Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > 4 wheels > 4WD Overland Tech

4WD Overland Tech GENERIC 4WD / 4 wheel TECH discussions and info that is valid for ALL brands. See brand specific forums.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Visit Matt Savage for VIAIR compressors, Air Lift Helper Springs, Tyre Levers, Chris Scott's Books & DVDs, KC Daylighters, Allisport Intercoolers, Overland Preparation and lots more!

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 4 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Nantes, France
Posts: 397
Question Which small 4WD for Europe to India?

I know nothing about cars. But I might just end up driving one to India next year. So, which one?

My criteria: something small, tough and reliable. Not at all interested in performance or looks. Inside, two adults and an infant, all of whom pack very very lightly. Soft top essential. We want to pretend that it is not a car.

4WD seems a good idea, although probably not absolutely necessary. I am more concerned about the vehicle not shaking apart on a heavily pot holed roads, than going up mountains. Occasional shallow water crossings perhaps, and some gravel roads.

I saw a Suzuki Jimny Soft Top in the street the other day, and this seemed to fit the bill. Am I right?

Basically I want something that will take us on slowish poor quality roads for a distance and not break down. No pricey silly plastic bits; straightforwards engine; utility instrumentation, that sort of thing. Think rugged, boring, simple. If it helps, I ride a Honda Transalp motorcycle.

Oh, did I mention cheap?

Simon
__________________
Simon Kennedy
Around the world 2000-2004, on a 1993 Honda Transalp
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 4 Dec 2006
mustaphapint's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 398
I'm probably going to get laughed at a bit for this idea, but if you're after something a bit unusual it sounds an ideal trip for a 2cv.
They're small, tough, reliable, will go almost anywhere, mainly open air with the soft top option and you'll certainly attract some respect for travelling in it!

I'd have no problems at all with setting off with this!
__________________
If you think you are too small to make a difference you have never spent the night with a mosquito.

Last edited by mustaphapint; 4 Dec 2006 at 22:21.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 4 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: christchurch uk
Posts: 249
I went to india in 1993 in a merc 608 bit big if you say you want a car but a few pointers...I met someone in a 2cv van who had no problems apart from an accident which bent the chassis! also travelled with a 208 merc van also no problems. I wished for a 4x4 not for potholed roads but to get to places to camp where 4x2 struggles. You definately wont need it for the roads unless you intend going to the far north in the winter. the locals dont have 4x4.
I would take a Toyota landcruiser or a Toyota surf then you have comfort and reliability, if you want a small car. I would never take a soft top for reasons of security and dust you wont believe how dusty it is! I like the idea of being able to sleep in a vehicle if needed.

Graeme
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 5 Dec 2006
Gipper's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Banff,Canada/Poole,UK
Posts: 731
Hi,
The Jimny - is not a bad little 4x4 - if you look underneath it has the same suspension set up as a Defender - live axles, coils, panhard rod/trailing arm - though a lot smaller - so it is quite a good little vehicle.
A concern would be chassis strength and quality of the running gear/ electrics.

It will also be quite a dog to drive on rough roads due to its very short wheelbase- lots of pitching.

The amount of room in them is very limited and Ive not heard of anyone overlanding in one - maybe get in contact with some Suzuki owners club -they tend to use the old SJs.

Hard Top definitely - As mentioned, dust is bad enough even with a hard top, and security too is an issue - Ive not had anything taken off a bike, but ive had a few vehicles broken into.

I would be tempted to use the 'modern day' 2cv - the Berlingo van - (a used base model - less electics etc) with the 1.9 peugoet/renault normally aspirated diesel,(bombroof and easy to service) there are a few 4x4 versions out there too - for a price, but as mentioned - you dont really need it.

It has tons of room in it to sleep in if required, lots of inbuilt stowage, you can put 15 inch rims on it - so you can fit tougher tyres and get a little more ground clearance, 10,000 mile service intervals for the 1.9 diesel, and you can pick up a good one for under 5 grand ish - and 40 to the gallon.

Theres also over 800,000 of them sold.....Ive seen a 4x4 Berlingo in the Western Sahara (went everywhere) and seen several on Farms working hard.

Cheers
Grif
__________________
Cheers
Grif

'09 Suzuki DR650
'00 Discovery Series 2 V8
'95 Defender 90 300 Tdi Overlander
http://gipperstravels.blogspot.com/

Last edited by Gipper; 5 Dec 2006 at 04:40.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 5 Dec 2006
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: scotland
Posts: 73
The berlingo is a good modern car and would do the job, and they are everywhere. The 2CV would also do the job no problem and you can pick them up dirt cheap, piss poor performance but for the trip your gonna take it would be ok, They are a bit quirky though as i remember.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 5 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: France
Posts: 353
How about an Indian car

I wonder if a Tata would make it.
They had a disastrous launch in the UK so they're cheap; but as an Indian made car you could get spares.
Otherwise Grif and I have seen a Renault 4 make it to Ghana, quirky but reliable.
Other comments ditto. The citroegeot berlingumper and the fiaeugeotroen Scudexperartner are basic reliable vans, but not ragtops.
Have fun
Luke
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 5 Dec 2006
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: scotland
Posts: 73
Out of curiosity what route do you intend going ?
regards.........marty.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 5 Dec 2006
Riq Riq is offline
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 227
How about

How about an Iltus.

I believe they are readily available in Europe and seem to meet your criteria of small, cheap, 4wd, soft top plus removeable doors if you want.

http://www.iltis.ca/ This is the canadian contact point but it has the specs to look at.

Rick
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 5 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Alt Penedes, Barcelona
Posts: 131
Well, whattabout the good old land rovers. Canvas top, cheap to buy, from the UK cheap to update or prepare, they can be even comfortable if well prepared, they offer quite some protection to your family, easy to fix etc...

Examples: Extra tank for Toy: 600 Eu, for LR in Paddoks 100 eu. Rear tyre carrier: Toy 650 Eu, LR in Paddocks 80 Eu and so on...

The down side of Series LR: Noisy, (it can be corrected) Slow, (with Overdrive and a good engine 85 cruising) Thirsty no less than 12 liters a 100 Km. Uncomfortable ( Citroen seats, parabolics, gas dampers help a lot)

Everybody says they brake, and I guess it's understandable that any 30 or 45 year old vehicle (if they ever survive that long) needs some attention before a trip.

Our family have drive them for many years in daily basis and long trips, Europe, Africa, Latin America, and we NEVER, so far, had any serious problem, thanks God, (except broken spring bolt cause far out overload) however they were mechanically checked from A to Z. And whenever we encounter any minor problem it was solved with some wire, old bicycle tube or used bolts.

They can take you anywhere, as C.S. says: sometimes you'll need "every trick on the book".

Good luck !
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 6 Dec 2006
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: scotland
Posts: 73
A thumbs up for the series landrover, they are cheap to buy and easy to repair, bush machanic anywhere would get you going. Downside is that even the youngest series landys are old cars now so you would need to prepare the car well for the journey. This is the one I`d go for going by your criteria restraints. A capable, reliable and inexpensive vehicle.
regards.....marty.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 7 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Nantes, France
Posts: 397
LANDROVERS AND 2CV:
Love the look of them. Full of romanace and all that. But I had in mind a vehicle that involves no preparation and will not break. I just don't want to devote the time to putting it all together. I am no mechanic, and perhaps can learn how to fix it up, but just don't want to. I have plenty of projects on the go, not least demanding being the said infant.

THE ILTUS
Again, looks the business. Doubtless a bit more reliable, given its provenance. The only one on ebay seems a bit small.




BERLINGO
I like these vans a lot, and might buy one for the family car. The kangoo is very popular here in France. I might buy one as a family car. But I want an open top for the trip. We don't mind dust you see. All part of the experience.

THE ROUTE
The usual: Turkey, Iran, Pakistan.

SUZUKI SAMURAI
Given the smallness of the Jimny, the Samurai might be the better bet. Hairdresser's car with attitude. Reviews talk about the "woefully small engine". Sounds good.

FOUR WHEEL DRIVE SITES
Please don't make me go there again - they depress me beyond belief.

We would like to go in a sidecar outfit. The safety question is playing on my mind, thus the car idea.

Thanks for your replies so far.

Simon
__________________
Simon Kennedy
Around the world 2000-2004, on a 1993 Honda Transalp
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 7 Dec 2006
HU Sponsor
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 161
Hi Simon. How much money do you want to spend on a car?

Cheers,
Matt Savage
__________________
www.mattsavage.com
VIAIR - 12 & 24 volt compressors and systems. Tyre levers, Land Rover parts, Sand Tracks, Allisport Intercoolers, Overland Prep, and much more...
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 7 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: London (UK)
Posts: 772
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Kennedy
But I had in mind a vehicle that involves no preparation and will not break.
That's even less than "minimalist preparation". We are moving one step closer towards Google Earth tourism.
__________________
Roman (UK)
www.overlandcruiser.com
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 7 Dec 2006
Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Kent, Uk
Posts: 389
Quirky choices

Hi Simon

heres my tuppence worth:

2cv - recon one of these would serve you well, tough as old boots

Suzuki - not up to the job in my opinion

Pug/Ctroen berlingo - should be ok if well sorted before hand.

either of the above French vehicles would do ok for you epecially as ou live in France.

Others - consider a LR lightweight, an ex-military 90/110, both low on power but basic and more than capable.
oyota Surf - should be more that up to the job or maybe your best option would be the Toyota Hilux Double Cab Pick-up more than capable, with good load capacity - but no soft top option.
As per CS's page at the front of the site a VW Taro (VW badged Hilux), if found in good nick might be an option - not sure if they made a double cab in the VW version.

My personal opinion would be to go for either 2cv, pug/cit or Toy Hilux but if you insist on soft top ten you are seriously limiting your options.

Good luck

Chris
__________________
ChrisC
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 7 Dec 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: France
Posts: 353
Contact with the local population

Hey Roman, breakdowns are a way of meeting the local population; didn't you know ))

Simon, for an Iltis, try www.padh.de
I don't understand German, but the prices are legible.
If you're in France see if you can pisk up an Auverland somewhere, they're so basic it's virtually impossible to find one with high kilometres. Peugeot diesel engine nice and reliable.

Google Earth tourism: Soon the satellite photos will be high enough resolution, all you have to do is send a letter asking the locals to look up when the next picture is taken

Luke
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
hero-honda karizma 223cc machines for india bunnypunia Other Bikes Tech 10 1 Mar 2007 19:47
Quality Tyre Availability India? AC Southern Asia 2 15 Dec 2003 18:52
Carnet for India Story Leavesley Trip Paperwork 2 28 May 2003 00:01
India toThailand by road. Too good to be true? andygray Southern Asia 1 24 Apr 2002 12:48
ownership papers in India kipper Trip Paperwork 0 22 Jun 2001 16:53

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:41.