New member in need of advice





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  1. #1
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    Question New member in need of advice

    Hi there

    I've been referred to this forum and received glowing reviews about the depth of knowledge and experience being shared here.

    I am would potentially be buying my first "SUV" and require some advice, please.

    My wife and I (both early 30s, no kids) have reached a point where we decided that we need a SUV to solve for some "pain points" in our life. We love the outdoors but too many places that we want to visit require a high-clearance vehicle. I believe our country is incredibly diverse and offers a lot of magnificent places to visit and we would like to take advantage of that more often.

    We currently drive a 2016 BMW 320i and a 2013 VW Polo - not quite the best options for visiting the "off the beaten track" destinations.

    Some pointers for background/context:
    • We mainly need something with a high(er) clearance
    • Not necessarily 4x4 although this is part of the advice I'm seeking. I definitely won't mind visiting Botswana at some stage and I suppose having a vehicle with 4x4 capabilities is a nice option to have
    • Budget of c. R400-450k
      • Keeping in mind that we plan to either trade or sell the Polo and perhaps have enough money for a 10% deposit in addition to that.

    • I am not keen on buying a new car but won't mind a 2019 model with a few kms on the clock.
    • I know I can probably get a much older Prado/Discovery/Land Cruiser/Pajero for that kind of money but I've never really been open to buying a car older than 2-3 years. Why I don't know, it is perhaps just a silly preference.


    I've started my search by naturally gravitating to the well-known "entry-level" SUV segment as I'd define it which comprises of the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Everest and Pajero Sport. Based on the research I've done online and the reviews I've read it seems to me like the Everest 2.0L bi-turbo is quite a decent ride.

    Now I know that when it comes to 4x4s that you get people who swear by a make (albeit Toyota, Ford etc.) I am not looking to create a Toyota vs Ford vs XXX argument necessarily but I'm merely looking for honest and thoughtful advice which will help me make a decision, please.

    Given that nearly every 3rd SUV is a Fortuner I've driven in a few before and don't feel the need to test drive one. I am planning on test driving the Everest later this week.

    I would greatly appreciate some input to help me make a decision, please.

    Many thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: New member in need of advice

    Hi nice position to be in. There are so many fantastic places out to explore and in your price bracket it makes sense to go all the way and buy a 4x4 so that you may access those places should you choose.

    I think you've got a a great list and in your price bracket the fortuner, everest and pajero sport are fantastic options. Do not associate the strong sales on the fortuner in South Africa with it being the best. That is relatively subjective and they are all fantastic each with strong points. To give you an idea, across the pond the in Australia the Pajero Sport is one of the best sellers while the Fortuner is somewhat low on the list. So it's largely about marketing, public perception and a large dealer network. Engineering wise there is little to choose from when it comes to the Toyota and Pajero Sport as is generally the case with Japanese competitor vehicles. Both of the latest iterations are proving very trouble free to own. We buy Fortuners in SA largely because they are reliable, sensible with strong resale value.

    What I think is that you should test drive all 3 including the fortuner, that is the best way to compare back to back. Compare top spec models so 2.8gd6 Fortuner, 2.4 Pajero Sport and 2.0 Everest. There are others to consider as well if you don't like those.

    Personally I advocate for the Pajero Sport, it's a really under sold piece of kit. The 2. 4 is a better drive than the 2.8 in the Toyota and the 8 speed autobox in the Pajero sport is excellent while the ones in the Toyota, while reliable, are not raved about. If you want a manual the it's only the fortuner that has one.

    I can't comment on the Everest other than it wins out in most foreign reviews and some local ones.

    All of them are really light on fuel (7.5-9L/100) but autos the everest probably wins out with the pajero sport a close 2nd and the fortuner a little behind that but still very good (the first two are helped by their autoboxes with more ratios).

    One thing consider is how long you plan to keep it and what the resale value will be. I'd say if you buy 2nd hand now and keep for 3-4 years then these would be similar in terms of depreciation but the pajero sport would probably loose a bit more.

    Watch some reviews from across the pond (Australia) on youtube for a feel.

    Enjoy the search.
    Last edited by ChasingSunsets; 2020/09/21 at 09:18 PM. Reason: Quoted the OP's whole post accidently

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: New member in need of advice

    Quote Originally Posted by ChasingSunsets View Post
    Hi nice position to be in. There are so many fantastic places out to explore and in your price bracket it makes sense to go all the way and buy a 4x4 so that you may access those places should you choose.

    I think you've got a a great list and in your price bracket the fortuner, everest and pajero sport are fantastic options. Do not associate the strong sales on the fortuner in South Africa with it being the best. That is relatively subjective and they are all fantastic each with strong points. To give you an idea, across the pond the in Australia the Pajero Sport is one of the best sellers while the Fortuner is somewhat low on the list. So it's largely about marketing, public perception and a large dealer network. Engineering wise there is little to choose from when it comes to the Toyota and Pajero Sport as is generally the case with Japanese competitor vehicles. Both of the latest iterations are proving very trouble free to own. We buy Fortuners in SA largely because they are reliable, sensible with strong resale value.

    What I think is that you should test drive all 3 including the fortuner, that is the best way to compare back to back. Compare top spec models so 2.8gd6 Fortuner, 2.4 Pajero Sport and 2.0 Everest. There are others to consider as well if you don't like those.

    Personally I advocate for the Pajero Sport, it's a really under sold piece of kit. The 2. 4 is a better drive than the 2.8 in the Toyota and the 8 speed autobox in the Pajero sport is excellent while the ones in the Toyota, while reliable, are not raved about. If you want a manual the it's only the fortuner that has one.

    I can't comment on the Everest other than it wins out in most foreign reviews and some local ones.

    All of them are really light on fuel (7.5-9L/100) but autos the everest probably wins out with the pajero sport a close 2nd and the fortuner a little behind that but still very good (the first two are helped by their autoboxes with more ratios).

    One thing consider is how long you plan to keep it and what the resale value will be. I'd say if you buy 2nd hand now and keep for 3-4 years then these would be similar in terms of depreciation but the pajero sport would probably loose a bit more.

    Watch some reviews from across the pond (Australia) on youtube for a feel.

    Enjoy the search.
    Thanks a lot for the advice - much appreciated!

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    Default Re: New member in need of advice

    AJS - it is really much of a muchness. You are looking at the top three SUV's, they are all very good. Agreed - test drive all three, develop your own choice. The best advice - that your wife with you and decide together
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    Default Re: New member in need of advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Johan Engelbrecht View Post
    AJS - it is really much of a muchness. You are looking at the top three SUV's, they are all very good. Agreed - test drive all three, develop your own choice. The best advice - that your wife with you and decide together
    Thank you Johan, words of wisdom indeed!

  8. #6
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    Default Re: New member in need of advice

    Great answer from ChasingSunsets. It always amazes me how much effort some members put into advice for others.

    One issue I have with Ford is that I hear of issues with engines and gearboxes with lengthy repair times and poor service from the dealers. This is what I hear from people I know that drive them, not my own experience. Maybe other members can shed some light on this.

    If I were in your shoes I would do a lot of research on what I mentioned above then I would seriously consider a Pajero and then probably buy a Fortuner just because of the same old story of it being the safest buy long term. I really enjoyed my 2012 Fortuner but not too sure on the new ones.

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: New member in need of advice

    Quote Originally Posted by GarethHAllen View Post
    If I were in your shoes I would do a lot of research on what I mentioned above then I would seriously consider a Pajero and then probably buy a Fortuner just because of the same old story of it being the safest buy long term. I really enjoyed my 2012 Fortuner but not too sure on the new ones.
    Gareth I edited your reply to the Fortuner part... sorry

    ajs Yes, the Fortuner will be your safest most reliable buy....In all the SADC countries every little spare shop in very small villages you will find Toyota spares. (Light bulbs,water hoses,relay's and fan belts do fail, even on new vehicles)
    The new Fortuners looks impressive to the eye and on paper but I am very happy with my mule 2012 3.0 D4-D 4 x 4

    Please do not buy a 4 x 2 because soon you will be tempted to go that extra mile where a 4 x 4 is needed..
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    Thumbs up Re: New member in need of advice

    Thank you Gareth and LRTDV6, good points. The Fortuner has definitely carved out a decent market share for itself and I suppose rightly so: "Alles loop reg, altyd reg, Toyota". Known for reliability. I just sometimes feel like the Fortuner hasn't innovated enough to keep up with rivals perhaps because they have become lax due to the dominant market position in that category.
    Last edited by ajs14; 2020/09/22 at 07:54 AM.

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  13. #9
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    Default Re: New member in need of advice

    Spoke to a guy yesterday that has lost both a Hilux and a Fortuner. Theft.

    Bought a Pajero.
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  14. #10
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    Default Re: New member in need of advice

    So is it going to be a 2,4 or a 2.8 :-)
    Always take the slow road.
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  15. #11
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    Default Re: New member in need of advice

    The ISUZU MU-X should also be on your list.
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  17. #12
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    Thumbs up Re: New member in need of advice

    Quote Originally Posted by DC Polokwane View Post
    The ISUZU MU-X should also be on your list.
    Ah yes, thank you, forgot about this one.

  18. #13
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    Default Re: New member in need of advice

    Pajero Sport.
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  19. #14
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    Default Re: New member in need of advice

    Quote Originally Posted by DC Polokwane View Post
    The ISUZU MU-X should also be on your list.
    I took the one Landbou weekliks were sponsored for a drive down a dirt road and was very impressed. I would look into this.
    Last edited by GarethHAllen; 2020/09/22 at 09:07 AM.

  20. #15
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    Default Re: New member in need of advice

    I always chuckle at the "Toyota is the most reliable, with every spare shop carrying spares". If it is so reliable, surely the spare shop will not carry spares

    Anyhoo, enough TIC.

    Of the three options you provide, I will take the Paj Sport:

    1. will provide best value for money second hand
    2. super select 4x4 allows for multiple use of 4x4 system
    3. best gearbox (if you go 8 speed)
    4. best use of third row seats
    5. It is different (ok, that is just me, I like to swim upstream)
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  22. #16
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    Default Re: New member in need of advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Nys View Post
    I always chuckle at the "Toyota is the most reliable, with every spare shop carrying spares". If it is so reliable, surely the spare shop will not carry spares

    Anyhoo, enough TIC.

    Of the three options you provide, I will take the Paj Sport:

    1. will provide best value for money second hand
    2. super select 4x4 allows for multiple use of 4x4 system
    3. best gearbox (if you go 8 speed)
    4. best use of third row seats
    5. It is different (ok, that is just me, I like to swim upstream)
    yep, very underrated vehicle, hence my selection.
    Jakes Louw
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    Default Re: New member in need of advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Nys View Post
    I always chuckle at the "Toyota is the most reliable, with every spare shop carrying spares". If it is so reliable, surely the spare shop will not carry spares

    Anyhoo, enough TIC.

    Of the three options you provide, I will take the Paj Sport:

    1. will provide best value for money second hand
    2. super select 4x4 allows for multiple use of 4x4 system
    3. best gearbox (if you go 8 speed)
    4. best use of third row seats
    5. It is different (ok, that is just me, I like to swim upstream)
    I haven't had to look for spares in a remote area... Yet. In my home town plenty of times. Everything breaks at home. Toyota's are very convenient that way

  24. #18
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    Default Re: New member in need of advice

    Quote Originally Posted by GarethHAllen View Post
    I haven't had to look for spares in a remote area... Yet. In my home town plenty of times. Everything breaks at home. Toyota's are very convenient that way
    Haha having the same experience currently with a friends 4.0 v6 hilux . We are planning a big end of year trip and his bakkie currently sits on around 280k. In the last few months he has had to replace rear side shafts and seals, failed sway bar stabilizer linkages, leaking front crankshaft seal, and now a failed rubber housing and carrier on the center propshaft bearing. They all happened within shooting distance of an easy place to repair them which is fantastic, rather now than a remote region of Nam later. These are also probably things that some better preventative maintenance would have been able to avoid, but we have a good mech and he is fixing it all as the issues crop up so pretty normal stuff and nothing to be put off by. We have had to wait for parts a few times though.

    Cheers
    Last edited by ChasingSunsets; 2020/09/22 at 12:38 PM.

  25. #19
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    Default Re: New member in need of advice

    Just throwing something out there.

    There are plenty of good used 4x4's out there that can be picked up reasonably priced, and perhaps you should consider looking at an older model for less money.

    The reason I suggest this is, the bug bites, or sometimes ..... it does not.

    Many times people have had the dream and the reality has been somewhat different to what they thought. They buy a really nice vehicle and scratch it and rip off the Tupperware the first trail or rough road they go on, or they really enjoy themselves but realise that the vehicle needs some modifications to make it work for them and the cash budget to do this is just not there.

    Many folk on this forum have a holiday vehicle that is not the daily driver but is well loved and looked after and trusted to take them wherever they want to go. This ranges from bakkies to luxury vehicles. Landies, Touregs, Prado's, Pajero's, Fortuna's, Patrol's and many many more are adapted for the purpose.

    The mileage is kept low, insurance is a bit cheaper, you won't cry too much if you get a scratch and you may have a bit more budget for modding the vehicle.

    I know for example of a Pajero that has 186 000 on it going for R115 000 and any Pajero driver will tell you that the vehicle has just been run in. You get a lot of luxury vehicle for your money, that you won't mind getting dirty.
    Stranger

    Lusted for a Landy but the Pajero was sexier and bigger in the right departments, just like my Missus.

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  27. #20
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    Default Re: New member in need of advice

    Isuzu MUX or Fortuner
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