Looking for recommendations for fuel-efficient 4x4/softroader





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  1. #1
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    Default Looking for recommendations for fuel-efficient 4x4/softroader

    Hi all,

    I am (once again) looking to get myself a 4x4, and would really appreciate some advice. My requirements are as follows:

    -- must be as fuel efficient as possible
    -- want to be able to drive on rough roads, but probably will do very little, if any, off-roading
    -- therefore I would like a vehicle that is optimised for long-distance travel and city driving, with respect to fuel efficiency
    -- should be on the small side (necessary for fuel efficiency anyway, I assume!)
    -- I don't want a bakkie
    -- needs to be reasonably roomy in the front, since my partner is tall! (Daihatsu Terios was too small for him)

    For a long time I thought that a Jimny was my ideal vehicle, but had never driven one until a few days ago, when a friend let me try hers out. I enjoyed driving it but was disappointed to hear that its fuel economy drops significantly on the open road (although she said it's great for city driving and slow 4x4 driving). I had always thought Jimnys were super fuel efficient, but I guess maybe they're optimised for slow/4x4 driving, with a significant loss of efficiency for high-speed driving (and yes, I also know they don't really do "high speed", as such, but I'm willing to slow down a bit for a decent vehicle!). Can anyone tell me whether this is in general the case for Jimnys (in case she has a dud example or something)?

    So since hearing this about Jimnys, I've been considering other options. I guess softroaders are the most likely type of vehicles to be optimised for high speed driving wrt fuel efficiency? I was wondering about these:
    Nissan X-trail
    Honda CRV
    Mitsubishi Pajero
    Toyota Rav4 (probably too expensive or old; had a 1996 model previously that was within my budget but quite a gas guzzler in town :-( )
    Freelander (I'm guessing this will be out of my budget)

    My budget is fairly low; ideally I would like to spend under R100 000 (another reason to ditch the Jimny idea!), so I'm probably looking at vehicles from the mid-2000s. I realise this also compromises fuel efficiency, probably, but unfortunately that is all I can afford at present.

    Do you have any recommendations for me? I would really appreciate any and all advice you can give me!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Looking for recommendations for fuel-efficient 4x4/softroader

    Well with such a low budget you definitely are going to struggle to get a proper 4x4 that's fuel efficient. I wouldn't count Xtrail CRV Rav4 as 4x4. Freelander is very capable, but only the latest series II, the series I was unreliable. What about a Disco 2? Is this car going to be a daily driver? Also, are you only looking at SUVs or are bakkies also an option?
    Last edited by willben; 2016/03/03 at 09:56 AM.
    Regards,

    William

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Looking for recommendations for fuel-efficient 4x4/softroader

    Hi William,

    Thanks -- yes, I realise that proper 4x4s are expensive, and most of them are also (I think) not all that fuel-efficient. That's why I mentioned that I'm now considering softroaders. It would be my only vehicle, and since I live in a city it would mainly be for city driving, and freeway driving when I get away from the city. The main reason I want something that is not an ordinary car is so that I don't have to worry about whether I can manage rough roads; I don't want to be restricted to smooth roads.

    So I think a proper 4x4 would probably be wasted on me; I really just want something with good clearance and the extra grunt needed to navigate rough, bumpy roads and occasionally some mud etc. My 2L 1996 5-door Rav4 would have been perfect except that it was too much of a gas guzzler in the city, so I'm hoping there might be something more fuel efficient out there, that is within my very limited budget (but am quite prepared to accept that this may be a pipe dream!).

    And no, as I mentioned in the original post, I don't want a bakkie :-/

    Thanks,
    Sally

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Looking for recommendations for fuel-efficient 4x4/softroader

    Older subaru forester?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Looking for recommendations for fuel-efficient 4x4/softroader

    Sally do you have spare cash lying around for if something goes wrong with the vehicle? There is an inherent risk in purchasing an old vehicle. Look my 2c is that for a daily driver you should probably get a cheap platkar that's still under manufacturers warranty.
    Regards,

    William

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murray Walker
    I don't make mistakes. I make prophecies which immediately turn out to be wrong.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Looking for recommendations for fuel-efficient 4x4/softroader

    Just checked autotrader and you can pick up a Ford Figo 1.4 for under R100K, there's also a Honda Brio. Both 2013 models with low mileage. I'm sure for a bit of extra cash you can extend the manufacturer warranty.
    Regards,

    William

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murray Walker
    I don't make mistakes. I make prophecies which immediately turn out to be wrong.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Looking for recommendations for fuel-efficient 4x4/softroader

    Also saw a Discovery 2 Tdi for R86K... >
    Regards,

    William

    D4 v8 --Sold



    Quote Originally Posted by Murray Walker
    I don't make mistakes. I make prophecies which immediately turn out to be wrong.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Looking for recommendations for fuel-efficient 4x4/softroader

    Hi Mr.G,

    Thank you -- I've been wondering about a Forester. I have heard good things about them, but they are so low, relative to many other SUVs, which makes me think the main reason they have 4 wheel drive is to cope with snow and ice, not rough roads... Do they have decent clearance?

    Thanks,
    Sally

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    Default Re: Looking for recommendations for fuel-efficient 4x4/softroader

    You can forget about a Pajero if you want fuel economy. Best the diesel will do is probably around 8km/l. Not ideal for daily city driving. The Outlander is also a nice AWD vehicle, but also not very light on fuel. Within your price range though. The ASX is probably what you want, but they are not within your budget range yet.

    The X-Trail is a nice vehicle, but I thing the CRV will be better for long distance driving. If you only want to do a few rough roads/gravel that is all you need.
    2004 Pajero LWB 3.8 - My toy
    1998 Pajero SWB 3.0 - SWAMBO's toy

    FJ45 with fibreglass body and 3CT motor - being built

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Looking for recommendations for fuel-efficient 4x4/softroader

    Freelander 2 or Forester.

    The Forester's ground clearance is not that bad... but not as good as the FL2's. but if it's just for rough roads, 200m of clearance should be more than enough.
    2004 LR Discovery 2 Td5 GS - Hybrid Turbo, Intercooler, 33's, 2" Lift, V8 TC, Ashcroft CW&P 3.75 + ATB lockers. [GoldiloX]
    2003 LR Discovery 2 Td5 ES - Lots of Mods(check thread) - [Husky]
    2010 LR Discovery 4 V8 HSE - Lifted with IIDtool, Powered by Petrol and Running on Cooper AT3 LT (new spec) 265/65/18s [Imvubu] - SOLD

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Looking for recommendations for fuel-efficient 4x4/softroader

    Hi William,

    Thanks for the ideas and all the autotrader checking! I'm really not keen for a platkar though -- got me one of them already :-) And yes, I know that older vehicles can sometimes cost a lot of money ...

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Looking for recommendations for fuel-efficient 4x4/softroader

    Hi furpile and douglash,

    Awesome, thanks -- I will look into those some more... :-)

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Looking for recommendations for fuel-efficient 4x4/softroader

    Depending on how far offroad you want to go, you can also look at the Suzuki SX4.
    2004 Pajero LWB 3.8 - My toy
    1998 Pajero SWB 3.0 - SWAMBO's toy

    FJ45 with fibreglass body and 3CT motor - being built

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Looking for recommendations for fuel-efficient 4x4/softroader

    An early 2000's Isuzu Frontier ticks all the boxes. However, in good nick with relatively low mileage, they are very scarce.

  15. #15
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    Default

    Sally my FIL is selling his Honda CRV 2.0 soon. It'll be less than R100k with less than 100 000 kms. It's mint.

    Let me know if you're interested, as it ticks all your boxes.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Looking for recommendations for fuel-efficient 4x4/softroader

    Hi all,

    Thanks for all the recommendations -- plenty to think about!

    @XJ Junkie, I would definitely be interested in your FIL's CRV -- please do keep me posted!

    Thanks,
    Sally

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