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Best Off Road for £6000 - Old Bill
I need a (relatively) cheap & reliable off roader (most urban but light occasional off road use), no towing required. To save on running cost I am thinking of getting a diesel (2.0 to 3.0 engine). I have been put off Ford Maverick (too thirsty) & Freelander (running costs).

Can anyone suggest any good ones? Cheers & happy New Year to all

Old Bill
Best Off Road for £6000 - volvod5_dude
An ex-military LR Defender 90 £3-4k from a specialist.

Best Off Road for £6000 - Old Bill
Thanks VD5D, I will try to find out more about the LR Defender you suggested.

I was thinking of something not too old and relatively easy to drive as my wife and growing family will also use it. Has anyone got a Nissan Terrano, Vauxhall Frontera (although HJ does not recommend it due to engine problems with the diesel version)or even a Jeep Cherokee. The Japanese ones, Honda CRV and Toyota Rav4) are overpriced (for my budget anyway)!

Old Bill
Best Off Road for £6000 - DavidHM
An ex-MoD Defender is going to be tough and superb off road, but absolute pants around town. It's designed to be more than agricultural - which is fine in battle, less so in Hastings. No way will it be easy to drive or suitable for a family - if it even has seats in the back.

The CRV and RAV4 are far and away your best options. If your budget was £7,000 you would be looking at a four year old one of these with a high-ish mileage, and there's even an ex-police CRV in Autotrader for £5495. They'll be far more fuel efficient than a Cherokee, as well as more practical and car like, and although not as good off road, will suffice for occasional light use.

A 3 door, earlier RAV4 will be affordable, though not quite as practical. I don't know what kind of mileage you do, but if it's less than 15,000 miles a year, the diesel premium is unlikely to be justified by fuel savings, although it might be worth it if you want the extra torque for towing. A CRV and an RAV4 will both give about 30-35 mpg if driven gently.
Best Off Road for £6000 - rg
Troopers and Montereys are now cheap, if a little dull. Pretty good off-road, it seems. 25-30-ish avg from my 3.1TD. Pretty reliable if looked after.

My wife is 5' 2" and drives one with ease.

There are many 7-seaters around. We converted ours to a 9-seat with two benches in the boot. Caution! The insurance man sees this as a modification and charges £200 extra p.a.. But this is worth it for extended famililes, and a quasi-school bus.


Best Off Road for £6000 - Old Bill

Thanks for your message. My limited knowledge and "research" so far also pointed me towards to RAV4 or the CRV, I have even though of the Honda HRV, weird looking though.

My mileage will be between 7,000 to 10,000 per year so good point about diesels (no towing required), also since I am going to keep the car for the next 5 years, I probably will stretch my budget to £7K.

Does anyone know of other viable alternative beyond the CRV and RAV4?

Thanks so the replies so far...

Old Bill
Best Off Road for £6000 - KB.
Suzuki Vitara/Grand Vitara + Shogun Pinin are two others. Suzuki Jimny is smaller and available new for £8000.

Go to Google and type in your possibilities and you'll get a few reviews, plus if you type in '4car' and 'whatcar', and go to road tests, you'll get them all listed
Best Off Road for £6000 - Old Bill
Thanks KB,

The Suzuki Jimmi is to small, thanks anyway. I have seen the road tests, including the ones from HJ (very good in deed).

I am thinking of buying a mid sized 4x4 (like the Grand Vitara/Frontera, etc). I will seriously consider converting it to LPG, will need to do my maths first to see how long it would take for me to recover the £2000 it will cost to convert it. I though that this would exempt me from the congestion charges, however, the only 4x4 LPG conversion that is exempt is the Santa Fe (far too expensive for me).

Old Bill

Best Off Road for £6000 - bazza
A slightly different suggestion: have you considered a Subaru Legacy or even Forester? If your need is mostly urban with light off-road, one of these may suit. Reliability comes no better according to the surveys. A very popular car with vets, farmers etc, people who need a vehicle with slightly more ability.
Just a thought..
Best Off Road for £6000 - Old Bill

I have read quite a bit about the new Forester, I don't know much about older (1997 - 1999) models.

I guess that for urban & light off-road (which is what I need) they will be fine. I guess I should get a test drive to find out how it handles, etc, etc.

Another point to consider is safety, after seeing what happen to that little girls killed by a stolen car on New Year's eve (with her sister being seriously hurt as well). Like many others used to complain about off roaders being used for school runs, etc. Now that I am a parent I want to protect my kids and, if given a choice, I'd rather put my kids in an off-roader type car than a small.


Old Bill

Best Off Road for £6000 - KB.
I'd overlooked the Subaru as suggested by bazza when offering those earlier suggestions. Seen most frequently in country areas as used by farmers and those living down remote and narrower lanes methinks. No diesel options and perhaps a bit dearer to run but safe handling and solid build. There are bigger offerings from Hyundai and Kia and Daiwoo which come up cheaper than more mainstream models.
Best Off Road for £6000 - Baskerville
The Legacy is a wonderful machine. I had the use of one for a while in the USA last summer and took it down some fairly rough desert tracks and on very steep and winding mountain roads. This one was five years old and had 60K on the clock but it drove like new and had no rattles. I also drove it (and in it) from San Francisco to LA return one weekend and it was tremendously comfortable the whole way. If there was a diesel I'd be after one. Some of them have self-leveling rear suspension too, so great for load-lugging. Just watch out for signs of "grounding" underneath. No doubt the Forester is just as good.
Best Off Road for £6000 - Old Bill
I have never driven a Legacy. I must admit that the Forester is sounding better and better with every article I read about it. I will try to test drive both cars to see which one best suit my needs.

Old Bill

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