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Hot Topic (More than 30 Replies) What 4WD commuter? (Read 7019 times)
Nor-West
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What 4WD commuter?
Apr 13th, 2010 at 9:12pm
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Returning to N.Z. in a couple of months, and we are budgeting about 30k for 2 vehicles, one will be our weekend away fun car convertible of some sort, both to old for a bike now Cry

Anyhow I want a 40k a day commuter that I can take up somewhere like the Mc Cauley or similar without any problems but still cheap to run and insure, I was thinking of something along the lines of a Suzuki grand vitara and get a spare set of rims with some good off road tyres just for that kind of work, they seem to get good off road reviews.

Would I need an  air intake extension and what about exhaust systems do they need an extension for crossing rivers? as you can see its all been shanks pony before for me.

Any other suggestion greatly accepted.

Cheers
  

Still out here in the wind and rain, look a little older but I feel no pain...

Warren Zevon
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #1 - Apr 14th, 2010 at 11:02am
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Navara/hilux are the top two for reliability and offroad ability. The hold their value though.
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #2 - Apr 14th, 2010 at 4:49pm
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I like the Isuzu wizard I drive on the road. If I was more into the off road thing I'd get a MU.
  

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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #3 - Apr 15th, 2010 at 6:09pm
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Mu - don't laurf. Pretty unreliable.

Hilux's available for Sub 15k but high mileage. Better with the suzi.
  

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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #4 - Apr 15th, 2010 at 7:34pm
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Get a Hilux Surf, theyre way cheaper thun the utes and if you dont need a tray just as good. Could get one easy for 10k
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #5 - Apr 16th, 2010 at 11:17am
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A surf, prado or pajero would be my pick of the bunch. You want something relatively comfortable as well, and as late model as you can. Its amazing what you'll find for sale if you have a good look around the country.
  
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ethos
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #6 - Apr 16th, 2010 at 12:23pm
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Hi Norwest
We have just done something very similar, moved back to NZ and bought a hilux for tahr/deer hunting.
The Mcaulay is a river that can rise quickly and personally I wouldnt be comfortable driving a wee Suzuki in to the hut for a few days if I was by myself in case I couldnt get out.
Not a big fan of the Pajero off road either having seen a few broken down in outback Australia - sorry JoshC Wink. Agree about the Surf/Prado thing tho and would add in SWB landcruiser as a good option depending on kids or not.
We spent 25 k on a lowish mileage 2002 double cab hilux from a dealer, but cruising trademe should show you what is around.
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #7 - Apr 16th, 2010 at 12:46pm
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Hmmm I dont think I'd feel comfortable crossing big rivers in a little suzi either...things could get interesting.

Just speaking from personal experience ethos, we've owned 11 pajeros in the past, only one ever broke down...cracked head at 360,000kms, regular maintenance is the key, all sold with over 250,000kms (apart from one which was written off in the sea  Roll Eyes). Can't beat their on-road handling either. An underated truck IMO.

Definately +1 on the SWB landcruiser = cool trucks
  
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ethos
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Reply #8 - Apr 16th, 2010 at 12:50pm
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Thats great going with the Pajeros - I guess I got a distorted impression and I have to admit to not owning one Wink.
Yeah I loved my little SWB landcruiser,brilliant reliable 4wd, got told I wasnt allowed another one because we couldnt easily get to the carseat with only 2 doors  Angry
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #9 - Apr 16th, 2010 at 12:57pm
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Quote:
Thats great going with the Pajeros - I guess I got a distorted impression and I have to admit to not owning one Wink.
Yeah I loved my little SWB landcruiser,brilliant reliable 4wd, got told I wasnt allowed another one because we couldnt easily get to the carseat with only 2 doors  Angry
.

Yeah I reckon they're awesome. I was looking for one for a while, but couldnt find a decent one at the time....they'd all had hard lives I think  Wink. Haha, too bad...a guy I work with was in the same boat...had bubs, wife wanted the truck gone,but he couldnt part with it so kept it for a hunting wagon and bought a surf to keep her happy!  Grin
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #10 - Apr 16th, 2010 at 8:37pm
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I would suggest a surf but I have recently for the second time broken the clamp that holds teh rear sway bar in place. ..you could always just take the sway bar off though Wink Grin
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #11 - Apr 17th, 2010 at 11:46am
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+1 on the surf. I have an intercooled turbo one. Nice road vehicle and plenty capable off road. I recently upgraded the shocks/struts and springs to Old Man Emu/ARB. Transformed the truck, no more blowing through suspension travel with a load on and a 50mm lift as a bonus. It is a bit stiffer (jiggly) but I would highly recommend it.
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #12 - Apr 17th, 2010 at 6:37pm
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Ok sorted out the fun car so have around 20k to spend on a 4WD, will troll thru Trademe and see whats about, so maybe something like a 2.5L turbo deisel with a transfer case, still want a vehicle with good road manners and off road capability as oppossed to hard arsed off road truck.
  

Still out here in the wind and rain, look a little older but I feel no pain...

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ethos
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #13 - Apr 17th, 2010 at 6:51pm
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Just be wary of the old 2.4 L turbo diesel Toyota head crackers. Wink
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #14 - Apr 17th, 2010 at 7:10pm
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How about the Landrover Discovery 2.5 diesel? some low k ones look good value. Undecided
  

Still out here in the wind and rain, look a little older but I feel no pain...

Warren Zevon
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #15 - Apr 17th, 2010 at 7:28pm
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Nor-West wrote on Apr 17th, 2010 at 7:10pm:
How about the Landrover Discovery 2.5 diesel? some low k ones look good value. Undecided


Lips Sealed Lips Sealed

can be expensive to fix. more so than there asian counterparts
  

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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #16 - Apr 17th, 2010 at 7:56pm
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Nor-West wrote on Apr 17th, 2010 at 7:10pm:
How about the Landrover Discovery 2.5 diesel? some low k ones look good value. Undecided


Hard out off road but with all the bells an whistles if anything goes wrong with it it's going to be expensive
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #17 - Apr 18th, 2010 at 12:54pm
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Get a nissen patrol or landcrusier, go any where,good on road ,off road ,no repair bills,plenty of room.Dont get a surf, prada,landrover,range rover,hilux,vitara,mitsubitchi,end of story. Wink
  

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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #18 - Apr 18th, 2010 at 5:52pm
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We have over a thousand 4wd's here on site,  plus however many are up the mines, another thousand at least, 80% are Toyota, 20% are Nissan or other, suppose that tells a tale in itself.
  

Still out here in the wind and rain, look a little older but I feel no pain...

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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #19 - Apr 18th, 2010 at 6:16pm
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I have a 97 surf 3L intercooled 210,000km's

If you want a surf I'd advise:

- pressure test head.
- check cam belts change - do it if unsure.
- Check water pump at the same time, old coolant will allow cavitation and poor performing pumps cause overheating.
- Around about 170,000 poor head batches start to show up. Mine was ok but heard lots of stories about eating oil and water.
- Change std Toyota thermostat at the same time for new one. Old ones can stick and go from med to HOT instantly when you're towing a boat or working it hard.
- Change coolant and flush entire system incl radiator once a year. Radiators silt up and overheating again Undecided
- Hose down front of radiator when engine cold if washing the truck - stops dust building up on outside.
- oil changes 5-7500kms depending on where you drive. Do both filter and oil same time.
- Use Bendix front pads, check front disks for lips and get them machined with first set of new pads to bed everything in.
- Once a year do a gearbox flush - use oil changers as it's pretty good method and cost effective.
- Air filter at end of every season is enough unless you're running a lot of gravel roads.

- Engine off, check steering rack. Get someone to twist the wheel and look for rack play. If it's there replace the bushes with nolothane ones. More direct feedback but longer wearing.
- replace front and rear suspension bushes and tie arms with nolothane.
- Surfs suffer from rear suspension sagging. I fitted heavy duty Cobra springs.
- At Front brakes service check 4wd engagement motors. Grease if necessary.

Hmm. If I think of anything else I'll let you know.
  

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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #20 - Apr 18th, 2010 at 8:14pm
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Actually if your after something with better road handling a Mazda Bounty or Ford Courier (same car). Ride is pretty hard due to stiff spings but they handle well onroad and can carry quite a bit in the tray. Alot cheaper  thun Hiluxs but aparently not quite as good offroad (in my experence both can take some pretty scary country on).  Huh Could probably get quite a recent model one for 20k
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #21 - Apr 18th, 2010 at 9:43pm
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"Thankyou" just the kind of thing I've been thinking of, actually I think Alfie or Meat Hunter has one and bought it on the first Old Farts Tahr Hunt......... must check the photos, just showed a couple on Trade me to the Wife who gave the thumbs up, thanks fulla's Smiley
  

Still out here in the wind and rain, look a little older but I feel no pain...

Warren Zevon
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #22 - Apr 19th, 2010 at 9:50pm
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Nor-West wrote on Apr 18th, 2010 at 5:52pm:
We have over a thousand 4wd's here on site,  plus however many are up the mines, another thousand at least, 80% are Toyota, 20% are Nissan or other, suppose that tells a tale in itself.

80% cant handle a nissen,most nissen owners hang on to their nissen for many years so not many come up for sale,so when one comes up for sale theres such a rush to buy it, a lot of people miss out on buying a nissen so they got to wait a few more years till the next one come up for sale.  Wink
  

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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #23 - Apr 19th, 2010 at 9:53pm
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scottrods wrote on Apr 18th, 2010 at 6:16pm:
I have a 97 surf 3L intercooled 210,000km's

If you want a surf I'd advise:

- pressure test head.
- check cam belts change - do it if unsure.
- Check water pump at the same time, old coolant will allow cavitation and poor performing pumps cause overheating.
- Around about 170,000 poor head batches start to show up. Mine was ok but heard lots of stories about eating oil and water.
- Change std Toyota thermostat at the same time for new one. Old ones can stick and go from med to HOT instantly when you're towing a boat or working it hard.
- Change coolant and flush entire system incl radiator once a year. Radiators silt up and overheating again Undecided
- Hose down front of radiator when engine cold if washing the truck - stops dust building up on outside.
- oil changes 5-7500kms depending on where you drive. Do both filter and oil same time.
- Use Bendix front pads, check front disks for lips and get them machined with first set of new pads to bed everything in.
- Once a year do a gearbox flush - use oil changers as it's pretty good method and cost effective.
- Air filter at end of every season is enough unless you're running a lot of gravel roads.

- Engine off, check steering rack. Get someone to twist the wheel and look for rack play. If it's there replace the bushes with nolothane ones. More direct feedback but longer wearing.
- replace front and rear suspension bushes and tie arms with nolothane.
- Surfs suffer from rear suspension sagging. I fitted heavy duty Cobra springs.
- At Front brakes service check 4wd engagement motors. Grease if necessary.

Hmm. If I think of anything else I'll let you know.

Surf  Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Grin Grin Grin
  

Shot a few deer,caugth some big trout and salmon
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #24 - Apr 20th, 2010 at 9:12am
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Trout wrote on Apr 19th, 2010 at 9:50pm:
Nor-West wrote on Apr 18th, 2010 at 5:52pm:
We have over a thousand 4wd's here on site,  plus however many are up the mines, another thousand at least, 80% are Toyota, 20% are Nissan or other, suppose that tells a tale in itself.

80% cant handle a nissen,most nissen owners hang on to their nissen for many years so not many come up for sale,so when one comes up for sale theres such a rush to buy it, a lot of people miss out on buying a nissen so they got to wait a few more years till the next one come up for sale.  Wink


Got to drive both regularly in Aussie. I would sulk if they sent me a Patrol. Not in the same league as the Landcruisers, not even close.
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #25 - Apr 20th, 2010 at 9:22am
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Leaves the Landy at the start of the Canning stock route.
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #26 - Apr 20th, 2010 at 8:05pm
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Patrols and 308s for ever. Grin Grin Grin
  

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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #27 - Apr 20th, 2010 at 8:14pm
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Trout wrote on Apr 20th, 2010 at 8:05pm:
Patrols for ever. Grin Grin Grin


Amen to that Grin Grin Grin
  

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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #28 - Apr 20th, 2010 at 11:15pm
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Been looking at the Bounty and then the BT-50 with the 3litre turbo diesel, is there a lot between them? probably 15k money wise would it be worth the extra dosh Undecided

Jeff
  

Still out here in the wind and rain, look a little older but I feel no pain...

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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #29 - Apr 23rd, 2010 at 8:24pm
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I think that depends how much space you think you need, dont think the bounty is underpowered tho. Just the BT-50 gives more space. All i can really say is go and physically look at them both / drive them. You'll soon decide whether you need it.  Smiley
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #30 - Apr 24th, 2010 at 4:07pm
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Nor-West wrote on Apr 18th, 2010 at 9:43pm:
"Thankyou" just the kind of thing I've been thinking of, actually I think Alfie or Meat Hunter has one and bought it on the first Old Farts Tahr Hunt......... must check the photos, just showed a couple on Trade me to the Wife who gave the thumbs up, thanks fulla's Smiley


Yep, mine's a 2.6 petrol, Alfie's is a 2.5 diesel. I believe Leathel has a diesel too - ask him about it, he's in the right job to have all the answers.

You can't get a whole lot of off the shelf parts to make them go further off road (mine has a diff lock in the front and you can get rear lockers for newer models). You might not want to do that now, but you will once you have been stuck a few times.

They are not heavily built, but mine has had a hammering off-road and refuses to die. Diesel is better off road, but the intercoolers in the 2.5 are badly positioned and have a habit of interacting badly with the landscape. The new 3 litre motor (BT50/Ranger) is very torquey - a delight to drive.
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #31 - Apr 25th, 2010 at 12:06pm
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Plus 1 on the Mazda / Ford.  Every vehicle is a compromise, that's why I am fortunate enough to own more than one. I kept my old B2600 petrol mazda 4x4 much longer than I  should have (12 years) because it was so reliable and did everything I asked of it, well , almost everything. ( I  am just remembering going down a steep, slippery track-- backwards, twice as fast as i went up it  Shocked )  I  am taking delivery of my 2nd BT50 next month, happy as , with the one I have had for the last 2 1/2 years, as a previous post said , the 3litre diesel turbo is a really great powerplant,  that's why I'm replacing it with the same model.  As an aside, did you get your "funcar" sorted ? mine is a "thinkingmans motorcycle" Toyota MRS  soft top, lots of fun to drive,and economical with the rearmounted 1600cc motor (poorman's Ferrari  Roll Eyes ) You should be able to pick up a good one on trademe for 10-12k. Just a thought.
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #32 - Apr 25th, 2010 at 12:32pm
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Quote:
As an aside, did you get your "funcar" sorted ? mine is a "thinkingmans motorcycle" Toyota MRS  soft top, lots of fun to drive,and economical with the rearmounted 1600cc motor (poorman's Ferrari   ) You should be able to pick up a good one on trademe for 10-12k. Just a thought.


Yep got a 97 vr ltd mx5 with 65k's last of the pop up headlight models, was a good mates so know the history.

There are some Mitsi tritons on Trademe for 29K + GST 2009 models not sure why they are so cheap

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-Me-Motors/Cars/Mitsubishi/Triton/auction-24708989...

Otherwise  the BT 50 I'm thinking Undecided
  

Still out here in the wind and rain, look a little older but I feel no pain...

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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #33 - Apr 25th, 2010 at 12:46pm
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When I did my 4x4 course late last year, the guy that ran it did all the testing on the new utes for consultant work advising government agentcies which to buy.
This is all based on 2009-2010 models.
He said the triton was the best off road (he personally owned one of them) and the BT-50 & Ranger (lets face it same bloody thing) was the best on road.
The deciding factors however where between service intervals - some are 15,000 now and even though the hilux was the most expensive it was the cheapest buying "bulk" so on price most went this direction. he said the hilux really failed on all accounts was terrible off road with way to high a gearing and not very good on road. Bt-50 & Ford ranger was very good on road, to high geared off.  Triton good off road with diff locks, not bad on road. Might help you make your decision. The holden colorado was intermediate on both on and off road - I actually quite like the colorado, triton and the ranger/bt50, found them to be quite good to drive. The Hilux is horrible to drive, feels like a turtle with a shell that far to big (feels like your driving a mini under an 18 wheeler body) and just doesn't drive well on the road at all.
Personally when choosing a vehicle for work I always choose based on on road qualities, the off road ability of modern 4x4 ute ranges from crap to a little less crap (with terrible entry, exit and rampover angles and suspension), you'll spend 99.9% of your time on road and it makes little sense picking a vehicle based on the 0.01% that another ute may do a little less poorly. Personally i would go Ranger because for some reason the BT-50 feels uncomfortable when I'm in the drivers seat. But would happily take a triton or colorado (although there may be a few reliability issues with the holden popping up) but hate the thought of having to drive a hilux for any length of time.
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #34 - Apr 25th, 2010 at 6:36pm
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It would be nice if toyota went full circle and put out a range of back to basics solid front axle, wind your own windows down bitch, bench seat no frills trucks, single/double cab flatdeck... with the option of lockers and snorkel (like the cruiser)

Wishfull thinking I suppose  Embarrassed
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #35 - Apr 26th, 2010 at 11:25am
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Agree.
Its a crying shame the latest toyota hiluxes have lost the plot, and Ive read a few articles that rate the latest Triton as a better 4wd commercial vehicle.
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #36 - Apr 26th, 2010 at 11:44am
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I did around 10,000 km over x-mas in my courier...not bad rig all up but with the snorkel and grunty tyres its not as road freindly...tyres were great traction wise but feel the bumps more....and the snorkel is not quiet Lips Sealed The 2.5's do need gearbox rebuilds @ around 200K

The later 3ltr diesels have heaps more grunt (courier/ranger) but the 2.5's go well just not as much tourque in the low revs so you allmost drive them like a petrol..

http://www.fishnhunt.co.nz/forum/YaBB.cgi?num=1270819851/0#0

Surfs are a lotery as they have so many different models and some are not that flash

the comercial/ quary utes we do the toyata's last better but the new ones I am not so sure about....the nissans that have been flogged don't do so well......
  

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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #37 - Apr 26th, 2010 at 2:49pm
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The_Jester wrote on Apr 15th, 2010 at 7:34pm:
Get a Hilux Surf, theyre way cheaper thun the utes and if you dont need a tray just as good. Could get one easy for 10k


My Hilux surf does great off road and very comfortable on road. Im not overly savy on vehicles etc... but was told when i was getting mine not to get any surfs prior to 97...infact something along the lines of not touching them with a barge poll.

Mines a 97 3l inter-cooled turbo diesel, has more than enough grunt for me. Also much quieter than your usual diesel engine.
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #38 - Apr 28th, 2010 at 10:44pm
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Toyota Landcruiser Prado Swb???
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #39 - Apr 29th, 2010 at 6:12am
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Mohoua wrote on Apr 25th, 2010 at 12:46pm:
When I did my 4x4 course late last year, the guy that ran it did all the testing on the new utes for consultant work advising government agentcies which to buy.
This is all based on 2009-2010 models.
He said the triton was the best off road (he personally owned one of them) and the BT-50 & Ranger (lets face it same bloody thing) was the best on road.
The deciding factors however where between service intervals - some are 15,000 now and even though the hilux was the most expensive it was the cheapest buying "bulk" so on price most went this direction. he said the hilux really failed on all accounts was terrible off road with way to high a gearing and not very good on road. Bt-50 & Ford ranger was very good on road, to high geared off.  Triton good off road with diff locks, not bad on road. Might help you make your decision. The holden colorado was intermediate on both on and off road - I actually quite like the colorado, triton and the ranger/bt50, found them to be quite good to drive. The Hilux is horrible to drive, feels like a turtle with a shell that far to big (feels like your driving a mini under an 18 wheeler body) and just doesn't drive well on the road at all.
Personally when choosing a vehicle for work I always choose based on on road qualities, the off road ability of modern 4x4 ute ranges from crap to a little less crap (with terrible entry, exit and rampover angles and suspension), you'll spend 99.9% of your time on road and it makes little sense picking a vehicle based on the 0.01% that another ute may do a little less poorly. Personally i would go Ranger because for some reason the BT-50 feels uncomfortable when I'm in the drivers seat. But would happily take a triton or colorado (although there may be a few reliability issues with the holden popping up) but hate the thought of having to drive a hilux for any length of time.

Very interesting and informative post,but no mention of navara.
  

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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #40 - Apr 29th, 2010 at 7:12pm
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I realised that after I Posted, I haven't heard much about them to be honest so can't comment as I've never driven one.
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #41 - Apr 29th, 2010 at 7:30pm
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sika seeker wrote on Apr 29th, 2010 at 6:12am:
Mohoua wrote on Apr 25th, 2010 at 12:46pm:
When I did my 4x4 course late last year, the guy that ran it did all the testing on the new utes for consultant work advising government agentcies which to buy.
This is all based on 2009-2010 models.
He said the triton was the best off road (he personally owned one of them) and the BT-50 & Ranger (lets face it same bloody thing) was the best on road.
The deciding factors however where between service intervals - some are 15,000 now and even though the hilux was the most expensive it was the cheapest buying "bulk" so on price most went this direction. he said the hilux really failed on all accounts was terrible off road with way to high a gearing and not very good on road. Bt-50 & Ford ranger was very good on road, to high geared off.  Triton good off road with diff locks, not bad on road. Might help you make your decision. The holden colorado was intermediate on both on and off road - I actually quite like the colorado, triton and the ranger/bt50, found them to be quite good to drive. The Hilux is horrible to drive, feels like a turtle with a shell that far to big (feels like your driving a mini under an 18 wheeler body) and just doesn't drive well on the road at all.
Personally when choosing a vehicle for work I always choose based on on road qualities, the off road ability of modern 4x4 ute ranges from crap to a little less crap (with terrible entry, exit and rampover angles and suspension), you'll spend 99.9% of your time on road and it makes little sense picking a vehicle based on the 0.01% that another ute may do a little less poorly. Personally i would go Ranger because for some reason the BT-50 feels uncomfortable when I'm in the drivers seat. But would happily take a triton or colorado (although there may be a few reliability issues with the holden popping up) but hate the thought of having to drive a hilux for any length of time.

Very interesting and informative post,but no mention of navara.



Navara's are shit the end. Got one as a work truck. It's spent more time at the agents for warranty claims than used for work.
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #42 - Apr 29th, 2010 at 8:24pm
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Dobie wrote on Apr 26th, 2010 at 2:49pm:
The_Jester wrote on Apr 15th, 2010 at 7:34pm:
Get a Hilux Surf, theyre way cheaper thun the utes and if you dont need a tray just as good. Could get one easy for 10k


My Hilux surf does great off road and very comfortable on road. Im not overly savy on vehicles etc... but was told when i was getting mine not to get any surfs prior to 97...infact something along the lines of not touching them with a barge poll.

Mines a 97 3l inter-cooled turbo diesel, has more than enough grunt for me. Also much quieter than your usual diesel engine.


+1 i see surfs as town vehicles with (great) offroad capability. Service it and it will be your best friend  Wink
  
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Re: What 4WD commuter?
Reply #43 - Apr 30th, 2010 at 5:31pm
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I've put 105,000 on mine since I bought it. Now sitting at 210,000. Great vehicle. Sleep in the back on trips. Loads of torque and reliable.
  

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