The Best Daily Car and 4WD

I want to upgrade from my 2004 Mazda 2 hatchback and get something bigger, and the ability to go to 4WD only camping areas (Fraser and Moreton would be great)

The problem is finding something that I'll enjoy driving to work every day, but does a good job when I go camping (Which is so far only twice a year)

I'm planning to spend 15-25k, at the moment I'm set on the 2015 Mitsubishi Challenger so far.

My main worries are fuel consumption (9.8L/100km) and comfort in my daily drive to work.

So far my research has told me:

Smaller 4WD's like the Suzuki's are not a good choice due to having smaller or equal space to my mazda 2 hatchback.

Keeping my Mazda 2 and renting is not a good idea as renting a 4WD for a long weekend at fraser is $1000+

Having two cars is not worth it due to the costs of rego/insurance etc.

What do you guys think? I like to be frugal but it seems in this scenario I have to compromise to some degree.

Comments

      •  

        I don't think that exactly caters to 4x4s going offroad? It's a passenger car with an awning, not really a camper.

        •  

          Ah, I see.
          I remember someone on camplify renting out their bomby Troop Carrier and allowing that on Fraser.

          • +1 vote

            @PVA: Okay might look into it. Would do car next door but it's got 300k kms and I think they take 200k kms max.

    • +3 votes

      lol.

      •  

        Why? Actually reliable, good fuel economy, good power, drives like a car, can actually go offroad.

        •  

          Unfortunately out of my price range though.

          •  

            @samfisher5986: Not at all. You'll get an 07-10 model with low KMs for that money, or an 11+ with higher KMs. The earlier ones all have low range and centre and rear diff locks as well. Some will have air suspension.

        • +3 votes

          I find it laughable to put Touareg and reliable in the same sentence.

          •  

            @Yawhae: I find it laughable that you have no idea. Which part of it is unreliable? Proven diesel, proven standard auto.

            •  

              @brendanm: You don't know what I have and haven't owned and the Touareg that I had was a lemon through and through. This was my experience with it over 3 months and out of those 3 months it spent 2 with a mechanic.

              I'll give props to the V6 Turbo Diesel engine although that was probably only so powerful becuase VW cheated the emissions tests.

              As for my issues they were mostly electrical, with some mechanical.

              Electrical
              Rear power windows stopped working.
              Parking sensors intermittently working.
              Remote central locking only worked from 1 meter away.
              2 flat batteries within the time I had it.

              Mechanical.
              Air con drained into cabin.
              Drivers side air con not maintaining temperature.
              Check engine light coming on and off, something to do with the manifold vacuum pressure.

              I think there were a couple of others but that sums up my experience.

              •  

                @Yawhae: A single data point from over a million vehicles, neat.

                They actually make the same power with the new engine mapping.

                Half your "problems" are standard maintenance thing. Replace your remote battery. A/C drains get blocked in all vehicles. Batteries don't last forever.

                I've said it before, euro cars are better to drive, but can have issues, if you can't afford to fix them, then euros aren't for you.

                •  

                  @brendanm: If they were standard maintenance things they would of been able to fix them. None of those electrical issues we're fixed in 60 days. Just a piece of junk car that ultimately had to be refunded which I had to fight tooth and nail for.

                  There's a reason why they are so cheap on the used market and that's because they are junk.

                  •  

                    @Yawhae: Not sure who you were taking it to who couldn't fix basic things like that. They hold the same value as basically anything else in the same class.

                    I try to buy cars with problems. I can never but a Touareg with a problem. I've seen two come up in a couple of years, one V10 that was blowing smoke with 300k + KMs, and a V6 with high 300k km that had a blown turbo.

                    •  

                      @brendanm: VW Dealership in QLD. I must have had a real lemon then and it's left a sour taste in my mouth. I'll never touch a VW again.

                      •  

                        @Yawhae:

                        dealership

                        There's your issue. Apprentices and minimum wage workers.

        •  

          Op may get a GXL for $25k that has a proven history.

      • +2 votes

        They are more expensive and in ops budget would only get an old V8 petrol with a million KMs and ugly interior.

  • +2 votes

    I got a 2015 Triton a year ago. I couldn't find a decent Challenger for $15k. I took it to Fraser and it was very easy, but fell down a two metre embankment at one point and lost the rear bumpers. The Triton has come in very handy for tip runs and picking up furniture. But coming from a WRX hatchback I find it a pain to park at the shops and I have smashed into the garage wall trying to fit it in. It's OK to drive, but pretty sluggish. I also used to get bad back pain driving the WRX and no longer get that possibly due to a more upright driving position. Overall I give it a 7.8 out of 10 for practicality over driving experience.

    •  

      How did it fall down the embankment? Sounds expensive.

      •  

        I miss judged how long it would take to get to the camp site, and had to get off the beach as the tide was coming in. That first inland track is hectic, especially in the dark. There's huge drop offs in the track. It only smashed off the plastic guards and I didn't notice until the next day. So they are probably sitting out there still somewhere along that track.

        P.S. if you took a Outback or Forester on that track by accident, there is absolutely no way you would make it. You wold smash head first into the sand. Forester or Outback I think would be fine on the main stretch of beach and maybe the main track to Lake Mckenzie.

  • +2 votes

    Sorry nothing much to contribute here OP, but just want to ask if you've considered the repair cost for the 4WD if anything goes wrong for them related to driving on sand/salt water? Potential repair cost might be a consideration if you're going to be owning the vehicle rather than hiring.

    •  

      Aside from any potential damage that may occur from driving off road, a thorough hosing down after each trip will be enough to make any occasional beach use 4wd last just as long. You are unlikely to cause damage unless you don’t wash and drive on the beach dozens of times a year.

      Modern 4wds have good seals and pretty good paint so won’t rust away after a trip or two.

      •  

        The plan was rust proofing + getting the underneath washed at an automatic car wash as well as avoiding driving in sea water.

        Hopefully that would cover it.

        • +1 vote

          Just don’t bother with one of the electronic rust preventer thingys.

          I just hose under mine including sticking the hose in all the chassis holes I can see, then park on the lawn and run a sprinkler from underneath and move it every few mins.

          • +2 votes

            @Euphemistic: I thought it would be a good idea to cover the entire chasis in fish oil before going to Fraser. That was a bad idea as I didn't know it had to dry for a week and everything ended up sticking to it.

            •  

              @Sensei888: You could bare the smell? o.O (currently imagining the car being dipped into fish oil fully and then pulled out, just like a chicken nugget into sauce and out)

            •  

              @Sensei888: I use lanolin spray. Smells marginally better than fish oil and works just as well.

        •  

          Nah mate, you have to get in there. Those automatic car washers will only get out about half way.

  • +3 votes

    Is this OzBargain? So many comments and nobody has suggested Toyota Camry yet?

    •  

      Old Camry with a lift kit and a Prado transmission…
      There it is!

  • +1 vote

    If you only go camping twice a year, have you considered buying a daily driver you could enjoy driving around town and just rent a SUV when needed.

    •  

      Yes I considered it and then decided against it when I saw that I would pay $1000+ for a long weekend rental due to regular rental places not allowing offroad/fraser/moreton etc access.

  • +1 vote

    If you want a daily driver with perhaps e few trips away each year why would you buy a 4wd? You will have large fuel costs, large maintenance costs, and huge rego costs. Remember your rego tax is calculated on vehicle weight. Common sense would be to buy a comfortable car, as the majority of use will be on sealed roads, then factor into your holiday the cost of a 4wd every year for a week or 2, then hand it back. Still cheaper than ownership.

    •  

      I guess I also have to factor in the fact that I want a bigger car anyway, the difference will not be a manual 1.5L engine to an automatic 4WD.

    • +1 vote

      Rego costs change state to state. In QLD, it’s based off the number of cylinders. So going from a 4 cylinder Mazda 2, to a 4 cylinder TD 4WD will cost exactly the same.

      •  

        Yep in QLD to register my 4X4 4 cylinder 4x4 LandCruiser Prado costs exactly the same as a 4 cylinder Hyundai Getz.

        •  

          In your case, are you able to estimate the annual running costs for each of your vehicles (with some sort of loading for the relative kms/year)?
          RACQ have a comparison file online, but if you have the specific knowledge that would validate that (or not).

          https://www.racq.com.au/cars-and-driving/cars/owning-and-mai...

          OP appears to only need the 4WD for a couple of weekends/year.

  • +4 votes

    You are NOT going to get all 3, comfortable, serious 4WD and fuel economy, you just won't.

    Prado, Pajero and FJ cruiser are what I can think of.

    I've seen enough outbacks, foresters etc stuck on Fraser.

  •  

    I bought a new 2018 GLS Triton last year (end of model runout for $36k) with my former car being a 2007 Camry. Our other car is a Kia Sorento so we use that for highway trips, but camping and beach driving is left to the Triton. Even though it is a bit jiggly due to the leaf suspension in the back, I don't mind it as a daily driver. The tray is handy for carting landscape supplies, short dog trips, dump runs, moving furniture, etc and I have put on roof racks and have a removable basket (for extra cargo or kayak) with a 2x3 Kings awning attached.

    •  

      Damn, 7.6L/100km is some nice fuel consumption on that car.

      Actually, that car is perfect for me if it wasn't for the fact that the back has to be completely separate (Cab chasis or tray)

      Maybe I should consider one of those, 7.6L on the 2015 Triton is a huge difference.

      •  

        The mid range models and up also get the Super Select system so you can select 4H (AWD without a locked centre diff) so it gives a bit of assurance in the wet and unsealed roads.

      •  

        You could always put a canopy on the back.

      •  

        Imo, dual cabs suck for a daily. The leaf-spring suspension is designed to get better as more weight is applied. I really don't know people drive them every day, you feel more bumps in the road than a sports car!

      •  

        7.6l/100 isn't reality sadly. While you can see it as a guide don't only make it about that.
        Also anything with a tray will drive like crap until its loaded up for what the suspension was designed for.

        •  

          Yes but will be way better fuel consumption then something like the 9.8L mitsubishi challenger I was originally looking at.

  •  

    Far from the economical option but I've got a 9 year old LR Freelander 2 that is lovely to drive on the road. Have taken it up and down main beach on straddie a few times and it's proved more than capable of that - drove straight past a rangie last time getting on!

  •  

    OP I hear you…

    Hard to combine a nice driving car with reasonable fuel consumption and the occasional 4WD trip. Been stuck with the same problem.

    Friend of mine has an older landcruiser set up for camping and 4wd and uses a small car as a daily.
    If you can afford the annual rego, I reckon that's the way to go. Your budget will get you a good toy and some of your 'must haves' are not so important, as you only use it for camping.

    I can't afford a second car at the moment but think that's the way to go. Also if something gets fu**** during a trip you still have a car to get to work ;)

    Let us know what you ended up doing.

  •  

    You seem to be getting mixed comments about what type of vehicle is suitable for you. My thoughts are that an Outback or similar won't do as there will be some sections of beach where there just won't be enough clearance. Freshwater Track out to Teewah Beach comes to mind. Similarly, getting on and off the beach is generally soft and full of ruts and I can just see a bumper getting ripped off. Once you're actually cruising a beach they tend to go well because they're a much lighter weight and so they don't sink into the sand as much.

    Conversely, you don't need to go overboard either - any standard '4WD' will be fine for beach driving and most camping. I had a 1997 NL Pajero that was stock bar a set of AT tyres for 18 months. It did everything I asked of it without drama (particularly numerous Teewah Beach camping trips as well as a trip to Fraser).

    A Challenger or Pajero is a good bet imo. If you get a Pajero, look for a NT to NW as they didn't have a DPF. The Mitsis are well built 4WDs that don't command a Toyota tax.

    You might be in for a shock with fuel consumption though. I currently have a 2018 Pajero Sport (which is basically an updated Challenger). I've got slightly larger light truck AT tyres and a steel bullbar. I consistently get 10l/100km on the Bruce Highway (the single lane stuff north of Gympie) sitting true at the speed limit. Considering it's a bulky box that comes in at 2.4 tonne with two passengers I think it's a pretty good figure, but consider yourself warned.

    I also had a daily driver back when I had the NL Pajero but I got jack of having two cars. My new Pajero Sport isn't as nice to drive as a good sedan, but it's more than liveable.

  •  

    Check with insurance too that they will cover non gazetted roads. So far I've found only Shannons and Club 4x4 (don't recommend as underwriters are Hollard) ensure true offroad.

    •  

      This is not correct. If the vehicle is classified MC, they have to cover you on all roads, this include Fraser (unless you drive where you should'nt), Bribie Island, Noosa North shore etc. If the vehicel is not classified MC, or you 4WD in private property, then you're right.

      • +1 vote

        Nearly every PDS I've read says if the road is not gazetted (doesn't exist on a map) then you're not covered. If youre taking a offbeat track somewhere on the beach etc insurers won't cover it.

  •  

    Depends on your location but if your daily commute is in the city I'd be looking at the suzuki grand vitara deisel. The Jimny won't have much more room than the mazda 2, but the grand vitara would be a step up. Diesel should get around 8l/100km

    I previously owned a triton and currently drive have a hilux work ute, don't enjoy either for city driving.

    •  

      The diesel version is way too rare.

      I am looking a the Suzuki Vitara 2015/2016 1.4L.

      Any thoughts? I can't see any lift kits for it so I might have to avoid fraser/moreton.

      • +1 vote

        No good. They are AWD not proper 4WD. Look at the Grand Vitara.

        •  

          Are you sure?

          It specifically says 4WD in the information.

          •  

            @samfisher5986: There are different 4WD "technologies"
            Because they called it 4WD it does not mean that they are all the same.
            There are forums in Whirlpool that will give you more info

            •  

              @MechEng: Yes you are right.

              But the 2015 version I'm looking at is listed as "4WD on demand"

              https://www.redbook.com.au/cars/details/2015-suzuki-vitara-r...

              I admit, I'm a little confused now.

              •  

                @samfisher5986: No. No Vitara.

              •  

                @samfisher5986: I will make you a controversial question, that I hope makes you think about what do you really want and why.
                If you don't think about price. What car would you want?

                •  

                  @MechEng: Either a 2020 Prado, ticks all the boxes and 8L/100km.

                  If I don't think about fuel costs, the Grand Vitara probably.

                  I guess I'm just torn between wanting a car for Camping/Transporting furniture etc, going on road trips, and car for my daily driver.

                  I'm happy with my current car for daily driving but there is no way I would buy a nice 4WD and not want to drive that to work every day, and the thought of maintaining and storing 2 cars sounds horrible.

          •  

            @samfisher5986: I looked at the Vitara, it will have a 4WD mode for light off road conditions. But it won't have a diff-lock like the Triton does (Note that some Triton's don't have this). I have limited knowledge on this but my understanding is if you get stuck in the sand with one tyre spinning freely, the computer won't be able to figure out how to give the wheel that is not spinning all the power to get you out without the diff-lock. It's explained here: https://www.unsealed4x4.com.au/what-is-a-diff-lock-and-when-...

  • +2 votes

    Great thread. I have been having the same dilemma. I am a Toyota fan so I thought Prado or those beautiful FJ Cruisers. I am a single bloke, no family so Prado are too huge, FJ might be getting long in the tooth. I am a tech guy. I think I am going to buy one of those Hybrid RAV4's as I drive in the city and on roads most of the time, not a 4wd. I might see if I can find a 4wd course where they supply a vehicle to see if I like the full on 4wd experience before buying anything as I might love it so much that I will have to buy a real 4wd - one of those 2 door Prados second hand?. Otherwise I might be the man doing light off road in an AWD.

    • +1 vote

      They did sell short wheel base Prados for a while around 2015ish. You don't see many around, but you might get lucky on carsales.com etc.

      You could also look at a SR5 Hilux in a single cab or extra cab. Put a nice canopy on it. Whack in some comfort suspension from Ultimate Suspension. You'll find driving it on road isn't as bad as you think, and you'll still be able to go anywhere. It's amazing what a good suspension setup can do for the drivability of a 4x4. It'll never handle like a Ferrari, obviously, but I drive my Hilux to work every day and I'm happy.

    • +2 votes

      FJ still holds it's own these days. Just swap the head-unit out for a new unit (easily enough done), and make sure you go for the model with the 150L tank (2015 onwards from memory). The 4L V6s are very solid engines.

      Getting non-PC but could be a great car for a single guy as it's a very masculine looking car.

      • +1 vote

        159L from sometime in the 2013 models. Same ones have CRAWL control on the roof console.
        They stopped making them for AU in 2016.

        •  

          Yep, Feb 2013 onwards

          Hmm interestingly it requires PULP from that point on as well :/

          •  

            @spackbace: Odd mine has a 91ron sticker inside the filler cap that it can run on 91.
            I only use 98 in it as 91 the economy suffers, but pay to play with toys such as the FJ.
            Full tanks at high prices or those out very rural can make you a bit sad when you're paying $2.55+ per litre though and putting 150L in.

  • +2 votes

    Challengers are heavy on fuel and very disconnected to drive. If you are basing your purchase on fuel figures quoted by manufacturers you are in for a big surprise.

    • +3 votes

      Yep this. Some of the quoted fuel consumption figures on this thread have made me laugh.

  •  

    I took an automatic Subaru Liberty 2.2l onto Fraser and it went just about everywhere. No low gear but enough low end torque. Requires a few skills but we outdrove all Pajero's on the othe hand were no match to Cruisers. Next rented a Daihatsu which was lighter and marginally better especially could always reverse out of troubles. 3rt time a lifed Toyota 4 runner and it cleaned it all up! (also an auto) Note: If ya think of towning, please practice elswhere.

    • +1 vote

      Unfortunately with AWD's banned from stradbroke beaches, I don't want an AWD.

  • +1 vote

    Following thread with interest, I have nothing of value to add except I've pondered the same thing, would be great to have a 4wd vehicle able to be taken to such places, but also doubling as the family / commuting vehicle, luckily I don't drive much so fuel consumption I guess isn't as high a priority, seems a tricky balancing act.

  •  

    Depending on how often you go off-road, it might be worthwhile to consider some of the SUV's out there.
    I am not an expert, but my assumption is that you would be okay with some of them, provided that you put on All Terrain Tyres.

    Going full-on with a proper 4WD like a Triton wouldn't be ozbargain if you are only using it ocassionally.

  •  

    2 car model is life. I drive a $1500 daily which only has 3rd party fire and theft so it costs me $1200 (including rego) per year to own. I also have a Hilux which is my weekender and is heavily modified and drives like a pig around town. I do use it to go camping atleast 1 weekend a month, not to mention it gets a lot of use carting stuff around to renovate the house etc.
    It is nice to leave all the camping stuff in the Hilux and just leave it parked in the garage ready for an adventure. Also getting back late on a weekend I just drive it straight into the shed and leave everything (fridge, swags, chairs) etc in there as opposed to unpacking on that night. My daily uses half the fuel and it costs me a bit more per year to own two cars but easy to justify for me.

  •  

    Toyota Prado all the way! You should be able to get a 2012-ish Prado 150 series for that price, the D4D engine on those are very good

  • +2 votes

    Owning a proper off roader and knowing how to drive it off road are very different.

    OP, buy a normal car for the 99% of use it sounds like it will have, save the $$$.

    Get taught how to truly off road. Then, when you do go, you'll also come back!

    Totally different set of skills to road driving (I can't do it!)

    •  

      I don't understand what you mean at all.

      You need to learn offroad in real world experience and most of my plans are easy 4WDing as its for camping only, not "tracks"

      Buying a normal car does not seem logical to me.

      • +2 votes

        OP, buy a 100k true 4x4, and drive on Fraser island without learning how to drive off road, you will get stuck.

        You have two competing requirements on a shoestring budget. Your budget will achieve neither, so look at what you will use the vehicle for 99% of it's time and go with that.

        How often will you go to one of the more extreme 4x4 environments? A regular soft roader is bigger inside than your old mazda 2/ford fiesta sized car, Large cars and off roaders give reduced fuel economy, do you need a large car?

        You don't get into a 4 engine 747 and fly it, you start with a 2 seater prop like a Cessna and work your way up.

        Alternatively, compromise on:

        Reliability (anything in your budget will have had a hard life requiring replacements to be reliable out bush)

        A vehicle that isn't great to drive as a daily driver

        Higher fuel and

        Higher insurance, if you tell them its for off roading $$$$, plus, modded $$$$

        As always, the choice is yours, but you asked for opinions and options. I'd say your primary use of the car would take precedence.

        If it's a heart decision, then do it but don't imagine it'll be easy and please, learn how to off road otherwise even in a great modded vehicle you'll still get stuck and have someone in an almost stock old land cruiser/pajero pull you out!

        • -2 votes

          You do realise that fraser is not the only place to do offroad right? I hope so…

          A smart person would take it to the endless amount of 4WD places where you can comfortably offroad without worrying too much.

          • +1 vote

            @samfisher5986: Not sure you've done much off-road at all. It all comes with risk.
            You posted elsewhere you wanted to use it to get to those 4x4 only locations, well they're 4x4 for a reason. Damage is always a possibility.
            The same deal for needing to learn and have the skills or risk damage to your vehicle or injury.
            In those situations you really want to travel with others until you've been seasoned enough to know how to tackle some tracks and their changing condition (wet vs dry are often worlds apart) as well as have assistance for recoveries if you're stuck if you're not in a situation (without the knowledge) to self recover.
            Doubt you're fitting a winch to a Vitara… maxtrax will only get you so far, often a spotter is needed to do things safely.
            Maybe you will keep on the very safe, cheap and easy side of all this but that's not as much fun.
            Again, pay to play.

  •  

    I think you need to look at something you will drive everyday rather than the hire option, while yes it's cheaper there is a steep learning curve for offroad and 4x4'ing.
    Not knowing the vehicle before you step foot in it and then going off-road is a dangerous combination. Come across a few accidents off-road where people have never driven on X surface and it ended in a very expensive way for them.

  •  

    Can confirm that the Grand Vitara drinks fuel. I had the lighter 3-door '09 model with the 2.4 and was consistently getting 11+L/100 with mainly highway driving (vs 8-9 in my Aurion in the same usage).

  • +2 votes

    You're after a Prado D4D all day (2006 and above) and they should get you decent economy - maybe 10-11 L per 100KM (official is 9.3L).
    I own a v8 landcruiser (100s IFS), and they're thirsty but I still love it.

  •  

    I'm in the same position as you. City/ road driving 48 weeks of the year and ~4 weeks of camping offroad.

    I bought a Hilux SR5 which is fantastic to drive around the city (can stop in loading bays), and it's great on the sand. Very happy. It's also very economical at 8L/100km. It's a bit more than your budget, but you may be able to find an older one with higher kms.

    Challenger should be ok, but make sure you test drive it. I've test-driven two Tritons and they were both terrible (mostly suspension complaints) which turned me off Mistubishi 4WD's.

    •  

      Thanks that makes me feel more hopeful!

      I think I should test drive a 2015 Mitsubishi Triton GLS as it goes for around 23k and has a reported fuel of 7.6L/100km.

      How exactly did you notice the suspension issues in your test drive? Was it very obvious?

      • +1 vote

        2015 Mitsubishi Triton GLS
        a reported fuel of 7.6L/100km

        You are not going to get that from a 5 years old vehicle.

        •  

          Why does the age change how accurate their reported fuel is?

          A brand new vehicle likely wouldn't match their reported fuel either as its recorded in best case scenario, but so is every car so its relatively fair.

          •  

            @samfisher5986: Wear and tear, same way its not making the same power it did originally.

            •  

              @91rs: Thats quite interesting. Wouldn't you say that 5 years is not that much? Wouldn't that mean a 15 year old 7L/100km vehicle would be chugging away at 15L/100km?

              And wouldn't general maintenance of things like the fuel filter keep things running efficiently?

              •  

                @samfisher5986: How many kms on it? 100k? is a fair amount, depends on service history and a number of variables.
                It doesn't mean it's averaging 15's but its not going to be the optimal that it would have when new.
                You never watched those Top Gear eps where they'd buy old supercars and then dyno them to see how many horses had escaped? Similar deal.
                You can't look at new test condition figures and then expect a 5 year old car with 100k+ kms on it to be the same.

                You ever followed a Mitsubishi that's billowing smoke out the back that doesn't look that old? His economy's long gone.

                •  

                  @91rs: I'm not expecting it to be the same.

                  I'm expecting it to be just as bad or good as any other car since I won't be buying new either way.

                  • +3 votes

                    @samfisher5986: I think you're too tied up in the Per L ratings rather than ability, servicing costs and reliability which given its gonna be a daily for you are more important. If small things like a litre or two per hundred are a deal breaker for you then you're looking at the wrong adventure to have.
                    I've had sand driving where I'm over 20L per hundred, payed over $2.50 p/l for fuel in rural places, that's part of the game then park passes and permit costs on top of those. 4x4 ownership and running costs aren't as simple as the p/l on a website for a car 5 years ago.

                    It's been said elsewhere, but go drive cars, check forums and read what issues people have (you don't even have to ask, look at sticky threads and other popular threads), see how much and hard they are to fix, peoples discussions on storage or the limitations of the vehicle and make better decisions from there.
                    That's mostly what I did before I went and drove a selected few cars that made the list when I was looking for a 4x4.
                    Real world discussion from those with first hand experience really helped.
                    Best of luck with it.

      •  

        No worries. The suspension issues were very noticeable. Go over a few speed bumps or potholes and you'll see what I'm talking about. It's also possible that the ones I found had been flogged.

        For what it's worth, I also had a Mazda 2 prior to the Hilux… Get a 4WD - you won't be disappointed. Moreton, Straddie and Fraser are worth every cent.