What is the best small 4wd?

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I am looking for a small 4wd that is safe, economical for city driving but can also do some basic off-roading. I am unlikely to need to drive up mountain sides or through a lot of mud. There will usually be just 1 or 2 of us in it and I want to use the back with seats up or out to carry plants for my business. Occasionally there may be visitors and I will need seating for 4. What do you recommend? Maybe a Rav4?
Many thanks from a guy who basically only knows where to put the petrol in!Darren

posted by  saged

I was gonna say jeep wrangler but...:laughing:

a toyota rav4?

maybe even some subaru?

posted by  nighthawk

an early model 4runner maybe 89 or 90 in mint shape with the paint redone under 100,000 km's and who cares about the price, make sure truck has records of maintenance no rust and youll be good to go :thumbs:

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

rav 4 for sure. with comes in both V6 and I4. very safe, dependable... hey, its a toyota...

posted by  mazda6man

if in the uk, perhaps a landrover Freelander! theyre great, or as m6m says, a toyota rav4 are good, plus they look sort of cool (to me anyway)

posted by  True_Brit

i hate the freelander! that may just be because i got to drive all the otherones... but i guess in the idea of small 4wd suvs its not so bad...

posted by  mazda6man

A RAV4 would be a good choice, but so would a Honda CRV from '99 on up (before '99 the CRV was seriously underpowered). If your looking for something just a tad bit bigger, a 1st gen Nissan Xterra might be what your looking for. How much are you looking to spend? If price isn't an issue, one of these would be sweet! (although the X5 and the ML320 may not constitute as small)
Lexus RX430
http://images.cobaltgroup.com/3/5/9/193032953.jpg
Mercedes-Benz ML320
http://home.earthlink.net/~phdwebsite/Paul%20ML320%20lrg.jpg
BMW X5
http://images.usatoday.com/money/autos/_photos/2001-02-09-bmw-x5-story.jpg< br /> I've actually driven the Lexus and I have to say, one of the most comfortable rides in an SUV I've ever been in/driven (although the most comfortable SUV I've driven was a 1st gen BMW X5). Honestly the Lexus felt more like a tall luxury car than an SUV. :2cents:

posted by  elchango36

i would recomend a crv in the city its front wheel drive and when ever u go off road and it has trouble moving it will automatically click on 4wd. and u also mentioned that u will need something with folding seats and the crv will be great for that. the rear seat dont only recline but also fold in half and up against the front seats witch alsmost doubles ur space. and because the space tire is on the outside inside where the spare would be theres is a storage bin with a removable picnic table. so for me i would say the honda crv

Pic of folding rear seats

http://kylecaires.tripod.com/images/rearseatsup.jpg

storage compartment

http://kylecaires.tripod.com/images/rearstorage.jpg


green picnic table

http://kylecaires.tripod.com/images/rearcompartment.jpg

posted by  81-camaro

pics don't work :roll:

posted by  elchango36

Suzuki Samurai FTW

posted by  99integra

What's your budget?

posted by  Bronxie

maybe the fact that he first suggested the RAV-4 could give a clue to what sort of budget he has! (excuse me if im wrong though)

posted by  True_Brit

land rover freelander
http://images.newcarnet.co.uk/car_pic1/lr_freelander_04_o3_RT.jpg

toyota rav4 (the old one)
http://www.news.lt/Upload/200104/toyota%20rav4.jpg

vauxhall frontera (sold as chevrolet in the states)
http://img.motonews.pl/services/ope/g/ope_frontera_3.jpg

honda crv
http://www.motoroads.com/images/sofia-car-hire/4x4-honda-crv-2003-5.jpg

mitsubishi shogun 4work
http://www.finnie4x4.com/mos/components/com_hotproperty/img/std/116_shogun% 20van%20grey.jpg

list is endless

posted by  True_Brit

Some people have very specific budgets and even the differential of a few thousand bucks can make or break their boundaries.

What about the new fj cruiser? It has that retro look of a car I would picture climbing over mountaintops and stuff.

Jeep liberty?

posted by  Bronxie

is the jeep libert whats known as the Cherokee in england???

posted by  True_Brit

Nope. It's like a smaller version of the cherokee.


http://www.ahorre.com/auto/images/Jeep-Liberty-115.jpg

posted by  Bronxie

ah! that is called a Cherokee in england!!!
http://www.jeep.co.uk/jeep/vehicle.aspx?ID=271,3

posted by  True_Brit

I don't think these number are economical (the Fj only comes with a V6)...
18/22 mpg (RWD)
17/21 mpg (4WD w/automatic)
16/19 mpg (4WD w/manual)

posted by  elchango36

my mom has a 2wd 03 RAV4 and she loves it. it really does drive great. compared to the honda CRV I think the interior is a bit more refined. Then again, most little SUVs have cheap interiors...and my civic, and my dads corolla. The 06 RAV4 is great IMO

posted by  newyorker

Which really helps him because he wants a 4wd...riiiiigghhhttt. Plus the Rav4 has the same offroading capabilities as a damn CRV...NADA

posted by  99integra

moron :banghead: . did i tell him to buy my mom's rav? no. i simply told him that my mom loves her 2wd, so the 4wd should be nice as well.

on a side note, RAV4s are assembled in Japan. The CRV is not.

posted by  newyorker

the RAV-4 is also assembled in the UK

posted by  True_Brit

all of the ones i have seen here are japan built. the UK models are probbably assembled in the UK.

posted by  newyorker

Umm, it may be good 2wd but 4wd it may just completely suck.

posted by  99integra

Or it may not. You dont know that. My dad has a friend in cleveland ohio, and he has a 4wd rav4 2003 model. it has 70k miles andhas been in 3 accidents. nothing but routine maintenance.

posted by  newyorker

I'm talkin bout off road usage, some 4wd's are completely useless

posted by  99integra

i agree with that one, theres an off roader here, the mk1 vauxhall frontera, it has a softer axle and chassis and can snap/break etc when used for off road use near enough all the time

posted by  True_Brit

Oh, I thought you meant grand cherokee.


http://www.drivearabia.com/jeep/thumbnails/jeepgrandcherokeethum.jpg

That's our grand cherokee!

posted by  Bronxie

I know that.

posted by  newyorker

Really?

posted by  99integra

we have the Grand Cherokee aswell like the one you showed me, but the liberty as you call it is a cherokee in either 2.7 cdi or 3.2v6

posted by  True_Brit

what about the Wrangler, it seats four and you can fit alot of things in it (with the roof down that is)

posted by  True_Brit

Thanks for all the advice.
The budget would be about 8000 US dollars or a bit more if necessary. I live in La Paz, Mexico and will go up to Tijuana (on the US border) where apparently there is a lot of choice and prices are better.
So CRV or RAV4 are the strongest contenders for me? I will drive it more in the city than off road I think and the off road is unlikely to be wet as it rarely rains here. So I want it to be quite good on miles per gallon. There will usualy be only 1-2 people in it and the back seats need to fold or come out to carry plants etc. I want it to be safe, reliable and strong in the event of an accident...Many drivers here (if you can call them that!) are nightmares on the road!!!
Any other possibilities? What about Mitsubishi, Isuzu?
Darren

posted by  saged

RAV4 definately gets my vote Darren. Then again if youre not in a rush, look around.

posted by  newyorker

Though an Isuzu Rodeo would be pretty cool, you'd be making a leap from small SUV to midsize SUV. I'd stick with the 99-01 CRV. Great Honda motor (B20Z), looks cooler than the 1st gen Rav4, it WAS assembled in JAPAN, 146 hp vs 127, and it's a little bigger than the Rav4. GL with whatever you decide to do.

posted by  elchango36

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