Can you recommend a vehicle suitable for touring around Thailand?

I am moving to Thailand and would value your advice on selecting a vehicle. I wish to tour around the country and I like the look of the Toyota Camry, but I am not sure which model. My Thai friends think I should go for something like the Isuzu MU7, so I inspected one on my last visit but underneath it looked like something I owned in the 1960s - or have I got it wrong?

Asked on 2 May 2011 by DL, King's Lynn,

Answered by Honest John
There is a Camry hybrid in Thailand, but it is expensive and Camrys generally mark you out as either a Thai politician, a hotel limo driver or a rich farang (and hence a target). The MU7 is a 7-seat SUV based on the Isuzu D-Max pick-up (called the Rodeo here). Its rear suspension is crude live axle and leaf springs, so the ride is not good, but the seats are. And the 2.5 and 3.0-litre chain cam I-TEQ engines with 5-speed manual gearbox are the best powertrains fitted to any pickups in Thailand. I've bought two. MU7s also hold their prices extraordinarily well.

But if I were you I'd go a straight four-door D-Max or Chevy Colorado pick-up with four-wheel drive for some of the bad mud roads in North Eastern Thailand. You can now even get them with sat nav. There will be a new Ford Ranger, New Mazda BT50, new Chevy Colorado, and new Isuzu D-Max later this year. That might take some of the heat off the prices of the current ones.
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