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Thread: Fuel Efficient 4WD

  1. #1
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    Fuel Efficient 4WD

    Hi guys,

    Since getting my Toyota Echo stuck last time in the Ruahines, I've been thinking about getting a 4WD to enable access to more hunting spots.

    Don't need anything big and preferably fuel efficient.

    Here are the two options I am thinking of:
    1. Keep the Toyota Echo as the main commuter and buy a Suzuki Jimny as an off roader.
    2. Sell the Toyota Echo and buy a Mitsubishi Outlander Plug In Hybrid.

    I am aware that the Jimny has a reputation of being an excellent off roader despite its small size.
    But at the same time I am extremely keen on getting into the electric/hybrid world. How much worse off road would the Outlander be compared to the Jimny?

    Not too keen on getting a Hilux/Ranger/Navara unless it is going to be significantly more capable off road than my current options.

    Any advice would be highly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Member northdude's Avatar
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    ive got an escudo its pretty good on gas but no race car and with just a set of at tyres can get you into places easily once it wont go any further its time to get out and walk anyway

  3. #3
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    Ground clearance is your #1 priority. It is what gets blokes stuck the most, a lack of ground clearance, usually because they were silly and drove into / onto something that they didn't first ask themselves "am I high enough for that?". So to speak... well, you know what I mean.

    The Jimny - driven sensibly - will get you most places when it comes to accessing public land hunting blocks. They are remarkable little cars. But they aren't a Hilux, and anyone wanting to get through water filled wheel ruts of uncertain depth must remember they were probably made by a proper 4WD, likely with higher tyres than standard plus a lift kit. That's where the little Jimny and its kind get in problems, trying to use tracks cut up by 4WD utes.

    My view on this is if you can afford to run two cars, with specific purposes, do so. A proper 4WD need not be silly expensive, and if you don't plan to put a lot of miles on it and/or smash it up on rough tracks, it will hold its value once its ~10 years old. For your application, I'd keep the town car, and get a simple 4WD ute and use it for what its good at.

    Also, I do know one person with the previous model Jimny (my neighbor), they raved about it but inevitably he got overconfident and pushed it to get where he thought it could go. It first got damaged underneath (sill and removeable panel), and then it copped rear corner / light cluster panel damage when it collected a gatepost after losing traction on a muddy slope and sliding backwards. The latter was primarily because he skimped on the tyres and paid for it the wrong way. After that he fell out of love with it.
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  4. #4
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    what about a road legal trail bike .looking at getting a xt250 myself saves on using my bighorn and I can hide it in the bush while hunting rather than parked up where any dropkick can break into it.

  5. #5
    Hunter gatherer dannyb's Avatar
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    Second the Escudo I have one and it's amazing where it will go, granted you won't get there fast but you will get there.

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  6. #6
    Member northdude's Avatar
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    fuk your keen last time out I nearly slipped backwards into a deep fast flowing bit of the whirinaki river
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  7. #7
    Hunter gatherer dannyb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by northdude View Post
    fuk your keen last time out I nearly slipped backwards into a deep fast flowing bit of the whirinaki river
    That was pretty much the limit especially with no snorkel was on the verge of floating, no way I could have walked it first it was bloody fast flowing that's the Rangitata heading up to the growler hut.

  8. #8
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dannyb View Post
    Second the Escudo I have one and it's amazing where it will go, granted you won't get there fast but you will get there.

    Attachment 108093
    Iv got a similar pic of my Rav crossing big river in the lagoon (salt water)....Probably the only rav4 to ever get south of big river and it did the whole trip without a single snatch while "propper" 4wds got bogged left right and center. Certainly wouldn't attempt the trip without multiple vehicles and winches but just shows what a "soft roader" is capable of driven accordingly.
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  9. #9
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    No shit @dannyb! Finding the limit in that wee car would be very exciting, put yourself in 100mm deeper water than you expected and the fuel tank buoyancy can pick up the rear of the car and in a flash you're off on a downstream expedition you didn't plan for. Raised diff and gearbox breathers are also rather important...
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  10. #10
    Hunter gatherer dannyb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyblown View Post
    No shit @dannyb! Finding the limit in that wee car would be very exciting, put yourself in 100mm deeper water than you expected and the fuel tank buoyancy can pick up the rear of the car and in a flash you're off on a downstream expedition you didn't plan for. Raised diff and gearbox breathers are also rather important...
    Yup it was getting a bit floaty on the return trip, the river had gone up a couple cumecs whilst we were up there, it certainly required a bit of careful driving, was getting floaty in the back end, just start up stream and keep the heavy steering end pointed down stream whilst the back bounced and floated a bit as long as I kept the steering wheels planted and in ftont of the back wheels it was all ok.
    The first 5m where the deepest and fastest so just plowed in and keep the bow wave going, could go deeper with a snorkel but not in that current it was bloody fast and a knarly looking rapid downstream, seat belt off windows and sunroof open.....just in case

  11. #11
    Member Beetroot's Avatar
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    p400e Range Rover?
    Whilst the entry price is quite significant the running costs should be lower.....

    Your best bet is likely to be having to separate vehicles.
    You have the obvious fuel saving in the day to day running, but people often forget the maintenance costs of a 4x4 vs a little car.
    A 4x4 will wear out tyres, brakes, suspension, bearings, drive train etc quicker than a small hatch back, and the parts are typically more expensive to replace.
    Unless you want a Jimny, but then you may suffer from ground clearance, tow ability and load carrying.

    You can also forgo certain luxuries with a 4x4 that's only used for fun vs a daily run about.
    I often shake my head at folk using their kited out 4x4s as their daily drivers, wearing out their $2000 mud grips, dealing with horrific road noise and poor handling due to the 4" lift.

    The electric/hybrid sounds like a good idea on paper but they leave a lot to be desired when doing real off road stuff, they also typically have a lower tow rating and will have a net lower range than a diesel vehicle.
    If you factor in repayments the net cost to you will likely be much higher than to separate vehicles, so unless you were going to buy the particular vehicle anyway, or want to get on board with the PHEV/EV thing you will be worse of expense wise.
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  12. #12
    If your not fast your last Shootm's Avatar
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    You would just about get an echo stuck in wet grass.
    Were in the Ruahines are you trying to get to?
    I have a Grand Vitara and get that everywhere I want to go so a Jimny should do the trick.
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  13. #13
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    What off road driving are you planing to do is the biggest qustion is just driving in farmers paddock or ruff bush tracks & with theses other people talking bot tow rating do you ever tow heavier trailers

  14. #14
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    We have the hybrid Mitsi Phevs as work vehicles.
    Company selling electricity.
    They are big soft suvs.
    Electric range maybe 40k which might be good for daily commute.
    The size of modern utes and suvs need to be considered as parking isnt that flash.
    Lots of easy to break and bend expensive stuff.
    Wind the windows down and door height isnt right to put you elbow out.
    Feels real weird.

  15. #15
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    It is important that @Synthetic remembers that he's talking to a bunch of guys that - for the most part - will just recommend what they've got. Me with my Hilux, others with their Suzukis. Both options are equally valid. Then there are the extreme ends of both options, like our mates on here who do river crossings in cars built like Coke cans that would have made Top Gear proud in their heyday!

    So the thing is Synthetic, is both options are... equally valid. It is 100% dependant on what grade of tracks you think you want to tackle, and how much gear (weight) you will be carrying at the time. This is really important, as so many guys buy big hairy 4WDs then never use them for what they are designed to do. Equally, guys who have a Vitara or similar might push the limit because they encounter something they weren't expecting, and come to grief in something a larger / higher vehicle would stroll through.

    Weight and cubic capacity is also really important. Gear, plus dog, plus bleeding red stag carcass? A ute tray just makes so much more sense, if you're doing it regularly.

    But backing up what @vietnamcam said above, in 2000 I drove one of the original Rav4s in Mozambique, and that little car was a revelation. It was the first time I'd ever used a small AWD crossover and it was farkin' brilliant. The only thing I'd caution, is that I was alone in the car 95% of the time, with just my rod and tackle box and a few fish, and the moment we drove out with four adults and all their camping gear, it was a completely different story! Where before I used raw pace to get over sandy humps and soft holes, I couldn't do that any more without hitting the bump stops really hard, and things turned to custard. The absence of low range really hurt. Also didn't have a compressor so dropping the tyre pressures helped, but then couldn't reinflate when we reached the tar seal.

    That's where the Jimny comes into its own with proper ladder chassis, 4WD and the hi/low box. A Grand Vitara is a good option too, just more prone to sill damage. The mechanicals underpinning these "All Grip Pro" systems are in a totally different class to a soft roader AWD like the Rav4. Big difference! Personally? I'd love one of the current 2019 model Jimnys. But I'd keep my Hilux, I'll go to my grave in that truck.

    Its also worth remembering that all these modern 4WD systems are electronically controlled, whereas a traditional part-time 4WD ute with stick selected 2WD / 4WD hi / 4WD low is all mechanical. To me, in NZ conditions, the more electronics you have governing drive train, the more nervous I am with river crossings and long, wet, muddy bog holes. Just sayin'..... been there, done that. Water and electricity has never mixed particularly well, just ask Land River Disco owners. When modern vehicles are 10+ years old, that's when I'd be getting really nervous.
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