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Old 9 Jun 2008
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Best 4x4x5 - what would you recommend?

I thought I'd pick people's brains a bit if that's OK. I'm looking for a 4x4 which will comfortably cope with five people (2 adults & 3 teens) and all their assorted junk. I'll admit it's not for serious long distance touring, but more for long weekend camping trips and also general day-to-day use in Finland. Oh and I won't be buying new, it'll be over 3 years old so that I can bring it in as "removal goods" and avoid the tax.

I'm wondering about a crew-cab 4 door pick up, maybe the indestructible Toyota Hilux, as that way it should have plenty of space for bikes, and camping gear etc, and it'll cope with my fiancée's wood-buying too (she's a cabinet maker), but a decent sized "station wagon" could be OK.

Oh and sorry US readers, but it has to be available in Europe.
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Old 10 Jun 2008
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I would have a serious look at a 3yr old Nissan Pathfinder. Roomy, comfortable, economical, and go well. Very powerful 2.5 litre diesel. I reckon it is a car that is often overlooked! Your teens might bet a bit cramped up on the back bench of a double cab. You can always get a cheap trailer for the wood and a rack for the bikes. The pathfinder is certainly decent sized.
Check out the size of the boot:
Used Nissan Pathfinder 2.5 dCi 171 Aventura 5dr Auto Estate 2006, 12,000 miles, £10,900 in , for sale - exchangeandmart.co.uk
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Old 11 Jun 2008
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Oddly enough we were considering the Navarra, which as far as I know it the pick-up version of the same vehicle.

There is another reason for a pick-up and it's all to do with VAT (shhhhh)
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Old 11 Jun 2008
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The Navarra isn't quite the pick-up version of the Pathfinder; like the Surf was the estate version of the Hi lux. The back axle on the Navarra is solid whereas that on the Pathfinder is independent rear suspension. The front on the Navarra is torsion bar (at least in my 4 year old one) but I'm not sure if that's carried over to the Pathfinder. Actually there is rather more room in the load area on a Navarra than the Pathfinder but the rear leg room in the Navarra is very restricted; much better in the new model though. The advantage of the pick up is that you don't hear all the stuff in the back rattling about. Great for stocking up on booze in France as a result!

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Old 30 Jun 2008
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Navara / Pathfinder

Navaras have limited offroad ability when loaded. I had to drag one out of the desert with my Defender a couple of years ago - it just couldnt cope.
I roadtested a Pathfinder 18 months ago for a 4x4 mag and found it massively thirsty - high-revving diesel linked to an autobox - scary fuel consumption but no grunt as a reward. Supposedly the V6 is a better engine but its scarce in the UK and Europe.

Also the "traction control" didnt - it was slithery, skiddy and neurotic, even on muddy farm tracks. Id avoid them - my two penn'orth.

Family truck? Defender, Disco or Landcruiser? Too obvious?
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