New Guy

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New Guy

Postby stewartb109 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:28 am

Hey guys, my name is Bryan. I do not own a 4x4 vehicle, though for quite some time I have been attempting to use my Hybrid Civic as such (scars and damage to prove it). I am needing and wanting to break into the 4x4 game for a few different reasons. I need the increased cargo space and capabilities primarily for work related things (I am a firearms instructor and foreign diplomatic protections agent) and areas I need to access.

I don't plan on taking it on extreme trails, but do want to get it dirty and travel with it. Sorry guys, I don't find any fun in spending thousands on parts to drive over a couple large boulders only to break said parts and rinse and repeat. So I guess the way to classify what I would be into is Overlanding and not wheeling / crawling ?

(I will post the same question in the 4x4 general section as I am below just in case fewer people read the intro's than the general question sections)

So I need your help guys on deciding what direction to go for a vehicle within a few criteria. Any input would be great since the more I research the more confusing / frustrating things get (MPG, Cost of upkeep, repairs, problems, ect)

1. I need 4x4 and I would like to stay within the SUV class. I have looked at Land Rovers (I like Discos / LR3's), Hummer (H3), Jeep Wrangler (Prefer Unlimited), and FJ's. Are there any others I should be looking at since I am not rock crawling?

2. Cost -- I am looking at used (or new if its within reason) and would prefer not to spend any more than $25,000

3. Reliability. Hummers and Land Rovers come in at the cheapest out of all of the vehicles I have looked at, but apparently the cost of repairs and frequency of stuff breaking is high. Here is where most of my frustration comes into play. When I first started looking at these vehicles they came highly rated in capability and reliability. However the more I looked around and dug deep into forums, it seemed they where cheap to buy, but broke a lot and repairs are insane in cost. How true is this? Should I avoid both?

4. Fuel / MPG / Engine. I am looking for something that will last (my civic has 154K miles on it), and preferably get an alright MPG. Again, when I first started looking into the H3, it was looking like most where getting 20-25 MPG once they replaced the Cold Air with something like AirDoc / K&N, however digging deeper it looks like on average its 13-18 tops even stock (I plan on going 35'' tires, MAYBE a roof rack, snorkel, brush bar, spare, with weapons / ammo / ect). What vehicle is getting the most out of the MPG with the add ons?

5. Add Ons. I would like the ability to add a Brush Bar (I hear ARB is the best), Roof Rack, Snorkel, and bigger tires without the need of a lift kit. So aside from the Wrangler, do they all have a good variety / ability to mount these things? It seems Land Rover has some of the smallest pool of options.

Thanks guys for putting up with my newbie questions. I appreciate any and all input / feedback.
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Re: New Guy

Postby Mark » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:57 pm

First if rock crawling to you means spend a bundle on parts only to break them then your doing it wrong. Sure I know people that wheel with a lead foot and expect to break something every time they go out but that doesn't mean it's what everyone does or has to do. I have been wheeling H3s for over 7 years now and just recently had my first breakage on the trail.

1. Nobody can really tell you what to look at, it comes down to personal preference and your list is very broad. They are all 4x4s but beyond that very different overall.

2. If you are looking to only spend that much I don't think you have the option of new. Obviously not an option for the H3 period.

3. Not sure where you are getting your info from but overall the H3s have been very reliable. You have to realize that looking at postings online will pretty much find you the negative. People got to forums to find out answers when they have problems so of course you will find problems. I have had vehicles from each of the big three, several Japanese models and a few higher end European vehicles, both of my H3s have been as reliable as the best of them and more than most.

4. If you are looking for fuel economy you are looking at the wrong class of vehicle. I have never heard anybody claiming to get 25 MPG in an H3 and if they were they probably didn't know how to figure it. I get 12-13 in the city and if you do what you say you want to do that is what you can expect as well or close to it.

5. If you want to look like everyone else on the road and have endless options of bolt on items go with the Wrangler or next the FJ. That is what I like about the H3, being unique at least to a certain degree. Never looked but pretty sure there is a good aftermarket for the Land Rover and there are items for the H3 but by far Wranglers and FJs have the options.
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