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Need help buying my first 4WD (on Budget!)


fz110

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Hi There guys,

Hope you can help me out here. I'm looking to get a 7 seater with decent off-road capabilities to enjoy the deserts around us!

Like the subject says, I'm on a budget right now so was looking at the R51 Pathfinder which ranges around 15-20K or maybe a Pajero in the same range, so that I can spend a bit on some mods before we reach the end of the year! Are these good choices? or can you good people suggest the way forward?

Thank you!

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Bothe are good options, but I would incline on Pajero more, although I am not a usual Pajero advocate for Gen 3 but putting against R51 Pathfinder I think Gen 3 will be inch better.

You can also read my very old thread but it has very good info to know before you make up your choice. Ignore pricing or move couple of years up as a ballpark resale value.

Important part is to pay extra attention to power-to-weight ratio.

 

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

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20 hours ago, fz110 said:

Hi There guys,

Hope you can help me out here. I'm looking to get a 7 seater with decent off-road capabilities to enjoy the deserts around us!

Like the subject says, I'm on a budget right now so was looking at the R51 Pathfinder which ranges around 15-20K or maybe a Pajero in the same range, so that I can spend a bit on some mods before we reach the end of the year! Are these good choices? or can you good people suggest the way forward?

Thank you!

If your budget is 15-20k and you want to start enjoying the desert, i would recommend keeping it stock or a minimum on mods and using the extra budget on maintenance to get the car in a good technical condition. Most of the cars in this price range have been neglected and will need fresh fluids, spark plugs, bushings, etc. unless you are lucky to find one where the previous owner did all the proper maintenance. 

There are not many options in 7-seater for that budget. The R51 Pathfinder is a good option, but a 3.8 Pajero is a good option too. I find the Mitsubishi to be the more reliable option.

 

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"Go as far as you can see; once you get there, you'll be able to see further."

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@Gaurav and @Frederic

 

Thanks for your replies, sorry I was caught up with a few personal errands and couldn't reply back.

It's harder than I thought to find a decent pathfinder in my budget, same for Pajero. Meanwhile I was drawn back to consider Armada (2007-2012) as it falls in my budget and the Armadas in this range are in better condition than the Pathfinders I've seen so far. Its V8 engine is going to make me sweat, but i feel it may be more comfortable for the family plus a decent offroader.

Your thoughts on this please ? and Maintenance costs?

 

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Armada were made in US in that era and falls apart after 5-10 years of use. If you have one already then they are fine as a forceful offroad toy, but for buying one as a dedicated offroader, I wouldn't vote.

Apart from build quality and electric issues, being extra big and heavy will limit you offroad adventure after 5 drives.

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

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Add X-terra to your list. Even stock those things are tough yet light making them highly capable in the dunes. Cheap to fix, maintain and to buy. Pajero is everything above just a bit better as Fred mentioned but they are a little bit more expensive :) Avoid Jeeps.

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On 5/15/2024 at 9:26 PM, Gaurav said:

Armada were made in US in that era and falls apart after 5-10 years of use. If you have one already then they are fine as a forceful offroad toy, but for buying one as a dedicated offroader, I wouldn't vote.

Apart from build quality and electric issues, being extra big and heavy will limit you offroad adventure after 5 drives.

Thanks @Gaurav.

Well I was tilting towards the Armada mainly coz of the low prices and spacious seating to accomodate my parents as well. I guess its a long way to go for me become a serious offroader.. need to start first ! :)

btw.. is there a limit on how many posts we can make as a free user? I was trying to reply to your post couple of days back and I was being led to paid subscription page.

 

@Batuhan Kulac - I need a 7 seater mate... Xterra won't cut it.  :|

Thanks for the suggestion though!

 

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Still, Armada isn't ideal due to its old age and poor build quality, it will be a money pit to maintain such a car for road use, let alone for offroading. That's why its resale value is so low.

If 7 seater is a must-have, then LWB Pajero, Prado and older Land Cruiser 100 are much safer options.

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

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