So you dream of a new adventure. A journey to a wild and distant destination where you can truly immerse yourself in nature. You need a break from your work and you want to head to a place that is off the beaten track, a peaceful place, a place that offers you the possibility of real explorations.
But to get there, you’ll have to drive through pretty rough terrain and negotiate difficult remote locations that don’t have zip codes and aren’t on a satellite navigation system. So you have all the camping gear you need, plenty of food and drink supplies, a first aid kit, and your trusty hiking boots on hand. All you need now is a decent ride.
With $ 20,000 to spend, what would you choose? It has to be something heavy, a vehicle that can negotiate really tough terrain, not a family SUV that can pretty much tackle the school run. So let’s take a look at serious off-roaders, which might do the trick.
Toyota land cruiser
The Land Cruiser is Toyota’s oldest model, and it has also been a big hit for the Japanese automaker, selling over 10 million units worldwide since its first production in 1951. Extremely popular in Australia, where It’s been put to the test by Toyota’s test teams in the rugged outback terrain, in places where temperatures and conditions truly reach extremes.
This vehicle has serious off-road credentials with an Intelligent Four-Wheel-Drive System (CRAWL) that automatically assists the driver (by braking and accelerating) over rough terrain, so you can take your feet off the pedals, sit back and simply point it the right way. However, you need to make sure you know how to use this mode safely before taking this tour for a ride.
Beyond that it’s great for tackling those steep descents, it has downhill assist control, which will pretty much drive itself on a steep face, very cool.
With permanent all-wheel drive, differential lock and a wide range of gear ratios that will take you virtually anywhere, this is a truly brilliant explorer. Its ride height can be adjusted to give you the extra ground clearance you need. And there are meaty skid plates underneath to protect you from those nasty rocks. The extra body strength also gives you extra protection in the event of a spill. And with a towing capacity of around 6,600 lbs, it’ll pull a house.
There are a whole range of different engine sizes out there, but the V8 is a smart option. However, all of them have a good reputation for being ultra-reliable. No wonder then that aid organizations, farmers, the military and just about anyone who needs a car in very difficult conditions chose this fairly bulletproof route.
So for the money, we’re probably considering a 200 series car, which was introduced in 2007. If you shop around you should be able to get one with around 80,000 miles on the clock, with a good sized engine and one. good spec for less than $ 20,000.
Land Rover Discovery
We couldn’t do a part on the 4x4s without including the legendary British brand Land Rover. Because this company has shaped the all-terrain vehicle industry since its inception in the 1940s. Based on the popular Range Rover model, this 7-seater carcass performs extremely well on the tarmac. So if you prefer a little more space and comfort, and perhaps want to take a group of friends or the whole family with you, then the Discovery or the âDiscoâ is a great choice.
The Discovery first hit our streets in 1989, and by UK standards it’s big. The size and bulk of this car makes you feel, when you drive it, that it is indestructible, like a tank could fire a shell directly at it, and you would be fine.
With air suspension, electronic traction control, multiple terrain modes, and all-terrain drivetrain, this Land Rover does exactly what it says on the tin. Discovery can automatically adjust your ride height, traction control and suspension, to give you optimal handling over bumps. In the UK, the most popular engines tend to be the Ford 2.7-liter diesel engine and the more powerful 4.4-liter Jaguar V8. The latter obviously offers more speed, pulling power, and torque, and it’s definitely a bit thirstier too.
For our money, we’re probably looking at the Discovery 3 (third gen), which was in production between 2004 and 2009, or maybe even a 4 (2009-16). But before you buy one, make sure it has been properly maintained and returned to Land Rover for all recalls (especially 3). Because these first discoveries have the reputation of being unreliable and suffered from some non-trivial flaws. Failures that may require specialized repairs, which can be costly. So if you are not a Land Rover specialist, we advise you to know one before you get started.
This cool little off-roader is a descendant of the famous ‘Willy’ WW2 Jeep from the mid 1940s. This funky little car put the word ‘Rugged’ in the dictionary. Because this is a true hard-core all-terrain vehicle that was designed to do one thing, and that is to take you off-road. You can just imagine it blowing up across a field, under fire, in the middle of battle, with a GI clearly visible behind the wheel.
There are some touches to this car that are really cool like the folding windshield, removable doors and roof (hard and soft tops), which only add to the sheer fun of this car and the experience. outdoor she offers in pikes. Most early Wranglers were equipped with part-time four-wheel drive and rigid front and rear axles.
And if you want to cross a small river, no problem. The Wrangler should get you, thanks to its high air intakes and sealed electricity, under the hood. And off-road, they’re just awesome. If you go up against a lot of hills this car is like a mountain goat, it will devour them. Its high ground clearance, reinforced axles, steel skid plates and sturdy tires should get you through the most rugged and unpredictable landscapes.
To increase sales, Jeep has upgraded later versions of the Wrangler, to make it more appealing to everyday drivers who want a rugged look but also need to use it more on the road every day. And in 2007, they released the third generation car, which underwent major overhauls. A new body, a new frame, a revised suspension and many comforts, such as remote locking, power windows and navigation. They also stretched it out, to add more space inside the cabin, with a 4-door “Unlimited” option.
So if you are looking for something sturdy that is really fun to drive, this one car swiss army knife may be for you. For our money we’re probably looking at a third-gen car, but you can also go for an earlier model if you want something a little more raw and stripped down to play with $ 20,000, you’ll probably get a 2007 or 2008 model. with less than 100k on the odometer.
This Japanese beast is the archenemy of the Land Cruiser. Another car from the 1950s. And when you look at the photos of the original model, it looked a lot like the Willys Jeep, but with a Nissan badge of course. So he has a pedigree.
This powerful 4×4 is very popular with aid agencies (notably the UN), the military, and some government sectors, where it has been widely used as a security escort and personnel carrier vehicle. Australians seem to like it too, where they have deployed it in their police, fire and emergency services.
The Patrol has a similar square shape to its rivals, and with a 95-liter main fuel tank and 30-liter sub-tank, it’s ideal for long distances. With rock-solid reliability, this is the car that will take you out of places you don’t want to get stuck, places that may need something a little more special to get you out of a traffic jam. Available in short wheelbase (three-door) or long wheelbase (five-door) configurations, if you’re looking for a lot of space, the LWB is probably the best option for you. It’s almost two feet taller and can accommodate eight people, or tons of gear and luggage.
The model you’re probably looking at, which is in the $ 20,000 price bracket, is the fifth-generation Y61, which was introduced in 1997. Hopefully we could get a 2008 or 2009 model with less. 100,000 on the meter. Admittedly, it looks a bit like a truck and like its counterparts is quite loud and heavy to drive on the road. And its interior is pretty basic, but off-road it looks great.
There are plenty of fairly decent engine sizes, 4.2, 4.5, and 4.8-liter gasoline units, and 2.8 and 4.2-liter diesels. And one of the engines, the 4.8, is very popular with the Middle Eastern tuning community, as it can be modified to up to 2000hp!
Nissan has also produced some pretty cool special editions, namely the Desert Edition which packs a 5.6-liter 400bhp unit, and the Nismo, which comes with a 5.6-liter, 428bhp V8.
So, to wrap it up quickly, a lot of these hardened off-roaders are starting to show their age, but you can still buy a decent one that has been well-maintained if you shop around carefully. And whichever route you choose, most of all we hope you arrive at that remote spot on your bucket list and enjoy the adventure. Keep exploring!
We did a little research on the best car for Uber drivers. Not surprisingly, this honor goes to the Toyota Prius.
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