If you’ve got around $75,000 to spend on a rough and tough off-roader, the decision between new and old isn’t as simple as you’d think. For that coin you could walk into a Ford dealership and start negotiations for a brand spanking new Everest Titanium with all the bells and whistles. Or, you could scan the second-hand market for a tried-and-true Toyota LandCruiser with a big diesel V8.
FORD EVEREST TITANIUM
Based on the popular Ford Ranger, the Everest adds an off-road wagon body to the dual-cab set-up along with the option of seven seats. A mid-life update has brought in a raft of updates and refinements, namely the 2.0-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel and a 10-speed automatic.
It might lose a cylinder and some capacity to the 3.2-litre five-cylinder oiler, but the smaller bi-turbo unit offers greater performance with 157kW and 500Nm, while returning 7.1L/100km on a combined cycle. It’s a quieter, more passenger-car-focused unit – refinement is vastly improved. It’s tied to a 10-speed automatic, which is an accomplished ’box, but it does result in gear hunting at times. On-road manners and dynamics are sharp for what the Everest is, an almost 2.5-tonne SUV, but the Titanium’s ride can be a bit jittery.
The six-speed auto used with the 3.2-litre is going to be the better option for towing, however, the 2.0-litre is still sufficient. Braked towing capacity is 3100kg with a payload of 654kg. The Everest uses an electronic locking rear differential as well as hill descent control.
Where the Everest kicks it up a gear is in terms of safety features. Kit like blindspot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, AEB, lane keeping, adaptive cruise control, active park assist and a host of dynamic stability and traction controls are standard in Titanium trim. The interior is slightly more car-like than the Ranger on which it’s based, but the level of infotainment is high with an 8.0-inch central touchscreen supporting SYNC 3 as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Ultimately, you notice its dual-cab roots, and for more than $70K, that’s not an ideal situation. But as a capable, spacious and frugal four-wheel drive, the Everest climbs to quite lofty heights.
200 SERIES TOYOTA LANDCRUISER SAHARA
There is nothing quite like a ’Cruiser. They’re almost inextricably intertwined with the lives of many Aussies – be it those on the land, in the outback, or the myriad grey nomads trekking around our great country in retirement bliss. And there’s a very good reason for that; because the 200 Series is very good.
The 4.5-litre twin-turbo diesel powerhouse offers 9.5L/100km economy that’s impressive in a car verging on three tonnes. New injectors and revised engine mapping bumped power up to 200kW in late 2015, while torque remains at a heady 650Nm. It is a fuss-free unit with torque in reserve – and it works in well with the six-speed automatic. You can opt for a naturally aspirated 4.6-litre V8 of the same ilk (discontinued in 2019), but the combined fuel consumption increases to 13.4L/100km for 227kW/439Nm for the atmo powerplant.
On-road the ’Cruiser feels like a big, luxurious sedan with a quiet and comfortable ride. Vehicles fitted with the KDSS adjustable suspension will be better than those without on tarmac, though its proven all-wheel drive system makes it’s equally at home in the bush. The high-spec Sahara has a 3500kg braked towing capacity and is a fantastic option for those needing to tow heavy loads.
The late-2015 update also saw the Sahara gain improved safety systems with a host of cameras being added. Other standard features include pre-collision warning, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure warning and blindspot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Inside, the Sahara is verging on Lexus levels of plush, but the infotainment is showing its age against the Everest despite the luxe variant gaining rear entertainment screens mounted in the back of the two front seats.
Given that the range-topping Sahara 200 Series garnered an almost $120K sticker price when new, being able pick one up for almost half price just three years later seems like a bargain. It certainly makes a case for buying second-hand when the 2016 model is largely the same ’Cruiser Toyota sells now.
|FORD EVEREST||TOYOTA LANDCRUISER|
|Price (new)||$73,990||$118,500 (2016)|
|Engine||1996cc 4cyl, dohc, 16v, twin-turbo diesel||4461cc V8, dohc, 32v, twin-turbo diesel|
|Transmission||10-speed automatic||6-speed automatic|
|Country of origin||Thailand||Japan|
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