Weeks, if not months, of seemingly relentless rain have made it very wet and very muddy outside, and so thoughts inevitably turn to 4x4s.
Reader John knows his stuff, having bought a Nissan Pathfinder brand new and put it to some serious hardcore use. As he told me: “The engine is and always was rough but the thing did the job and was robust and reliable, provided it was regularly serviced. The car has now accumulated 188k miles, having been put to all imaginable uses.”
I still a struggle to recommend Land Rover products. I know people with good Discovery experiences, but I’m not one of them. The reliability stats, based on warranty claims, prove the point that apart from a Mk1 Disco and maybe a classic Range Rover that will in any case cost gazillions to sort, you are better off with the 4x4 workhorses of this world.
My go-to hardest-working 4x4, based on real-life experience, has to be a Toyota Anything At All. Obviously, though, if like John you are replacing a Pathfinder, it would need to be a Land Cruiser. John will buy new on a PCP but, for fun, let’s look at what a decent amount of money – around £16k – will buy used.
I was rather taken by a 2008 3.0 D-4D with 63k miles, a full Toyota history and a £15,800 price. That would be strong money for most 12-year-old 4x4s but is actually very good value for a Cruiser. Plus, this has eight seats so that makes it an MPV, but much more useful.
Other comfy, last-forever 4x4s include the Mitsubishi Shogun and I had a decent experience over a year with one. Significantly, £15k gets you a very contemporary 2016 3.2 Di-D 4Work SG2. Okay, it is a van version, but it has 77k miles, leather and 18in alloy wheels. Mind you, a seven-leather-seat 2014 Di-D SG3 with 60,000 miles is just £15,250. Again, we have a proper service history, it’s a one-owner car and it has 18in alloys. A dealer is selling it so there is a proper warranty as well.
I feel like digging up a Mercedes G-Wagen and you can pick up a 1991 3.0 GE 300d with over 100k miles and a measly 88bhp but in tidy condition for a bit over £15k. It won’t be very comfy, though.