in off-roading circles, extremely hard to find with low kilometres, and very well sought after, I'm actually looking at a few decent examples.

A few mid-late 90s Land Rover Discoverys: I've always liked Land Rovers, how they look, I like the double sunroof thing at the back they have, I've always considered owning one just as a run-around, I have no idea what they're like off-road, I definitely am considering them tho.

A 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited sport: And last and probably least, if you believe some people's opinions, I'm looking at a Jeep Wrangler, which I'm told is probably one of the worst four-wheel driving off-road vehicles ever made, I've been told they're essentially city SUVs that some people like to pretend have off-road capabilities, I actually think they look quite nice and I'm looking at these for the same reason I'm looking at the Rangers and the Mazda, I honestly don't know enough about them to make a judgement call, maybe that's something someone on here can clear up?

Anyway, that's a rundown of what I'm looking at and why I'm looking at them, that should give you a reasonably fair idea of what I have in mind, some of what I've picked in that list a lot of people are going to like, some of them a lot of people might love, that's why I've posted this post, just to get all of the opinions and see if someone can potentially steer me in the right direction.
I would buy next to new with some sort of warranty