Can you recommend a pick-up workhorse to replace my 1994 Isuzu Bighorn?

I own an 1994 Isuzu Bighorn 3.1TD LWB that has served me well for about 10 years now, used on our small farm for the occasional heavy towing task (livestock in a trailer to slaughter, hauling baled hay and straw out of a field on a trailer in the summer, collecting multiple bags of animal feeds from a local supplier but also for unladen journeys around south-west England where we live). It still goes OK, passing MOTs without significant expense, but I think it is time to replace it before something expensive goes wrong.

With about 110,000 miles on the clock and sold privately, I think I could get £1,0000-£1,500. I rather like the luxury combined with functionality of the older Mercedes-Benz ML 270CDI but have also considered Land Rover Discoveries, Defenders, Mitsubishi Shoguns, etc. I would probably cover 10,000 miles annually, and have up to £12,000 to spend including what I get for the Isuzu. What would you recommend I consider?

Asked on 2 November 2010 by RR, Sherborne

Answered by Honest John
My personal preference for this sort of use would be an Isuzu Rodeo doublecab 4x4 with the 2.5 chain cam I-TEQ engine. I actually bought two of these: one a 2WD Isuzu S-Max HiLander with LSD, and the other a Chevrolet Colorado with the same engine but a lowrider without an LSD. Both do 40mpg +. The 2.5 I-TEQ and 5-speed manual box are the nicest pick-up drivetrains of the lot. Why go for something potentially extremely expensive to maintain, like an American built Mercedes-Benz ML? To sell the Isuzu with minimum fuss, try www.brightwells.com that runs 4WD vehicle auctions in Leominster.
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