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Pick and shovel

I have just acquired a rural property access to which will involve about 2 miles along first a semi gravel road and then an unmade dirt track to the house entrance. The visits I have made already suggest that my 6 year old petrol engined Toyota Corolla's suspension may not like this for too long and as I am also going to have to travel further during the week it occurs that diesel will cost me significantly less in fuel costs. I would welcome your advice on a suitable diesel SUV/4x4, perhaps 3-5 years old. We are also wondering, as we have two large dogs, of the possibility of a twin cabin (4/5 seater) pick-up as there seem to be more of these about these days than previously. I would be hoping to spend a net £8,000-£10,000 i.e. including the Corolla trade-in (4-door 2004, 1.4 engine).

Asked on 7 August 2010 by RR, via e-mail

Answered by Honest John
If you can get an Isuzu Rodeo twin cab pick-up with the chain-cam 2.5 or 3.0 I-TEQ engine, that is the best pick-up powertrain. It's a very amiable engine with an excellent gearchange, and should do 35 - 36mpg. Ours does 36 - 38, but is only two-wheel drive. Test here: www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/isuzu/isuzu-rodeo-...r
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