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Which Car

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2021 1:19 pm
by clementerf
Hi to all,

After last weekend drive, in which I damaged the front (plastic) bumper (for a third time) and lost the exhaust tip, my wife revoked my permit to use her Prado to drive in the desert. I am therefore looking to buy a suitable car.

I would like to ask for your advice on the following:

1- Which car do you recommend? I have noticed that the majority of the experienced driver have either FJs or Wranglers. I am not going to ask which one is better because most likely I will receive multiple contradictory responses. Instead, my question is: are there other good alternatives? I was thinking in the short wheelbase version of the Pajero or Patrol. Are these any good for the desert? Is there any other good option to consider?

2- For a newbie like me, what do you recommend: buying a car already modified and ready for the desert or buying a stock car and modify it step by step as my expertise and experience increases?

Whatever car I decide to buy, I will use it only during the weekend to go to the desert. I will not use it for daily commuting. Regarding my budget, I would like to keep it around AED 40 - 45k.

Thanks a lot,

Re: Which Car

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2021 6:07 pm
by presa
Hey Bro...

for this budget I would look for an FJ.

Preference for not modified, since they wont be desert abused.

The car lasts forever and is very capable.

Wrangler is very capable, but at this budget you might be in a lottery... and most dont win on this game...

The only other I would recommend is the old x-terra. You can find around 25-30k, will spend around 15k on mods and set aside 5k for break downs, as expected in a car 7-10 years old.

Re: Which Car

Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2021 9:17 am
by caprihorse
All the guys in the past, who used Pajero in the desert, after few trips made a gift for their wives, and told the them this is a best car for the city.

Patrol is the right choice.

Re: Which Car

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:22 am
by piotr
I am still standing behind my Prado :) 15 drives an counting, but indeed a few mods helped:
1. After drive ~5 - Remove the exhaust tip :P I was fortunate someone spotted it falling during the drive.
2. After drive ~5 Skid plate front (and ideally back as well, gives peace of mind). I also removed additional plastic "bumper on bumper" element on the front + a few plastic pieces in the fenders.
3. After drive ~10 (but probably should have done it earlier, instead of step 2) steel bumper front (+lights as it came integrated)
4. After drive ~10 - suspension lift (I chose ARB OME)
5. After drive ~15 - proper offroad tires + rims.

I am not driving very often (family duties), and I did not need 2nd car so it made sense for me.
The mods you will need to do are probably very similar in FJ, but it has more clearance + initial tolerance
BTW, some parts can be transferred from Prado to FJ, so nice option.

BTW2 added benefit it is now the only Prado in the 10+ convoys ;) so easy to identify on the radio.

Re: Which Car

Posted: Sat Jun 12, 2021 6:39 pm
by clementerf
Hi guys,

Thanks for the advice. Instead of getting a car just for the weekend, I convinced my wife of changing her Prado for a new drive. I am thinking in a Wrangle Unlimited. I have now the dilemma about getting the Sahara (or Sport) or the Rubicon. My question is now if the differential locks and Sway bar disconnect of the Rubicon is really necessary for driving in the desert? Do these worth the price difference between the Sahara/Sport and the Rubicon?

I am also thinking in getting it from Off-road Zone. They have better prices than the dealer. Also you can get it already modified with lifting kit and tire (for the case of Sport or Sahara). My question is if anybody have experience with them and if they would recommend them

Thanks a lot.