Truck or treat?

At present I own a 206 plate Nissan X-Trail Aventura DCI, 4WD, six-speed gearbox. This is my private car and as I own my own limited company. I now wish to change to a company vehicle. I really enjoy the Nissan with all its bells and whistles but need to carry the tools of my trade and equipment, etc. I still require five seats with the same or similar luxury and the same or better kit as the Nissan but with crew cab and rear loadbed. I have been looking at the Mitsubishi L200; the Toyota Hilux and the Navara being too large. I would appreciate your advice on these two or any other make that might fit my requirements; also advantages and dis-advantages of five speed over six speed, 16 inch or 17 inch wheels, which is best over long journeys and any problems each vehicle might have, ie, clutch, cam belt etc.

Asked on 12 March 2010 by R.C., Harpenden,

Answered by Honest John
I'm financing two pick-ups in Thailand: one an Isuzu D-Max Hi-Lander double cab and one a Chevrolet Colorado LS king cab. Both have the same 2.5 litre chain cam i-TEQ engine, and that (and its bigger 3.0 brother) are the best, nicest to drive and most economical pick-up engines. You can get the 2.5 in the UK market Isuzu Rodeo Denver, but it's a big truck: 16' 6" long. The Mitsubishi L200 is shorter (though there is now a longer loadbed option for the double cab). That handles better than any other pick up and is stronger underneath, but its 2.5 engine remains belt cam, derived from an old Shogun engine. Toyota has just upgraded its Hi-Lux yet again, but the 2.5 and 3.0 engines remain belt cam and the Hi-Lux is a big pick-up too. So is the Navara. The 5-speed in the D-Max has the nicest gearshift. The 6-speed in Navara is a bit imprecise. 16” wheels with deep 70 profile tyres are best on a pick up. The D-Max is the oldest model (2002), the Hi-Lux Vigo next (2003) and the L200 Triton the newest (2005). Most are tested and all are in car-by-car breakdown at Running it on your company you’ll pay BIK tax on £3,000 a year, but no BIK tax on fuel.
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