I toyed with the idea of a few different 4x4s before making a decision – Land Rover, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Mercedes or something American?
I wanted something reliable, so it had to be Japanese. And that discounted the Land Rover 110. As much as I like these trucks and their style and simplicity, a mate summed it up best; “one day, it *will* let you down.” I want to spend more time driving it than worrying about it, so the LR is off the list.
Next up, something American? Dodge Ram, Chevy Blazer? Admittedly this was never a serious suggestion; although they ooze the cool factor, they are too thirsty for our fuel prices. And sourcing spares would be a pain.
Mitsubishi Shogun. I love these, and would favour the second-generation facelift model with the squarer wheelarches (1997-2000). However, there didn’t seem to be quite such a big fan base and aftermarket modification scene as for other vehicles, plus the IFS would limit future modifications somewhat. I discounted Gwagens for similar reasons, plus having looked at a couple of different vehicles I began to realise that 4x4s don’t have as much headroom in the rear as I’d hoped. So, bumping interior space right up on the priority list made me look at the widest 4x4s:
Nissan Patrol or Land Cruiser.
In all honesty, there was very little to choose between these two. They both had all bases ticked; utmost reliability, huge modification potential, big online communities for advice, and widespread availability of parts throughout the world. There must be a reason these vehicles are favoured by NGOs, militaries and overland travellers across the globe?
So I started looking at both, Patrol GU/GRs (1998+) and Land Cruiser 80/100 series. It quickly became apparent that Cruisers commanded a significant premium. That and the sense that the Patrol had slightly more headroom when sat in the boot made my mind up.
My overland steed would be a Troll!