Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader





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  1. #1
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    Default Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    Greetings to all, loving the community and would like to say thanks to all of you for your contributions all the little bits of info go a long way.

    TLR - affordable softroader or equivalent capable of overlanding to an extent (with the odd recovery or tow out - cant have it all)

    To the chase I am moving up in the world, planning on starting a family soon-ISH and need more space than my daily driver (i20 1.6 but man she goes like stink - not a fozzy but by my standards robot to robot and to the pump I will run circles 😁 [always loved Subaru and I am leaning that way, more below]

    In addition to the above i am a nature lover and outdoor fanatic and tend to take my i20 to places no sane person would dare - frequently go fishing, camping, hiking etc.. mostly sand roads with the occasional trip to Mozambique - Back story (did this in a 1998 110 defender, lost both sets of rear brake pads due to the corrugations and the front drive shaft left me with a RWD defender with improved acceleration and drift capability, managed to do a fair amount of beach driving and I would say a good time was had by all, have a real soft spot for these old ladies but not a practical daily driver as I did this for a while in sandton traffic)

    Moving on

    Planning a trip to the Kgalagadi in December and was originally going to rent a 4x4 but that amounts to a 10% deposit so might as well go all in. My current preference would be a 3.0d4d hilux as I know they are capable, but swambo does not like bakkies whatsoever and a little out of my price range [Max R200 000] So I am left with the entry level "Softroaders" as I also cant being myself to buy a 20 year old wrangler at that price. I have narrowed it down (a little)

    • Subaru forester - Heavy on fuel (can get that past swambo) and I believe there is a "semi-low-range" variant also has decent ground clearance 220 I believe, not sure about maintenance.
    • Grand Vitara - (Jimny waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too small) seems fairly capable and a decent daily driver, but seems to be lacking in build quality also not sure about maintenance.
    • ix35 - swambos choice, great power output, diesel which is excellent and familiar as it would be my 3rd Hyundai but same ground clearance as my i20 😑

    Sorry for the long post, appreciate your time and effort, open to suggestions and criticism of all types 😉

  2. #2
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    Default Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    Renault Duster, Nissan X Trail?

    The catch is, as soon as you start looking at more serious offroading abilities you will have to go for a vehicle that will not be light on fuel. You will be able to find a bigger diesel SUV or double cab at that price point but the mileage is going to be very high and its going to be a old.

    If I were shopping in that range and I can live with the fuel aspect I would look for a nice Suzuki Grand Vitara that has a low range, but again it will be petrol and thus not really light on juice. From what I have read they are pretty reliable vehicles. They do look quite plain inside but I don’t think there is anything wrong with Suzuki’s build quality.
    Last edited by Hooly; 2020/01/11 at 06:16 PM.
    Duster 4wd (Jeep lite)
    Everest 2.2 XLS (Swambo’s mommy taxi)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    Land Rover Freelander 2 SD4. You won’t be sorry. In this company, everything is a compromise when compared with the FL

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    I've done the Kgalagadi in my Duster - no probs.

    Besides AWD, we also have four-wheel lock and a lower first and second gear, but not a transfer box low gear ratio. This will get you through most obstacle courses, but at a higher speed. Boost is from 1750 rpms.

    We also have a high ground clearance, which will take you most places.

    My long term average is 17.7 kpl (5.65 / 100 km).
    Renault Duster 4WD Gen1: No Meow, GC = 254mm

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    Quote Originally Posted by RPiet View Post
    Land Rover Freelander 2 SD4. You won’t be sorry. In this company, everything is a compromise when compared with the FL
    Possible repair costs would scare me off, and it would also have to be an older model.
    Duster 4wd (Jeep lite)
    Everest 2.2 XLS (Swambo’s mommy taxi)

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    Default Re: Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooly View Post
    Possible repair costs would scare me off, and it would also have to be an older model.
    Freelander 2 is universally accepted as pretty bulletproof. Maintenance costs is the same as pretty much any other SUV, and definately cheaper than a Subaru.

    R200k should get you a low mieage 2013 or 14 model, and that is a lot more “modern” and definately better finished than a newer model Renault or Rav

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    Default Re: Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    R200k buys you a 4x4 Renault Duster with less than 40k on the clock....

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    I agree with Butch Dassie, thats why I mentioned the Duster first. I drive a new one and I am very happy with mine. I drive it all over the city and highway. On occasions I see clients on farms, and in the country driving on bad roads. Space wise I would compare it to something like a VW Golf. I came from driving a Navara d23 before it.

    The Duster is the most economical drive I have had in the last 15 years! Mine hasn’t gone for its first service yet so its still running in and I am averaging about 6.5l/100km.

    The Duster will take you most places you would want to reasonably go. If you are not buying the vehicle to take it on trails and see if you can try and break it, its all you really need 4x4 wise.

    You can also read up on the 1.5dci Renault/ Nissan motor, it’s a very well proven unit, it’s even used in some Mercedes Benz cars!
    Duster 4wd (Jeep lite)
    Everest 2.2 XLS (Swambo’s mommy taxi)

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    Default Re: Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    Renault owns roughly 40% of Nissan and 100% of Dacia (Romania). Besides the Renault, Nissan and Merc, as mentioned by Hooly, the engine is also used in Dacia and Volvo vehicles.
    Renault Duster 4WD Gen1: No Meow, GC = 254mm

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    Take a drive in a FL2, a Rav and a Duster. Huge difference in build quality and materials... in that order.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    Also have a look at Honda CRV's or a bit older Rav4 d4d, or a KIA Sorento 2.2 Crdi, even a Pajero, maybe also a Ford Everest (older 3.0tdci)
    Last edited by WAJ; 2020/01/12 at 11:03 AM.
    Ford Ranger 3.0Tdci Super Cab 4x4
    Platkar - Haaihoendaai i20 1.4 SOLD

    Ex'es
    KIA Sorento 2.5 Crdi 4x4 (diesel guzzler of note)
    Nissan Terrano II 2.7
    Mazda Drifter DC 2.5 4x4
    Toyota 60 series 5.7 V8
    Daihatsu Rocky 2.8


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    Default Re: Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    6 months ago I sold my 2006 Hilux V6 4.0L DC (R120k) which took the family all over Africa, to now driving a 2006 Suzuki GV V6 2.7L (R65k)

    Am I happy? Yes.

    But I do miss the Hilux for following reasons:
    - Has proper (strong + flex) 4x4 suspension
    - Can take a large aux fuel tank
    - Oil filter change on GV is a dog

    The Suzuki is much more comfy to drive long distance on tar and we are now no longer overlanding around Africa.

    One day I’ll buy another... Hilux
    ---
    Dale
    WhatsApp: +64-21832765 (Currently in New Zealand)

    2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara V6 2.7
    2006 Toyota Hilux DC V6 4.0
    2007 Nissan Pathfinder V6 4.0

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  14. #13
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    Default Re: Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    Quote Originally Posted by kari View Post
    Take a drive in a FL2, a Rav and a Duster. Huge difference in build quality and materials... in that order.
    Yes but you not comparing apples with apples.

  15. #14
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    Default Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    The problem with buying a vehicle that was “expensive” when new is that once it is out of warranty it is usually very expensive to fix if something goes wrong. And if you are shopping at a lower price point you probably will not be able to afford the repair bill on such a vehicle.

    Yes you can buy used luxury at good prices but possible repairs might sink you. And the more luxury usually means more electronic gizmos that can and will eventually fail.

    I don’t think its worth the risk, that’s why I would not opt to buy a Freelander 2 if I could buy a much newer, lower mileage Duster, Suzuki or Nissan, even if they don’t compare on luxury or capability.

    The Ford Duratorq engine is a motor with a very good reputation for reliability, but its all the Landrover bits and bobs and electronics attached to it that scares me.
    Last edited by Hooly; 2020/01/12 at 12:58 PM.
    Duster 4wd (Jeep lite)
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    Default Re: Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    Quote Originally Posted by Defend-her View Post
    Greetings to all, loving the community and would like to say thanks to all of you for your contributions all the little bits of info go a long way.

    TLR - affordable softroader or equivalent capable of overlanding to an extent (with the odd recovery or tow out - cant have it all)

    To the chase I am moving up in the world, planning on starting a family soon-ISH and need more space than my daily driver (i20 1.6 but man she goes like stink - not a fozzy but by my standards robot to robot and to the pump I will run circles 😁 [always loved Subaru and I am leaning that way, more below]

    In addition to the above i am a nature lover and outdoor fanatic and tend to take my i20 to places no sane person would dare - frequently go fishing, camping, hiking etc.. mostly sand roads with the occasional trip to Mozambique - Back story (did this in a 1998 110 defender, lost both sets of rear brake pads due to the corrugations and the front drive shaft left me with a RWD defender with improved acceleration and drift capability, managed to do a fair amount of beach driving and I would say a good time was had by all, have a real soft spot for these old ladies but not a practical daily driver as I did this for a while in sandton traffic)

    Moving on

    Planning a trip to the Kgalagadi in December and was originally going to rent a 4x4 but that amounts to a 10% deposit so might as well go all in. My current preference would be a 3.0d4d hilux as I know they are capable, but swambo does not like bakkies whatsoever and a little out of my price range [Max R200 000] So I am left with the entry level "Softroaders" as I also cant being myself to buy a 20 year old wrangler at that price. I have narrowed it down (a little)

    • Subaru forester - Heavy on fuel (can get that past swambo) and I believe there is a "semi-low-range" variant also has decent ground clearance 220 I believe, not sure about maintenance.
    • Grand Vitara - (Jimny waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too small) seems fairly capable and a decent daily driver, but seems to be lacking in build quality also not sure about maintenance.
    • ix35 - swambos choice, great power output, diesel which is excellent and familiar as it would be my 3rd Hyundai but same ground clearance as my i20 😑

    Sorry for the long post, appreciate your time and effort, open to suggestions and criticism of all types 😉
    It appears your first choice is a Forester, with "semi" low range. I have a 2008 2.5XS manual, with the low range gear. Amazing vehicle! Fuel range limited due to the 60-litre tank, but 600km actual range is good compromise. Packing space at a premium; however, with careful planning and packing this can be managed. I have not had major issues with ground clearance, again, be careful in selecting your line of approach. I also have a 110 Defender, which used to be our "go to" vehicle. Soon the Forester became the go to vehicle. For us it took a while to find the line that limits the capability of the Forester, where instead the Defender would be the suitable option. Go with your instincts: if you like the Forester, go for it! You will not be disappointed!

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    Quote Originally Posted by HW Short View Post
    It appears your first choice is a Forester, with "semi" low range. I have a 2008 2.5XS manual, with the low range gear. Amazing vehicle! Fuel range limited due to the 60-litre tank, but 600km actual range is good compromise. Packing space at a premium; however, with careful planning and packing this can be managed. I have not had major issues with ground clearance, again, be careful in selecting your line of approach. I also have a 110 Defender, which used to be our "go to" vehicle. Soon the Forester became the go to vehicle. For us it took a while to find the line that limits the capability of the Forester, where instead the Defender would be the suitable option. Go with your instincts: if you like the Forester, go for it! You will not be disappointed!
    I have to agree with all of the above. I had the same model year and trim level, albeit with an auto box. I LOVED it. If you can look past the fuel consumption and manage to find a decent 2009+ model (to avoid the head gasket curse) go for it. If you prefer the pre-2009 models I don't blame you. The SGs look better than any models after that. I warned you about the head gasket curse, but foresters tend to leak oil outside of the head rather than in the coolant circuit. Which means that your car will leak a bit of oil on the floor but it won't make your engine overheat and cause any warping. Also, the subaru community is very strong. Join the forums and WhatsApp groups and enjoy all the support the subaru fanatics will give you. Oh, and they are great Offroad. I have mine a 30mm spacer lift and it tackled everything except for serious axle twisters and rock crawling. I love my bakkie, but nothing beats a Subaru on gravel, it drives on rails, all the time.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    Again, it might be a good vehicle, but for R200k you will only get a 8-9 year old vehicle with 130k+ on the clock, so you I think you have to compare that for example with a 2018 Duster 1.6 with 30k on the clock, the Duster might not have all the bells and whistles, or finish, but in this case I think it might be a much better purchase.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    Again, it might be a good vehicle, but for R200k you will only get a 8-9 year old vehicle with 130k+ on the clock, so you I think you have to compare that for example with a 2018 Duster 1.6 with 30k on the clock, the Duster might not have all the bells and whistles, or finish, but in this case I think it might be a much better purchase.
    Which, in the greater scheme of things seems to be a wise choice, from what I can read here on the forum regarding the Duster.
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    Default Re: Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    I have been thinking of doing something similar for a while now. Always wanted a Forester, but ever since driving one a while back, I keep coming back to the VW Tiguan. Specifically a 2.0tdi 4motion, 6-speed. Saw one on Wesellcars a while back, 2015 model, 100k on the clock for about R200k. The build quality is excellent. Very good fuel consumption. Not exactly sure how capable it would be off-road, but between the other soft-roaders mentioned in this thread, I'm sure it would do OK? I know the 1.4TSi is a bit of a problem child, but according to what I've read, the 2.0Tdi seems to be a really good engine.
    Anton



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  21. #20
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    Default Re: Looking for a capable everyday 4x4/Softroader

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    Again, it might be a good vehicle, but for R200k you will only get a 8-9 year old vehicle with 130k+ on the clock, so you I think you have to compare that for example with a 2018 Duster 1.6 with 30k on the clock, the Duster might not have all the bells and whistles, or finish, but in this case I think it might be a much better purchase.
    I've driven both the FWD and part time 4wd Dusters and they were great. Both were diesels and the consumption was incredible. 4 people and suitcases on board and it did 6l/100 all day long. Space is a bit of an issue though.. A roof rack will help but then consumption tends to suffer. It works as a travel/camping vehicle for a couple, but not a young family. I agree, it's a neat little allrounder, but space is an issue

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