View Full Version : Cheap 4wd tow vehicle- what brand?

24-01-07, 08:52 AM
Advice required on a tow vehicle. I want to get something for around $5K (or a bit more) for a big four wheel drive to pull a horse float. It doesn't have to be fancy, it doesn't need all the bells and whistles, but do you think this is ambitious?

I am currently looking at Landcruisers, but can someone tell me why pajeros are so much cheaper? Are they really unreliable?

Any other brands people recommend and brands/models to stay away from? It will go through an NRMA inspection so that I at least know what I will be up for.

Any advice appreciated. I looked through old threads, but a lot of people were looking at newer tow vehicles instead of the cheapskate nasty ones like I am. Oh well. :-)

24-01-07, 08:53 AM
And I probably should ask whether I want manual or automatic because I don't know that either.

24-01-07, 08:59 AM
I can tell you what NOT to get. Holden Jackeroo. They'll be cheap but believe me, they're nasty!

Manual or auto? - Everyone tells me they prefer manual because you have more control. Although I have a friend who stalls hers when pulling the float up steep winding mountain roads, because it's so difficult to change gear, LOL.

24-01-07, 09:29 AM
Nissan Patrol. Got ours for about $6500. Its fantastic. Automatic is apperently better for towing.

24-01-07, 09:45 AM
They are out there, word of mouth helps. What area are you looking in? Shame I am too far up as I know one for sale at the produce (it just closed down) for $4500. I think it is possibly a cruisor.


24-01-07, 10:02 AM
Well we just sold our Holden Jackaroo (1993 model) for $5500. We never had an ounce of trouble with it! Mind you, we didn't use it for towing all that often, but for normal use it was fine.
Saying that though, i'd definitely go for a Toyota Landcruiser if I could afford it. They are dearer because they are of better quality and they last for a looooong time, therefore they hold their value.
Good luck car hunting. We're looking for a new car atm, and it really sucks!!

24-01-07, 10:19 AM
If you can go for a Diesel Motor, they are a stronger motor and last a lot longer when towing, heavy loads.

Weather you go for Auto or Manual depends on you, that really comes down to personal preference, I would also factor in the age of the car, as some of the old autos would have had some strain put on them. I have towed with both manual and Auto, my current car is an auto, what sort of trips will you be doing, they may factor in on which is better.

Don't forget to also factor in the weight that you will be towing, as some of the bigger one like the cruisers for example have a higher weight capacity.

Test drive as many different models as you can, don't forget that they are a 4wd and will not handle or be like you normal sedan, I am always amazed at peoples reaction that it is like driving a truck.

best of luck in the Car hunt.


24-01-07, 11:17 AM
Beg steal or borrow a little more & go for a 80 series
Landcruiser..they cheap as these dayz & are an awesome 4BEE..

24-01-07, 11:46 AM
80 series landcruisers are really great. My family still have a 1993 and a 1994 model that they've had from new, they still run perfectly and both have done over 500,000km! Both have been regularly serviced and as far as I'm aware, nothing of note has needed replacement either.

24-01-07, 12:54 PM

I have a 1988 Ford Maverick, petrol & manual (Nissan Patrol with Ford badges) that I've had for 8 years & towed everywhere with it. It's been great, very reliable, but now is a bit tired & has been replaced because we want a gooseneck, but I still keep it as a backup vehicle - can't kill it with a stick!!! Drives much more like a car than the older Cruisers & had a better interior & seats than Crusiers of the same age. They retail now for about $6k I believe. If you can find a good one - grab it!!

Good luck.


24-01-07, 12:54 PM
I'm in the sydney area.

Someone else mentioned to me the 80 series landcruisers too! Half a million km's? Wow.

Yeah, I don't expect it to drive particularly well. That's why I'll be keeping my cute little nissan pulsar for around town and this car will just be used on the weekend for towing.

It will be used for both short and long trips- hops up to riding club for events, across to windsor area for lessons and also to events around the state. So I do want reliability because I can't think of too much worse than breaking down with a horse float...

24-01-07, 12:59 PM
I recently bought a Nissan Patrol - petrol - auto- for $6k - absolutely immaculate with brand new electric braking system and all the bells and whistles. Drives and tows like a dream. Love it.

24-01-07, 01:34 PM
Mitsubishi= MitsuSHITTY!!!
Not a good choice. Count how many you see pulling floats. People vote with their feet i.e if they were any good you would see more people driving them.

My vote- Landcruiser

25-01-07, 05:45 AM
>Mitsubishi= MitsuSHITTY!!!
>My vote- Landcruiser

Agree completely on both accounts. My dad is a "Landcruiser Man", he has a 1981 one and a 2000 one. We can't rate them highly enough.

If you're going to buy an old 4WD, don't buy one with a turbo. Diesel engines definitely last longer. Can't comment on manual v auto, that's up to your own preference.

Also, the Prados are a good vehicle too, but I think don't have the full chassis of the Landcruiser...

25-01-07, 05:54 AM
We have an 1994 80 series Landcruiser, diesel, manual, set up to tow. Bought it as a two year old. Have had it ever since. It's clocked up around 450,000 km. Replaced something in the guts of it - timing belt perhaps? Dunno, my mechanic husbank did it. Has been wonderful apart from that.

Also have an 03 Prado, love it too.

Very happy with our landcruisers. They are like part of our family.

25-01-07, 05:59 AM
In Mitsubishi's defence I often tow with a 97 diesel Pajero with only a 2.8 L engine! Very good car except that it tends to go at one speed only , without horses or with and that is slow! Very reliable and our last one was a 85 diesel 2.3 L and that towed ok too.

I mainly use my ford Falcon SW and I find that has so much grunt and I reckon as its a auto its possibly lots more comfy on the horses too. The only prob with it is that it has troubles with back wheel traction (needs more weight) even tho it has 4wd tyres on the back.

25-01-07, 06:55 AM
My brother is a mechanic, I think he has worked for Landrover and Nissan. He prefers Nissan over Landcruiser and he wouldn't touch a landrover or those Ssayong (spelling) 4x4s or Mitsubishi.

I have a 92 Nissan Patrol, paid $10,500 for it, manual diesl with duel battery and inverter thing.

25-01-07, 07:21 AM
Ok, have now limited myself to landcruiser or patrol.

I'm going to look at a Nissan patrol on the weekend. I'd like to get diesel but they are a bit out of my price range. The reason I want a cheaper car is because it will be outside (not garaged) and I don't want to have to get comprehensive insurance on it (just third party property).

how exciting- new car. (or not so new).