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What's a good 4WD for the outback?

Asked by Joel

I want to buy a solid four-wheel-drive fit for the harsh Aussie outback, but I’d also use it as daily transport. I’ll be also doing a build so it would be great to buy a base model and add all the goodies. What’s good on a $15-$20k budget for the vehicle?

Answered by CarsGuide

18 Mar 2021 David Morley

You really have two ways to go here. The fact that you want to go off-road in the best/worst conditions this country has to offer means an SUV or cross-over just isn’t going to cut it. With that in mind, you’re looking at either a dual-cab ute or a conventional four-wheel-drive wagon.

In the ute world, there’s plenty of choice within your budget, but you need to be careful that the vehicle in question hasn’t been worked to death by a tradie towing a bobcat Monday to Friday. The popularity of these vehicles, meanwhile, means that there’s lots of choice when it comes to aftermarket bits and pieces to complete your dream vehicle.

The other route – a conventional wagon-style 4X4 – also places a lot of choice within your budget. The Toyota LandCruiser Prado would be a good choice, as would something like a Mitsubishi Pajero which has always represented good value for money both brand-new and second-hand. You could also look at Nissan Patrols which also give you plenty of car for the money and, if you shop carefully, you could find a really nice LandCruiser 80 Series, reckoned by some to be the absolute pinnacle of off-road wagons, even though they’re getting on a bit now. There’s great aftermarket and service support for all these options, so it will come down to your personal preferences.

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