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Hi everyone,

I'm looking for a second hand car but I'm kinda lost when it comes to which one to go for. I've been considering Wrangler, Land Cruiser, FJ Cruiser, Montero Sport... Definitely a 4x4 or SUV as I camp a lot, sleeping in the car (for now I use my friend's Montero Sport). The dilemma is that I have been reading a lot about the best car or 2nd or 3rd best for off-roads, but I'd also need it to go to work (I live in Dubai but work in Ajman...). So... here goes my requirements:

- A 7 seater preferably. Or at least a big car that I can manage to put the back seats down and use it to sleep, as I don't always feel safe while camping on my own.

- I would need it for off-road driving. I always end up driving in wadis, over big rocks, mountains, gravel, in the desert, etc. I'm also planning a road trip driving around Africa this summer...

- As I mentioned above, I'd need to use it to go to work. I can't afford having 2 cars...

- Budget is around 40K. Can push it to 50K for the right car.

- GCC specs, not too many km...

Please, I can change tyres and have basic knowledge of mechanics, and I'm also willing to take more advanced mechanic courses or whatever if needed. So no 'this is not an option for a woman' BS.

Thank you in advance :)


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if you inclined to take a trip to africa then land cruiser is the way to go prior to 07 models you will get parts easily there and try to get a 6 cylinder manual one will be easier to maintain all the other cars you mentioned don't have much room as compared to lc 100

lc100 can take whatever you throw at it without giving a hoot in 40k you can get a auto and then convert it to manual (as there is very less clean manuals around) and put few more goodies too

8 cylinder and specially the 6 cylinder petrol is only available for MENA market others run the 8 cyl version the australian version has a 6 but its diesel one

being out in the open away from humanity and still being able get things moving not only needs mechanical know how but patience and out of the box thinking


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First of thanks a lot for your quick response.

Is converting an automatic to manual relatively easy and affordable, here in the UAE? What other goodies would you recommend me to get? The trip around Africa is for 6 weeks max only. I intend though to go on road trips here in the UAE and nearby countries during the weekends and other holidays...

When you say "but it's a diesel one" does that mean it's not a good option?

I get what you mean by patience and thinking out of the box... I do have some of that and I definitely intend on "training" some more through joining some off-road driving groups and learn as much as I can from the experience.

Thanks again!

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mention not welcome to the clan that's what carnity is all about hearing out and trying helping everyone 

converting to manual is not a easy thing it requires time and labour depending on the kind of work you can expect to pay from 12k to 15k as the gear and the transfer case has to be changed plus the clutch paddle setting with a auto you can achieve any terrain but with the manual you can go at it with ease only if you know how to push it in the right place

when i say diesel it means it has a marginally little less hp in it then the petrol one which is more common in this region

i can say most of the other off road groups really can't compete with the carnity off road group the guys here are really different and i am sure you will get to learn things some you might not even heard of when you are on the drives in this group

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I'll give it a try then with Carnity off-road group, as soon as I get a lc... Thanks for the tips

Should I consider getting a brand new car? As second hand options might also end up being expensive depending on what needs fixed and adjusted for my needs...

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I second the recommendation for a Land Cruiser 100 series. Having spent over a decade in the Desert Safari field these were are daily mules and been all over the deserts and mountains of this country in them. And checks all your boxes. 

Power wise there really isn't much difference between a V8 VXR and the straight 6 GXR. And you can hardly feel the 40HP difference. But the VXR or and the Lexus variant the LX have a lot of bells and whistles and some top spec VXRs and all LX470s have adjustable ride height a great addition for off roading. Saves you the trouble of modding and spending extra on lift kits and shit.

But be careful a lot of ex safari fleet and abused shabab Cruisers are in the market. Also the V8s are a little bit of a pain to work on and maintain but reliable as fcuk not to say the 4.5 straight 6 is unreliable. The V8s Need timing belt replacement every 100k kms which is a PITA to do. And most ancillaries are deep inside. 



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Lc 100 series is from 97 to 07 if you are gonna convert it to manual then I suggest you get one whose gear is already shot so you save some while using the gear chip 

New one although it has many options and is intelligent when you are stuck self recovering with almost no human intervention but still all those goodies are electronic so totally depending upon them will make you a lazy good for nothing spoon fed hunk

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Pajero. Drives well both on and off road. Even if you never go to the desert, it’s perfectly fine to drive on the road every day. If you do decide to hit the sand, it’s more than capable but the departure angle on the newer models can cause problems. Cheap too. You can pick up something decent for under 20k. The LC100 is nice but it’s a bit of a beast. It will cost more to run and it’s heavier than the pajero so it’s more of a challenge to learn to drive off-road in. 

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I would go with Nissan Xterra with that budget. For sleeping inside i think @EmVarlet can answer if it is possible. It is powerful, easy to maintain and as i see from Emmanuel it is extreme reliable. Land Cruiser very good option but finding clean one is hard.

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