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Has anyone got a 4x4?

(674 Posts)
momof2 Thu 04-Mar-04 13:36:22

We have just decided to get rid of our faithful Hippo (Nissan Micra) and branch out into the uncertain world of much larger family cars.
I have been looking at a discovery or freelander - please note all old ones not new.
Has anyone any experience of how good/bad they are please? Or any 4x4's they would recommend or MPV's
Many thanks

mumbojumbo Thu 04-Mar-04 14:01:44

Hi momof2,

We have just swapped our Ford Mondeo for a Jeep Grand Cherokee (W reg). Have 2 little ones - ds1 is 26 months and ds2 is 17 weeks.

Hated mondeo, love the jeep (altho'the fuel economy is abit of a nightmare!).
Plus points: Tons of space, very comfortable to ride/drive, high up driving position, easy to load/unload kids, very easy to park!
I was given the choice of what to drive by dp, and we narrowed it down to a short list. Once I'd driven the jeep, I was smitten!
Ruled out MPV's as not big enough - god knows what we will be transporting as we also have a massive roof box as well....

momof2 Thu 04-Mar-04 14:07:17

Thanks MJ - How very odd as we saw a Jeep Cherokee on Monday and I fell in love with it, but DP was not sure about how comfortable the ride was and thought that it might be a bit basic. Like I say we are looking at M reg back really in order to afford it, but I did like the look - oh and it was a lovley navy colour - which of course is the only thing girls need to know about cars

Katherine Thu 04-Mar-04 14:09:56

We've got a good old fashioned long wheelbase landrover defender. Its fab. I can get all 3 kids in the rear seat although I often put the baby in the front so I can see her and seperate the two older ones. There is also a spare seat in the middle in the front. Means we can offer lifts and bring friends home which we couldn't do otherwise. Also means we can fit us, kids and dog in the front part and still have a huge area at the back to load buggies, camping gear, logs, furniture - anything fits! In fact it tends to get used as a mobile shed.

It can be a bit chilly first thing in winter and I've had a few fun occassions when the locks have frozen up but when the snow came it saved the day and we've done excellent camping holidays from it. We can also brew up a cup of tea in the back and sit down to lunch after a walk etc.

Fuel economy is not great - make sure you get a diesal. But DH is looking into an LPG conversion.

If you are going big then I would definitly look for something which can give you more function.

Or what about a VW camper?

Tissy Thu 04-Mar-04 14:30:33

Hope no-one is going to come along and slag off 4x4 owners! In my defence I live in the country and can't get into work when it snows!

We have a 2002 Freelander, and it is fine. I would have preferred a diesel, but the shop didn't have a second hand one at the time. V. Comfy, loads of space inside, boot not huge though. A few nice features, such as power point in the rear, "secret boxes" between the front seats and in the boot, stretchy string "pockets" above the rear seats for toys etc. Given a choice, I'd have the top of the range model with heated seat and steering wheel, but I am a wuss!!

Tissy Thu 04-Mar-04 14:34:27

Hope no-one is going to come along and slag off 4x4 owners! In my defence I live in the country and can't get into work when it snows!

We have a 2002 Freelander, and it is fine. I would have preferred a diesel, but the shop didn't have a second hand one at the time. V. Comfy, loads of space inside, boot not huge though. A few nice features, such as power point in the rear, "secret boxes" between the front seats and in the boot, stretchy string "pockets" above the rear seats for toys etc. Given a choice, I'd have the top of the range model with heated seat and steering wheel, but I am a wuss!!

momof2 Thu 04-Mar-04 14:37:07

Why Tizzy - do people dislike 4x4 drivers? I am in the country too - well DD goes to a school in a farming community and we live on the outskirts of the village, but in a town!

jampot Thu 04-Mar-04 15:58:24

We have a Discovery which has been converted (professionally) to run on LPG (35p per litre). It can still run on petrol. Fuel economy is great and there's bags of space for kids, equipment etc. Before that we had a Range Rover Classic (also converted) and before that another Range Rover Classic (petrol - pre-kids!)

Tissy - I also get a lot of slating (fingers stuck up, notes on my windscreen re: parking) usually from middle-old aged men. I think the driving position pisses them off. Honestly I'm not a bad driver!!!!!!

miggy Thu 04-Mar-04 16:09:20

I had a discovery for last 3 yrs-loved it, had extra seats in back so could take more kids but loads of boot space. prior to that had shogun and frontera. landrover was my favorite. Fuel economy terrible though, even diesel. Now have grand voyager which gives kids more room and much better mpg but less boot space (unless take seats out) and I feel like a bus driver when its empty.

SecondhandRose Thu 04-Mar-04 16:31:42

I have a Landcruiser, it's like driving a ruddy tractor. I'd recommend you get something like a Scenic.

fio2 Thu 04-Mar-04 16:54:25

Momof2 we have just got rid of our Land Rover Discovery (our beloved disco!), you could have bought it. Our was a 2.5Tdi 7 seater, guzzled the deisel. We had it for three years and dh has actually parted with it, we both loved it but it wasnt practical for what we needed anymore. We bought it because we tow a caravan but have decided to get rid of that too.

The only downpoints are fuel issues, lifting kids in and out of car seats, height restrictions on car parks. Bit cumbersome and sluggish if you are used to a saloon. Seats are not that comfortable long distance

Insurance and repairs were reasonable, plus there is not alot that can go wrong on them. They are ideal workhorses. Great for chucking the dogs in the back.

One of the things to look for if you are buying a 2nd hand Land Rover is gearbox problems. If it has high mileage and the gearbox hasnt been changed listen out for a 'clunking' noise whenyou change gear. If it is clunking alot the gearbox is going and is expensive to change (ours was going one of the reasons we got rid) Also look for rust patches, they do tend to get quite alot of rust spots. Also oil leaks are quite common and seem to happen for no apparent reason and correct themselves.


fio2 Thu 04-Mar-04 16:55:46

Forgot to add we got loads of abuse, two fingers etc Gawd knows why!!

alibubbles Thu 04-Mar-04 17:00:46

katherine, my DS wants a Landrover defender for his 17th birthday, my DH is all for it as well! Are they cheap to service, and any idea how much to convert to LPG?

I have a Mercedes M class, don't get the petrol one, used to cost me £100 a week to do the school run, I have a new diesel one now and much more economical, Fun and great to drive, not not really a 7 seater.

tillymint Thu 04-Mar-04 19:42:58

I'm about to sell my Merc ML. Getting a 7 seater people carrier instead.
Have to say, I could not go back to a low car again. The higher seating is great - you can see more and feel safer. A TERRIBLE gas guzzler though, and bouncy. Great for posing, tinted windows help to hide disaster zone on back seat.
Have to admit the only off roading I do is when I mount the kerb!!! Well... I do live in Surrey (Posh 'ere)

smellymelly Thu 04-Mar-04 20:16:30

God wish I could afford a mercedes M class!
Try a Mitsubishi Shogun, they hold their value well and look damn good too. Mpg is going to be heavy on any 4x4 as they are so heavy, diesels are better maybe, LPG is hard to find where I live. MPV's are much cheaper to run, but lose thier value quicker I think.
Thankfully I can keep my Audi A4 quattro till I have a third Baby! But we have looked into many options for MPV's and 4X4s, try looking at Parkers Guide website for info like problems to look for, MPG, BHP (very important) etc....

princesspeahead Thu 04-Mar-04 21:16:46

secondhandrose, I have a new landcruiser - they are a completely different animal, more like a range rover now. and much better ride than a discovery which I though was like dragging a rather clonky brick through mud! and they have 8 seats, so you can pile in children on school runs etc, or the rear seats fold up giving a big boot. fuel economy better than jeeps although still not great - about 25mpg for the diesel.

Katherine Thu 04-Mar-04 21:54:43

Alibubbles - was about to ask jampot about the LPG. DH has a real bee in his bonnet about it. I'm all for going greener but the nearest place I know selling it is 20 minutes away which seems to defeat the object to me. Also worried that if we go off camping miles from anywhere will have trouble getting fuel - didn't realise you could still use the original fuel as well. Makes it much more attractive.

Have to say that ours has needed quite a bit of work so far and cost us a bit but then we bought it cheap and they don't half hold their value. DH always says that they are really easy to maintain yourself - everything just bolts into place. So if your DS likes to play with his engines then it would be ideal. Also they are so solid - much safer IMO than a lot of cars that youngsters drive (God that comment makes me feel old!)

One thing if you have kids though - buy yourself some earplugs - you can see over all the walls etc so my lot spend every trip shrieking with excietment at the things they can see that they can't see from the car (we're talking lambs and tractors here not peeping into peoples houses)

stace Thu 04-Mar-04 22:02:24

Hi gotta say i have now been driving 4 X 4 for about 10-15 years like lots of you i just cant give up the high driving position vision is fantastic and you just feel so much safer. Have had Cheep cherokee, Range Rover and BMW and need to change the BMW now for a 7 seater will probably get the Volvo cos it offers the best of all worlds seats that fold flat so only 5 seater with big boot when i dont have all 4 kids and the dog. But the Crysler Grand Voyager is a great value option but its an MPV. If i wasnt restricted to needing 7 seats i would definetly buy another Jeep is was undoubtedly my favourite all rounder for comfort space and drive.

SofiaAmes Thu 04-Mar-04 22:29:21

We have an 8 year old land cruiser which we got 2nd hand. It seats 8 with seat belts and is absolutely wonderful. Highly recommend it. I have a 20 year old landcruiser in the states and also love it, but it is like driving a truck. The newer one drives like a dream.

jampot Fri 05-Mar-04 00:59:39

Katherine - converting to LPG is not too expensive and you will easily recoup the cost well within a year (based on average mileage). The disco runs much cleaner on lpg and drives a lot smoother. There are lpg outlets popping up everywhere - I think Shell are quite big with it now and there is a site called where you can print off all the fuelling stations/outlets by county. We often go on hols to Lake District and there are loads up there. The fuel economy remains the same as in standard petrol but of course it is less than half the price. DH wants to buy a Range Rover next and convert again so my lovely car may be up for sale if anyone is intersted! DH works at Land Rover so it is well maintained.

tillymint Fri 05-Mar-04 15:55:23

Be careful with Volvo XC90. They are fantastic but seriously overpriced. A ship sank over a year ago with thousands on borad. Consequently the waiting list for new is quite long, and second hand are as expensive, if you can find one to your spec.
I'm swapping to new Chrysler Grand Voyager, 2005 model. It has a new Turbo Diesel Auto engine, so fuel economy is much much better than Merc ML. Also has electric sliiding doors (both sides) and boot. Much easier to get babies out when parking space small. Don't need to tip middle seats forward to get to rear either. Its the only solution I've found for baby 3 due in Sept, when dd2 will only be 13months, and dd1 6yrs. (I prefer all kids to be in full car seats - I hate boosters 'cos they just slide around the back of my car, and she can't nod off).

Mum2Ela Fri 05-Mar-04 16:18:50

Tillymint - my dad has one of those volvos. I joke to him that his sank on that ship, but even before that there was only a quota of one per dealership her month. It is fab, its gt a built in booster seat and everthing, and a seat that moves forward so that little'um insn't really in the 'back' but nearere to you in the front. It is expensive but I s'pose its ok cos he can afford it (wish I could - got a Megane me!)

Ronniebaby Fri 05-Mar-04 16:30:16

Hiya Ladies,

I have a Honda CRV which is a 4x4, and I love it, from the first moment I drove it.

Like the others it has tons of space, and the seats slide backwards and forwards to create space, altho is it a 5 seater, the boot space is enormous, and the spare wheel is on the back so we have a space (called a wet space) in the boot and it stores loads of things, then placed over that wet space is a picnic table which comes as standard with the car, and has been used on numerous occasions. I feel really safe it in, with the high driving position, and all the extra's I got with it,my DS loves it as it has arm rests for the front seats and going around the safari parks, he can stand on then and pop his head out the sunroof, (obviously only in the areas it's allow )

I wouldn't swop it now, (except if I could afford a brand new Shogun, which I can't)

BUSTERTHEDOG Sat 06-Mar-04 09:50:33

my sil is selling a grand cherokee jeep, it's about 18 months old. Think they go for about 18k

we've got a range rover 2.5 dhse. it's fab. I will never ever drive anything else again! we got it second hand at 3 years old - they depreciate to about half price by then

Gdine Sun 06-Nov-05 10:12:25

I just dont get it. All these other parents carrying their precious children around in gas guzzling 4x4's - dont you realise that global warming threatens your childs future far more than the low risk of an accident does!

Dont you also realise that the increased sense of safety that you have is at the expense of other families in conventional cars who are statistically more at risk if they get hit by one of your urban tractors? Yes your kid is safer but mine isnt - so what happens - we all get urban tractors and start a kind of road based cold war?

For anyone reading this who actually cares about our childrens future please visit

Here you will find good humoured (actually quite funny) posters which are suitable for display in public places. The site invites you to use your own printer at home to print out a few copies and display in your local community.

Please help us re-educate these folks - the landrover discovery for instance manages 12 miles per gallon on the urban cycle (considerably more if stuff in traffic). This is 2 to 3 times more consumption than a normal family car and only half that of a LONDON BUS !!!!

Some common sense for our children PLEASE - you may get them to school but you are helping to wreck their future. Talk about MYOPIC !!!.

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