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An unbiast option


Gromit
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A relation of mine has recently bought a house up a mountian. By the sounds of it, the house is up 1/2 a mile of greenlane for which she wants to buy a 4x4. As I own a defender, I know all about 4x4s :huh: and she asked me what she should go for.

Her current saloon car goes up it so it's can't be that bad, but winter may be a different story.

Sounds like an ideal candidate for a softroader of some sort (limited ground clearance but with part time AWD, TC etc.) but which one?

We being us, the obvious first suggestion is a freelander. Them seem good for laning but could she live with one? How much better built are they than defenders? (A flatbed taxi won't be able to get up the lane to the house!)

In your collective unbiast opinion :lol: , what else is there?

Subaru have their forester, volvo do an X something or other jacked up estate car.

Then there's the suzuki range.

Honda CRV and the RAV4 look to be pretty poor; are they even AWD/4x4?

What about the Nissan XTrail? It seems to be well reviewed.

So people; please share you opinions, comments, facts, experiences and advice that I may repeat it as my own B)

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I'd say it depends on the state of the lane. Does she need traction or clearance? My mum bought a Jeep Cher*kee but never takes it out of 2WD (I did and it wouldn't go back...) - to be honest her Volvo 240 went everywhere it does, but they're not exactly ground-hugging either.

If she's just looking to climb a slippery slope, any of the Subarus would do well. If it's a bit bumpy, £50 buys you a Sierra or Fiesta to run up the lane, then leave a decent reliable car at the main road :)

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I maybe a little biased, but the Subaru's do do well. Never any reliability issues with mine, very much a turn key car, my neighbour had the Forester and IIRC it never let him down either.

Great at slippery slopes and more ground clearance than a Freebie.

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I spent last week demonstrating the Volvo XC90 and it was very impressive.

The Haldex coupling and traction control are much quicker the the (old) Freelander. Goes easily over x-axles with 2 wheels in the air.

7 Seats as well but not cheap!

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Forget the Freelander. Over rated, poorly built tat. Suggest this and your friend will hate you forever when it inevitably goes wrong for the first of many times!

RAV4. It's a Toyota. Nuff said. Good cars. Genuine car like handling. Reliable, no buttons or knobs therefore 4wd is idiot proof. Not cheap second hand. Note: All 1.8 versions are 2wd.

CRV. Again good reliable 4x4 but not a car to get excited about. More around than you think.

Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage (same car) great diesel versions. Good budget buy, but brand new so no bargains. Hyundai comes with 5yr Warranty.

Subaru's good, but expensive when they go wrong and thirsty on fuel whether it's a turbo or not.

Personally, I'd go for the diesel Nissan Xtrail.

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I spent last week demonstrating the Volvo XC90 and it was very impressive.

The XC70 is also very good one, about the same clearance (20cm vs 21cm) as the XC90 and bit cheaper.

you can also find some very good second hand ones

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how much money she got?

if she needs some space then Skoda do 2 4x4 Octavias- one is the really quite nippy RS version, and the other is a diesel off road version which again is really quite effective off road and much much cheaper than other ones. I bought an Octavia estate for the business a while ago and frankly it's knocked my socks off- build quality which is up there with the best, comfy, well designed and vrey fuel effiicient, as well as being good for an easy 90-100mph (where conditions allow of course!)

audi allroad- really uncomfy seats for me but again surprisingly effective off road- and of course bloody good on road- and has the build quality to beat them all. Tuetonic engineering at it's best!

As people have said above- i really do like the forester for reliability and ease to live with.

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Sounds like a Volvo XC70, up to 15k called a V70 cross country with a petrol lump,, then from 03 year renamed a XC70 and comes with the D5 diesel, but 15K plus, XC90, looking at £20-22 plus ,

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I would suggest a Scooby if she wanted a car that could still do ok on a bad surface. They tend to be expensive thouhg, as are the parts. Stuff such as Honda CRV etc are good, but big. Not too expensive to buy, but parts prices will give you a heart attack. I did the swivel bearings on a Jimny last week, and all the parts had to come from the main dealer - Over £130 for the swivel bearings and main seal.

Les. :)

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I did the swivel bearings on a Jimny last week, and all the parts had to come from the main dealer - Over £130 for the swivel bearings and main seal.

Les. :)

Did the swivel bearings on a Jimny (very common problem) a few months ago. Walked into local Suzuki dealer to discover an old friend i hadn't seen for ages was working behind the parts counter. He offered me the cheap bearings in a Timken box or the expensive bearings in a Suzuki box. With cheap bearings bill came to £80. Guess which I went for.

Wonder which the dealer uses when they do the job in the workshop and more importantly which one do you suppose they charge the customer for??????

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When I had to change the swivels on Sandbag's SJ410 some years ago, I went to Suzuki for the bits, picked myself up off the floor, excused myself and went to the local bearing factors. I was able to buy all the bits needed for the job for a whole lot less. The saving over genuine was significant.

Chris

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Funnily enough just been talking about the cost of Suzuki parts with my Dad...

My parents have just bought a Range Rover Sport - cost them £350 for a tow bar and electrics. Their neighbour recently replaced his Discovery with a Grand Vitara - his tow bar set him back over £500, and a proper spare wheel and tire (bought after the hassle caused by a flat in the middle of a long journey - it had a space saver and nowhere stocks the tyres) set him back over £600...

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Freelander is a nice drive once you are used to the seats.

TD4 is a nice engine.

but wouldn't buy another one.

In real terms my Defender spends far more time being repaired than Vals car does.
But i doubt the freelander gets the abuse the Def gets :(
Freelander is a nice drive once you are used to the seats.
yep,, and the funny gearchange/clutch !!!
but wouldn't buy another one
well, the other half's now on her 5th, if she's happy,, then so am i, no ear bending!!
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Can I jsut add my commendation for a Subaru. Had mine nearly new nine years ago and have replaced 1 ABS sensor for £120. And thats it. All other consumables bought from factors at prices no worse than a ford focus. 120K hard miles and does 35 to the gallon however you drive it. Not brilliant but as good as most diesel soft roaders in reality. And are not diesel trucks very expensive to Tax in Ireland? (though not sure where your friends cottage is). If it was me I would be looking at legacy estate or a Forester. If price is an issuae get one 5 years old, they will still be just as reliable.

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