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Old 27 March 2012, 11:59   #1
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Smallish 4x4

I need a smallish 4x4 that doesn't completely suck on the road and will realistically manage 30+ mpg. I don't need massive towing capability but it does need enough space for a lanky driver, plus three passengers from time to time. Off road will be limited to muddy tracks, nothing gnarly but not places I'd want to try to take my van.

This spec seems to put me in the market for a hairdresser's car: Freelander? Rav4? Vitara?

I've never even given a passing thought to owning something like this before. Anyone have any helpful advice (other than to increase my medication)?
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Old 27 March 2012, 13:30   #2
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John...we've had several Freelander 2's on the bounce. Across them all, tank full to tank full - genuine 31mpg. Drivers seat goes further back from wheel and pedals than our RRS. Even feels livelier than the RRS in everyday driving as the throttle response is sharper. Never had a problem...none of them seen a dealer other than for servicing

A LandRover a hairdressers car? Hmmm...
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Old 27 March 2012, 14:08   #3
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John

I have had Turbo Subaru Foresters for 9 years now with no problems and have towed the lot - AWD, comfy, bulletproof, loads of room, 230 bhp - towing capacity of a XT is 2000 kg but only around 25 mpg

However - a non turbo petrol will do 30+ - has a low box - towing capacity 1500 kg

You can get diesel but still rare

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Old 27 March 2012, 14:40   #4
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Depends on your budget really, but if it was a significant investment the three at the top of my list would be Skoda Yeti, Freelander, Rav 4.

I've driven all three reasonably recently, all under 3 years old, and if I could find one at the right price - Can't believe I'm typing this - the Skoda would probably win out marginally over the Freelander.

Having owned a Turbo Subaru before, all be it a Twin Turbo legacy, I'd have one again tomorrow, but only if Petrol went back to under 1 a litre.

There are lots of other options, but if cheaper is where you are looking then it would be freelander TD4 everyday for me.

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Old 27 March 2012, 14:54   #5
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Being a L R fan I would say freelander the 1 with the Eco engine is good loads of torque
Subaru have some great deals on at the mo as well
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Old 27 March 2012, 15:03   #6
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oww. Almost don't want to say this but we have a Ford Kuga 4x4 163 hp 2 L diesel. since we have had it (just over a month) i have done around 1000 miles in its returning 34 mpg at the moment and i have heavy boots!

great spec, much cheaper than a land rover for purchase and service.

really nice to drive and I'm told, not too bad off road but frankly the closest its going to get with me is the car parks in the new forest!!!

well worth a look and very good residual values at the moment too!
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Old 27 March 2012, 15:22   #7
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Skoda yeti has a great write up, ace engine and economical as well as will do off road
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Old 27 March 2012, 16:38   #8
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Suzuki sx4!
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Old 28 March 2012, 02:05   #9
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Hi John, It really depends what you want to spend?, I had untill recently (and now wish I still had) a Ssangyong Rexton 2.9, mercedes running gear bullet proof performance and economical in fact I will buy another one, good used 5k ish so very good value for money, I have owned a nissan patrol for a long time and decided to keep that because it has 7 seats and a towing capacity of 3.5 tonne, but heavy on diesel, and sold the rexton, but now regret doing that
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Old 28 March 2012, 02:11   #10
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About 3k I reckon, so a Freelander 2 isn't in the cards but it looks like there's plenty of choice of earlier Freelanders at that sort of money.

I don't want a project though so I'll need to find out a bit more about them. What sort of mileage starts to make them scary?
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Old 28 March 2012, 02:49   #11
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Freelander 1 's are great little cars, had 3 now and sold them at a Lr Dealership.. and ideally the lowest mileage with good service history. TD4 is the only engine to look for, the petrol 1.8 are totally best avoided for multiple reasons as it the early rover diesels.
there are plenty of websites for problem curing which can be done cheaply as parts are plentiful.
I recently sold a 5 dr Gs Td4 Auto that really was mint throughtout with 53k on it and a Y reg for 3750 to give you an idea
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Old 28 March 2012, 03:17   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kennett
About 3k I reckon, so a Freelander 2 isn't in the cards but it looks like there's plenty of choice of earlier Freelanders at that sort of money.
John. Be wary at 6'4" of entry/egress. The door aperture is not the biggest and at 6'2" I used to frequently brain myself getting in. It explains the premature senility.
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Old 28 March 2012, 08:50   #13
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What sort of mileage starts to make them scary?
Enyfink dats dun mor thann wan thowsand sevven undred an siksty yarrds.
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Old 28 March 2012, 11:14   #14
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Might be a bit old for you but how about a SWB Trooper/Monterey 3.1TD? I get about 30MPG (sometimes 28 sometimes 32) around town and 36 MPg on a run in my LWB and is practically bullett proof. Cheaper 215/year Tax too.
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Old 28 March 2012, 12:54   #15
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John, also consider the Jeep Cherokee in diesel called the "Sport". Good car. Toyota RAV4 drives like a "normal" car........as already mentioned the Subaru's are worthy motors.
L/R Freelander S1 td4 is economical with the BMW engine, unfortunately with a Rover clutch though.
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Old 28 March 2012, 14:37   #16
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Ribochet is right a Subaru Forester is the one to get - Not many hairdressers drive them either.
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Old 28 March 2012, 16:02   #17
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John, also consider the Jeep Cherokee in diesel called the "Sport". Good car.
Think you might suffer with headroom in one of those. Designed for the yanks whose larger dimension tends to be horizontally not vertically . Also, their diesels were pretty poor economy wise in the early models.
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Old 28 March 2012, 16:35   #18
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I've got a Jeep Wrangler at the moment and the price of parts is eyewatering. I assume the Cherokee would be the same, so not likely to be on my list.

Likewise I don't think I'll be getting a Subaru, based on previous experience with what became known as the "clown car" - every time anyone used it something else broke or fell off. It was the most disastrous car I have ever owned.

Might have a look at the Monterey/Trooper, but I reckon a Freelander is top of the list so far (assuming I can actually get into one!)
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Old 28 March 2012, 18:29   #19
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If you're looking at a Monterey/Trooper why not look at a late(r) model Frontera Sport with a diesel in? They've got quite a bit of legroom.
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Old 28 March 2012, 18:46   #20
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If you are over 6' you simply won't fit in a Freelander 1 and be comfortable. It's got no legroom if you have long legs, and if your altitude is mostly in the body your head will brush the rooflining unless you recline the seat right back so you can't reach the steering wheel. And, as described, you'll bang your head getting out. A lot. And getting back in again.

Td4 is a good little car but only for 5'10" and below! I had one, and sold it after six months because it can't tow anything compared to a real 4x4, there wasn't enough space for me in the front and there isn't enough space to fit suitcases in the back. I replaced it in 2002 with the Discovery I still have

F2 is a different story, much more room and a great vehicle.
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