“What a peculiar position to be in.” I thought to myself as I pondered the irony of kicking off a new 4x4 and outdoor website and not having a 4x4 to explore the great outdoors in!
For the last 6 years I’ve had a brilliantly reliable 1996 Land Rover Discovery which I bought when I began writing for the now defunct Land Rover World magazine. She was a cracking vehicle, but like most Land Rovers of a certain era, she failed her last MOT on excessive rust and now, as mentioned, I’m 4x4-less.
So that was Christmas, the one just gone, 2015 if you’re reading this next year, and although I was sharing Muddy Madams Skoda Fabia, after only a couple of weeks I was beginning to get withdrawal symptoms, I needed a 4x4.
So, what was I looking for? Well, our next steed would start every morning to take me to work, as well as the 300 mile round trip to the NEC in Birmingham which often feels like my second home.
In a nutshell, it must be able to drive up my local green lane (note singular), which is very rocky and quite tough, then take me on an 400 interminable mile motorway round trip to somewhere. And the toughest test of all, to negotiate my local supermarket car park and emerge without a scathe!
It also can’t cost more than £200 for a full service, as opposed to over £2,000 for the likes of a Full Fat Range Rover and its current line up of siblings - though I’d dearly love the former.
In no particular order my list of basic requirements looks something like this:
- Good off road
- Good on road
- Parts easily available
- Easy to modify
- No more than £4,000, or there abouts
- Cheap to buy, tax and insure
- Reliable - I need it to work when required.
- Not precious like L322
- Proper 4x4 system, with low box
So, at a recent Mud Life staff meeting (me, eating a Whopper in a Burger King car park somewhere), I pondering on what exotic and strange vehicle I could buy next, choices included:
- Anything from Land Rover
- Shogun / Shogun Sport
- Surf or Land Cruiser
So, let the search begin…
- A pick up of some sort