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'Real' 4x4's

Apr 4, 2019
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Hey guys.

My wife wants me to tow her food trailer (a converted horse box). It's heavier than my touring caravan and we are considering changing our lovely Honda CRV 2009 2.2 CDTi for something a bit more masculine even though the Honda has a decent tow ability [https://towcar.info/GB/outfitmatch.php].

I haven't a fortune to spend, and baulk at the idea of having to fork out a load more on fuel and tax, especially as the vehicle we have to be used a general family vehicle also. But I understand overall costs will be more with this type of change.

I've started the hunt for used 'real' 4x4's that 'won't get pushed around' and find myself coming back to look at
- Mitsubishi Shogun
- Landrover Discovery
- Mercedes-Benz ML
- Even Jeep

Straight cash budget around 7-8k (I know, I know its low but I have spotted a few deals), and I want diesel with manual gears.

Ideas welcome! and thanks guys.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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There are also some nice Sorentos out there. Many with relatively low mileage. The Ssyayongs. have a good reputation too. You don’t say what weight the trailer is and why a real 4x4 is required. Would a Freelander 2 do the job? Good reputation fir reliability. More info would help. Or just go nap and get a landcruiser:)
 
May 24, 2014
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I have the Shogun, its my second and I totally love it.

Kerbweight is around the 2300kg mark, depending on accessories fitted, max tow is 3500kg, with 140kg on the towball. Tax is a fraction of the Disco, and with a 3.2 diesel, it should do all you require. I wouldnt be afraid of a higher mileage shogun, they are fairly easy to work on, but dont rule out the auto, it works really well.

If I can fault the Shogun for anything, on the seven seat model, the third row folds into the floor, but the middle row dont fold flat, they fold up which shortens the load bay from what it could be. Even so, its cavernous.

You should certainly get a Shogun at your budget, and the repair costs on both the Merc and Disco would concern me. Dont know a lot about Jeeps.
 
Apr 4, 2019
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otherclive said:
There are also some nice Sorentos out there. Many with relatively low mileage. The Ssyayongs. have a good reputation too. You don’t say what weight the trailer is and why a real 4x4 is required. Would a Freelander 2 do the job? Good reputation fir reliability. More info would help. Or just go nap and get a landcruiser:)
I'm getting the trailer weighed on Tuesday to be clear, but I towed it a few days ago. And compared to our Compass Connoisseur 6 berth, it felt like a ton. The CRV felt 'bullied'!

I'll checkout Ssyayongs and Sorentos - thanks.
 
Apr 4, 2019
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Thingy said:
I have the Shogun, its my second and I totally love it.

Kerbweight is around the 2300kg mark, depending on accessories fitted, max tow is 3500kg, with 140kg on the towball. Tax is a fraction of the Disco, and with a 3.2 diesel, it should do all you require. I wouldnt be afraid of a higher mileage shogun, they are fairly easy to work on, but dont rule out the auto, it works really well.

If I can fault the Shogun for anything, on the seven seat model, the third row folds into the floor, but the middle row dont fold flat, they fold up which shortens the load bay from what it could be. Even so, its cavernous.

You should certainly get a Shogun at your budget, and the repair costs on both the Merc and Disco would concern me. Dont know a lot about Jeeps.
Great advice, thanks.

What about real mpg?
 
May 24, 2014
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What about real mpg?
Mine is a somewhat newer than those referred to in your budget. Around town, ouch, 21/22 mpg. On a motorway cruise, I get into the low to mid 30's depending on how heavy my right foot is on the day. Being an ex artic driver, and working for a company that was very hot on economical driving, I am well practiced in milking every last mile from a gallon. Towing, as a comparison, I used to have the following unit

Volvo XC70 2.4 D5 towing a Swift Challenger Sport 520. I would get around 21 to 24 on a long tow.
Shogun with a caravan with MTPLM of 1734kg (far heavier than the Challenger), I get slightly more than the Volvo with lighter unit, around 24 - 25.

If I come out of Drive on the motorway, and use sequential, in 2wd mode, I can maybe get 36/37.

My road tax is £325 p.a., some of the Discos, the 2.7s i think are around £570 per annum.
 
Apr 4, 2019
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Thingy said:
What about real mpg?
Mine is a somewhat newer than those referred to in your budget. Around town, ouch, 21/22 mpg. On a motorway cruise, I get into the low to mid 30's depending on how heavy my right foot is on the day. Being an ex artic driver, and working for a company that was very hot on economical driving, I am well practiced in milking every last mile from a gallon. Towing, as a comparison, I used to have the following unit

Volvo XC70 2.4 D5 towing a Swift Challenger Sport 520. I would get around 21 to 24 on a long tow.
Shogun with a caravan with MTPLM of 1734kg (far heavier than the Challenger), I get slightly more than the Volvo with lighter unit, around 24 - 25.

If I come out of Drive on the motorway, and use sequential, in 2wd mode, I can maybe get 36/37.
Thanks Thingy.

What's your thoughts on the mentioned Volvo - are they a 'real' (enough) towcar for heavier loads?
 
May 24, 2014
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Just to add, I have had Shoguns for a little over 5 years now, and my only repair has been one rear spring, although I elected to do the pair. Ignoring of course a dent that wifey managed to do with a child seat.
 
May 7, 2012
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Not sure how big the trailer is or how far you are planning to tow the trailer, but if it is short distances then the weight issue may be less of a problem than with a caravan. If it is one of the smaller types then there should be less problem with crosswinds, so not easy to be precise on the issue.
 
Apr 4, 2019
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Raywood said:
Not sure how big the trailer is or how far you are planning to tow the trailer, but if it is short distances then the weight issue may be less of a problem than with a caravan. If it is one of the smaller types then there should be less problem with crosswinds, so not easy to be precise on the issue.
Its approx 10ft long and 12ft (inc. chimney) high).

Feels like a brut though :(
 
Apr 4, 2019
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otherclive said:
There are also some nice Sorentos out there. Many with relatively low mileage. The Ssyayongs. have a good reputation too. You don’t say what weight the trailer is and why a real 4x4 is required. Would a Freelander 2 do the job? Good reputation fir reliability. More info would help. Or just go nap and get a landcruiser:)
Here's a sample of what's on the market for Sorento: are these good?

https://www.gumtree.com/p/kia/2010-10-kia-sorento-2.2-crdi-kx-2-5d-auto-195-bhp-diesel/1333337292
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I don't know your reasons for saying your looking for a manual transmission,

With the vehicles you are suggesting, most versions have automatics and will still use the fluid flywheel/torque converter which elimiminates cluth burning and wear. Unless you are really going off road, then automatics make manouvering much easier, and its kinder to the engine and transmission resulting in longer life.

Other very capable on road 4x4's include the VW Toureg, Audi variations, BMWs
 
Apr 4, 2019
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ProfJohnL said:
I don't know your reasons for saying your looking for a manual transmission,

With the vehicles you are suggesting, most versions have automatics and will still use the fluid flywheel/torque converter which elimiminates cluth burning and wear. Unless you are really going off road, then automatics make manouvering much easier, and its kinder to the engine and transmission resulting in longer life.

Other very capable on road 4x4's include the VW Toureg, Audi variations, BMWs
Interesting.

No real off-roading planned - more towing now and family urban use.

I like the Toureg. Anyone got tow experience with them by any chance?

Thanks.
 
May 24, 2014
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The OP mentions "Real 4x4s" in his title. I think you hve to take some definition of what consists of a real 4x4.

To my mind, a centre diff lock, manually selectable, a rear diff lock if you want to go up Everest. A manually selectable full transfer box, decent height clearance and some hefty all terrain tyres.

If you consider Volvos with a Haldex Coupling, no, not true 4x4, mostly its a 30/70 split of power on demand.
Sorrento, Merc, Audi etc etc, all very capable but in reality soft roaders as opposed to pure mud pluggers.

True 4x4s, would to my mind include the Shogun, Disco, Jeep, Land Cruiser, Pathfinder, Isusu Trooper and vehilces of that ilk. I suppose you could add some of the pickups to that list, such as L200 and Navarra.
 
Apr 4, 2019
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Guys;

Slight curveball. But has anyone any experience with towing with a camper van?

Wife noticed VW Californias with a 2300 kerb weight and 2.5k tow capacity. The reason I ask -- even though its way above budget -- is that this may save on accomodation and open new business options for taking her food trailer.

There's probably other/better campervans options, but Californias look good. Other ideas welcome.

Be gentle 
 
Oct 12, 2013
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A pal of mine up the street has the VW Touareg 3L V6 auto , what a beast , not cheap on the tax though I think it's about £5oo a year but he has a 3 and a half tonne towing limit on that and he pulls horse boxes around with no problem at all and I've driven it and it is very nice .
 
Nov 11, 2009
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fooddestroyer said:
otherclive said:
There are also some nice Sorentos out there. Many with relatively low mileage. The Ssyayongs. have a good reputation too. You don’t say what weight the trailer is and why a real 4x4 is required. Would a Freelander 2 do the job? Good reputation fir reliability. More info would help. Or just go nap and get a landcruiser:)
Here's a sample of what's on the market for Sorento: are these good?

]https://www.gumtree.com/p/kia/2010-10-kia-sorento-2.2-crdi-kx-2-5d-auto-195-bhp-diesel/1333337292
https://www.gumtree.com/p/kia/2010-10-kia-sorento-2.2-crdi-kx-2-5d-auto-195-bhp-diesel/1333337292[/quote
I was thinking more the first generation Sorento came into UK in late 2003 had an update around 2005/6 with power boost and was replaced around 2010. I had a 2004 auto at 138bhp far better than the Discovery 2 that it replaced. Still some out there one owner in great condition and good service history. Only thing to watch for is the rear axle supports corroded on some but Kia have been great in replacing or repairing at no cost. Would need to make sure work had been done. Discovery 3 is a money pit. Worse than my Discovery 2 was.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thingy said:
The OP mentions "Real 4x4s" in his title. I think you hve to take some definition of what consists of a real 4x4.

To my mind, a centre diff lock, manually selectable, a rear diff lock if you want to go up Everest. A manually selectable full transfer box, decent height clearance and some hefty all terrain tyres.

If you consider Volvos with a Haldex Coupling, no, not true 4x4, mostly its a 30/70 split of power on demand.
Sorrento, Merc, Audi etc etc, all very capable but in reality soft roaders as opposed to pure mud pluggers.

True 4x4s, would to my mind include the Shogun, Disco, Jeep, Land Cruiser, Pathfinder, Isusu Trooper and vehilces of that ilk. I suppose you could add some of the pickups to that list, such as L200 and Navarra.
Agreed but you’d hardly want that for towing an eats trailer would you. Unless OP plans to open a chai stall in Nepal! For road towing and carnival fields etc Haldex could more than cope. But at most country fairs I go to most food vans are towed by transit type vehicles. A full on 4x4 seems OTT. Our local burger van on the A 36/uses a Freelander which tows her horse box at weekends.
 
May 24, 2014
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Agreed but you’d hardly want that for towing an eats trailer would you.
true, but he started this with the term "real 4x4s". Just adding a definition.

Our local burger van on the A 36/uses a Freelander which tows her horse box at weekends.
Cracking.
Is the horse for eating or towing the Freelander when it breaks down? :cheer:
 
Mar 14, 2005
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fooddestroyer said:
Guys;

Slight curveball. But has anyone any experience with towing with a camper van?

Wife noticed VW Californias with a 2300 kerb weight and 2.5k tow capacity. The reason I ask -- even though its way above budget -- is that this may save on accomodation and open new business options for taking her food trailer.

There's probably other/better campervans options, but Californias look good. Other ideas welcome.

Be gentle 
I'm not familair with the Califonia you mention, but I'd agree that I have seen quite a number of consession stall owners who tow horse boxed size trailers with campers so it is possible. But it rather comes down to weights of the trailers when its loaded and ready to roll.

Without checking all the previous comments on this thread Im not sure if the matter of the required driving licence has been mentioned or not. :All the vehicles you have mentioned so far come under licence categoty B for solo vehicle not exceeding 3500KG MAM Category B. However they are also at the bigger end of teh category and when coupled to a trailer teh combined MAM is very likely to exceed 3500kg, in which case you will need to have entitklement BE or take the extention test for B +E. Basically if you passed your basic driving test before Jand 1997 then you will have BE, but if it was after , then you will only have B.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thingy said:
Agreed but you’d hardly want that for towing an eats trailer would you.
true, but he started this with the term "real 4x4s". Just adding a definition.

Our local burger van on the A 36/uses a Freelander which tows her horse box at weekends.
Cracking.
Is the horse for eating or towing the Freelander when it breaks down? :cheer:
If you look at the various reliability surveys you will see that FL2 has a good record. Recently Honest John placed it in the top 10 cars for passing MOT first time and subsequently. Ford did a good job on the Freelander 2 as they did with the Volvo V70 and XC70. So you cannot tar all Land Rovers with the same old brush.
 
Apr 4, 2019
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ProfJohnL said:
fooddestroyer said:
Guys;

Slight curveball. But has anyone any experience with towing with a camper van?

Wife noticed VW Californias with a 2300 kerb weight and 2.5k tow capacity. The reason I ask -- even though its way above budget -- is that this may save on accomodation and open new business options for taking her food trailer.

There's probably other/better campervans options, but Californias look good. Other ideas welcome.

Be gentle 
I'm not familair with the Califonia you mention, but I'd agree that I have seen quite a number of consession stall owners who tow horse boxed size trailers with campers so it is possible. But it rather comes down to weights of the trailers when its loaded and ready to roll.

Without checking all the previous comments on this thread Im not sure if the matter of the required driving licence has been mentioned or not. :All the vehicles you have mentioned so far come under licence categoty B for solo vehicle not exceeding 3500KG MAM Category B. However they are also at the bigger end of teh category and when coupled to a trailer teh combined MAM is very likely to exceed 3500kg, in which case you will need to have entitklement BE or take the extention test for B +E. Basically if you passed your basic driving test before Jand 1997 then you will have BE, but if it was after , then you will only have B.
Thanks Prof.

I passed my B+E test recently - and glad I did too!!
 
Jun 17, 2011
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We use a 2018 Sorento automatic. Brilliant tow car, we pull a coachman 565 at 1700kg. However tow limit is 2000kg. Manual is higher but I wouldn’t recommend. Beware of Sorentos between 2010 and 2012 as they were reputed to be too flexible. Drives like a car but okay on fields and tows very well. Looked at shogun and rexton last year. Shogun was too agricultural for us and the rexton too expensive. Friends with disco and ML report reliability issues and/or cost of repair. On the rally field the most popular are Sorento and Hyundai equivalents and then variations of the shogun, imports I think. Shogun will pull whatever and seem to have a good press if you’re happy with the drive.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I must add a note of caution about relying on data from websites like those mentioned by Colin.

The data used must match excatly the data for your particular model of vehicle, If it dosn't match exactly don't trust it.

Towing limits of different versions of the same model of tow vehicle can be quite different, even some well respected tow vehicles may have a sibling model that is not rated to tow anything, and it would be in fact illegal. Alwasy check.
 

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