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Arsalan Ehsan

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Well guys, thank you for your support on helping me finalize the car.

I gave a real good thought and had a realization moment where i though about everything discussed above and the examples you have given. Discussed it with my wife just to see the other side of the coin.

TBH, i am satisfied with my Accord till now and will try to squeeze the last mile from the beauty till it gives up on me ūüėĀ. I¬†have clocked 270k on it . No issues till now whatsoever. The only reason for me looking for the 4x4 was to venture into the off-road and develop this as a past time/hobby. I had a soft corner for the Prado in reality and the price was too good to let it go. But if i see at the current uncertainty this COVID -19 beings with it, i have double thoughts about it now. I looked at the pros and cons of committing to financing the car at the current situation,even though¬†my target was to keep the EMI below 1K but still was this worth a risk when we really don't know how the situation will pan out to be.¬†

Realistically even if i was to finalize the car, i would have really been able to take it to the dunes only by Nov or Dec. The situation we know around us, what is happening even though we cannot publicly speak about it.

Thank you for sharing the above article @Gaurav"Carnity Used Car Buying Guide", when i was reading through it another article was referenced in it where one member wanted a TJ and how he ended up buying an Xterra. I looked up Xterra for 2009-2010 years mentioned above in car in price range of 10k to 20k. 

I was thinking when things start to calm down and we start seeing the light at the end of tunnel, then i would venture out to buy a car. From my limited search on the form what i was able to gauge is, there are two cars which are highly spoken of 

  • Nissan Xterra¬†
  • Pajero

Can I ask the owners of these cars, what is the average service cost and parts, maintenance for these two? how reliable are these off-roads. Any specifics that i should be aware of? i read something about the suspension for Xterra.

Nissan Xterra, I have seen two variants. One with a diff locks and other one without it. Is the diff lock a deal breaker?

Pajero, should i keep an eye out for 3.5 or 3.8? LWB is what i prefer so can utilize it for any family trips¬†‚ėļÔłŹ

I would say 80% usage of the car would be for off-roading, until Accord doesn't give up¬†ūüôą.

What do you guys suggest? Is this a wise decision to not buy the Prado? I really don't have anyone in my circle who i can resort to for advice hence coming here to experts for the right direction¬†ūüėé

Thank you in advance.


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wise decision brother...  Even i was in same position like you.. 

finally decided not to let go my absolute perfect daily driver the Honda civic¬†ūüėć.. and bought a Nativa to venture into desert. no regrets... also this is good time to find a good bargain on xterra or pajero.¬†¬†wish you luck...¬†

see you soon in the desert . insha allah..  


Edited by Rizwanm2
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It is completely your call and choice considering your financial position and job/business stability, whatever you are into.

Anyways you can't buy any car atm as RTA is not registering any new transaction. So you have to wait until COVID cloud clears up.

From offroading point Prado is very good balance of both the world but you can only enjoy Prado (safely) until newbie and fewbie level. Beyond that you need to consider some moderate bumper modification.

Usually we always advise every new offroader to try offroading for first few drives and then decide any new modifications or change of vehicle.

If you are not 100% sure of your financial position then I will highly advise you to wait until you are completely sure, because you are buying on EMI and not full cash which means EMI require future consistent flow of money.

If you are good with financial position, I advise to go ahead with this Prado as you are getting a good deal and secondly your heart is set on Prado. Third it is good for newbie-fewbie level so you can test if offroading can be your new hobby or not. If sand bug bites you then you can knock off your Accord after few months and buy Xterra for offroad and keep Prado as a daily driver.

You simply cannot go wrong with Prado, because it has insane resale value and if you drive it well you can always resale it next year by dashing 5-8k (max). Also during this COVID period you might be getting better deals as people are unsure of future and selling cars for less, so for a new buyer this is another good buying opportunity.

Buying a dedicated offroader (weekend warrior) I wouldn't advise Pajero but you are 100% better off with Xterra, FJ Cruiser, Wrangler, Patrol (Y61).

Xterra standard and offroad are not very different and both are equally capable, just that offroad version has firm shocks, body protection and diff lock which is a blessing for offroading. So while in market to buy a dedicated offroader, your first preference should be an offroad version, if you cannot or if you dont wanna spend little extra then standard is also fine. The negligible price difference between offroad and standard definitely favors offroad version considering those 3 benefits vs cost.

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Let's root for each other & watch each other grow.

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@Arsalan Ehsan like @Gaurav bhai put it, you know your financial challenges better and you need to make that decision, however the Prado is definitely a good buy. You can always ask and make the necessary modifications if you determine off-roading is the sport for you.

Just to answer your questions, I am a big fan of the Pajero and yet it puts me off for desert driving for a few reasons. Mainly it is the low over hang bumpers that they come with, but that is an easy a cheap fix. Another thing is that the pre-2014 models have an up-shifting problem which means you cannot keep it in the 1st gear when required, it automatically shifts to the second gear thus you loose your momentum, however it is brilliant on-road and a very safe car. Maintaining it with an external garage is much cheaper than maintaining it with the Dealership. An example, I found out that the major service with Al Habtoor Motors would cost me AED 4000+. I got all the jobs to be done, purchased the necessary parts with them and fixed a rate with the garage to change all oils, coolant,timing belt, and it cost me extra because a couple of pulleys had also given in. The whole thing cost me less than AED 1000/-. Carnity has been amazing for me to find out more about my car and carry the services out at a much lower cost saving at least AED 1000s of Dirhams in maintenance and repair costs.

I love the Xterra as well and now we have 4 in the club, the off-road version is the one with the difflock and is definitely better than the stock version, bit if the price difference is too much and if you cannot afford it is not a deal breaker. However the rear shock for the X-Terra are the leaf springs which makes it slightly uncomfortable and a bit loud with regular off-roading, @Emmanuel did spray with some solution which did make a quieter for a bit, maybe he can share his experience better. @Shamil, @Jamy B. and @Asif Hussain are the other X-Terra owners and can give you the low down on their experiences. Don't be in a hurry and you will find plenty of deals going around soon.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello everyone,

I have been for a while with mall openings and new regulations and couldn't find the time to respond back been busy at work from home.

A quick update on prado, i had really thought about it and eventually decided what @Gaurav you have said and thought about it long term. I understand that the offer is great right now but given the uncertainty the time holds right now it is not worth the risk. I would pay extra 15K when i have a peace of mind with it. So i have turndown the decision to purchase it.

I truly appreciate the feedback that everyone has put forward and taken the time to do so, it really means a lot¬†ūüėä

Coming back to the million dollar question, where to now? I shouldn't say this but it is a buyer paradise right now given the current situation.

Can I ask for recommendation of the cars that i should be keeping an eye out for. I only have access to a certain websites that are already overwhelmed with dealers finding an individual seller is a challenge and i really see the price difference that it makes to deal with the individual rather than with the broker.

I have clarity that Pajero is not a runner. From the list shared earlier for cars under 20K, i was interested in the following may be you can guide me in the right direction.

FJ Cruiser- any specific model or year that i should keep an eye out for?

Toyota LandCruiser- 1998- 2003 : V6 or V8? 

Xterra- any specific year model? from the list i can see 2008 and 2009 has been recommended. I read somewhere in my initial research that there were certain models in which the water would mix with the oil. Thank you @Gaurav and @Rahimdad for feedback on xterra, and it is good to know that it is not a deal breaker to have the offroad version.

Nissan Petrol - 2003- 2005? 

From the above list, Xterra is the one that is lighter on the budget¬†ūüíį¬†is the regular maintenance¬†pocket friendly and spare parts wise. How about Land cruiser mentioned above is that something that last longer and kicks that sand bite, it would be big enough for some family trips offroad and maintenance wise will it be cheaper? is this model prone to more defects and fails as i am also¬†looking at cars that are 15 to 20 years old¬†ūüėé

From the portal, i am using to keep an eye out on 





Is there any place else that i should keep a check at?

Thank you in advance.

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4 hours ago, sertac said:

If you think you will start offroading by October-November better to wait for summer. In summer you will get better deals on off road vehicles. 

Yes, that's exactly the plan. But have to keep an eye out, so not to miss a good deal. 

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I think there is something called a mubaya or online sales agreement valid for 30 days, it is like a possession letter but doesn't give a number plate the vehicle remains under the name of the new buyer. There is also a VIP service currently where RTA is sending the inspector to the location and getting all the paper work done not tried yet, may be the other team member  would have experienced it. 

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@Arsalan Ehsan regarding the FJ Cruiser, I am not too happy with the view from the cabin and the suicide door is horrible for malls and tight parking spots. However if you test drive one and fall in love with it, go for it. I would recommend post 2010 models even if you have to pay a little bit more. I do not like the balance and softness of the stock suspensions, so first thing to do is change them to Fox suspensions, somehow that 2 inch lift you get has a much better balance. I have seen FJ Cruisers flipping on a plain surface.

Toyota Land Cruiser 1998 - 2003 - Both V6 and V8 are really good, however the V6 is slightly better due to the power to weight ratio. Also the 5.7 V8 gives you the torque on high rev bands rather the the 4.7 V8 which gives you torque at the lower revs as required. Mind the fact that it is a heavy car and it will take some getting used to the boat in the desert.

Nissan Xterra is also best after 2010 models, I had also heard about the coolant and oil mixing due to some wrong setup by Nissan in pre 2010 models, but for the Pathfinder models and not Xterra, however post 2010 models would be perfect. If you can find a clean off-road model it would be amazing.

Nissan Patrol 2003 - 2005 models are very steady, I would recommend the 4.8 litre V6 version solely due to the power which is required for the heavy vehicle, and the gear ratio which is better than the 4.5 litre version.

As for the maintenance costs, it does not make that much of a difference, all these cars are easy and not so expensive to maintain. Remember the general rule is the more expensive the car, the lesser the cost of maintenance and vice versa. the expense is not a particular part cost for one vehicle versus another. For instance for my Pathfinder a tire rod end is AED 100/-, but for a Land Cruiser the same part costs AED 400/-. But if you see the quality the Land Cruiser is 4 times thicker and stronger. So eventually the Land Cruiser tire rod end would last 4 times longer, in that case with the labour cost I will end up paying for that part 4 times as compared to a Land Cruiser owner who will pay for the labour only once. That being said does not mean I have paid for it 4 times already. over time you learn to adjust your drive style to your car and a good driver not only knows how to drive, but also the best way to drive the car to save it from heavy repair costs. Thus my model of Pathfinder is available under AED 10k, but a Land Cruiser will cost you over AED 20k for the similar model.

You need to be mindful for the age of the car as well and how well it was driven and maintained. We have a few grandpa in our club, @Srikumar has an XJ '97 model, @Gaurav bhai has a Pajero 1999 model and I have a Pathy 2001 model. As long as you maintain it well it will run well. Being an older model get everything checked and changed from all oils, to wire sets, to rubber hoses to all filters so you have a peace of mind. Being machine it will give trouble at times, but learn to be more attentive to the details and you will be able to save a lot of cost by replacing the parts at the right time.

Hope this helps.

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