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Light Overland Vehicle Tech Tech issues, tips and hints, prepping for travel
Under 3500kg vehicles, e.g. Land Cruiser, Land Rover, Subaru etc.
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  • 1 Post By Globetrotter
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Old 20 Sep 2014
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DIFFERENT 4X4 overland options please!!!!

Hello everyone.

So my plan is to travel from switzerland through turkey, Iran (if I can get the visa) up the stans to mongolia and from there back through Kazakhstan to the stans that are missing from the way up.

Sounds so easy written down like this!

We planed around 8 month to really take our time and go slow and really enjoy our time. Now to the ride, I want something that I can drive back home after and before the trip that is no going to empty my wallet to much.

These are my top choices in no particular order:

1. Suzuki grand witara 2.0 td (enough space and low ratio more or less good spares) ( not to sure whats bad about it?)

2. Nissan xtrail 2.2 ( seems solid, cheap on Fuel) ( spares and fixing might be a nightmare in the stans)

3. Toyota Hiace ( tons of space, reliable, spares) ( consumption, more time investing in the build)

4. Lada Niva 4x4 ( Simple buil, cheap, spares in Ex soviet) ( Reliability, consumption, 400kg Load capacity)

5. Mitsubishi l400 ( again tons of space, japan reliability) ( not to sure haven't pent to much time looking)

There are plenty more but i had to narrow it down somehow, as for now I'm trending more towards the Suzuki/nissan option with a roof tent and the rest stored below. My budget for the car is around 5-6000€

what do you guys think? what are your top 5 budget 4x4 options Excluding landis and cruisers..

tanke care and I'm interested so hear your opinions and choices..
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Old 21 Sep 2014
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you may struggle for parts for nissan or suzy. I have seen quite a few L300s (also known as the delica I believe) in eastern europe (imports) so parts should be available and, being based on the shogun, they are very tough and capable. there are some really good ones being imported from Japan. your budget should land you quite a tidy one. The niva, of course, will be known all over eastern europe, but finding a good one may be tricky as they haven't really been sold here for a while now (although I believe someone is importing them again) and they are, of course, very much smaller.

for example


why excluding landies and landcruisers? people use them for a reason! your budget would buy you a reasonable one. The other option is a shogun, they are good tough trucks.
1990 Landcruiser H60. Full rebuild completed 2014
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Old 22 Sep 2014
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Have a look on www.mobile.de there are plenty of "expedition" ready vehicles. Eu5000 buys a reasonable campervan which resolves the issue of having to build/modify something.

Have a look at The Silk Route Motorcaravan Network. and see where they get with some conventional 4x2 campervans.
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Old 1 Oct 2014
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Im quite liking the delicia l300/l400 option.. especially with the raised roof and camper conversion.

Also the mitsu. is based on the bigger 4x4 with lo ratio and these goodies.. the only thing in switzerland there not too popular and and the market is quite small.

considering buying one from germany, but I'm not too sure about the hassle of importing one into switzerland (paperwoooork :thumb down: )

what do you guys think, might be an option to just buy it for the trip and not even bothering with the swiss import! but i would like to get to know the wehicle a bit before!

Here in switzerland defenders and cruisers are quiet expensive and the only thing reasonable would be a discovery, but I'm no too keen on the somehow..
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Old 1 Oct 2014
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None of the following helps your decision mate...sorry about that.

I'm not sure of the reputation of the Ladas in the top half of the planet but down in Australia they had a woeful reputation. Just as quick as they appeared on the market they disappeared as quick. Personally, I cut my teeth on Land Rovers and have a soft spot for them but have gravitated to the Japanese vehicles particularly Toyotas as I have never been disappointed by the reliabilty and capabilty. My son and I have Mitsubishi's at present and reliable as they are the Toyo's are still the pick for us...having said that my brother is driving in a Suzuki Grand Vitara and it is the most used and abused 4X4....it is never off the road; always on the go all over the outback, New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria (states). How it keeps going I do not know and it just recently finished a trip through the Simpson Desert which is very hard on cars with no issues, in company with Mitsubishi's - I guess it runs on Faith.

Sorry to be anecdotal; it doesn't help your decision - suspension is important in all of them but is sadly remiss as a standard unit of quality in most of the 4X4's. Diesel is better here in Oz - they stand upto the rigours of the terrain better but are economical because of the distances we sometimes have to travel. So if your Suzie that you have in mind is diesel and is the right size for all your stuff and tent on top then for trip it is probably the better option. It probably wouldn't let you down if it is a good one.

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Old 1 Oct 2014
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If you are from Switzerland (like me) then forget about import. Costly and lots of paperwork. I'd go for Toyota, they are bombproof and well know in many countries. I have done the same route you are talking about in 2003 on my Honda Africa Twin. I don't see any reason why you would need a serious 4x4, meaning one with low gear ratio gear box. Make sure it's a diesel and has the option to engage 4x4.
Other from that, fuel is nearly everywhere easy available as are mechanics in most places. In Russia and Central Asia you will plenty of Japanese Import Cars but most are models not known to us cause they are direct secondhand import from Japan. So these are models never built for the European Market. Nevertheless, spares will be around and plenty of stuff fits from other models anyway. In these countries mechanics will always come up with a solution. Your trip will be about 30'000 to 35'000 km, so if a car is in a decent condition, there should be no dramas on the road.
By the way, i have seen people doing this in a Subaru Forester or Impreza Combi. Why not?

Greets from Africa


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Old 6 Oct 2014
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Hey everyone, and thanks for the replies.

Yea i have kinda written off the lad a idea, as I'm went to have a look at one and they are really small.. and i also spoke to some people that did some serious traveling, but always sleeping in hotels. But i think to life out of one is an unnecessary hassle.

now i quite like the van option, l300, mazda, hiace.. they are quite cheap, lots of space, reliable and have a good enough 4x4 system for what I want to do.
this one here is my favorite at the moment.
( Mitsubishi L300 4WD TD 4x4 BUS Tüv neu weiß mit Klappdach als Kastenwagen in Hollenstedt )

raised roof, most of the convert ion is done, a good 4x4 system.. and i always liked them.. there is a guy witch has been traveling around the world in one for 10 years or more.. and he seems to like it..

in the end its down to taste i guess, the trip could be done in any of the vehicles, in some easier in some more adventurous, I just like the space you have with the van especially with the raised roof as we are planing to leave early in the year we might encounter some shity weather.. where this extra space is gonna come in handy.

do you guys see a major disadvantage with this option?

ps cool trip with the africa twin man..
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Old 8 Oct 2014
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Originally Posted by Gionatill View Post
in the end its down to taste i guess, the trip could be done in any of the vehicles, in some easier in some more adventurous, I just like the space you have with the van especially with the raised roof as we are planing to leave early in the year we might encounter some shity weather.. where this extra space is gonna come in handy.

do you guys see a major disadvantage with this option?
You can choose near any car. This car above give you some living space, together with some bad track ability.

Just advantages - a good 4x4 system, plenty of room - why not?

Looks the guys have looked well for the car. I would suggest to check them well by your own mechanic, bevore you leave. A well maintained car will do some kilometers without hassle...

Greetings from zurich,

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Old 13 Oct 2014
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4x4 Options

VW T25 Syncro - plentiful in Germany?
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Old 13 Oct 2014
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Just remember that cutting a hole in the roof of the L300 will seriously reduce its off road capability unless the hole is correctly reinforced.
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Old 7 Mar 2015
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I'd be interested in people's opinions of the Hilux or Mitsubishi 4 door pickups, along with feedback form anyone that has complete a mostly onroad trip with light trail or piste offroad 4wd cars such as Audi allroad, BMW X5, or Volvo XC70....
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Old 4 Jul 2015
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Bought One

A quick update, I bought a l300 2.5td 4x4 with 160tkm around 5000€ with a raising roof and a camper built inside. I will be posting some Photos in the future, i have some restoration to do!
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